The Half Gluten Free Family

14 07 2010

I would love some feedback from any gluten free blog readers out there with a problem I have been having with the family.  My son and I are gluten free.  Both my necessity, neither by choice.  My son went gluten free this year and has done great at not eating anything he isn’t sure about, letting others know he is on a gluten free diet and for the most part not complaining about being gluten free.

My husband and daughter aren’t gluten free.  They both have a huge aversion to the taste of gluten free items and aren’t afraid to share their feeling about the gluten free yucky foods.  On the one hand life would be much, much easier if everyone in the house was gluten free.  We have separate pans, bowls and even quesadea makers.   It is a huge pain.  On the other hand it’s so much more expensive to buy gluten free things and lets face it, things do taste different – and not always good different.  If  I didn’t have to eat the funky stuff, I don’t think I would want to.

Here is the issue, my son – who is a great sport about the gluten free life gets upset when my daughter gets yummy treats like farmer’s market fresh doughnuts, that he can’t eat.  My daughter loves to bake goodies, most of which we can’t eat.  Fine with me – goodies in the house is just extra temptation in my mind, but in the mind of an 8 year old it’s just torture.

Moving along to my daughter.  Any time I insist on making the whole family eat gluten free (like when I make pasta) she gets upset and pouts.  Her favorite restaurant is one that has nothing my son and I can eat.  She gets upset that she never gets to go to her favorite restaurant and in her 11 year old mind can’t understand how crappy it feels for my son and I to sit and watch everyone else eat yummy food that is off limits for us.

I’m just plain worn out from trying to make both sides happy.  Help!

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6 responses

14 07 2010
megankillian

Do you think your daughter is trying to make her diet “special” by NOT having gluten-free stuff? It’s hard to find the right way to talk about food with young ones, especially girls of that age. but maybe she is feeling left out because you and your son have “special attention” when you go out to eat. Just a thought that popped in my head-

14 07 2010
Jessi

This is a really great post. Although we didn’t have the “gluten-free” issue like yours, we did have similar situations with different issues. My mom always sat us down for family meetings to come up with compromises. Although reaching the middle ground was ultimately important for peace in the house, I think it was more paramount to have a safe environment where people could share their feelings. Really listening (no “…yeah, but”) leads to better understanding of someone else. THAT is where the real learnings happened.

14 07 2010
kate

Could P cook for himself and Anna and you just cook for you and Eli? or paul and anna go out to dinner by themselves from time to time to celebrate gluten foods. seems to me by making it a special date it might make up for her feeling “put out” on a regular basis.

14 07 2010
David, Kinnikinnick Foods

Love your post! I work with Kinnikinnick Foods and our gluten-free donuts would be right up your kids ally! They are very tasty, come in dipped chocolate, cinnamon sugar, maple glazed and vanilla glazed – flavors I think both your son and daughter would enjoy! Keep us posted:)

15 07 2010
Kendra

Oh that sounds really tough. I like Kate’s idea. It’s just my husband and me and he eats GF by choice (and he’s the cook). I don’t cope well when I have to see other people eating my favorite old treats, so I can’t even imagine how tough it must be for your son. Maybe your husband and your daughter could eat gluten out at her fave restaurant sometime, and you and your son could go to a gf-friendly restaurant the same night? At the risk of picking sides, I think your daughter maybe doesn’t understand how hard it is for her brother. Good luck!

15 07 2010
Gluten Free Beer

I feel your pain! Anyone who is not gluten free does not understand the anguish we go through day to day. I was not diagnosed with gluten intolerance until 2 years ago and it has been a daily struggle since. I am a single guy in my late 20s and am not married with any children so I don’t typically get teased by gluten rich foods. What your ‘other’ half of your family needs to understand is how difficult this life changing diet really is. I am actually shocked at the selfishness. My family and friends have been absolutely great about my condition, however I don’t live with them every day. I was really depressed when I was first diagnosed and still have my ups and downs. Family members should jump through hoops to help you out. There are plenty of gluten free recipes out there. More and more every day. I would say, if you cook the meals, they eat what you cook. If they don’t like it, they can cook their own meals.

Sorry to be a little contrite. I feel your pain!

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