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LIZARD

I Feel Like I Have Failed My Son

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He hasn't been tested yet. I'm calling the ped this week to arrange it, but now I'm almost positive he has celiac disease. My son is 14 in July, and he's the world's pickiest eater. I'm slowly making my way to gluten-free eating, and I'm somewhat picky, too, but NOTHING like he is. As well as he's doing with behavior, there are issues that are still a problem, and I can't help thinking he'd be so much better off if I'd known years ago. :(

How in the world do I get this kid to go gluten-free??!! Everything he eats has to be breaded, and he's even pickier now than he was just a couple of years ago. I don't doubt his brain malformation (Chiari) is part of it, but I can't even fathom how I can pull this off with him. Everything I had always heard and read said he'd experience diarrhea and so many other things I never saw. Then I found out about the Chiari and thought (and still do) that it was largely--and possibly even completely--to blame for the difficulties with his language and other issues. Now my own celiac disease dx is 2 weeks old, and I can't imagine that he dpesn't have it, too. :( How could I be such an idiot??!! Is there any hope for a kid who eats about five things?? I should say that I'm also concerned about his weight, due to the fact that he could lose about 30 lbs.

Please help...:(

LIZARD, Drew's desperate mom :(

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Welcome, LIzard! You haven't failed anyone, you're a great mom for caring so much about your son!

Breading is easy gluten-free. You can do gluten-free bread crumbs (easy with all the crumby breads you can buy!), but it's simpler to use either potato buds as breading or what I use, which is just plain ol' cornmeal.

If you want a batter-type breading, mix the corn meal with a couple of beaten eggs and some milk.

Don't TELL him that you're changing his diet, at least, not yet. Don't give him a chance to reject the foods. Add dips that he'd like (ketchup is usually a winner, as is ranch dressing), and eventually, you can also give him the choice between breaded and plain grilled. If there are dips he liukes, he just might go for the plain grilled!

Bell & Evans makes frozen breaded chicken tenders and nuggets that people say are very good.

Hang in there, it gets easier!

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My daughter with celiac disease was the most picky eater in the world. She's still very picky but much less so since going gluten-free. At first she lived off of the gluten-free chicken nuggets (there's a few out there). But now she's almost always willing to take at least one bite of anything (and I'm careful to only try stuff I think she'll probably like to encourage this newfound bravery!).

I wish I had some helpful advice for you but my girls are 7 and younger so I don't have any teenager experience! I know that how much better gluten-free makes me feel (and consequently how awful gluten makes me feel) is enough to keep me honest. Maybe it will be the same for your son?

Best wishes!

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Lizard,

What few foods does your son eat well? Maybe we can help you with some gluten-free alternatives. My son is 8 and was just dx in December (which makes me feel foolish, but at least we're on track now.) He also is very picky and implementing the diet has been easier than I thought.

Some favorites are:

Chicken tenders made by cutting up chicken breasts and dipping in egg and crushed Lay's chips.

Lays Staxx

Pamela's pancake mix makes pancakes so great that visiting kids have went home and talked about them for days (I added chocolate chips to that batch.)

Annie's gluten-free rice pasta & cheddar

Tinkyade pasta with velveeta

hamburger patties & Heinz ketchup

Chebe pizza crust

My son eats better now than we did the first 8 years of his life. He is up to 4 different fruits that he often eats. A year ago that was zero.

Marsha

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I've thought a lot about the issue of failure and guilt. At last count roughly 22 percent of Euro-types carry a single celiac gene. It makes them prone to "silent celiac", or celiac-related autoimmune disease. Roughly eleven percent of us carry two celiac genes. It makes us prone to intestinal celiac and silent celiac.

People who carry two genes are generally sicker without treatment. But we are very fortunate that the effects are so closely related to the cause .......that what we eat makes us sick to our stomachs. It's taking a while for the word to spread, but those who hear and act are actually curing it, and helping to mitigate autoimmune disease.

People with "silent celiac" and people with as yet unidentified genetics for silent celiac are living with a time bomb which they don't know about. We need to be the messengers, to help spread the word to them.

Aren't we fortunate, blessed if you will? In other times, we would simply be doomed. Not only can we save ourselves, but doing so can actually save other people.

A story circulates which I think applies. I hope the mods won't mind:

A man sat on his porch in a flood, and prayed to God to save his life ......."God, save my life and I'll never doubt you". A fire truck drove up, and the driver asked the man to get in. The man said "No, God will save me." So the fire truck drove away. The flood waters rose, and the man was forced to take refuge on his roof. A rescuer motored up in a rescue boat, and asked the man to get in. But again the man said "No, God will save me." The flood waters covered the man's house and swept him away. As the man clung to a tree a helicopter pilot called out to get into the extended gurney. But again the man said "No, God will save me." The waters rose and the current swiftened. The man was washed from his perch. As the man was being carried away, he turned heavenward and asked "God, why have you forsaken me". And to the man's surprise God answered him. God said, "I sent you a fire truck, a boat and a helicopter."

Knowledge can be power, but only if we act. Please, get on the fire truck ......or the boat .......or the helicopter.

..

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give yourself a break & know that you're doing everything you can to be on top of this...i wasn't diagnosed until i was 30 and had lots of problems. I certaintly don't blame it on my mother. The only thing we can do as mothers is do our best.

there are lots of gluten-free alternatives to kids food. it would help if you listed which 5 foods he likes. My daughter isn't gluten-free but really likes ians gluten free nuggets & everybody eats makes the most decent pizza (by far.) Plus with kraft mac & cheese - the cheese sauce is gluten-free, so just use tinyada pasta & cover it with the sauce...it virtually tastes the same. The envirokidz sugar cereals are really good too.

i have lots of suggestions but kinda need to know which foods you want to replicate....

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