Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Using Your Spidey Senses

Also know as: a mother's instinct, a gut feeling, a feeling in your bones...a feeling that something isn't right, foreseeing an obstacle...

My spidey senses kicked in one day when Jack and I walked down the street to the ice cream truck.  A special treat for the little guy while sissy was at school.  Of course I'm thinking, most popsicles are gluten-free, so we'll be good.

Jack's Spidey Treat
So we headed over to the ice cream truck and saw all the fabulous options before us and Jack was saying, "I want this, I want that!"  So we decided on a Fudge popsicle...simple, but delicious!  As we were walking back home, I started to read the nutrition/food label on the packaging and it listed "Malt Powder" as one of the ingredients.  So I thought to myself, "Uh-oh, Malt comes from Barley, Barley contains gluten."   
Think fast!! Okay, ice cream man, I need you to come through for me - let's make a trade!

I explained to Jack, "I think this fudge popsicle might have gluten in it, so let's go see if we can make a trade with the ice cream man."  Jack was up for it, as long as he was getting something to replace the fudge popsicle and it was full of sugar - he was game!                                                            
We got to the ice cream truck and the kind ice cream man was finishing up with someone else.  I approached the truck and asked, "Would you mind if we swapped this out for something different - I just realized looking at the ingredients, that my son can not have this."  The ice cream man said, "I can do that - what else would like?"  Well, Jack immediately saw the Spiderman treat pictured above, so for .50 more cents, it was his!  So we swapped treats and we headed home to enjoy the best Spiderman treat ever!               
Now, this may seem a little silly, but when Jack gets older, he's going to have to use his spidey senses when eating at school, eating out with his friends, going to parties, going over to his friends' houses, etc. 
                                                                                      So here's to your spidey senses Jack - always go with your gut kiddo - your gut knows best!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

National Celiac Awareness Day (Tattoo)

September 13th is a day to remind your loved ones, friends, co-workers, teachers and superheroes (hey Spider-Man could have it) about Celiac Disease.

5 Ways to Raise Awareness:

Ribbon Magnet for Car
  • Provide brochures to teachers, friends, church, etc. 
  • Lastly, get a tattoo!! Okay, you don't have to do this one, but I'm strongly considering it!

Celiac Awareness Ribbon Tattoo
(Washable for Now!)
Life is too short right?? As much as I where flip-flops and sandals, just think how many people might be interested in knowing what my green ribbon stands for! Okay, maybe some people won't even notice, especially in the winter time, but I'm really thinking it's time to take the plunge! 

National Celiac Awareness Day - Start Feeling Better Today! Please look on the right hand side of this blog to find out more about symptoms.

Jack, you're not allowed to get a tattoo until you are at least 18, and if you want to get a heart with "MOM" tattooed inside, I would be so flattered. ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

7 Tips for Raising a Gluten-Free Kiddo

I really found this article to be quite helpful and a reminder for me - especially, the first one!  I think as Jack grows up, he will face different challenges with his diet, so always staying positive is a must for him (and me)!

Here's the Tips:
(Full Article at Glutenfreeville - make sure to check it out!)                                                                                 
  • Focus on what they CAN eat, not what they CAN'T eat
"Teach them to look for options, not limitations."

  • Try new foods often
"Congratulate kids for trying something new, 
even if they hate it."

  • Allow kids to be a part of the menu planning and cooking process
"It will feel more of an adventure to them if they have 
a part in the process."

    • Arrange your kitchen so kids know what they CAN eat    
    "Give them a shelf that's just their stuff."

    • Buy well known brands so when friends come over (if they can eat them) so they don't feel "different."
      "Kids just want to fit in without calling attention to their 
      areas of differences."

        • Handle the issue of treats in the classroom in advance.   
        "Ask the teacher to notify you on days when food will be 
        present in the classroom."

          • Repeat #1:  Focus on what they CAN eat, not what they CAN'T eat
          "Teach kids to see options, not limitations."

          Instead of saying, "He can't have that." - say, "No thanks." Instead of saying, "He has a gluten-free diet." (which I've said a lot), I should say, "No thanks, we brought some treats."  Not making the gluten-free diet the center of attention is definitely the goal.  It's hard, because at the same time, I like to educate people about celiac disease, so I will say something like, "he has a gluten-free diet," which then might lead into an education session about celiac disease.  But there's a time and place - so I need to be more discrete and not make the GF diet the subject at every meal.  

          So Jack, mamma's working on it! You're only 4 yrs. old, so I'll take the lead on this kiddo and I'll try to make the GF diet the new norm! 

          Friday, September 2, 2011

          Georgia, Jack's Loving Non-Celiac Sis

          Georgia and Jack have been buddies since day one.  Only being 17 1/2 months apart they are very close and Georgia has always taken care of her little brother.  Sometimes too much - maybe too many hugs and kisses, but she just loves him so much!

          Georgia and her Lil' Bro, Jack - August 2007

          Georgia was only 3 1/2 yrs. old when Jack was diagnosed at 2.  At a young age, she learned to say, "Jackie can't have that."  She always watches out for her brother and understands that sometimes we can't have certain things because we don't want Jack to feel left out.

          When a family member has celiac disease, the whole family in some ways has it as well.  Jack is our family, our blood, someone we care about deeply and we want him to feel included always.

          Two Peas in Pod - Georgia and Jack - Fall 2010

          So with that said, here are some tips to help siblings transition as well and to be supportive:

          1. Make sure to say "thank you" to your child for giving up a certain treat or waiting until later for a gluten snack
          2. Make time to take the non-celiac sibling out for a treat they have been wanting - for example, Georgia loves getting ice cream with a cone, so we may do that on our own.  When Jack is with us, she gets her ice cream in a cup.
          3. Explain the disease to your children and let them know that it's a hereditary disease, so they understand that anyone in the family can have celiac disease.
          4. Go grocery shopping together - find foods the whole family can enjoy.
          5. Lastly, stay positive when talking to your children about a gluten-free diet.  Encourage siblings to try gluten-free bread, etc. Because as they get older, most likely dinner time will be gluten-free for everyone!

          Georgia, thank you for being a wonderful big sissy to Jack.  You have been patient, understanding and supportive of your little brother on his gluten-free journey. And thank you for always offering a hand when it's time to bake gluten-free cupcakes!   Love Always, Your Momma

          July 2010                                             May 2013