In Which This is Not a Mommy Blog and I Need Gluten-Free Advice

When you work for a website / are friends with Riese, and you’re doing something vaguely interesting, you’re more or less expected to write about it. Despite strong suggestions / all-out requests, I’ve successfully avoided writing about parenting or my children for two years! And now that’s over.

Here are the top three reasons I never wanted to publish anything about the kiddos:

1. I couldn’t think of pseudonyms for them.
2. I don’t presume anything we / they do is worthy of sharing with the entire world (I mean, except for this).
3. I don’t take unsolicited parenting advice / criticism well. At all.

But you write about what you know, and if I know anything, it’s these two weirdos who live with me. A little background: I have two boys, *Bon Jovi (12) and Zeppelin (6). The oldest was born while I was still in high school, which made me hyper-aware of / annoyed by anyone a) making broad assumptions about my morals, education or background b) doubting my abilities to properly raise a child based on my age and c) writing off his or my future as pointless. I used to be married to their father and now I’m not. I used to think I was straight and inexplicably miserable and now I know I’m gay and that misery comes from lying to yourself and others. We live in the depths of suburban Phoenix. We do not own any pets.

Bon Jovi Facts:
+ draws
+ writes stories / books
+ doesn’t particularly enjoy team sports
+ awesome hair

Zeppelin Facts:
+ obsessed with trains
+ listens exclusively to classic rock
+ swimmer
+ heartbreaking eyes

There’s always something really ‘fun’ or ‘slightly complicated’ or ‘time-sensitive’ going on with these two. Also, they require lots and lots of food and water or milk. Like, more than you’d expect. Sometimes I don’t feel like preparing an actual ‘meal’ for them because, seriously, it’s exhausting. The key to lazy-but-healthy food preparation is raw vegetables. You don’t even have to do anything to them aside from cleaning and cutting — and any monkey can wash and peel a carrot.

But things are a little more complicated now! I’m putting Zeppelin on a gluten-free diet in hopes it’ll neutralize a couple of digestive problems, as well as some seemingly unrelated behavioral issues that I’m being told are, quite possibly, related.

See, everyone likes to tell you how different the second child will be from the first, and they’re right. Let’s not mince words — things were a lot easier with Bon Jovi when he was Zeppelin’s age. I thought I was an amazing parent, but it turns out he was just a naturally well-behaved and goal-oriented person. Neat. Zeppelin’s a little more… um, colorful! Self-focused! And really, really sensitive! To like, everything. All the things.

So what used to be interesting little Zeppelin quirks are now increasingly becoming an issue at school and at home, and obviously that’s a big deal and I’m trying to fix it. With rice pasta…?

According to some doctors and also articles like this, a gluten-elimination diet is a good first step to take if your child is showing possible signs of ADHD, as ADHD and celiac disease have some overlapping symptoms. However, as with all things parenting, not everyone agrees on what’s right. Others believe that gluten-free is a (possibly dangerous) fad and that most children would instead benefit from a more personalized and evolving approach to learning and behavior redirection. I agree with both sides.

A Zeppelin-adapted learning and living style has always been a thing. Obviously it’s insane to think that every child will progress at the same rate or respond to the same social cues in the same pleasing way, and I don’t expect that. But something is different with him. Removing gluten is just another step in ruling out as many causes or issues as possible. So if you’ve taken out all the gluten and the behavior remains, it’s not a gluten intolerance and you move on to the next possibility. Sounds simple, right?

As you probably know or could guess, gluten-free is no joke! Being a strict vegetarian for ~10 years, I’m used to studying labels. And I’m already a total bitch when it comes to processed foods, excess sugar and artificial colors, so avoiding typical junk food isn’t the issue. (Apparently Goldfish crackers just fall from the sky in kindergarten and I’ve already taken a stand there.) But like, there’s gluten in soy sauce! And what about whole wheat? I don’t know what to do in a world without whole wheat.

We eat a so much bread / bread-related products, so doing away with normal breads and snacks wasn’t something I could just slip by him. Not that I would’ve tried, of course — you have to be honest with small people. I explained gluten-elimination to Zeppelin and introduced him to the ‘Gluten-Free for You and Me’ shelf at Trader Joe’s, which went well. He was a little upset about not getting his favorite cereal, but perked right up when he realized the gluten-free cereal was peanut butter flavored and had pandas on the box.

I’ve made those creepy ‘ants on a log’ things for his lunch for a solid week, and that seems to be going over pretty well, but I feel like I can’t shove peanut butter into celery canals forever. What do people do when they can’t have sandwiches? Or pitas? Or most crackers? Or chicken strips??

Corn tortillas, apparently.

Look, here’s a new recipe I just came up with the other night:

Nutella on Not Toast
1 corn tortilla
Nutella

Heat the tortilla in an oil-free skillet for a few seconds on both sides. Remove from skillet. Spread Nutella on the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla. Eat it.

I think this is going to go really well. Do you have some super great advice about going gluten-free? Kid-friendly recipes? Get it out of your system in the comments! (pun!)

*Not real names, duh.

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Laneia has written 914 articles for us.

118 Comments

  1. Tinyada brown rice pasta is the best, and the Food for Life gluten-free bread is pretty good if it’s toasted. (It’s in the refrigerated section usually, at Whole Foods and similar places.) Some folks I sort of know just started this all vegan and gluten-free food website with tons of recipes and how tos – xgfx.org – and it looks awesome.

    • I just found out about xgfx! Sooooo awesome!!!

      I AM SO EXCITED THAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT YOUR KIDS ONE OF WHOM MAY HAVE GLUTEN ISSUES!!!!!!! They sound sooo cute.

      Sandwiches can still be part of your life as a gluten-intolerant one, as you point out. Tortilla sandwiches are pretty awesome — just had a PB-Nutella sandwich today, and I am also very fond of hummus&veggie tortilla sandwiches.
      I agree with those who say gluten-free bread is like fakin’ bacon…it’s expensive and not very tasty. Sometimes I bake my own gluten-free bread. Most of the times I eat rice crackers.

      My best advice for people going gluten-free is to learn to make 100 different Indian dishes. So much spicy, vegetarian joy, almost zero wheat, barley or rye. However, this requires lots of time buying spices and cooking. My fave shortcut is to cook twice as much rice as I need for a recipe and pair it with roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc.

      Everyone says I have the BEST lunches, and I have celiac disease. Yogurt with organic preserves, guacamole (those 100 calorie packs), fresh veggies, rice and beans, Trader Joe’s soups, and really good salads! Quinoa makes the BEST salads. I’m glad it’s yr #1 feeling.

