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moonlitemama

Making The Whole Family gluten-free?

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Hi, everyone! I've been gluten-free (and soy free, casien free and glutamate free) since this summer and feeling quite a bit better. However, I'm still having some issues and occasional "glutenings" (I think). I try to be extremely careful about cc, but I'm sure there's still some - I'm the only one keeping this diet right now, but I have a DH, and three kids (8, 5 & 2). They're not very mindful of their messes and crumbs get everywhere. After being glutened again the other day, I snapped at DH a bit. To avoid further issues, he said he'll just stop having gluten-items at home (up to this point he's been very resistant to the idea & doesn't like gluten-free foods). Great, and I appreciate the offer, but is it practical? There's so much more gluten in the house than just the bread he mentioned. The kids, especially, have lots of snacks that have gluten and their breakfast on school days is almost always cereal.

Has anyone else implemented the diet for their whole family (especially young kids), when they didn't need to? Any advice? Is it even reasonable? How about financially do-able?

I already cook everything that I eat from scratch, but the rest of the family still has some convenience foods and ingredients that I just avoid.

Thanks for any input anyone can offer. This idea just seems so overwhelming, but would make life so much easier regarding cc.


Raechel

GI "issues" since Nov. 2006;

negative bloodwork for Celiac February 2007

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein intolerances 8/7/07

soy-free since 5/07, gluten-free since 6/9/07, dairy-free since 8/9/07, glutamate-free since 7/13/07, trying to find answers...

DS (2yrs)

negative bloodwork 11/07; positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 12/10/07

dairy & gluten free since 12/11/07

DSs (6yrs & 8yrs)

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 1/10/08

dairy & gluten free since 1/11/08

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We keep a gluten-free house even though only our daughter is the only one with Celiacs. We found it too hard to maintain gluten items alongside non-gluten items. Those pesky crumbs! Also, my son is only 3 1/2 and if he was regularly eating gluten, he'd be a cross-contamination nightmare! That way we can all smooch eachother freely in the house without worrying about making our daughter sick! It is a system that works well for us and has probably made us ALL healthier because we focus on naturally gluten-free foods and not so much the substitutes. We do keep some staple gluten-free pretzels, cookies, and bread in the house but we don't eat nearly as much of them as the non-gluten counterparts!

If it is important for your family members to eat gluteny foods at home, maybe designate a spot where gluten foods have to be eaten and how the clean up has to occur in order to keep those spaces from spreading the gluten.

For example, my son who is not Celiac we actually allow him to eat regular instant oatmeal because it is his absolute favorite food. To keep him from glutening his sister, they sit at opposite ends of the table and he eats his oatmeal with a placemat underneath his dish. He's getting really good about keeping "gwlooten" away from his sis and understands it will make her sick.

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When I lived at home, the house was 99% gluten-free (two of use were gluten-free, the other two weren't). We bought naturally gluten-free foods and cooked one naturally gluten-free meal. We did have a few packaged gluten products around like crackers that my dad ate occasionally, but he was very careful about contamination. He had one counter he used for gluten foods and his own cutting board.


Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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I would lop off a toe if my roommates would be willing to make the household gluten free.

I spend more time cleaning the counters and rearranging the gluten-ridden sponges on the sink and their desire not to use the dishwasher (just using the gluten sponges) make me mad.

They are kind and respectful of my cupboard and designated utensils, but its really hard, especially when you are sick and tired.

Will it be easy, no, but it sounds like it might be the best for your whole family, if you are happy and healthy.

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My family is mostly gluten free. I got rid of the wheat / rye flours. But we still have bread, crackers, and cereal around for the rest of the family. I just make sure I clean the counters with a paper towel that I can throw away. I bought new mayo and peanut butter that is either just for me or the rest of the family can use provided no double dipping is done. Any things that are just for me are thoroughly labeled and left alone by everyone else. I also found keeping a diary of what i eat and when has helped me figure out what is causing me problems.

For dishes, utensils, and such like, I've found running it through the dishwasher gets it clean enough that I don't have cross contamination issues from it. It's possible that I'm just not as sensitive as some others are.

Thankfully both my husband and the girls remember how sick i was and are just about as upset by the idea of me getting that way again. So far this seems to have worked for me. The only glutening problem I've had so far have been because of our old sugar which apparently must have had some flour contamination. Once I pinned down the source and got rid of it and put the container through the dish washer, I stopped having problems.

