Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Really, No Play-Doh??!! REVISED

Ugh, it's one of those things that's so frustrating - a staple in every pre-school classroom, loved by all children, but sadly, it contains wheat - yes, I'm talking about Play-Doh!

Our Play-Doh Family

When we arrrived at Jack's summer camp this morning, the kiddos in his classroom where happily molding their Play-Doh and using their cutters to make their creations.  And I just thought to myself, "Nuts!" - what do I do - let him play with the other kids as normal and hope he doesn't eat any or tell the teacher, "I'm sorry he can't play with Play-Doh - is there something else he could do?"  Well, maybe I should of done the latter, but I chose to let him play with it.  I informed the teacher that Play-Doh has wheat in it, so washing hands thoroughly is a must.  Was this the right decision, I don't know...

I feel like we need to choose our battles.  Jack is going to feel isolated throughout his life due to his gluten-free diet, so why not a little Play-Doh once in awhile.  I've chosen to allow Jack to play with Play-Doh - he doesn't actually eat the Play-Doh, so I feel that it's okay.  Washing hands thoroughly is very important and I will make sure his teachers will understand how important that is.  I know other parents of children with celiac disease would disagree with this and by all means, I'm not saying your child should play with Play-Doh, I've just chosen to allow Jack to do so.  Now, do I want him playing with it everyday - NO, but occasional Play-Doh is okay with me.

I've decided after thinking it over and seeing that other parents of gluten-free children prefer their children not to play with it, that I too have decided not to allow it. Jack has had no problems with playing with it occasionally at school, but really with Celiac Disease, it's really hard to know if playing w/ Play Doh is a hazard - I mean it does have wheat in it, so he really shouldn't play with it. He's not eating it, but after washing his hands he may have some still under his nails...

So I've opted to provide Crayola Model Magic instead along with some of his own cutters/tools to keep seperate from others.

To be on the safe side it definitely makes sense - again, he may only play with it a handful of time throughout the year - but a handful of times adds up!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Eating Gluten-Free at Fairs, Festivals & Amusement Parks

It's July 4th weekend and the Freedom Festival is underway here in Hendersonville, TN!  We will be heading to the festival around dinner time to enjoy the kid's activities, craft booths and of course, the yummy festival food!

With going to an event like this, a parent has to be prepared to offer their child gluten-free options when I light is shining brightly on the funnel cake stand! 

Fairs, Festivals, Carnivals and Amusement Parks are so much fun, but at the same time, it can be so stressful for a parent who doesn't want to disappoint their little one when having to say, "I'm sorry sweetie, you can't have that."  So being prepared is SO IMPORTANT.  No matter where we go, having a GF stash of goodies is necessary.

BUT, there are some GF options your little one can enjoy!  We just have to ask questions and decide if it's safe for our little ones to eat.

Here are some suggestions of possible gluten-free food choices: (Please use discretion - check out the vendor, be very cautious with cross contamination and ask questions about ingredients before purchasing any items below)

A Colorful Slushly Drink
On a Hot Fair Day!
  • Sno-Cones
  • Corn on the Cob (Very popular in IN - we'll see if they have it here in TN!) 
  • Popcorn
  • Ice Cream/Yogurt
  • Hotdogs, Pulled Pork, Hamburgers - all w/out Bun
  • BBQ Chicken (ask about BBQ sauce)
  • Fritos - Taco in a Bag (ask about taco seasoning)
  • Strawberries, Watermelon, Blueberries
  • Kettle Corn or Popcorn
  • Cotton Candy
  • Frozen Lemonade
  • Loaded Baked Potatoes
  • French Fries, Chili Cheese Fries (ask about cross contamination with other fried foods)
  • Nachos and Cheese 
  • Peanuts
  • Strawberry Shortcake w/out the Shortcake

Jack's sister at the IN State Fair last summer!
There's nothing like Corn on the Cob at the IN State Fair!
What an Awesome GF Treat! 

Don't let funnel cakes and elephants ears stop you from going to the State Fair or Amusement Park.  Just remember these few things to make your trip enjoyable: Bring your own GF stash, don't hesitate asking questions about ingredients and if you're not sure, don't eat it!

Oh, and one last thing, HAVE FUN!  :)