  2. post punk kitchen has some gluten free recipes that are fun to look at and then amend with what you actually keep stocked in yr kitchen. also, quinoa is *amazing*. it’s super filling and really good for you! my last thought is a black bean dip with corn chips as a snack. i dunno if those are “kid friendly”, but its fun to think about gluten free foods instead of writing my paper so I hope that was a little helpful!

  3. its such a shame youre in america. most uk supermarkets have an isle full of gluten/wheat free products. the issue is are you removing gluten or wheat? ceoliacs would probably have had a big impact on his health by now. weight loss, lethargy. mouth ulcers, diorreah, i could go on forever. but it could be a wheat intolerance rather than gluten. trouble is a LOT of gluten free products arent wheat free. do the elimination the hard way and hope its something else. the good news is that after 5 years whaet free an intolerance can be overcome. you might have to face the awful truth that picking gluten/wheat free might mean choosing some junk and meat products instead, otherwise your lad will be on a bonkers restricted diet and his behavior will be awful cos he’ll be pissed off
    good luck.
    (wheat intolerant mother of a whaet intolerant son)

    • I have celiac so I am quite sure that if says gluten-free then it is also wheat-free. If it has wheat in it then it is not going to be gluten-free. I am guessing that you meant a lot of wheat-free products are not gluten-free which is very true. The kid will be okay with no meat and no gluten. I am vegetarian and have been for 3 years and I have been gluten-free for about 4 years, I have gotten used to it.
      He is so young that as he grows up if gluten-free is all he knows he will not remember what he is missing. As long as he does not cheat and eat the other children’s goldfishes!
      Try some sort of health food stores they have lots of options, more than regular chain-stores. The people in the health food stores are also friendlier (IMO) and will happily guide you in the right direction. Good luck! Oh, if you like lots of bread be careful of the cross contamination in your butter dish/ in your toaster/ in all other jars where a knife that touched a gluten product may have dropped in some gluten. Having separate jars for him and for the rest of the family is probably the best thing, or have the whole family go gluten free.

  4. I have more! As for other lunch ideas, I’m not sure how much of an adventurous eater the kiddo is, but here are some things I pack for my adult gluten-free (also vegan, though) self that don’t need to be heated up.

    Quinoa salads (like the black bean mango one here http://www.portlandmercury.com/food/vegan_with_a_vengeance/Content?oid=825133)
    Pasta salads with brown rice pasta
    Any sort of salads with anything, if I don’t have time to really think anything through I just grab some spinach or lettuce, throw some beans on top and whatever other veggies on top and top with oil and vinegar. I realize that salad can be a hard sell with kids, though.
    The Food for Life brand brown rice tortillas are so breakable that they are hard to do actual wraps with, but they work well for PB&J folded in half
    Veggies and any sort of GF cracker or cut up brown rice tortillas with hummus or other bean dip
    You can make wraps with raw collard greens–put some hummus and veggies inside or whatever
    Rice cakes with peanut butter or hummus or whatever

  5. Gluten-Free Goddess saved my life when my bestie went GF: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/ She is very, very good with flour substitutions and her recipes really do the trick. (Also, they’re vegan, which some people find helpful. I usually sub back in the dairy but I appreciate her eggfree (also soyfree) recipes because my friend basically can’t eat anything.) Also, another friend does a GF blog at http://gffoodsource.wordpress.com, which I link solely because I have eaten the brownies she has up there and they really are terrific. She also swears by this bread: http://gffoodsource.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/ancient-grain-loaf/

    Also! I don’t know much about Phoenix, but if I can get it here I’m sure you can get it there: wheat-free soy sauce does exist, you just have to hunt a little. It might be labelled Tamari, but not all tamari is wheat-free (some of it is just low-wheat), so check.

    Easy GF stuff: Rice paper rolls (but rolling them is a pain; also, a lot of brands use half rice flour half wheat flour, check before you eat), and I think depending on what you put in them six year olds could really like these. Rice rice rice, brown rice, white rice.

    You already know that main meals aren’t too scary; rice pasta subs for regular pasta. Breads are harder, scarier, more annoying. To be honest, I have always felt that spending too much time on GF breads and substitutes is a little like being a vegetarian and eating only those, like, fake vegetarian sausages. Fake meat is pointless, just learn to cook with eggplant/tofu/whatever (I’m not vegetarian because I would probably be one of those vegetarians, for the record). Similarly, bread is just … kind of gone, own it, be a little sad, and start eating those rice bubble crackers. :-/ I know, that’s super super awful, but … yeah.

    GOOD LUCK.

  6. Gluten-free goddess is a good site. Lots of recipes.

    I like to put basically any sort of nuts and dried fruit in the food processor and then roll the stuff into little balls. It’s like those food bars you can buy but cheaper. You can also add chocolate.

  7. I totally know where you’re coming from. My little sis and I had to adapt to a GF diet at 15 and 18, respectively. Super-hard when you’re already used to gluten in your diet.
    Here’s a few tips:
    -Bragg Liquid Aminos is a really good substitute for soy sauce, but it is MEGA-salty so it’s good to use a little bit and cut it with water or Apple Cider Vinegar. San-J also makes a really good Gluten-free Tamari.
    -Nature’s Path/EnviroKids have tons of cereal and cereal bars that are good snacks for on the run (plus Panda’s on the boxes!)
    -Happy Planet makes a lot of tasty soups, most of which are GF.
    -You’re on the right track with fresh fruits and veggies. My eating-out fallback is always, ALWAYS salads. And it’s just healthier.
    -Gluten-freeda makes GF burritos, some of which are also Dairy-free.
    -Black/red beans and brown rice…SO GOOD, also nutritious and filling.
    -SOL makes GF veggie burgers/veggie breakfast patties…very tasty.

    This is all I can think of for now. While I have trouble with the idea of a GF fad diet, I think what you’re doing is smart, especially if he’s had digestive problems as well. If it is celiac disease, the sooner you go GF, the better, and it will definitely help his focus as well.

    Best of luck with the little guys!

  8. I IS GLUTEN FREE EXPERT!

    First however, warning: you may need to also eliminate dairy from his diet :(. Unfortunately these sensitivities go hand in hand…corn also sometimes, so don’t rely too much on corn as a substitute. Oats=worse, a lot of gf people can’t tolerate them at all.

    ANYWAY. For gluten free bread, the best I’ve found is Udi brand bread. If it’s in Indiana it’s probably in Phoenix. It’s a little expensive (sometimes $5+ dollars a loaf) and the pieces are small, but eh. It’s good toasted. Buy Zeppelin his own special toaster to avoid cross contamination! Udi also has CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD. very good with almond butter. (that was my breakfast today).

