After I announced that we were sending Coco to preschool, one of the most common responses that I got was concern about how I was going to manage her gluten-free eating habits. I was nervous about it as well.
We are fortunate. We’ve gotten her eczema under control. She still itches from time to time, but since we’ve gone basically gluten free we no longer have to worry about Coco waking up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain (yes, that was something that’s happened. for weeks. with a newborn baby at home to boot.) Although we’ve changed a bunch of other habits as well, so we can’t say exactly that the gluten was triggering her skin issues.
With that in mind we are a little more lenient about what she eats but we try to avoid the main culprits.
Her preschool is 3 hours long and includes a snack, to be determined by whichever parent is on snack duty for the day. We’ve changed our family’s eating habits, but we clearly can’t control the entire neighborhood. And that’s okay, as long as you have a plan in place.
We’re new to this whole allergy thing, so please, if you have any suggestions to add just leave a comment! All advice is welcome. This is just what we’re implementing now.
Talk to your child about what’s going on
Colette knows that there are certain foods that “make her itchy”. She knows that she doesn’t want to be uncomfortable and when given a choice, she will avoid those foods. She may not understand the nuances of what gluten is, but if someone were to offer her a cookie, cupcake or a piece of pizza she knows to decline.
Yes, she may be 3 (actually, she turned 4 on Tuesday!) but she’s intelligent enough to get what’s going on.
Provide information for faculty
I put a little card in Colette’s backpack talking about what gluten is. I didn’t want there to be any confusion for the faculty members.
I was so relieved when I got to her school today and went to explain to the teacher and she responded by telling me that SHE is gluten free as well, plus the sweet little blonde girl that Colette had already made friends with. I felt a million times better hearing that because I knew the class was already prepared and she wouldn’t feel left out.
Have a backup plan
This is the fun part, and I’m pretty excited to share this idea with you. I’m sending extra snacks along with Coco so that she always has a backup plan. I want to send her with several things in advance that they can keep at the school so we are never caught off guard.
They need to be perfect little snack sizes and individually wrapped so that they have a long shelf life, since we’ll never know when she made need them.
We found a subscription site, Graze, that offers exactly that. They send you a cute little box every week or biweekly with your picks in it. There’s over 90 nutritious options that anyone can enjoy.
From their page, “We pride ourselves on working with small suppliers who we feel give us unrivalled ingredients and products. We don’t compromise on quality and only work with suppliers who love food as much as we do.” How perfect is that?
**If you have a true allergy then know that everything is packaged in the same place, so it likely isn’t suitable for you. This is a great tool if you’re like us and simply trying to avoid certain things (see the warning in blue?)
Then, they sent you these cutie boxes:
Then you can make your packages even more customized by using their site to rate the products you get: you either “like it”, “love it” or “trash it”. Then they can make your boxes even better suited to your tastes!
Easy. And yummy. Here’s the bananas foster mix, a favorite in our house:
Want to try Graze yourself? Of course you do! Sign up here to get your First Box Free! Just use the code SUMMERBOX14.
Now talk to me. Leave a comment with your tips for getting through the school day!