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I have a mixed house too. My spouse refusses to consider a entire house being gluten-free. It was hard enough to get the house nut free. It is hard at times. I throw out the dish sponge after pasta night! We don't have pasta much. I use a handled scrubber to do dishes. Then dishes go through dishwasher. Gluten foods are eaten at the table and no place else. No food in bedrooms ever. The only foods the kids can grab on their own are gluten-free/CF and nut free (nut allergy).

We have lots of rules, but it works for us.

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I have young kids and it is just so much easier having the things in the house a meet with the diets. At one time we used the fridge in the garage for "cheaters". We have since found that we all are pretty much sensitive to the same things so the garage fridge is now just for overflow and drinks.


Shellfish free since 1980

Milk free (all forms) since 1991

Feingold in 2003

First gluten-free round 2007

Now entering full time Gluten free, egg free, almond/peanut free

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We have a totally gluten-free house. My son and I are celiacs, my husband and 2 daughters are not. It was actually my husband's idea for the house to be totally gluten-free, after I showed him all the little crumbs he was leaving everywhere. He is absolutely untrainable as far as kitchen crumbs are concerned. :)

Our grocery bill is not much higher than it was pre-gluten-free. I bake everything from scratch because it tastes better and to keep the costs low. I am able to feed all 5 of us for $250 - 300/month. We all eat well, and nobody is suffering because we do not have Gluten in the house. If you take into account the fact that we almost never eat out anymore, and the fact that I don't have to take 8 prescriptions a month just to stay alive, we actually come out ahead since learning I have celiac disease.


-Colleen

Dx 8/05 via bloodwork and biopsy (total villous atrophy)

13-year old son Dx 11/05 via bloodwork and biopsy

Daughters (16 and 5) have tested negative via bloodwork

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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One of my daughters and I both are gluten-free so the house is mostly gluten-free. I have prepackaged gluten snacks and gluten bread for my husband's and eldest daughter's lunches. I make the sandwiches so I know I'm keeping the crumbs contained and cleaning well afterward. My husband is always surprised that dinner was gluten-free. No one seems to miss the gluten. However, our grocery bill has really gone up because I like to buy the gluten-free snacks, breads, sweets, and pastas that are pretty pricey.

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I have a gluten limited household. Gluten items are cereal, bread, rolls, and Doritos. I buy my son one muffin and one cookie from the bakery each week.

Recently, we turned the area where you would put a side board or buffet into a mini kitchen. A small refrigerator, a large kitchen cart with drawers and cupboards, and small microwave. All gluten items are kept here along with dishes and silverware to prepare and eat gluten containing foods.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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I am able to feed all 5 of us for $250 - 300/month. We all eat well, and nobody is suffering because we do not have Gluten in the house. If you take into account the fact that we almost never eat out anymore, and the fact that I don't have to take 8 prescriptions a month just to stay alive, we actually come out ahead since learning I have celiac disease.

How the heck to you manage to keep your grocery bill that low????? Our grocery bill has gon eup a bit since some of us are gluten-free, but like you said, we don't eat out much at all anymore, so that helps. Plus Lucas hasn't gotten a single virus or infection since he went gluten-free, which lowers Dr. bills.

Even so, I spend probably about $800 a month on groceries. Now, that's all groceries, including non-edibles like toilet paper, shampoo, detergents, dog food, etc, everything. Is your 250-300 just food, or including non-edibles?

Like many others, we have a mixed house, but I've been able to pare down the gluten items to only a couple things. My husband still eats regular bread (I'd say he cleans up his crumbs about 9 times out of 10, not bad) Then when I make spaghetti, I do make him some regular wheat pasta, and he'll eat reg mac and cheese.

I'm hoping to convert him over to the gluten-free pasta eventually. I made an enormous, heavenly gluten-free lasagna a couple weeks ago, and he raved over it. He ate all the leftovers by himself :lol: My Dad and my brother (also gluten-eaters) also pigged out on it. So I have hope of phasing out wheat pasta, although he'll probably never give up the bread. As long as he cleans up the crumbs, I'm not going to bug him about it. He's pretty good- when he makes toast, he actually puts a towel over the gluten-free toaster so that no strays get in there.


-Sarah

--Son, Lucas, age 7. Gluten-free since May 2007

--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.