    There are tons of cereals, but honestly, Rice Chex and the flavors thereof (cinnamon, chocolate) is cheapest. Again not an everyday thing probs. I often eat eggs or something for breakfast because PROTEIN. If he likes oatmeal (do kids like oatmeal? I did) quinoa flakes are pretty similar…you could make up little individual bags of quinoa flakes with dried fruit and stuff as flavoring! They’re soupier but I like them a lot. Also, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles are gluten free. I would pick Cocoa over Fruity because food dye allergies can also be related to behavioral issues. Another good breakfast option would be smoothies! Fruit and yogurt, or rice milk, or almond milk…

    Energy bars are awesome. I just discovered I can make my own, so hey, I pretested a recipe for you!

    http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/glutenfreesnackrecipes/r/glutenfreeenergybars.htm I used this one, with agave nectar, almond butter, sunflower seeds, craisins, and chocolate chips. They turned out a little sweet (maybe more nut butter, less agave) but they are awesome and FILLING. protein! Fiber! Cheaper than the ones on the shelf! Takes about as long as it takes to make rice krispie treats. Easy peasy.

    Dr. Praeger’s makes this little gluten free like…vegetable nuggets that are AWESOME. http://www.drpraegers.com/Gluten-Free-C65.aspx I’ve had the spinach ones. They’re a tad expensive for what you get so you could probs make your own.

    Here’s my obligatory quick overview of things to watch out for:
    Cross-contamination in restaurants. I don’t eat fried things (e.g. french fries) unless the restaurant tells me they have their own dedicated fryer, so there isn’t gluten from the chicken strips/onion rings whatever. And you’d be surprised when there’s little bits of gluten in the seasoning, or a sauce…best to check the website or call ahead while eating out. But Chipotle is great! Almost everything gf, I THINK even the chips are.
    Labels: anything that says malt has gluten (from barley). Modified food starch can be from wheat. If it says soy sauce, it’s probably not safe–gluten free soy sauce however is easy to find in almost any grocery store (tamari).

    Also, this little thing may be your salvation: there’s a company called “allergen-free foods” that makes gluten free chicken nuggets/patties/chicken strips. I found them at my local weird hippie health food store, but before that, I bought them from here: http://www.angelfoodministries.com/ They may try to proselytize you slightly when you pick up your food, but it’s cheap! Yay! You can also make your own very easily: cut up chicken breasts, dip in rice flour, dip in egg, coat with rice bran and seasoning, pan fry. So tasty.

    Almost all OreIda fries are gluten free, it will say it on the side. Rice, preferably brown, is a good carb option, but I know kids aren’t necessarily always into it.

    If you try your hand at gluten free baking, try to use the gf flours that have more protein and fiber, instead of white rice flour and potato starch all the time. Millet and teff are good options, as is sorghum if you’re not insanely allergic to it (me). Teff is like whole wheat squared. It’s awesome. I have some recipes I will try to work up for you for things like pancakes, etc.

    And now I have to be going, but more later!

    • thank you for these suggestions!

      a dairy intolerance is what i’ve suspected from the beginning, but decided that eliminating gluten would be the easiest first step re: elimination diets. this kid is obsessed with dairy and i think he’ll probably move out if i take away cheese.

      brown rice / quinoa is our #1 feeling in this house. for real.

      • Would he eat goat and sheep cheese instead? It’s still ‘dairy’, but less triggering than cow milk products. Also goat or sheep milk instead of cow, but that would be a bit more of a challenge flavour-wise. Also, if you make your own yoghurt (very easy if you use long-life milk as you don’t have to heat it) and let it ferment for 24 hours, it makes it much more digestible as it breaks down the long-chain amino acids and the lactose in the milk.

        Also (sorry – you don’t need this, I know) it’s worth being careful not to have too much soya in his diet, as it’s possible to build up a sensitivity to it if he’s prone to food intolerances.

        If he’s not hyper-sensitive, you can make some really good things with buckwheat flour (not actually wheat), like blinis and blintzes. You can also make savoury pancakes from gram flour (fill with curry), and you don’t have to worry about protein in the meal).

        Also, you can halve sweet peppers and tomatoes (scoop seeds out of tomatoes) and fill with pizza toppings, then grill or oven-bake.

        If it’s any consolation, food sensitivities do seem to reduce as they get older. I’ve been there with all three of mine, and I really feel for you.

      • If it’s a lactose issue (which I encounter occasionally if I’ve had too much milk at one go): lactose-free milk exists and tastes just like regular milk. No idea if lactose-free anything else exists though.

        Also look to Asian culinary cultures for food inspirations. It took me a while to work out why American kids kept complaining about veges when I’ve always loved them – then I realised that y’all weren’t giving them flavour! There’s a lot of rice happening in there, and while noodles and breads do have wheat I think there are non-wheat substitutes too, like rice noodles. Soy sauce isn’t your only sauce option – look at sauces like oyster, fish, or hoi sin and see if they’re gluten free.

    • Marika just helped me w some issues (mine ended up being lactose intolerance) & now I’m making some vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, sorghum-free, oat-free cookies for her & my other Chicagostraddlers

    • same here. i am completely clueless when it comes to strict menus..and i’m not an official mom.

      but this did make me wonder if my mom/gma would have thought of cool pseudonyms for me. (i highly doubt it).

  9. If you didn’t know I was a lesbian, you would know from what I’m about to write – I’ve helped organize several cooperative projects among my circle of friends including a home-improvement coop, shared child care and a dinner club. I’m actually writing a book about how to do all of this because I think it can be life-changing. Blah blah blah. BUT, my point is that when we organized our dinner club, we had to deal with dairy allergies, peanut allergies, vegetarianism and celiac’s. It was crazy but somehow we managed. The primary way we dealt with the celiac’s issue was with corn tortillas, polenta, rice pasta/rice noodles, more beans, etc. My friend liked really good pasta sauce served over cannelini beans, for example. It’s not easy but I’m sure you’ll do great.

  10. Suggestions to get you started:

    Note: I have a super picky 3 year old, a nominally adventurous 5 year old, a picky foodie (myself) and a Frisian farm-boy to feed, and the following are approved by all.

    https://www.facebook.com/udisglutenfree

    Their bread is the effing best, ever. We eat bread like it’s going out of style, this fills the void that was left when my whole family had to switch to gluten free. They often have coupons and though it’s about $5 a loaf we just gave up other shit and worked it out. It’s made the difference between relapsing/suffering and eating tasty sandwiches which often is the difference between eating and not for me. I also recommend Pamela’s gluten free pancake and baking mix. In bulk from amazon it’s rather cheap, makes ammamaaaaaaazing pancakes and biscuits and again, makes life worth living, last but not least Namaste brand cake mix (chocolate in particular) has saved all cupcake/cake making occasions and gets absolutely shocked expressions of pleasure when I tell guests it’s gluten free seriously THE BEST.

