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momothree

Going gluten-free

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Hi there. My 12 yr. old son just had his biopsy on Thursday (still 2-4 weeks for results). The GI doctor who did the scope said that we may as well get started on the diet since his blood values were so high. So, I have been shopping and researching (the usual) to get everything in place. One of my questions is, do you really have to use a different toaster oven etc.? I'm not sure my kitchen is big enough for all of the duplicate items the information seems to indicate that I will need LOL. A little advice in this area would sure be helpful. Does everyone also have two margarine containers (and all other condiments that aren't squeeze bottles)?

My second question is this. Is there any danger in putting my 18 month old on the gluten-free diet just to see if things improve? The other doctor I spoke to at Childrens' was very much against the idea and wanted us to leave her on a regular diet and get a biopsy done. I'm not sure if I want to put her through that at such a young age if there is no reason not to try her on the gluten-free diet. He had a number of confusing reasons for me (non of which really made sense to me--an indication perhaps of how little I understand about the blood test results etc.). He indicated that there is no higher incidence of inaccuracy for children under 5, but I've read (here, and from other sources) that there is a problem regarding accuracy for that age group. Can anyone offer some insight to help alleviate some of this confusion?? Thanx.

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Hi! A toaster oven that you already have is fine--I would give it a good cleaning, and put foil under any food that you prepare in it for your son. He does need to have a dedicated (regular) toaster, though. Some other things that need to be dedicated to gluten-free food prep--wooden boards and utensils, collander, and don't use Teflon or other non-stick pans that have scratches--maybe get one or two in stainless steel. It is important to have separate containers for butter, jelly, etc because even one crumb is too much. If you don't want to put your younger child through a biopsy anyway, there is no danger at all in trying the gluten-free diet. There are lots of parents of young children here that know more about the specifics of the testing, etc. I'm sure they will weigh in soon. Good luck to your son--hope he is feeling better soon :)

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Hi - I'm not an expert on testing...but in terms of two toasters etc, have you considered just making your entire kitchen gluten-free? It would be much healither and much less risky for your children, and while gluten-free food for everyone can be expensive, it's also expensive to buy two toasters, two margarines etc. Your non-celiac family members can eat gluten outside of the house if they want, but everyone will probably be much healthier and safer in an entirely gluten-free kitchen. In a gluten-free kitchen your son would never have to worry so much about getting sick from cross contamination. Just an idea. :) Might be unrealistic, but I wish more people would consider it.

I know there are people who have "mixed kitchens" and they do buy an extra toaster, and they get rid of old teflon pots and pans with scratches and all that. It does work for some people.

If you're 18 month old improves on a gluten-free diet...definitely keep her off gluten. Positive response to the dietary change is a completely valid reason to never eat gluten, regardless of what any biopsy or blood test says.

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I haven't added another toaster in my kitchen, since my 21-month old son Jacob Noah, was dx two months ago. I just give everything a real good cleaning. Like if I fry up a grilled cheese sandwich, I might use two separate frying pans and spatulas, but I didn't think that the toaster would retain that much wheat on it's inside grate.

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I haven't added another toaster in my kitchen, since my 21-month old son Jacob Noah, was dx two months ago. I just give everything a real good cleaning. Like if I fry up a grilled cheese sandwich, I might use two separate frying pans and spatulas, but I didn't think that the toaster would retain that much wheat on it's inside grate.

If it's a toaster oven, that wouldn't be as risky (as long as you clean it between each use and use foil under the food). In terms of regular toasters, you would need an extra one that's strictly gluten-free.

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If you use "pop-up" toasters, you need to get a strictly gluten free toaster.

They are like $10 at Target.

Otherwise, cross-contamination is a HUGE issue.

In my house, my roommates and I just get squeezable condomints and such (I buy my own butter).

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Thanks for the info-we have been trying the foil under the bread in the toaster over, but have decided that, since 2 of our 3 kids are on the gluten-free diet, maybe we would try all going gluten free (at home anyway). It definitely makes it easier not having to stress over cross-contamination. We'll see how it goes--I think it's going to be a rough road ahead. :)

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Guest cassidy

I would recommend making everything separate. But, at the same time, you can probably go without a toaster for a while. In the beginning I stuck to foods that were naturally gluten-free. I haven't had any bread since going gluten-free and I don't miss it. I don't know how much toast your son used to eat, but that may be something you can wait on purchasing (if cost or space is an issue). I do have separate pots, pans and strainer.

In the beginning I thought people were going overboard by getting new toasters and pans. Then, I glutened myself and the only culprit could have been my strainer. I learned the hard way and decided it was necessary.

It is a small price to pay to feel better.

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Generally speaking, I get a separate container of peanut butter, butter (the stick on the butter tray is "gluten" the used one in still in the paper wrapper is "gluten-free"), etc. for myself. I have cast iron skillets, but no one else is allowed to use the ones that are not enameled. I have a separate set of wooden spoons kept in a different drawer. Since I'm the Mom in the house and since I feel really bad with even a crumb, I find my family is sometimes more scrupulous about keeping me gluten-free than I am, if that's possible!! My oldest daughter has literally grabbed food out of my hand to read the wrapper - like I'm going to eat something that will make me sick! I have a separate shelf in the panty and a section of the refrigerator just for my things. To keep my hubby out of my stuff, I just need to let him know how much it cost!