--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.

--Myself, Gluten-free since 8/07

Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

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We're a "mostly" gluten-free house too. Two of my kids and I are strictly gluten-free. My husband has his loaf of bread, and that's the only thing regularly in the house. He has his own toaster that can get crumby and I don't care. I allow the non gluten-free kids to have things like granola bars for lunches (to be eaten outside the house), but only if they are prepackaged. They also get to order pizza occasionally for lunch and order gluteny food at restaurants. They don't even miss bread now and prefer crackers (even gluten-free ones) and rice cakes in their lunches. We all eat gluten-free cereal - I stock up when it's on sale or buy it at Trader Joe's, where it's way cheaper than other places.

I do a lot of baking, so no one is missing out on treats. We haven't had any regular flour in the house for several years now. Every once in a while I wonder if I'm "depriving" my hubby and 2 other kids, but I think they're okay with it and never complain. It might be different if I didn't like to cook and bake.


Liz

Started Specific Carbohydrate Diet on 8-16-09 because son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and want to give him moral support.

Diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome in 2003. Discovered that going completely gluten-free put me in remission.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13

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Even so, I spend probably about $800 a month on groceries. Now, that's all groceries, including non-edibles like toilet paper, shampoo, detergents, dog food, etc, everything. Is your 250-300 just food, or including non-edibles?

Don't worry, you're not the only one. Everyone in my house LOVES to eat, gluten-free or not, plus I do MAD amounts of laundry which = about $35 a month just for laundry soap!

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We went gluten free after trying about three or four months of segregated counters and cutting boards. It has gone just fine. I allowed pizza in the house for a while, and still allow beer. But the other day a friend of ours brought over crackers and cheese, and i didn't want to seem nuts, so let it go. I got sick that night...who knows from what...but always possible. My daughter and hubby eat gluten stuff out and about; other than that, they don't mind at all. They both love millet bread.

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I very much believe that it has got to be between you and the family. The advice here is great, but I think it's just something you need to discuss with your DH and maybe include your kids. It's something that has to be really okay with everyone, it's a big big change. You've been forced into it, and that kind of makes it easier for you, but I would just recommend talking with your family about it.

I hope all goes well and that they agree with you but if they want to keep their gluten foods around, you may just have to seperate the kitchen, that is what I do for now until I move out on my own this next summer.

A good idea to try and get them to agree is make a fabulous gluten free meal for them. The brown rice pasta is usually the best for this because it tastes so much like the real thing and you can use real tomato sauces and cheeses. Try a lasagne or a spaghetti!

Best of luck!


10-06 Diagnosed Urinary Tract Infection (Allergic to Cipro, Bactrim, Macrobid, Doxycycline, Monocycline, Penicillin) - This UTI is still present with no symptoms.

10-06 Diagnosed "Acid Reflux" (Nexium didn't work)

12-06 Endoscopy diagnosed Gastritis (Negative Bioposy)

12-06 Negative bloodwork for Celiac Disease, Diagnosed "Gastroparesis" - Started Zelnorm

1-07 Diagnosed "IBS-C" - Still taking Zelnorm

3-07 HIDA scan to check gallbladder which was fully functional.

3-07 Zelnorm taken off market, started Domperidone

4-21-07 Emergency Appendectomy (FUUUNN!)

7-24-07 Enterolab results came back positive

Gluten Free since that night....

...Still not feeling great.

"Don't expect constant success, but strive for constant growth."

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I am all new to this and a little freaked out about this topic. Im not gluten free yet but I will be soon. Seems like the majority here is living in a gluten free house hold?!? Now I thought that its only bad if you consume gluten; is this right? I understand that living in a larger house hold it may be difficult to keep things from getting contaminated. But if you are careful about what you eat and set things apart from the people you live with; this is ok right? I live with one other person and I would not be able to make him gluten free. As long as I stay away from consuming gluten and possible gluten contaminated products I should be ok right? Is there harm with just being around it?

I dont agree with making a child gluten free when he or she does not need to be. Thats just my opinion though.

It might be beneficial to start a topic of ways things can get contaminated so people can become aware and avoid it. Is there already one? if not what topic do you think it should go under?