    Good luck!

  11. Laneia,
    I feel you, my 6 year old son cannot digest milk proteins so label reading is my life! He literally cannot digest milk (he was born at 28 weeks and his tummy never fully developed) so, basically it sits in his stomach until he gets rid of it in one of two ways and BOTH are EXTREMELY nasty!

    Milk (in some form), like gluten, seems to be in almost everything! It’s insane!! I have to watch ALL food like a hawk and it sucks!

    And then you have the morons who try to tell me that A) I’m overprotective and B) that it’s just a lactose thing and a little milk won’t hurt him. Yeah, it will, so unless THEY want to be over at my house at 3am cleaning up nastiness they need to shut the hell up NOW! LOL!

    I know nothing about being gluten free – but I just wanted you to know that I feel you on the whole “avoid everything because it might have X ingredient in it” because I, too, live it albeit with a different ingredient!

    Some of the things I did were:

    A) I packed up a special “treat basket” for him to have at school so when he wins a prize he gets a SAFE treat – you might want to talk to your school about doing that for your little one!

    B) I always have little treats he can have in my bag so that if someone offers a treat at a grocery store or something, like they often do, I can say “no thank you” and then offer W.D. something he is safe to have

    C) Have a list of COMMON items that are gluten free on hand at all times for anyone that is around your child/watches your child so they know at least, first hand a few -simple – items that are ok no matter what. (for instance, an honest mistake that even I made at first was thinking SHERBET was dairy free…it’s not..SORBET is. so I told ALL my friends that SORBET was ok but SHERBET was out because it does, in fact, have dairy in it)

    Good luck hon and know that someone feels your pain at label reading! :)

  12. I don’t know a damn thing about miniature humans or gluten free, so this is one of those comments that is essentially unnecessary. Do you mind if I say it anyway? I’m going to say it anyway.

    I love it when you write/say things about your boys. It’s literally my favourite. I always like to remind myself that one day I’ll be bigger than things because for right now, I’m just smaller.

  13. Books?
    -Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults
    -Gluten-Free Cooking For Dummies

    If you want gluten-free ebooks, I have some… You could always “flip” through them then decide to buy them.
    I find (e)books are easier to navigate than blogs.

  14. Doesn’t help if there is a dairy issue but my nephew had a similar thing and I made him stonyfield ( is GF) yogurt and a selection of raw veggies with dips all the time for lunch. No peanut butter allowed at his dc so yogurt yogurt yogurt. I can’t imagine there are kids who don’t eat lots of yogurt already so this is Probs the most useless comment ever. Edamame were also a good GF snack.

    … I miss small people, they are the best kind of people.

  15. I have no idea about gluten free things except that I am dealing with my jewish girlfriend be kosher this week and I am sick of matzah.

    On the other hand I just thought I would mention a cool resource that I know about because my awesome only sister who is 16 years younger than me has AD/HD so I can relate to the stress of making sure you are giving them the best tools to succeed and stuff. Have you heard of CHADD? They are a national non-profit that aims to help anyone affected by attention deficit disorders through education, advocacy and support. Here in Maryland there are monthly meetings with speakers and its all free and its so relieving to talk with other parents or adults who are trying to figure out about ADHD and they are so loving and its a great community. They probably have a chapter in your area, unfortunately their website is down right now. They helped us know what to say to the school to get the maximum resources for my sister, they run a camp in the summers that secretly focuses on teaching kids the social skills that might not come as naturally to them as they do to other kids, they will help you find local resources to try to rule out what else could be going on, stuff like that. Anyways just thought I would spread the love if you were wondering if they are helpful or not, I can definitely recommend them.

    But good luck with the gluten free diet, I hope that helps, but if it doesn’t obviously there is tons of help out there and it will be great to be one step closer to finding the perfect balance of things to help Zep!

  16. Laneia: thanks for writing this. I don’t have much to add from a gluten free standpoint, celiac is not something I suffer from, although I see it in a number of my friends. But I do plan on having a family someday when I settle down with the right, sweet girl and learning about these things and how people deal with them is extremely valuable to me. I also realize it takes a little bit of courage to talk about family in a public forum, so thank you for that.

  17. i just saw a commercial for chex and there are like 5 different gluten free varieties so yay.
    that’s all i know about gluten.
    i also recently peer reviewed this girl’s thesis on adhd and there was this section on certain food colorings and how they can aggravate adhd symptoms but i don’t remember which. google? (wow i’m helpful)

    i know next to nothing about children but you sound like a pretty fantastic mom to me! :)

  18. Laneia: not sure why but I always think of things just after I hit the enter key. Have you gone to Amazon to look for gluten free products? I remember helping a friend find gluten free products and since I buy almost everything through Amazon, I checked them out. They have 1000s of gluten free products (they list 11k+) and you can do a sort by highest rated which probably is a good way to figure out which ones people like the most. Plus the added bonus of adding 6% to AS treasury chest. Anyway just a thought.

  19. Thanks for writing this. I’m having issues with one of my 6 year-olds, too (I have twins), and have wondered if his diet is a factor…

    I followed the link and *loved* Z’s hilarious quotes, btw. I think maybe you *do* need to do a Mommy Blog. I for one would be an avid reader.

  20. My brother has autism and severe learning difficulties, so, quite a while ago now, my parents tried putting him on a gluten free diet – I don’t really have any recipes to share as at the time he was a fairly picky eater, so in terms of carbs we basically relied on various forms of potato (mainly chips – as in fries) and replacing normal biscuits with gluten free versions from the supermarket. It didn’t, in the end, make much different for him, and now he eats gluten once more. But this is no indication of how it may benefit your son, so best of luck!

    • I think the GF thing works for like one in fifty kids with autism. My autistic cousin and brothers girlfriend’s sister were both put on a gluten-free diet, and it did zero and they also eat gluten once more. So, I’m not a big believer of the GF thing working for autism. Maybe for a few kids, but the mothers who write in magazines and go on shows about how the gluten-free diet makes so so much difference makes my blood boil. Maybe it worked for THEIR kid, but it’ll probably only work for like, five other kids, and they’re obviously not a doctor, so I wish all of them would STFU.

  21. oh, RELATE.

    My girlfriend’s 8 yr old is allergic to virtually everything (namely: wheat and dairy, though also nuts, sesame, corn and other things I can’t recall) and also is ADHD. He also is slightly allergic to soy, but can handle it, however we’re fairly certain his ingestion of soy increases his ADHD (namely the H) tendencies.

