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GFCF in a family with teenagers, vegetarians, stepkids who stay part-time, and a VERY tight budget

(5 Posts)
redhappy Fri 14-Jan-11 10:38:38

Would love to hear other's experiences of trying this diet, whatever your family setup.

I have considered it a few times, and I just see how it would work in our family.

I'm also curious to know if anyone has tried it and noticed no positive effects?

I was talking to a school mum yesterday who casually said 'you should give him that special diet' as if I was really stupid and neglectful for not doing it, and it would solve all ds' problems.

I just can't see ow it would work? It wouldn't work to just feed ds separate food, he would want to have what everyone else is having. Dp is almost entirely vegetarian, so we rarely eat meat because it would mean cooking separate meals. Then add in the 2 teenage stepsons, one of them very fussy to start with. We drink soya milk and they refuse that so we need to get cows milk for them. If just milk causes this much hassle I can't imagine if I changed everything we ate!

Last issue is of course how on earth I could afford it! £50 a week is the absolute max I can spend on food.

silverfrog Fri 14-Jan-11 11:25:44

what meals do you normally cook for your family?

I managed it without a huge amount of hassle, tbh - it does take a lot of getting your head around it, and it means that most shop bought convenience foods are not available.

bt for eg, before dd1 went gf/cf she would eat (typically):

cheesey pasta
spag bol

the only one out of those she still can't have at all is cheesey pasta (substitute cheese is minging!)

she now has spag bol with rice instead of pasta, but originally we did subsitute a gf pasta.

the curry I have had to use a different sauce.

risotto I can no longer use butter, so use oil instead, or spread.

bread is a tricky one, as that is expensive.

the biggest difference (potentially) is that oyu will have to cook everything form scratch, but there are a lot of foods that are still available

tallwivglasses Fri 14-Jan-11 11:26:56

You have my sympathy. At one point I was feeding a veggie (me), a picky teenager, DS (GFCF), a carnivore and a mum who didn't want 'any of that foreign muck'! Admittedly our budget was a little higher.

I would suggest that for your ds you start with just GF, because if you do see an improvement you won't know what's causing it. You can get basics (gf pasta, bread, flour, etc) from your GP.

We have a lot of veggie curries, pasta dishes (boil 2 types of pasta), shepherds pie, soups, home-made pizza (2 types of base), etc. If the boys want meat, eg bolognese we just do a basic sauce, tip half of it into another pan and add the meat. Omelettes are good too.

You can get gf fishfingers/sausages, etc but they're really expensive. Try your own goujons? (GF breadcrumbs are not bad!).

Puddings are harder - we eat a lot of fruit. Generally everyone's diet improved once ds went gf. Treats like biscuits and cakes I'm rubbish at so I do buy a few gf items - but it is possible to make them.

Watch out for cross-contamination - use seperate utensils, don't put gf bread in the toaster, etc. Thankfully we all muck in with the cooking and washing up!

We did notice an improvement in ds's behaviour - less aggression, more able to concentrate, by it was by no means a miracle cure, so parents trying to make you feel guilty can fuck off.

We started off gf/cf but after a few years gradually introduced cf. I think this has increased ds' prone-ness (?) to constipation but that can be dealt with fairly easily (hoorah for chocolate flavoured movicol) and his diet is so much more varied now.

It sounds a bit daunting but it's become such a habit now, I can't imagine doing things any other way. Good luck!

pinkorkid Fri 14-Jan-11 17:36:58

Just a thought - have you applied for dla for your ds? You don't mention his issues but I'm guessing asd or adhd. You would likely have to show that testing had shown he had an intolerance to gluten and cassein. Having to adapt his diet would certainly count as "extra help at several intervals during the day" so in itself would possibly qualify for lower or middle rate care. Sorry if you already claim this and is already figured into your budget.

redhappy Fri 14-Jan-11 18:20:57

Thanks. No we don't claim. He has not been diagnosed yet, but we think asd.

I filled the forms for dla, once I got to the end I realised everything on it was lies! Ds has come so far, that the problems I'd written on it no longer apply. We have other issues, but none that qualify us for dla.

That is a good point about diet though, I will look into getting him tested.

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