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Good idea, Shotzy. Why not in Coping? Go ahead and start it...I'll contribute something And how about asking people not only "how to contaminate" but "how to solve that problem"

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This is a difficult, personal choice. If I was in charge of my house (I'm only 17! :ph34r:) I would make it gluten free. I wouldn't make it free of everything else I can't have because dairy is a lot easier to clean up than gluten for example. I think that there are so many healthier options than the glutenous foods that kids eat these days. I think it is also important for a house to be gluten-free for the health of the Celiac/gluten intolerant. I think it would be fine if the kids eat gluten outside of the house, but not in the house. I have had many problems with getting CC'd in m OWN HOME!!! This is supposed to be a safe place for me, I shouldn't have to worry about whether I am going to get sick after every meal.

Kassandra


Dairy/Casein Free- March 2007

Gluten Free- May 2007

Soy Free- August 2007

Sugar Free- January 2008

Starch Free- January 2008

Egg Free (again!)- February 2008

Sulfur Free- May 2008

Dx'd Lyme Disease and co-infections- December 2007

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Wow! I'm blown away - thank you so much for all the replies!

I know I need to discuss it further with my family. I won't be rushing into this.

A couple things to mention, though...

Our kitchen is REALLY small, so there's no way to have separate counter space. (Literally, there's only about a 2ft x 2ft section of open counter.) I do have my own cutting board, so that helps, but the moment I leave it out or turn away from it, someone has set down something on it. They're not malicious about it, but man are they ever absent-minded about things. I've gotten some of my own utensils and a can opener and a skillet, all of which are red for a visual reminder, but not even that works all the time.

Since I'm avoiding other foods as well, I have to have separate condiments, so there's no problem with cc there.

I just wish there were an easier way to go about all this. I hate the idea of "forcing" this diet on everyone, but damn. If I keep getting sick, the family doesn't function. I do 98% of all the cooking, cleaning, kid duties, etc., so when I'm down for the count, it's a huge deal.

If the rest of the family does join me in being gluten-free at home, I definitely like the suggestions of letting them have their gluten snacks in lunches or otherwise outside the house.

Again, thanks so much! If anyone else can add anything, I'd love to hear it.


Raechel

GI "issues" since Nov. 2006;

negative bloodwork for Celiac February 2007

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein intolerances 8/7/07

soy-free since 5/07, gluten-free since 6/9/07, dairy-free since 8/9/07, glutamate-free since 7/13/07, trying to find answers...

DS (2yrs)

negative bloodwork 11/07; positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 12/10/07

dairy & gluten free since 12/11/07

DSs (6yrs & 8yrs)

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 1/10/08

dairy & gluten free since 1/11/08

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Eh... "forcing" people to go gluten free in the house isn't really all that horrid. They can have gluten outside of the house, of course, so you're not actually forcing them to go gluten free at all. In my place, my husban also has gluten filled cereal and granola bars and crackers and bread that he can eat over his own plate (that then goes in the dishwasher), but anything that needs prep (he has his own cutting board/toaster, but we have plenty of room for his own corner of stuff that stays contaminated) or is not his own isolated snack, is gluten free. Why take the risk? He still gets a whole lot of quite tasty food despite the 'restriction'.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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;)

Wow, this is encouraging to see - so many gluten-free or mostly gluten-free households.

I made the stupid mistake a couple of months ago of buying a breadmaker for my family - for wheat bread. Those darn crumbs get everywhere and my sinuses & I are always upset. I SHOULD have made the breadmaker gluten-free - I wonder if I can clean out the pan enough to do so...

The last couple of months I started working at a swimming pool and my sinuses are terrible - I think the gluten has started the sinus problems, and the pool environment just made them worse !

I am in a family of 5 and the ONLY gluten-free person...going gluten-free for everyone would be costly and hard (my boys eat ALOT). I think I'm going turf the breadmaker and buy packaged gluten stuff only - bread, pizza shells, etc. I am so tired of being ill.

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Thanks, Tiffany. My boys like all the gluten free cooking & baking I do, so that won't be a hard sell. And especially if they still get some of their snacks away from the house. My dh will be a bit harder to convince. Right now it's his solution for the cc issues, since he can't be counted on to remember not to leave a mess, however I don't want him to resent it later if I start implementing it and he realizes how restrictive it is.