    The boy lives on: rice, chicken, hamburgers, rice pasta (which he loves, and I don’t mind it that much), tapioca bread (can’t vouch for that; it smells pretty gross, but he likes it), jellies, fruit snacks sans corn syrup (which is not easy, but there’s a good new trend, even with Fruit Roll-Ups), rice crackers (good sub for tortilla chips), fruits and vegetables. We also crumble up rice cakes for his popcorn substitute. Unrelated, I guess, he likes salt. A lot. I think he’d be happy with a salt lick for dinner.

    Side note: the 5 year old child is _nothing_ like his older brother. He’s, like, a dream. And has zero allergies. But he does eat 90% of what his brother eats so that we can limit the contamination threat.

  22. i eat gluten free, not because i have a serious intolerance but because i tried it (to see if it would help with a different health problem) and noticed significant improvement in my own adult “behavior.” i was/am a very “sensitive” child/adult and have a personal theory that “sensitive” people are maybe just more affected by the way different foods affect everyone. duh. also i work with autism spectrum kids (i know yours is not) and many many of them are on gluten/casein free diets that really do seem to help their behavior, though not all of them.

    anyway i wanted to say that there are some other food things that i’ve noticed help my mood/etc. as a SENSITIVE person. no sugar is obvious but really not having any at all seriously makes me feel like a different person. also protein, like some at every meal, eggs for breakfast etc.

    also. this is a little more out there but have you ever read about ayurvedic diets? ayurveda is like a pandoras box of food, i have had to pick and choose what works for me, but it’s about eating for your specific mind/body type. it helped me figure out very specific things like that eating tomatoes, fermented foods and onions is not good for me. amadea morningstar has good ayurvedic cookbooks and whatsyourdosha.com is cool too.

    so there’s some not exactly solicited not-exactly-advice for you. i could talk about food forEVS. good luck with your son! he is lucky to have mom who is even thinking about this stuff!

        • In addition to the cross-contamination at the processing level, there’s also a hypothesis that oats that are grown near to wheat fields can end up with cross-pollenation issues – grabbing the gluten from the wheat, making things deeply bad. It’s kind of depressing how expensive the GF oats can be, but I’m *so* glad for Bob’s Red Mill, since it means that they’re at least available in stores.

          As a GF vegetarian, the main advice that I have has been said (carry food with you, let people know of easy ‘safe’ foods, don’t get too reliant on corn or any other 1:1 substitution, QUESTION waitstaff at restaurants). The only thing I haven’t yet seen is to look out for shampoos/toothpastes/moisturizers. I’d cut out gluten from food, but hadn’t thought about lip balm. Since those of us who wear it eat some ungodly amount of lipstick and lipbalm each year, it made a real difference to switch out.

      • Definitely a person to person thing. I can’t do oats. :( Even gluten free oats. Oats have a protein that’s pretty similar to gluten. So does corn, actually…which is why some people who have gluten issues also have corn issues. Sigh.

  23. Glutino corn bread (in freezer cases, usually) is about as close as you can get to ‘real’ bread. Toasting it is necessary though :( Kinnickinnick bread is good too (also frozen).
    Annie’s has a GF mac ‘n cheese that makes even my non-celiac girlfriend happy.
    Bearito’s taco shells is another quick meal idea (we make bean tacos).
    The best GF pasta is hands down, Le Veneziane. So. Fucking. Good.
    PB&J on rice cakes.

    I was a sickly, angry kid and going GF (in my late 20s) changed my life. I just wish my parents had known enough to do what you’re doing then. Apparently I would have been taller!!! (celiac stunts your growth on top of everything else)

  24. just to say one more time…gluten free is not always wheat free so please check cos some companies remove the gluten and still use the wheat. and the issue may be wheat and not gluten. there is a medical test that can prove ceoliacs. a blood test or biopsy.and wheat intolerants very often also cant tolerate oats

        • Some manufacturers use wheat (more commonly wheat starch) that has had the gluten removed to make gluten free products. Especially for bread like products to help make them more like ordinary bread. So yes, gluten free does not necessarily mean wheat free when it comes to overly processed foods.

          • Ah, I see. Honestly in my almost three years of being GF I have only seen that once…and that was with communion wafers for Catholics (because apparently, rice wafers are not okay according to the POPE).

            But checking labels never hurts, I read labels like it’s going out of style.

          • Interesting, it could be a difference between manufacturing practices between different countries? Due to different food regulations and by-laws? Because it is slightly more common than that in the UK and Ireland, so vigilant label reading is a must if getting pre-made GF foods that are trying to be as close to original in taste and texture as possible. There’s plenty of food items in the US that couldnt be sold here so it wouldn’t surprise me if it works the other way aswell.

          • I have a friend with an anaphylactic allergy to wheat who managed to get special dispensation to use rice wafers. That was back in the John Paul II days, though.

  25. I’m a senior in college, and I’ve got some GNARLY, super serious ADD. Like, to the point where I have anxiety attacks because I can’t focus on anything and I get super overstimulated and overwhelmed. I tried all the diet stuff, but none of it really worked for me. I ended up having to go on medication, but it really was a last-resort thing. It helps, and I do other things to make sure I can keep the dosage low, like exercise.

    Bob’s Red Mill has a GF line that I’ve found to be a really good substitute for homemade things. My mom has a gluten sensitivity and my girlfriend makes her stuff from their gluten free stuff all the time. Make sure to check your baking soda and yeast and all that, sometimes they sneak gluten in there.

  26. IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO GET ONE THING FROM THIS POST, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN: Get your kid on fiber supplements ASAP. Offbrand, dissolvable, tasteless fiber powder. Make sure it isn’t wheatbased, and put it in a drink or soup or baked goods or cereal or what ever twice a day. Most GF food is rice based, which is not high in fiber. I was GF for a year, and was severely fiber deficient before I figured it out. Adding fiber back in was awful (it felt like adding wheat back in- oh the cramps) because my intestines hadn’t really had to work through anything difficult for the past year. Fiber is important. Most GF people eat less than half of what they should. Do not neglect this.

