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RobynJ

We Got Glutened At Playgroup- Again....

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So I have been a part of this mom's group since my son was little (before we found out about the celiac and other allergies). At first they were not very understanding about my son's celiac, but lately they have been trying. One of the mom's left open a container of goldfish crackers. I have talked to my almost three year old about not eating anything without asking mommy- sometimes I think he sees everyone else eat them and so he wants too. He got to a cracker before I could stop him. So my questions are:

1. How do you deal with playgroups? Do you only attend events where there will be NO food? Did you have a trick to keep your young child from getting into stuff they shouldn't? Should I just leave the group and only do play dates with individuals so there is more control over the food?

2. We have found if we give my son charcoal (at the instruction of his NMD) it takes away most of the symptoms. We usually have to mix the charcoal into ice cream or juice to get him to eat it.... but that is almost rewarding the behavior.... Should I wait on the charcoal to help him make the connection that these food will really make him sick? I know I must sound like a horrible mother. I don't want him to hurt or be sick- but those stupid crackers are everywhere.

Sorry- I guess I am just pregnant and upset. Just need opinions form people who understand what it is like and maybe have some experience.

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First - You're not a horrible mother!!!!

You know, you have to go with what your comfortable doing. My son was diagnosed at 2, and it took a year for him to not eat everything he saw, and another year to get him to stop picking up everything and throwing it in the trash when we were out. My son is 6 1/2 and my daughter 4 1/2, both have it, but my son is far more sensitive and I often feel like I need to put him in a bubble in order to keep him safe. But I can tell you, it gets easier as they get older.

So, I read somewhere that every time your child feels sick, other than a cold, you tell them it's because they got gluten, even if it isn't, so that way they understand the association eating gluten = getting sick. Let them know they need to be gluten free. But you are a concerned mom and don't want him to get sick either, so it's a tough one whether to knowingly let him get sick or not. Also, you have to decide whether group play dates with food is something you're willing to do at this age. I hovered over him until he was 4 at the park and other people's houses, and I avoided gatherings that seemed to be centered around food not because I didn't want him to socialize but because it was just too stressful for me to hover over him while having another little one and making sure neither of them get something they shouldn't. I tried controlling the situations as much as I could. Now that he's older, I'm not quite as concerned since both are becoming more capable of taking care of themselves (washing hands, not sharing food), but at his elementary school my son doesn't eat in the cafeteria and only has one friend at a time who can eat outside with him because the group eating areas are too crowded and still not safe enough for him. I'm not saying how I did and am doing it is the right way for everyone, just what worked for us.

So, if you're tired, stressed, hormonal, and PREGNANT, do what will cause the least amount of stress and least amount of overexertion for YOU. Don't worry about your child even if you decide to keep him in your house for the next however months before you're ready to venture out again - having a good mother is far more important than developing social skills at the age of 3 anyway, that's what preschool next year is for :)

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Thanks. I think I am going to try and steer towards things with just one or two families. It is easier to control the food. Maybe we can try a splash pad or something. I think being pregnant tired and stressed makes it worse. We do go out- just not to the big group things. We haven't been to a birthday party since September. They are just too much for me.

Thank you for the support. I think I just don't have time to be super active in group right now. I just need to focus on my family. My true friends will have to understand that.

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Are these playgroups at your house or others? I would certainly institute a strict gluten free snacks rule at your home and provide gluten free substitute items. You don't want gluten crumbs in your carpet where your little one is playing.

As for at other houses, I would just try to advocate how serious of a disease it is. I like to use the analogy that you would not put down peanuts if a child attending had a peanut allergy. Society has been well trained about the seriousness of the peanut allergy, and people seems to understand. While this is not anaphylactic, it is very serious. Good luck and hang in there. :)

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robyn:

i'm sarah'smommy over at the DS board.

Sarah's only 2 so we haven't gotten big into playgroups but DH and I are gluten intolerant as well so i bring my own food for her and i whereever we go. I get sick 20 minutes after being "glutened" and hubby gets sinus issues but it has to build up in his system. Anyway i just wanted to say hi to a familiar name on here.

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