NorthernElf - I was making all of our bread in a bread machine prior to my diagnosis. I took apart the pan to try to clean it thoroughly. Unfortunately, it didn't survive the dissection. :lol: The bottom where the paddle connected started to leak. Just a word of caution. Oh, and my machine was old enough that they don't sell the pans anymore, so I couldn't just replace it. Maybe that would be an option for you though? Although I don't know how comfortable I would be with being certain all the flour dust was out of the machine itself.

My boys eat a lot, too. Which, I guess is part of my quandry. I just don't know what I'd feed them. (Especially breakfast and lunch where the staples are cereal and sandwiches.) Lately I have been just buying more of the premade gluten items (breadsticks, pizza dough, cookies, bread), which helps a bit - at least I was able to get rid of the flours in my house, but it still leaves all the crumbs...


Raechel

GI "issues" since Nov. 2006;

negative bloodwork for Celiac February 2007

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein intolerances 8/7/07

soy-free since 5/07, gluten-free since 6/9/07, dairy-free since 8/9/07, glutamate-free since 7/13/07, trying to find answers...

DS (2yrs)

negative bloodwork 11/07; positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 12/10/07

dairy & gluten free since 12/11/07

DSs (6yrs & 8yrs)

positive Enterolab for Gluten & Casein Intolerance 1/10/08

dairy & gluten free since 1/11/08

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I think the bottom line has to be the health issue. If the family can follow strict rules about food and prevent you from getting sick from gluten then a mixed house works. But if you regularly get glutened in your home, then it is clearly not working. You aren't hurting them by making the house gluten-free, but they are hurting you by leaving gluten around and getting you sick.

The way I look at it is if the food can cause death, it is not permitted in the house for any reason. Guests love that one when they show up with nuts in candy and cookies. Trash! Gluten is different. I allow the gluten for some foods and it has worked for us. But dairy has become a problem so no more milk or yogurt. I guess I take a wait and see approach. In the end, your health has to be the top of the list. The kids will adjust.

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I think the bottom line has to be the health issue. If the family can follow strict rules about food and prevent you from getting sick from gluten then a mixed house works. But if you regularly get glutened in your home, then it is clearly not working. You aren't hurting them by making the house gluten-free, but they are hurting you by leaving gluten around and getting you sick.

The way I look at it is if the food can cause death, it is not permitted in the house for any reason. Guests love that one when they show up with nuts in candy and cookies. Trash! Gluten is different. I allow the gluten for some foods and it has worked for us. But dairy has become a problem so no more milk or yogurt. I guess I take a wait and see approach. In the end, your health has to be the top of the list. The kids will adjust.

I have to agree. A lot of people don't think it's fair to 'force' people who don't need to be gluten-free to have a gluten-free home. I think it's unfair that there's so many people who care more about their own convenience than the health of the people they're supposed to love most in the world. The cost won't matter if you die of cancer, is the way I look at it. Your family can't be happy if you're sick, period. Or if they can, then you have a much bigger problem than Celiac............


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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Hi, everyone! I've been gluten-free (and soy free, casien free and glutamate free) since this summer and feeling quite a bit better. However, I'm still having some issues and occasional "glutenings" (I think). I try to be extremely careful about cc, but I'm sure there's still some - I'm the only one keeping this diet right now, but I have a DH, and three kids (8, 5 & 2). They're not very mindful of their messes and crumbs get everywhere. After being glutened again the other day, I snapped at DH a bit. To avoid further issues, he said he'll just stop having gluten-items at home (up to this point he's been very resistant to the idea & doesn't like gluten-free foods). Great, and I appreciate the offer, but is it practical? There's so much more gluten in the house than just the bread he mentioned. The kids, especially, have lots of snacks that have gluten and their breakfast on school days is almost always cereal.

Has anyone else implemented the diet for their whole family (especially young kids), when they didn't need to? Any advice? Is it even reasonable? How about financially do-able?

I already cook everything that I eat from scratch, but the rest of the family still has some convenience foods and ingredients that I just avoid.

Thanks for any input anyone can offer. This idea just seems so overwhelming, but would make life so much easier regarding cc.

I have had a gluten free environment early after I was diagnosed. I was cross contaminated so many times by things no one ever thought of. My family can eat gluten anytime they are not at home. I don't care about that. Only rule there is no lip kisses if you ate gluten that day. Yes I have been contaminated by kisses. There are plenty of convienience foods that are gluten free. It just takes time to find them. And financially you can do it. You just have to be creative. Good luck.

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