    Alright, there are so many good suggestions, I won’t repeat them all. I am going to highlight some biggies: Definitely check out Chex ceral (super cheap, and the cinnamon and chocolate flavors taste really great). Udis is great. Try to find coupons. I recommend buying a bread maker with a gluten free button and buying bread mix in bulk. Buy every mix possible in bulk from Amazon. Way cheaper that way (and you can support Autostraddle!!!). The Betty Crocker GF brownie mix is heavenly (even for gluten-eaters). Bob’s Red Mill has great recipes (esp. their corn bread mix). I am not a fan of pamelas bread mix, but it makes for excellent pancakes. Pamelas also makes cake mix, that is the bomb. Try that for kids birthdays instead. Speaking of birthdays, always make something sweet for your kid to bring (just for him) so he won’t be tempted to have a little bit. Tell the parents that he is allergic and even a little bit will make him sick. Some GF kids think, “oh, its just one bite, mom won’t ever find out.’ Speed up an hour later, and they are definitely regretting it. An exposure to gluten will fuck up your body for 3 months (that is how long everything takes to return to normal). The Gluten Free Pantry brand makes the best bread, imo, and you can spread it out thinly and make actual pizza crust! It is like real thick crust, not the weird, thin store bought pizza. Look in the freezer section for stuff by Annie. It is a line that makes all sorts of stuff for GF people (and dairy free and soy free people too). Also, the Asian section has rice crackers and soy sauce. I found this weird brand that does not use wheat, so look through all of them. GF food tends to have no preservatives, so freeze everything you make. Definitely buy him his own toaster to avoid cross contamination. Toast the bread (it never tastes good dry). Corn pasta is infinitely better than rice pasta. Rice paster looks/smells weird, has a strange texture, and I don’t really see the benefit in eating it. Corn pasta is great. Add in some sauce, and there really is no difference. Since some GF tastes awful/has weird texture, companies put in tons of sugar to compensate. I gained tons of weight at first because I didn’t read calories all the time (I was just happy to be able to keep food down).
    Research restaurants before hand. Applebees is awful. TGIFridays is great (ask for their GF menu). Explain the allergies (even if it is just intolerance, call it an allergy. It is much easier to understand and they will take it way more seriously.)
    If he is just allergic to gluten, touching wheat won’t make him sick. This was a concern for me with soaps and hair products, but it isn’t a big deal. The intolerance only kicks in when it is ingested (so watch out for lip balm). However, some people do get sick when touching wheat (but are fine if they eat it) or have both (rare). So check that out too.

    Please contact me if you have any questions. I am GF (triggered in my teens) so I am quite good at adapting recipes to make them GF without changing taste too much. Being GF does not mean that your kid will have to give up any type of food or experience if you can plan/cook around it.

    Good luck!

    -Sterre

    • You can also just make sure you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables and beans and gf whole grains and get enough fiber that way. I’ve never had a problem getting enough fiber, but I guess being vegan makes it hard to not get enough fiber.

  27. I tend to be of the school that a lot of food intolerances are overdiagnosed, sometimes overselfdiagnosed, but you know your kid better than I do. :)

    Have you spoken with your family doctor about this at all? S/he might be able to give you a referral to a dietitian, which could make your life a whole lot easier! (This is, of course, assuming you have decent insurance. I keep forgetting about that wrinkle since moving to the Land of Slightly Cheaper Healthcare.)

    More on the ADHD side of things – has he been assessed at all? I know this sounds like something out of a bad made-for-TV movie, but when my brother was assessed they found out his problem was that he was too smart for school. It can actually happen!

    Best of luck! I hope you find something that works. :D

  28. For snacks: Pirate’s booty is delicious (the aged cheddar ones taste like cheetos) and GF (sold at WF and Trader Joe’s), trail mix, no-bake cookies are a good way to avoid flour/gluten (sometimes I’ll make my own version and just mix together chocolate, slivered almonds, oats and fresh cranberries)…

  29. First thing first: I personally think Tinkyanda is awful, but I’m pretty anti-rice pasta in the first place. It all has a weird slimy texture, and even if it doesn’t dissolve into mush, it’s still weirdly gooey. Ancient Harvest quinoa and corn pasta is the best GF pasta I’ve come across. It tastes like normal noodles, and has the same texture as regular noodles, except better.
    I don’t know if you want to mess with buying GF bread, but the two best I’ve come across is Udi’s and Rudi’s. Rudi’s has a better texture, but Udi’s has better taste, however they both need toasting. All GF bread sucks till toasted. This is a fact. If you’re planning on making your own, Gluten-Free Goddess has a great recipe (Then again, pretty much everything she touches is GF gold if you don’t mind using 10 different flours for one recipe)
    Anything Glutino makes. Seriously, Glutino hasn’t made a product that I haven’t liked yet. They have the best GF pretzels.
    Food for Life english muffins. I live off these. They double as a sandwich bread and crust for pizza english muffins.
    If you think you’re dealing with a young celiac (which I’m not sure about, if he had celiac he’d have stomach cramps a lot along with other unpleasant things, but I don’t know you mentioned tummy issues…) avoid oatmeal. There is controversy over if it is GF or not, so unless you can get certified GF oats (Which are usually super expensive), quinoa hot cereal is pretty similar to cream of wheat.
    RICE CHEX AND CORN CHEX AND GORILLA MUNCH. Best GF cereals hands down.
    Sprouted corn tortillas. Waaaaay better than regular corn tortillas.
    ALWAYS READ THE LABLE ON SHREDDED CHEESE. Some of them use flour to keep the cheese from sticking together!
    Bob’s Red Mill makes the best GF flours and mixes. He makes the BEST pizza mix.
    The Grainless Baker sucks. I’ve never come in contact with a product of theirs that I liked. Especially the cheesy crackers, ew. They taste like shortbread.
    ALWAYS ALWAYS CHECK UP ON A RESTAURANT BEFORE YOU GO. Sometimes you’ll get a gem that knows what they’re talking about, but more often then not, you get a blank look, and the manager apologizing that they don’t have any GF food, but they can grill you a plain chicken breast with plain broccoli if cross contamination isn’t a problem. If you have a Mellow Mushroom in the area, they now have GF pizza that’s fairly good, depending on the location. I’ve been to some that have great GF crust, and to others that severely undercook it, and then I’m stuck eating soggy pizza. Brixx Pizza also has a really good crust. P.F Changs has a great GF menu, and they’re super careful about cross contamination.
    HINT you’re local places are more likely to have GF food/will work on getting GF food if you ask, because they care more than evil chains like Applebee’s. Also, unless that restaurant has a dedicated GF fryer, Zeppelin (I wish that was his real name) probably can’t have french fries at restaurants.
    Also, in the summer my family pretty much lives off of stir fry, because Tamari makes a GF soy sauce. Sriracha sauce also adds some flavor if your kids can handle spicy.
    Also, brown rice flour. Best GF flour.

  30. Vegetarian Times magazine has pages and pages of gluten-free recipes! Sometimes they’re just awesome recipes that also happen to be gluten-free and sometimes they’re gluten-free adaptations of previously gluten-loaded recipes. Either way, you can find a ton of them on the website and in the magazine itself, the gluten-free recipes are always marked as such right below the name of the recipe.

    I’ve made tons of stuff out of that magazine over the years and it’s almost always been good and a big hit with my omnivorous family, too.

