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I’ve always loved to write and do research. However, now that I am a mom, I find myself researching and doing things I never thought I would! Since I was on maternity leave with Jonathan from 2009 – 2010, and making his baby food, I started researching childhood nutrition so I could give him the very best. This research has led our family to make a number of changes to our diet.

Since the New Year, we have been eating ‘flexitarian’ style, meaning we may or may not eat meat (but mostly not). We have considered becoming vegan, but we love our cheese and our yogurt. My son started drinking goat’s milk at 12 months of age and just recently switched to almond and soy milk. I was tired of buying such expensive milk and wanted us all drinking the same kind! I don’t usually discuss our milk drinking habits because people get really defensive about their cow’s milk and things have gotten confrontational.

The topic of milk will come up again I’m sure, but this post is about gluten.

For the first two-and-a-half weeks of August, Jonathan, who just turned three, was experiencing some pretty yucky virus-like symptoms. It was really strange, because the symptoms would come and go. However, the one constant symptom was his sore belly. It was very difficult to hear him say “Mommy, my belly hurts.” and not know what was making it hurt! He would barely eat anything and would say he ate too much after eating very little. We started to suspect dairy after he was sick after eating cheese a few times. That’s pretty much the only dairy he eats, so I thought that would do the trick, but it did not.

I took him to the family doctor after a week-and-a-half and she just gave me some tips on keeping him hydrated. She said it was a virus that would eventually go away on its own and gave me a requisition for blood work for three days later if the symptoms did not go away. I called Telehealth at one point and they were only interested in the last 24 hours and didn’t want to hear about the last two weeks of symptoms. I googled like crazy and really didn’t see how Jonathan’s symptoms fit into a virus.

When I went to see my naturopathic doctor, she mentioned gluten almost immediately. THANK YOU FOR NOT SAYING IT’S JUST A VIRUS! A food allergy made sense to me because of the sporadic nature of his symptoms.

Five days ago, Jonathan had blood work done as part of an allergy kit that will be tested against gluten, dairy and 96 different foods! Turns out I wasn’t too far off in suspecting dairy as a gluten allergy can cause lactose intolerance.  We are supposed to receive the results in three weeks, but after the blood test we started eating gluten free to see if it made a difference. It has!

Eating gluten-free doesn’t suck, but it isn’t great either. Gluten, most specifically wheat, is in EVERYTHING! We’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of Jonathan’s favourite foods including Goldfish, bagels and free cookies from Zehrs. I’m fairly new to cooking and complicated baking so I’m venturing into some unchartered territory by making my own gluten-free bread and bagels. I actually used my bread maker for the first time! We all loved the bread and bagels, but they are pretty light so Jonathan keeps wanting more and more (that is a good thing after his lack of appetite!). If I can figure how to do so, I will post the pictures of the bread and bagels straight from the oven!