Hints or tips? I'm new to the GF diet.

Tiffany - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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We just found out our 3 year old daughter has Celiac Disease. I am so overwhelmed with all info that is out there and the amount of food she's not allowed to eat anymore. I have no idea where to begin when it comes to stocking my kitchen, or how to get my picky eater to eat the foods that she's allowed to eat. Do I throw out everything on my kitchen and start from scratch with GF foods? Any helpful hints or tips that anyone has would be great.

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Jennifer - posted on 09/15/2009

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It is very overwhelming at first. We have been doing this for two years now. At first I relied on mixes and prepackaged foods, but not I hardly buy any prepackaged. I think how you do depends on personality and lifestyle that you choose. I just a read a great book by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, The G Free Diet. She outlines a lot of helpful tips and different approaches to living GF and I am sure that you will find a way that fits your life.

Jenn

Toni - posted on 08/28/2009

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Hi my name is Toni, I want you to do something first...take a DEEP BREATH let it out....



that's what I had to do when my 15 year old was diagnosed (and since she was diagnose my 11 yr old and myself have sinced been diagnosed so since 3 out of 6 are GF we are all GF). and told she would never again have pizza, spaghetti or any other fun food in her life...she cried and cried then we went to a wonderful dietitian and she gave us back our life...she gave us what I call the Celiac bible....it is The CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing.

it gives you all the "normal foods" at you local grocery store that you can buy so don't trow away your foods before you find out first if you have gluten free foods in your house because some foods are gluten free. READ the labels I have found this out



I have also found out that I don't like Rice noodles as much as Corn and I have found corn holds up better....and taste a lot better.....I'm not sure where you live but I do know there are support groups that do meet and it would be great for you to get into one of these for moral support this can be very over whelming....Meijer stores have a great selection of GF foods that are not very expensive, I would love to give you more information if you need it.



Toni

Nancy - posted on 08/22/2009

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Hey Tiffany,
You got some great responses.. The only thing I will add is the our house is mixed with gluten and gluten free foods. My daughter has a shelf that is strictly hers. She has her own toaster, plastic cooking utensils and pots. All of these thing are labels GF so that visitors don't make a mistake. Our problem when my daughter was diagnosed was that I didn't really cook (still don't) and we used a lot of packaged foods. It was overwhelming for me to read that I had to cook and bake everything from scratch. This was over 7 years ago and I will admit that I am still not a big cooker or baker. Things are so much easier now. You can buy almost any GF alternative. It is pricier and that is why we have a mixed kitchen. I recommend buying Danna Korn's book "Raising our Celiac Kids". It is a great resource. Hopefully you will also find this group helpful. Post away your questions. You will find that the moms who have some answered are thrilled to help!
Nancy

Rebecca - posted on 08/21/2009

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Starting a gluten free diet can be tough but it doesn't have to be.
Begin simple. Rice, potatoes, corn are good grains. General Mills Chex Cereals are mostly gluten free (buy the ones that say gluten free on them). Fruits vegetables and plain meat and cheeses are always safe.

If I were you, I would faze out the gluten products in the house, so that you do not have a HUGE grocery bill to begin with. Check with your local grocery store about their gluten-free store-brand products. (Meijer and Wal-Mart have decent lists on their websites) You will want to save money where you can.
Get in touch with a support group near you.
You can find out about support groups at www.csaceliacs.org or www.gluten.net
These websites are also very helpful with information about product updates as well. www.ceceliasmarketplace.com has a Gluten free product listing that is available for purchase.

My three kids (11, 7, 3) and I have Celiac Disease and we have a gluten free house, as difficult as that is for my husband. It works well for us most of the time.
Oh, by the way... Tinkyada pasta is fantastic!!

Michelle - posted on 08/20/2009

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hi there, start with buying some rice pasta so she can still have spag and mac & cheese. make a white sauce with cornstarch and add cheese in the sauce and xtra on top. mys kids like to eat warm rice with cinnamon and nutmeg, a lil brown sugar and milk. koala krisp cerial is also a favorite.

Terri - posted on 08/19/2009

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I remember when we got the diagnosis too. It is so tough and overwhelming.

Do your research... there are many websites available for free that list foods that are GF.

Check with the major brands... Heinz, Purdue, General Mills, etc... they have lists on their websites of foods that are GF.

Your local grocery store may have a list available of GF foods within their store.

Start learning to read labels. You may be surprised what has gluten and also, what is "safe".

See a nutritionist to help guide you in the process.

If you have a local support group, join it. The members will be invaluable. They have done a ton of research themselves, so you won't have to repeat it.



What does your daughter like to eat? We maybe able to suggest brands of GF foods that are ok for her to have. Eating out has been our biggest challenge. I'm still trying to figure this one out as my son and daughter get older.



I would not throw everything out yet. I would start with lots of research and visiting grocery stores to find out who has the best selection of GF foods. Pick up one item of things she may like. Don't stock up until you know she will eat it. Sometimes you may have to alter or add ingredients so that it tastes similar to what she already likes to eat.



Good luck with everything. I hope this has been helpful.

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