  31. You need to see a nutritionist. Not a dietician. Make sure you get him a stool test. Get him probiotics and start managing inflammation as add and digestive problems come from a place of inflammation. Digestive enzymes with all meals and omega 3 fish oils too. A food sensitivity test will help too. Oh and get him off dairy asap!

  32. I just want to throw out there that pancakes are extremely flexible and I have made some pretty delicious vegan+gluten-free ones… even easier if you just have to substitute flours. I’ve used a combo of rice flour and almond meal, or corn meal, or really any other kind of flour that’s in the house. As long as you get the consistency of the batter looking mostly normal you’re good to go, and that’s usually more about the milk than the flour. Pancakes are a very forgiving food. I hear some people make them out of potatoes as well.

  33. Also, these things like corn, pasta, rice bread etc are all terrible for blood sugar levels and will influence behaviour in a negative way too. Try to avoid ‘bready’ things even as a substitute.

    If your son is a vegetarian, I would suggest that this is not a good idea at this time. Many of the essential amino acids may be missing and affecting how the brain functions. I can see you eat a lot of whole grain which is good but including some fish or free range chicken/lamb may be a good idea.

    One last tip, get a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor to order a full metabolic profile with blood/urine. This may pinpoint deficiencies and allow you to treat it appropraitely. I have seen wonderful things in my practice using these tools.

    • Beans and rice have all the essential amino acids, though. Quinoa and soy are complete proteins. I honestly don’t think it’s any harder to get all the essential amino acids in a gluten-free vegetarian diet than a gluteny one.

      • Not true – they are all second class forms of protein. For a child with ADD it’s essential to get enough first class protein. Everything is made from protein including enzymes, hormones etc.

  34. I’m a coeliac and have been forever, I’ve also been a vegetarian for the last 4 years. I’m from Britain so I appreciate that things might be a different where you are. Also I know people always have their opinions on these things, but I just have seen so many people battle with the gluten free thing…
    I’m not sure if you have already but you can get your son tested as to whether he’s allergic/intolerant to gluten. If he comes up as reacting to it he needs a gluten free diet, if not then he doesn’t. The link between ADHD and coeliac disease is hotly debated. I’m sceptical myself.
    Symptoms of coeliac disease are things like (for a child) not growing properly, no energy, lethargic behaviour, digestion issues, headaches.
    If tests come back positive for coeliac disease then there are a lot of good, energy giving, healthy foods which are naturally gluten free and vegetarian. Potatoes are a favourite in any form (fantastic baked with beans and cheese for kids). In Britain we have really good supplies of specifically gluten free products like special bread, pasta etc. But I’m not sure it’ll be like that for you. If you can get hold of rice flour or corn flour then it’s really good to make pancakes and then these can be used as wraps or tortillas for lunches/dinners etc.
    Good luck with it!

  35. ALTERNATIVE FLOURS! Garbanzo bean flour is amazing, and the Bob’s Red Mill All Purp Gluten Free flour works really well, too.

    Also, if you’re into baking, the best book I’ve found is Babycakes (started in NYC, now has a location in LA). Her book is full of natural sugars (nothing refined allowed) and gluten-free dessert recipes. Her cupcakes are the best.

  36. yummeeyummee.com quite literally the best gluten-free food I have ever eaten. We started using it for our son who needs a GF diet – but the biscuits and cookies are so good the whole family eats them now.

  37. first: i love this article.
    second: i love this author.
    finally: my brother was diagnosed at age 7 with a milk allergy that manifested itself as a behavior problem. its seriously a thing. and its still a thing. he’s about to turn 33 and i/my sister-i-law/remaining family can totally tell when he’s had too much milk: he’s irritable, rageful, weepy — its like he has really bad PMS. seriously.

    ps: thanks for writing as a parent. and thanks for being a parent. its a hard job and you’re doing an awesome job.

  38. Hi Laneia, seems you might have enough info to work with here, but I don’t think anyone mentioned the food revolution brought about by Sally Fallon (wrote Nourishing Traditions). And no one mentioned raw milk, which is a revolution in and of itself. Like Zeppelin, I would also move out if I couldn’t have my dairy, so.

    Below is a long and well researched article from the Weston A. Price Foundation (Sally Fallon started it) on gluten…

    http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/digestive-disorders/621-against-the-grain?qh=YTo3OntpOjA7czo2OiJnbHV0ZW4iO2k6MTtzOjk6ImdsdXRlbm91cyI7aToyO3M6NzoiZ2x1dGVucyI7aTozO3M6NzoiYWxsZXJneSI7aTo0O3M6OToiYWxsZXJnaWVzIjtpOjU7czo5OiJhbGxlcmdpZXIiO2k6NjtzOjg6ImFsbGVyZ2llIjt9

    Good luck with everything–your boy is fortunate to have such a great mom!

  39. You might want to file this suggestion away in an ‘if all else fails’ category since it is not for the faint of heart, but as someone who has tried just about everything to deal with some fairly horrifying digestive problems including eating gluten-free for 8 years (which helped to reduce the severity of my symptoms but by no means eliminated them), I can attest to it’s miraculous results. It’s called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and it calls for the elimination of ALL starchy foods and sugar (although honey is allowed). The book that explains the diet is called Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. It’s a quick read and explains the principles of digestion in a very clear manner. It is also claimed that the diet can help treat autism so I’m wondering if it might also have positive effects on ADHD symptoms.

    I know the diet sounds a bit insane, but I have to say that following it has been easier than following some other diets that I’ve tried (such as anti-candida diets that allowed some grains, but strictly forbade all sugars including fruit sugars).

    I’ve been experimenting with alternative diets for a long time, but basically I think the best thing is to forget the whole idea of substituting some non-gluten version of whatever it is that you’re used to eating (bread, cookies, etc.). It gets expensive, and also I think that it’s safe to say that those who are gluten intolerant don’t deal well with large amounts of starchy foods anyway.

    This means that a meal should consist of more meat and more non-starchy vegetables to make up for the loss of starch. Not sure whether your son also follows a vegetarian diet? I really respect anyone’s decision to do so (and would probably be one myself if it weren’t for the digestive troubles), but I think that it is much, much easier to deal with sensitivities to gluten/starch (without risking malnourishment) if meat is included in the diet. Frankly, I now eat meat at almost every meal. For me it’s necessary, otherwise I would starve eating only fruits, vegetables and nuts. A favourite snack of mine is peeled apples cooked with cinnamon with a few slices of cheddar cheese on top (contrary to popular belief there are many cheeses that do not contain lactose — yay!)

    Anyway, I hope the plain old gluten-free route works out for your son, but if not, this might be worth a try. It’s challenging but I can’t express what a relief if is to wake up every day and not feel sick.

