Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Plan

Corban's situation with gluten can be compared to a person with a severe peanut allergy. I have heard of people who are so allergic to peanuts that simply being on an airplane where they are served as snacks can cause them to go into anaphylactic shock and die.  While exposure to gluten will not cause Corban's airways to swell and prevent him from breathing, it is just as dangerous and deadly to his system. Consuming gluten actually causes Corban's body to turn on itself, specifically, the villi in his small intestine. The job of villi is to help your body absorb nutrients from the food you eat.  So, when his body attacks its own villi, it prevents them from extracting nutrients from his food. This has been the cause of his vomiting after meals, severe pain, and lack of weight gain that has lead to his being diagnosed with failure to thrive. 

So, it is very important for Nathan and I to understand what we are looking for and looking out for when we are shopping for food.  Foods that don't contain gluten but are processed in factories which also process food containing gluten can devastate our sweet boy's body. This means that food has to be certified gluten free, if it's not certified, this mama isn't buying it.

In the future, I believe creating gf meals for Corban will be easier when I can use raw ingredients to make healthy, home-made meals (as I do for Nathan and I every day).  But right now, Corban's picky taste buds only accept overly-processed, sugary foods.  Until Feeding Therapy helps him expand his palate, he is still only eating yogurt, anything chocolate, and drinking his meal replacement shakes.  Thankfully, his shakes are gluten-free. I had a minor panic attack when I considered that his main source of nutrients may not be allowed with his new diet.  Thank goodness they are!

I have decided to go back to offering certain new foods every day for him to try.  I want to offer him buttered toast every morning at breakfast. I know he will flat out reject it at first, but I am hoping that as he sees it every morning, eventually he will try it out of curiosity. This worked with a few different types of cereals before we found out about his celiac disease.  We purchased 3 different types of gf breads at Costco and I plan to offer once slice every day. (In order to keep the gf toast safe for him, I need to purchase a second toaster just for Corban's bread. This will prevent cross-contamination from our evil bread riddled with gluten.)

Also, I want him to start eating vegetables again.  So, I will start with offering him green beans at every dinner.  Just a small dish on the side. I know he will scoot it away, and may even gag at the site of the beans at first. But again, I am hoping that eventually his curiosity will get the better of him.

Currently the only fruit Corban will eat are bananas. And he will only eat them about 50% of the time they are offered.  He is very curious about apples, but thus far his fear of new foods has kept him from actually biting into one. So, at lunch I will offer him apple slices.  I think he will take this bait before any of the others.

I hope these simple actions, as well as engaging Corban in Feeding therapy, will open up a new world of food for him.  I just want to get him to the point where he can eat what we are eating, like any normal 2 year old. 

For now, here are the foods Corban was eating that he no longer can because they contain gluten:

Pepperdige Farm Goldfish Crackers
Baby Oatmeal
Nestle Quick
Some flavors of Gogurt
Everything chocolate

I'd like to find a substitution for his goldfish crackers, but have so far been unsuccessful.  He asks for them several times a day and Nathan and I just say, They are all gone, buddy. Poor kiddo, he loved those things! There are plenty of chocolate substitutes on the market, not that he needs them; and there are quite a few gf hot cereals as well.  Gogurt offers gf flavors. As far as the Quick goes, I could just purchase Hershey's syrup, or I could use this as an excuse to...wait for it...just give him plain old milk.

As we work to convert our home into a gf zone I will post the products I purchase and give you my reviews. It will be a while before I give you Corban's reviews, I have to get the little guy to try the stuff first!

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