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MelMac

Sharing a kitchen....

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Hey everyone. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with celiac. I am a mom to two kids, 8 and 10 and my bread loving husband. We have decided to have a shared kitchen. My husband and kids will eat breakfast and lunch as normal since those meals are rarely eaten together. Dinners will be gluten free. I have completely revamped my pantry. Took everything out, scrubbed it clean, read all labels and did a whole heck of a lot of google searches. Now half our pantry is gluten free and the other half contains gluten. Will make it all much easier on us. Now I need to do the fridge but I'm at a loss as to where to start and what to do. Any help and ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm having a hard time finding information. 

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Welcome to the board.

A shared kitchen isn't always easy but can be done.  First off anything that can be double dipped like jellies, butter, peanot butter, mayo etc can not be used by you if others have used them. Get new ones for just you and put stickers or colored tape on them so others know not to use them.  You will need your own toaster also.  Some find it helpful to have a designated area for gluten eating. That helps control crumbs a bit.  I work cleaning up others gluten crumbs all day and find as long as I make sure to wash my hands before I touch my food I have been okay.

You will find it quite helpful to read the Newbie thread at the top of the Coping section as it has a lot of good tips to keep you safe.

Very important now that you have been diagnosed is that you test your kids.  Celiac can affect much more than just tummies so screening them is advised.

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Do be cautious about trusting a Google search to find out if a food is gluten free.  I got glutened a few times by making that mistake. "Google" told me a few things were gluten free- yet after getting ill- I realized that although these items may be gluten free in the USA- they definitely were not in Canada.  plus- a lot of Google searches bring up really old information which often isn't accurate.  Now I often contact the company itself to find out if a food is safe. It means the bag of loose tea or the new snack I've purchased just sits in my pantry until I know for sure it's safe. 

 

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We have a shared kitchen in my house too.  However, more and more of what we eat is gluten free.  The kids and husband sometimes eat toast, but not often.  I buy my pancake loving son the frozen kind rather than making them from scratch or bisquick (he doesn't like the gluten free kind and I've never been a big pancake eater anyway).  The fridge was not as difficult as the pantry for me, but it did take a while for me to consider everything.  I rarely use mayo so didn't think of that until I wanted to make chicken salad and didn't have any uncontaminated mayo!  Mostly we have squeeze bottles for jelly, ketchup and mustard so all that is safe to share.  The only gluttony foods in the fridge come from leftovers and I just keep it separate.  I also use different containers for glutton free food and use the old containers if we have something with glutton in it so I don't get confused.  I use glutton free for everyone as much as possible.  Also, I second getting the kids tested.  I told the pediatrician about my diagnosis and she ordered blood work for them right away just to be sure and will repeat the tests every few years or if symptoms arise.

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Thank you everyone. The 1st thing that was done after my diagnosis was getting the kids tested. Both came back negative. They will be tested again in a couple of years unless things change. Now getting my siblings to get tested is a whole different ball game. They are having non of it, which surprises me as they are both in the medical field. 

 

Google is a nightmare! I was finding a lot of things popping up from the early 2000's. I have a long list of questions. I go to "celiac school" through my dietician but it's not until the 26th, it's been a lot of learning on my own.  I have colour coded everything with sharpies. Black contain gluten and blue is safe for me. I have my own shelf in the fridge with things that get used all the time that can't be contaminated. We have one counter that my husband and kids have to use for their toast and sandwiches etc. Luckily my kids and husband are totally on board and learning with me. This weekend I was baking with my daughter and she was making cookies. Out of habit when we were done with the mixers I had a big lick off of it. Realized what I did and rinsed my mouth right away but an hour later I looked 9 months pregnant and didn't sleep that night as I was in agony. So much to think of. 

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I was diagnosed almost a year ago- I still find myself almost doing the same thing you did with the beaters. It does help that I no longer have regular flour in the house- but the rest of the household still eats gluten and at times I almost lick my finger when I'm baking with their gluten peanut butters or oatmeal for example.  My husband and kids have a toaster on a little cupboard beside the table so I don't have crumbs all over my tiny kitchen. My cutlery drawer is constantly getting contamiated when someone is making sandwiches and grabs a knife out of the drawer without washing hands. I'm thinking of just having my own cutlery set aside- or wash anything before I use it. I've started to wipe down counters and the table as soon as I get up in the morning. I'm the last one up and who knows where my kids have contaminated my counters. 

It is really neat though to find that my adult kids and husband watch out for me. They make sure I don't drink out of the wrong glass and let me know whenever they see someone accidentally contaminating my food- for examples at family functions. It makes me feel loved when they care enough to be watching out for my safety. 

Kissing my dear hubby can be a challenge because even after he's brushed his teeth- I've definitely been glutened that way. He's promised when the kids are out of the house- he'll go gluten free with me. Oh the peace of mind that will give in my own home! 

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I live with my parent and brother who are not needing to be gluten free.  So, yes working in a gluten kitchen can get interesting at times.  As for the de-gluttoning the fridge, I second the poster who stated the real risk is getting gluttoned with the condiments.  I have my own peanut butter and toaster for this reason.  For the leftovers, we put masking tape on the top of the containers that are gluten free so there is no chance of cc. It seems to work out good except for one thing.  My brother does not take his leftovers to work a whole lot. :) That's life in the family though.

When making glutened brownies, I have had the temptation of licking the bowl and beaters.  It's not hard to exercise the self-control piece when I know the consequence of doing so.

 

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My best advice when sharing a kitchen with people not on a gluten-free diet, is do what you did, keep foods separate. But most importantly use separate toasters, microwaves, and cookware. If you cook something gluten-free in the oven that non-gluten-free food was cooked in there's a huge risk of cross-contamination. I had to bite the bullet and buy a second microwave, and I got a toaster oven so I use that instead of the regular oven everyone else uses. It's a pain and it's difficult but I've successfully gone without being glutened for a year! I also use separate cookware as well to avoid issues with that as well. 

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In our house, I have a separate cutting board, toaster oven and grill/panini maker.  I also rinse out pots and pans before using them because my teenager isn't the best at handwashing things out after he makes ramen.  We have stainless pots though - I might be more concerned if we had non-stick as they can get scratched up and gluten can hide in the scratches. 

I have separate jam jars and butter, and squeeze mayo, but we share other things and everyone knows to scoop things (like hummus) into a bowl before dipping into them.  More and more of our snacks are gluten free, because the kids actually prefer gluten-free pretzels to regular ones.  Oh, and I no longer allow regular, delivery pizza into the house because no one is careful about the crumbs.  We don't drink beer, either, but if we did I'd probably require separate glasses for that.

You get used to it.

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