    Also, I almost forgot to mention, this diet is supposed to heal the intestine, which means that after following it strictly for a year or two a person’s damaged intestine regains its ability to produce the enzymes required for digestion of starches and they can then begin to reintroduce starchy foods (which is a much more appealing option than having to avoid gluten for the rest of your life).

    • The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a miracle. A hard-work one, but a miracle. It says in the book that if you see no improvement after 4 weeks, then it won’t help you, and it’s helpful in itself to know there is a trial period because it doesn’t feel like a life-sentence from the start. I tried it with my autistic, ADHD son after reading a couple of preliminary studies which suggested that they were more successful in assisting with (some forms of) autism in the long term than gluten-and dairy free alone. Within 3 weeks people (including medical staff) were telling me that he seemed like a completely different child. The change really was that miraculous. I thought maybe it was just developmental and took him off it again, and he went back to the way he’d been before, and got better again when I reinstated the diet.

      This page may be helpful for basic information: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm
      and will save you buying the book, for the trial period at least, if you decide to try this.

      and you can get various SCD recipes online, as well: http://www.scdrecipe.com/recipes.html
      http://www.scdiet.org/2recipes/indexa.html
      http://www.pecanbread.com/recipes.html

      Best of luck.

  40. Consider almond flour or coconut flour as substitutes. There are quite a few nice bread-type things that you can make with these as substitutes for gluten containing flours. I make a mean pizza crust with almond flour…just make sure your sons don’t have an almond sensitivity, which is pretty common.

    • He definitely needs to get tested for an almond allergy… I’m not even allergic to peanuts, and a severe almond allergy popped up overnight for me. I mean one day I could eat a few and be fine, and the next day I nearly had to go to the emergency room for an EpiPen.

  41. short n sweet : please get a copy of : Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gotschall ( explains medical conditions stemming with gut, in easily understood language- ) recipes easy made included also

  42. Laneia,

    I have ADD myself and some food intolerances.

    I’m extremely skeptical of the supposed link between ADHD symptoms and celiac disease. There are few studies of this and the main one cited that purports to show a link has a pretty bad study design. Children with celiac will usually be exhausted, will have slower growth and serious digestive problems, as well as an increased likelihood of some skin problems. The neurological symptoms of celiac are related to long-term nutritional deficiencies because of malabsorption in the gut, and tend to clear up once the person is not triggering their allergy. Symptoms of hyperactivity or inattentiveness are quite different, and in a child who is otherwise thriving but has trouble concentrating on schoolwork for example, I would be skeptical that it was celiac. If Zeppelin is having some digestive issues, I’d look at a couple other frequent culprits first, like dairy. Dairy is EVIL for a lot of people.

    There is a much easier way to figure out if someone has celiac disease: blood tests. There are tests that identify nearly all people suffering from an allergy to wheat protein, as well as identifying if the person is suffering from nutritional deficiencies (big sign of celiac.) I would suggest going down that road before going wheat-free, particularly because you have to be eating wheat in order to measure if you have antibodies to the wheat proteins in the blood tests.

    I went gluten-free for some time myself as part of an elimination diet, and it actually had a negative impact on my attention span, I think because I wasn’t eating enough carbs (so glad that’s over!)

    There has been a lot of ink spilled by parents of kids with autism and ADHD about nutritional choices impacting their child’s behaviour and hearing these testimonials does make you think “Hey, I should try this.” Of course, healthy eating is good for our brains. But a balanced diet can include wheat products, and there’s no scientific evidence for ruling it out to solve neurological issues, except with actual allergy. (On the other hand, there is some evidence for ruling some foods in – like Omega 3 Fatty acids.) I suspect that the parents who are seeing behavioural improvements from diet (except the kids with celiac diagnoses) are probably creating the right environments for their kids to thrive in other ways, because they love their kids and are making sure they get the personal attention and therapies they need.

    Anyways, best of luck to you and to Zeppelin!

  43. Gluten is such a bitch. For real. Something that really made a difference for me (and I mean, I’m not a 6 year old boy so you know whatever) was taking some vitamin D3 as well as cutting the gluten out. There are some cool studies that have been done on upping D3 in kiddos. Unfortunately we’re given really really strange RDIs for stuff like vitamin d, and as a result all of the supplements aren’t that great. If you want to try it, something like this might be good: http://www.iherb.com/Childlife-Vitamin-D3-Mixed-Berry-Flavor-1-fl-oz-29-6-ml/24742?at=0

    Also, digestive enzymes are really good, especially when first eliminating gluten… they help to assist the body in absorption of nutrients etc. that may have been difficult whilst still ingesting gluten (gluten can really eff up the gut, so taking these helps to heal it after you’ve cut it out). They have kiddo versions of those too: http://www.iherb.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Yum-Yum-Zymes-Mixed-Berry-Flavor-60-Chewable-Tablets/18469?at=0

  44. Oh and also! Probiotics. Shitty gut flora can be attributed to gluten consumption, which has been associated with all sorts of things (ADD symptoms included). Building up the good bacteria is essential.

    http://www.iherb.com/Renew-Life-Flora-Bear-for-Kids-Natural-Orange-Flavor-60-Tablets/7771?at=0

    This one contains l-glutamine too, which helps to repair to gut wall, which is usually damaged by gluten. And on the D3 – if you think it might be helpful, get him at least 1000ius. It’s really non-toxic and people can take up to 90,000ius without issue (not that I recommend that, I take 5000iu myself).

  45. My mom’s been diabetic her whole life and a little more than a year ago was diagnosed with Celiac as well. She gets gluten-free crackers and packs those with cheese slices or peanut butter for lunch a lot. Or hummus! But idk if Zeppelin would be averse to hummus.

    Remember to cook the pasta al dente or the leftovers get real mushy real fast =P

    If you like to cook from scratch/use seasoning a lot, all of the Penzeys Spices stuff except their soup bases are GF. McCormick’s is cheaper and also good about clearly labelling when their seasonings have gluten, and all their single ingredient spices and extracts are GF.

    Also, for easy treats: Betty Crocker makes GREAT GF mixes, and major supermarkets carry them. There’s a yellow cake, a devil’s food cake, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. I don’t think I could tell the difference if I tried.

  46. Pingback: Nivac – In Which This is Not a Mommy Blog and I Need Gluten-Free Advice

  47. i use sam mills corn pasta, glutino bread, ian’s (they have fish sticks, chicken nuggets, pizza, french fries, a bunch of other stuff), corn tortillas… there are gluten free waffles, pancakes and muffins.. oh and sam mills also makes mixes for cakes and breads. i can’t eat gluten, rice or soy and i have to avoid milk and eggs as much as possible.

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