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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Feeding A Gluten-Free Child

Shortly after we started feeding Hannah food from the table, she started having digestive issues.  Without going into too much detail, she had a hard time pooping.  After following her diet more closely for a few weeks, I narrowed the problem down to grains, although I wasn't positive which ones.

So we eliminated.  For about two weeks, we cut out all grains.  Then we added back in oats, with no problems, and rice, with no problems.  We added back in whole wheat products, and there were the issues again.  So we eliminated them.

I've spoken with our pediatrician about this before, although we hadn't done any elimination diets yet at that point.  She pretty much told me to try what I want, and report back next time, or sooner if we had bigger issues.  I don't think this is a full-blown allergy, because there would be other issues and reactions.  And since we've eliminated gluten, I don't think we can test for an allergy or intolerance, unless we add it back in (unless I'm mistaken about how that test works?).  I plan on talking to the doctor again at our next appointment in a few weeks, but in general, simply eliminating gluten from Hannah's diet seems to have everything working fine, so I don't necessarily see a reason to test right now.

So how does that work in our day-to-day life?  In this case, I'm thankful that we have been eating fairly close to the Paleo diet at least part of the time, because those are all foods that Hannah can eat.  The times that we do have something different, such as the turkey wraps pictured above, I will give Hannah the filling/toppings, but not the tortilla (or the pizza crust, or the pasta).  If that doesn't seem like enough food, I'll add an additional fruit or veggie.  Since we only have those items a few times a month, it hasn't been that hard to adapt her plate.

Breakfast is a bit more of a challenge, since I do like to include baked goods once a week, plus cereal once or twice.  Sometimes I'll feed her eggs or oatmeal while the rest of us have the others, and we have tried a few of the gluten-free cereals like Chex, which seem to be fine.  Soon to be tried: oatmeal pancakes!  I have my tried and true recipes for pancakes and waffles, so I hadn't really looked for other ones, but baby girl should get to enjoy those too!

All in all, it's a bit more work to make sure we always have something around that Hannah can eat, but her tummy is much happier, and that's certainly worth it!

Obviously, I am not a doctor, and none of this should be taken as medical advice.  I am simply sharing what works for our family at this time.

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