In the month since Duck with diagnosed with celiac disease and we decided to go gluten free, I've learned so much.
Such as there probably won't be any gluten free bread that comes close to regular bread.
That gluten is hiding in everything - ice cream, hot dogs, and french fries.
And that eating out is a completely miserable experience.
But, seriously, it is worth it. Even when I totally ruin dinner and realize that I can't just go order a cheap pizza, or get takeout fried chicken.
Even after multiple failed meals, it's still worth it.
In the month since eliminating gluten, Duck has started talking. Really talking. He said a few things before, but at 18 months of age, said less than 10 words. Now, he says a new word almost every day. He's started using full phrases. He babbles. He sleeps better.
At first, I wasn't sure there was a correlation. It could have just been a coincidence. It may have been that the age of 19 months was just going to be Duck's time to talk. But as his speech continues to improve, I'm growing more and more convinced that his previous delay was related to his celiac disease. Now, the potential speech therapy appointment that our pediatrician was strongly suggesting is no longer needed.
Duck isn't gaining weight in the leaps and bounds that I had hoped for, but he is not losing weight any more.
So I know that it is worth it. That still doesn't make it easy.
The only thing I can compare my attempts at gluten free cooking to are my cooking attempts when I was first married. I tried so hard, so wanting all my meals to be wonderful and my new husband to be able to brag about the phenomenal cooking his wife did. But there were so many times, dinner would be painfully swallowed and bowls pushed back, still mostly full, always with the compliments of "Thanks so much for dinner."
That's how it is now.
I want gluten free eating to be easy for my family. Especially for the ones I'm making go gluten free when they don't have to.
I'm doing my best to recreate favorite family meals. I'm researching recipes and flour blends and meeting with nutritionists and reading product reviews. I want all the effort to pay off.
The meal with the mac and cheese was probably the low point. Mac and cheese is a favorite meal for our boys and everyone was excited to have some for dinner. The kitchen was filled with the smells of delicious cheese sauce. All the enthusiasm died once we actually started to eat. The noodles had a strange texture. The sauce, on cooling even a little, became very gelatinous.
Monkey took one bite and then turned to me. "Thank you very much for making this dinner, Mom, but may I please be excused?"
At least he has good manners.
We've had a couple other less than successful meals. The pizza was just ok. The biscuits were tolerable. The muffins were mostly edible.
Thankfully, I've found a stellar pancake recipe. It tastes just like my old pancake recipe and no one, not even my picky eating older boys has noticed the difference.
So that leaves one meal taken care of. Only 20 other meals a week to worry about.
There's still a long way to go before we feel comfortable with our new diet. But we are learning every day, not repeating any of the mistakes twice, and listening to Duck's newest found word, "Yucky!"