Is all this necessary? Well, one time I made a huge batch of chili and used an old wooden spoon to stir. I rationalized that the batch of chili was so large that the amount of gluten contamination couldn't be significant. It was enough to make me sick.

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I have a "mixed kitchen"...relatively. I have a toaster oven and everyone uses it. I cook, and mainly all foods I serve are "gluten free" (potatoes and rice especially). When my kids and husband need that jolt of mac and cheese, there's e-z mac that they can cook in a bowl that goes in the dishwasher as soon as they are done with it. I don't clean things that have gluten on them. I have a special cutting board for me and one for my husband. The only flour in this house is gluten free and things that are baked are gluten free unless my husband is feeling fruity and bakes. That's not all that often. There's regular bread for sandwiches and toast, but my rule is use the plastic ware and if you have to get more out of the jar, you'd better get a clean knife. There's no double dipping in this house. Funny enough, my 3 year old lectured the neighbor on this over the weekend when he made his hamburger. CAN'T DO DAT!!! YOU NEED A CWEEN ONE SO MOMMY DON'T GET SWICK!!! I guess you had to be there.

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Carla--Wow, it's hard to believe that such a small amount can really make a difference. Thanks for the advice. With my son, it is tough because he has few (if any) detectable symptoms. It's extra difficult to know if we are doing everything right. It's also very hard for him to understand the implications of eating gluten when he has no outward ill effects. Not that I am, in any way, wishing those terrible symptoms on him, but I think it's going to be nearly impossible for him to adhere to the diet out of the house (especially being on the brink of teenage-hood) when there is no apparent cause and effect. Do you know if everyone (regardless of severity of symptoms) is equally effected internally by such minute amounts?? :unsure:

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Jennifer, No, you didn't have to be there! I laughed out loud, fortunately I was alone so didn't look crazy for doing it!

That's a great idea ... the plastic ware, but with my clan, I think it would be too much. I cook 100% gluten-free, so it's pretty much just the sandwiches my kids eat for lunch that has gluten and some of the snacks that go with them. Or, I may buy them some Spaghetti O's or something else that just gets heated up. I also make the green bean casserole with those fried onions for Thanksgiving though ... why should everyone else give them up just because I have to? Everything else, I've found a gluten-free substitute for. I even feed everyone else gluten-free pasta on the rare occassion I feel like pasta. My cutting board is gluten-free, and the kids understand that.

Momothree, We must have posted about the same time, so I didn't address your other questions. Believe it or not, I'm affected this immediately and strongly, but the biopsy showed no damage! I figured out three years before the biopsy that I had a wheat problem and did not eat a significant amount of it, so perhaps my intestine had healed somewhat, I guess I'll never know.

My understanding is that even though there is not a GI symptom, the damage occurs. He must have had health problems to even have been tested for it, does he understand that these health problems come from the gluten?

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Thanks for the info-we have been trying the foil under the bread in the toaster over, but have decided that, since 2 of our 3 kids are on the gluten-free diet, maybe we would try all going gluten free (at home anyway). It definitely makes it easier not having to stress over cross-contamination. We'll see how it goes--I think it's going to be a rough road ahead. :)

I think it's easier to have a "mostly" gluten-free kitchen. My 11 yo son and I are the only gluten-free ones, but dh and the other 3 kids only eat sandwiches (usually packed in lunches) and occasionally french toast that contain gluten. Sometimes regular toast too - in their toaster. I make EVERYTHING else totally gluten-free for everyone - pizza, cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes and all dinners. Even my gluten-eating kids sometimes eat sandwiches on lettuce or corn tortillas. It wasn't really that hard to switch over and now they don't complain - as long as the food tastes good. I don't worry about CC, since there's not much chance, but we do have labels on butter, peanut butter and jelly, just to make sure.

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Jennifer- That is too funny about your little one. It's good to have an advocate! :lol:

It sounds like a mixed kitchen is somewhat of a norm, eh? We are still just trying to figure out what's going to work--experimenting if you will. If everyone can tolerate going completely gluten free (at least while at home), then it'll be easier. I get so scatter-brained (trying to multi-task) that I know I'd be cross-contaminating things all the time. :rolleyes: It's really helpful to hear what works for other people, since we are so unsure.

Carla- My son had some minor bowel issues and a history of stomach aches (they haven't plagued him for 4 years) and some growth issues, but that's about it. My doc just suggested the testing, and viola. It's one of those bizzare happenings that we never anticipated. We are still waiting to see if our baby has it--she actually has more symptoms. Our middle child will also be tested in a few months (she'll go off the gluten-free diet for a few weeks first). My hubby and I will get tested about the same time--it had to come from somewhere I suppose.

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I was always the kid with the stomach aches. Never would have guessed ... Now I'm much more sensitive which happened after a major illness and a 21 day round of antibiotics (doxycycline).

I don't envy you trying to convince a teenage boy that it's important to stay off gluten! All you can say is that his health will continue to deteriorate if he doesn't. It's my understanding that the symptoms can differ over time. You might tell him he'll be bigger and taller if he stays off it! ;)

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