The Summer Slide – When Managing Celiac, CSID, and Allergies Goes Awry

With resources running low in recent months, it’s been difficult to feed my family the ideal diet. Summertime makes it all that much harder with teens coming and going and making their own choices regarding what to eat and drink when they are not home.

One thing that has made it difficult to keep taboo foods out of the house is that my oldest son, Dawson, is scheduled for a small bowel biopsy next week, and has doctor’s orders to eat gluten every day in order to confirm his Celiac diagnosis.

On the other hand, Parker (my youngest son and the reason I started this blog in the first place) had repeated food allergy tests done at the start of summer and is no longer “allergic” to wheat, eggs, or milk. Of course at 12 years old, he took that as a green light to eat all the wheat and milk he wants. When his GI Dr. said he didn’t see a problem with it due to the fact Parker has gained 10 pounds in the last year, I didn’t have a lot of ground to stand on to insist on continuing his modified diet.

So, this summer I’ve allowed our family to consume many of the foods I’d normally avoid and never allow in my home.

For those that don’t live with food allergies or sensitivities, this may seem like a blessing. But when as a whole, I begin to see signs and symptoms that may indicate distress among myself and my kids, I know it’s due to the over-consumption of processed foods.

Parker’s eczema has returned and although I’d hoped he’d be rash free on his first day of 7th grade, we haven’t been able to rid him of a few patches. Now, granted, he’s been swimming a lot and spending time outside in public areas with tons of grass, trees, and dogs around (all of which he is still allergic to). But he’s also been eating a lot of refined carbohydrates and drinking beverages with high-fructose corn syrup.

I could avoid sharing these details with the world, but the struggle is real. It’s not easy sticking to the ideal diet of select carbohydrates, clean meats, and plenty of fresh vegetables. Especially when my older teenage boys both end up with their first jobs at fast-food restaurants!

Back-to-School Means Back to Healthy!

So what is a mom to do? First, getting my husband to support the transition back to a Paleo-based diet at home is crucial. Since he experienced feeling better on a gluten-free diet last winter, this shouldn’t be too hard.

Second, between my own gluten sensitivity and our oldest son most likely having Celiac, we really need to remove gluten from the house to avoid cross-contamination.

This only leaves our middle son a “victim” due to his ability to eat anything. Yet, I believe he will also feel better, have more control over his hyperactive personality and do better in school.

However, to avoid burn out on my part, this is going to be a transition. School starts tomorrow so my plan is for the month of September, to focus on breakfast and dinner at home and allow the two boys without Celiac to eat school lunches. As fall approaches, I will assess the results and go from there.

Time to dust off my Paleo cook books and make a meal plan for the week.

Questions for you …

How hard is it for you to stick with a strict diet for yourself or your child(children) with dietary restrictions?

Do you find the medical community in support of extreme diet adjustments or are they indifferent to anything not backed by extensive research?

If you have a larger family or teens, I’d love to know of the ways you’ve been successful in feeding your family and encouraging healthy choices when not at home.

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