Tantrums & Going Gluten Free

Essential oils.

Cloth diapers.

Wild caught fish.

Farmer's markets.

Alternate uses for breastmilk.

Now this.

Yup.  D is going gluten free.  

Yup.  His behavior has totally changed.

Yup. I am back to square one trying to recreate over processed food with ingredients I don't know how to work with.

Yup.  I know what teff flour is.

So... when D turned two... or maybe it was three... we started a period that didn't end until about 3 weeks ago.  A period of screaming, yelling, violent tantrums.

I know what you're thinking.

Suck it up mama.  All three year olds have tantrums.

Suck it up mama.  He'll grow out of it.

Suck it up mama.  Everyone goes through phases where their kid throws a scale at them down the stairs followed by every book on the book shelf and a couple of box fans.


Well... I figured nothing could be lost by trying it.  I didn't really have any basis in trying it other than the fact that we already don't eat artificial food dye (which is something other mamas feel helps behavior)... and I had read this blog post: The Gluten Made Her Do It.  

After three weeks I have an initial report (and I will continue to follow it up...)

Let me tell you... the pasta sucks - quinoa, corn, rice... anything that's not semolina is crummy.  The bread sucks.  Rice bread, potato starch, tapioca, teff... all of it.

But... D is different.

Not a quiet, compliant, and obedient robotron kinda different - but a happy kid, with his happy funny personality, chatting about why he does or doesn't agree with me... without hitting me or throwing something at me.  Without shoving his brother onto the floor while looking at me.

Could it be this easy?  (and by easy I don't mean delicious).

As you can see - I am missing gluten - but quite honestly - I don't think he has noticed.  I like baking bread, making pasta from scratch (*real pasta), making batter that I recognize for muffins and pancakes.  

Now I am in a new world of processed foods... is it processed if it is 5 different kinds of flour?  What the hell is xanthan gum anyway?  Can you find it organically?  Did I for real just by bread from a freezer - with the last ingredient - CORN SYRUP SOLIDS?! 

I am lost.

But I found D.  I found the real D.  The happy D.  And I want to keep him around... 

But I repeat.  I.am.lost. in this new world of food I don't know.  Help me!!


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Anonymous said...

Gluten free can be tough, but not as tough as it once was-I'm not gluten free but so many family and friends are I've had to learn.
Locally, you can get good gluten free stuff at nancy Changs in Worcester, the Boynton, the crown bakery, and the bean counter. There is this bakery in Harvard that has tons of good stuff. In terms of reading labels and making stuff-it's tough. There is a blog, gluten free girl, that has tons of good recipes and tips.
Good luck!-Alexia

MK said...

After 11 years of eating GF, wheat products taste and feel funny to me now! Good for you for trying it with D. If it works, it is easier to stick with it. People still ask me if I miss gluten, how can I still not eat it? Well I dont feel good when I do sneak some, so I don't do it often!
As for organic xanthan gum, I have never seen it. Arrowroot is another thickening ingredient. I tend to make stuff from scratch not from a box, it is a lot cheaper. Now I just am trying to limit carbs. Can I recommend a book? "Eat Like A Dinosaur" by the Paleo Parents. It really helps to explain to kids about special diets.

Jacquelyn Karlic said...

Rylee can have horrific tantrums and she is only 18 months old. They started when she was about 10 months old and only get worse as she continues to grow. I have heard of this gluten free thing to help with tantrums, so thanks for sharing your take on it. I just don't know if I can do it yet. I have a hard enough time making real food, I don't know how I could do GF, but it's definitely something to consider.
~Jackie, The Non-Martha Momma

marvanigian said...

Kristen PM or email me if you have any questions or would like names of brands we use. We have tried just about every brand and it can also be very expensive trying the different variety of foods. When Mia was diagnosed with Celiac at 10 she already knew what texture and taste was like with gluten foods so it was really tough in the beginning for her to adjust. But for her it is a matter of sickness and health. We are part of many support groups who have turned us onto different contacts for food preperation, recipes and websites. We also go to different events throughout the year where GF venders are giving out samples of their products. Good luck and it really does get better.

Trix said...

For thickening I use equal parts corn starch and warm water. For baking, I got xantham gum at my local Health Food Store. I use it instead of yeast. Gluten free can taste good. You can make any normal recipe (with practice) by using substition once you get the hang of things.

Cheryl said...

Same experience with our son (who is 3), but he is not only intolerant to wheat (with serious tantrums resulting) but also corn in any form (especially corn syrup!) and all dairy. It is a learning journey. Just last week I wrote a post on Frugal Gluten Free Options (I'm not all into the breads and "substitutions"~ bleh!). The post is here: http://treasuresfromashoebox.blogspot.com/2013/05/frugal-gluten-free-options.html
So glad you discovered the root of the problem and that you now have your son back. Sadly, many people go the drug route instead.

Jessica B said...

I have yet to make good homemade gluten bread, but my son likes the Udi brand for their cinnamon raisin bread. The Kinnikinnick brand pizza crusts are decent and our preferred GF pasta is Quinoa, though it's still not the same.

Melissa Ryan said...

This is something I am very interested in. I cut out artificial dyes from my son's diet to see if it helped with his tantrums and I did notice a slight change. I would love to cut out gluten, but with working full time and having to have Kai kept by different family members, I just can't see it working out well. But I plan to attempt this when I finally get to be a stay at home momma.

I featured your post in today's Tuesday Baby link up. Be sure to swing by and check it out!


KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks.. so far so good!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

I am definitely getting the book - although right now he doesn't know he is on a special diet :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

It isn't easy - but it is getting easier <3

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks! I would love to chat!!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

You continue to help me with this! thanks!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

It is so strange how these things *sometimes* can be solved with a diet change - I so wish everyone tried that first!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Yes - the bread is a challenge - we are in the process of trying all the frozen varieties - trying to find ones that are at least corn syrup and gmo free - but it isn't easy! I like http://www.tinkyada.com/ this pasta - you have to follow the cooking instructions (which are weird) but it is decent!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

thanks for featuring me! it certainly is hard... I have already started talking to our daycare provider about it (we go back in the fall). Hopefully we will be able to keep to it without too much fuss!

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