Menu ideas for school lunches, quick dinners, and sports snacks
When my daughter was first diagnosed, it was very, very easy to get her to comply with the diet. She had been so ill. And she knew that she felt awful. And all we needed to say to her was, “That food will make your tummy hurt” or “That food will give you diarrhea.” Or “That food will make you feel bad.” And she wanted no part of it.
The oldest daughter didn’t want to be different. Didn’t want to feel different. Didn’t want to take food to social situations. Didn’t want me talking to the parents when there was a birthday party, doesn’t want me talking to the caterer when she goes to a bar mitzvah or a wedding; she doesn’t want any attention drawn to herself. It’s been very, very difficult for her to stay on the diet. She cheats. And doesn’t tell us. She’s ashamed. Feels weak when she cheats and I would say her primary motivation for cheating is the social embarrassment.
You don’t want to spend every party talking about Celiac Disease and why you brought your own food with you. So what do you do? Do you eat first so you’re not hungry at the party? Do you go and make a guess as to what might be safe? Do you carry your own food in with you disguised in some way? When she goes off the diet, her hair falls out. Her eyelashes fall out. Hair falls out on her arms and legs and hair falls out on her head. Unfortunately, going on the diet at age 9 was very difficult for her.
As opposed to my other two children going on the diet at a very early age, it’s just become a fact of life for them. When she cheats, eventually we notice the hair falling out. Unfortunately for her, every time she goes back on the diet it takes longer for the hair to recover. I believe that she has been gluten-free for the past six months – religiously gluten-free. And she has a patch on her head that is lingering that is – we are seeing re-growth, but it’s taking a long, long time. And I keep telling her, my fear is, that if you keep doing this to your body, your body will come to the point where it won’t recover.
In order to keep her on the diet, her father and I are willing to do almost anything. I drive food over to the school – for example last night she was at the school very late for play rehearsal, I heated up food, wrapped it up in dish towels, put it in an insulated bag, drove it over to the school and delivered it to her so she would not be hungry or be tempted to order pizza like the rest of the kids.