Gluten Free or NOT Gluten Free….That is the question!
We put Lovebug on a Gluten Free diet a few months ago. At first I thought I was seeing some changes, but the more we progressed I’m not so sure anymore. I think we were just in a “season” of hers. See, ever since she’s been very young, Hubby and I have noticed that she has cycles. 6 months on, 6 months off. She tends to have half the year that is easier for her, and then the other half is more…well…challenging. Physical changes I’m sure play a big part in it as she’s growing. It seems that she is often learning a new skill or going through a change and it all plays a part. So, sometimes I find myself thinking we are in a really challenging time with her and trying to figure out what’s wrong and what we should do. Other times I’m thinking “Wow, this is easy sailing…is this the same child?”. All to realize we’re on one side of the 6 month cycle.
So, a couple weeks ago, I stopped avoiding the gluten. Just to see how it goes. I let her have pizza. Regular bread. A sausage roll. I haven’t seen any negative effects yet.
I know some will argue that I should give it a whole year ON the diet to really see any changes. But the truth is, I don’t wanna. I’m just not sure that she needs it. I don’t know that it would cause a noticeable improvement. I’m not sure that her struggles are “bad” enough to warrant the effort required for a GF diet. It’s also VERY expensive and has put a serious dent in our grocery budget. I’m frugal, so this is painful.
Now, of course I would do ANYTHING for her if I thought it would help. I would spend whatever I had to in order to help her health. But if there is a cheaper option that works just as well, I’ll choose that first. We already avoid HFCS, artificial colorings, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and we eat mostly organic. I KNOW those things have made a WORLD of difference! I wouldn’t go back on these things, ever! I just don’t know that we have that much more room for improvement.
It’s also REALLY hard on her emotionally to be GF. We already avoid so many things, that to add to that list was hard for her to take. Sure, she got excited when she saw so many things in the store labeled gluten free. She has also, many times, cried in the grocery store when I had to tell her she couldn’t have an old favorite food because it wasn’t gluten free.
It would be one thing if it made her noticeably sick or in pain. But she doesn’t have Celiac Disease. She knows that artificial coloring alters her behavior and her ability to focus, so she has no problem avoiding that. But she also knows that she feels no different ON gluten or OFF gluten. So that makes it harder to enforce or explain.
I’m still a huge fan of all-natural and organic eating as well as finding healthy, fun, kid-friendly foods, so I’ll continue to do that and pass on gluten free recipes that I find. I have so many friends that are gluten free that it’s definitely an interest of mine. And who knows….we might go back to it. But first, I’d have to find a way to make more things from scratch because I just can’t handle the price of pre-made, gluten free bread/pizza/muffin/cupcake products!
That said, I think that I’ll be careful not to overdose on gluten, if there is such a thing. But I’m also not going to avoid it. We might revisit this at a later time, but for now we’re off the wagon.