10am. We are told to change our diet to be gluten free.
By 10.30am, I am trawling through the aisles in Wholefoods (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) with C in tow. I have a vague notion of what gluten free means and know to rule out anything that contains wheat. I scour the aisles for all of the gluten free signs and tell C that he can have anything that he wants as long as its gluten free … We buy gluten free bread mixes, gluten free pizza dough mix, gluten free pancake mix (why I didn’t just buy gluten free flour and be done with it I’m not sure). In the back of my mind I’m thinking ‘this is going to be expensive and what happens if he doesn’t like anything that I buy’.
We go to the specialty breads section and I buy a loaf of spelt bread. We’ve had it before and I know we all like it. The next day I, of course, find out that spelt is off the menu too. The other breads bamboozle me and I get a bit overwhelmed with that whole section. We move on.
We go to the cereal aisle and I pick up gluten free cornflakes, naturally sweetened with honey. 2 small packets for $6. It seems like a good deal, for some reason. I get home and compare those with my Trader Joes cornflakes and realize that the ones we already had were just fine. The kids LOVE the new ‘Nature’s Path’ ones though. (http://www.naturespath.com/)
On the pasta aisle, C gets excited about the gluten free macaroni cheese. I have to remind him that cheese is off the menu too. Oh god, this is going to be a nightmare!
We dutifully buy brown rice pasta. I know the kids will eat it, but also that they will not love it – we’ve eaten it before. So, I pick up some spelt pasta too – again a big raspberry for that purchase. No spelt. Another thing that will sit in the kitchen cupboard for a while.
We’ve been told that coconut milk is an amazing alternative to cows milk. We’ve been told to stay off soy (“he’s a boy – that’s no good for him”). I know that he won’t touch rice milk with a barge pole and I suspect that almond milk will have the same effect. C loves his milk, especially chocolate milk. This part is going to be tricky.
C starts to get bored, so we quickly scoot to the gluten-free freezer and buy pizza bases, hamburger buns (very chewy) and chocolate chip cookies (not sure that’s on the menu because of the dairy in chocolate, but feel he needs some sort of small treat at this point in time).
We then whiz over to the fish oil ‘bit’ (apparently another important part of the equation) and – oh boy – how on earth am I supposed to choose. The Norwegian stuff looks good (not sure why, apart from the fact that I have a Scandinavian husband), but it’s ridiculously expensive. All of the bottles look big, the capsules huge and I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to get them down my child’s neck. Plus, can a child’s dosage really be the same as for an adult? I pick up a $9.99 Wholefoods own 365 brand of fish oil up and go to find someone to help demystify. The helpful shop assistant tells me that what I’ve chosen is as fine for me as it is for C. Ok… But then we stumble upon the kids vitamin section and all of a sudden life is made easier. C chooses the kids lemon flavor Cod Liver oil (http://www.carlsonlabs.com/c-1-carlson-for-kids-children-formulas.aspx) and then announces that he is tired of this now and wants to go home.
We arrive home $200 lighter and I feel as if I’ve bought enough gluten free stuff to last us a month. After all, there’s still a stash of stuff in the fridge and freezer, isn’t there?
We make M’s (my husband) special homemade hamburgers for lunch (organic beef mince mixed with a little onion and cilantro) and try out the hamburger buns we just bought. I like them, but there is no cry of delight from C. We realize that ketchup needs to be gluten free too – another shopping list begins.
That evening, we try to make a quick bite to eat for us all. We go to the freezer – the automatic reflex when we want something quick and easy and realize that there is nothing in there that C can eat. Shit (pardon my French). We ask him if he wants pasta (one of the gluten free things that I have bought) and he refuses. We get pretty stumped and realize that there isn’t really a lot of choice left. What did I just spend $200 on? So it’s turkey sandwiches on spelt bread (before I’ve realized that spelt also contains gluten) and a bowl of cornflakes with vanilla yoghurt (yoghurt – thank god- is still on the menu). We troop off to movie night at the school, armed with tortilla chips and popcorn. One of the moms has baked gluten free cookies for the bake sale and gives some to C – he likes them. Phew. Must get that recipe! Stephanie?