My 14-year-old son has been experiencing some gastrointestinal issues, so we have been advised to try eliminating gluten and dairy from his diet for several weeks. This is a daunting experiment, especially during the holiday season. We were advised that it is particularly helpful when the whole family tries this at the same time to make it easier on our son. He’s willing to try anything to see if it helps him feel better, but my 9-year-old daughter is a picky eater. This means we have several things to consider:
- How to avoid a sense of “deprivation” to a family that loves cheese (and gluten, but the dairy-free part will be the trickiest, I think)
- How to make our teenager’s lunch appealing enough that he doesn’t “cheat” by getting non-GF/DF food from his friends’ lunches
- How to appease the palate of a child who is not very adventurous about food
- How to track our son’s symptoms to see if this effort is worth continuing
- How to make this manageable, given our busy schedule
Enter my Filofax. It will take a fair amount of planning to launch this special diet, and my Malden is the perfect home for all of it. I set up my work space with everything I need.
I’d like to keep an informal overview of my son’s treatment and tests so that I have the dates and notes to help refresh my memory when I speak with different doctors (below).
To help with the transition, I’ve been scouring the Internet for sites that post gluten- and dairy-free recipes our family will enjoy. I’m sure I’ve missed several, but I will keep this Post-it pasted on the back of the divider for his health section so that it’s the first thing I see. It can easily be changed or updated.
My other research — something I’m just starting — is a list of foods that don’t have hidden dairy or gluten in the ingredients. Thank goodness for the Internet, because many groups and bloggers have posted which brands/foods are “safe” for people with food sensitivities. They all caution that manufacturers can change ingredients without warning, so I know I’ll have to keep looking at labels, but this should help me generate my grocery list. I like the idea of keeping this in a binder, because I’m sure we’ll discover new items to add, as well as which items to remove if they are flops.
I plan to keep a food diary when we start next week. We’ll use this to track what my son eats and how he feels.
I’m starting to compile a short list of meal ideas so that when I do my weekly overview on Sunday, I’ll be able to plan our meals. I’ll use the page to track which ones are worth cooking again and which ones are flops. It’s clear not all GF/DF meals are created equal.
Tonight I plan to show my son and daughter lists of fruits and vegetables so that they can name which ones they would like to eat more often. I have a sense of their likes and dislikes, but this diet will be much heavier in fresh fruits and veggies. It will help to make a list for my Filofax so that our meals are as varied as possible. I know we’ll be cooking a lot more “from scratch,” so I don’t want to expend too much energy staring at a blank grocery list.
My A5 Malden is a great place to plan a major diet change. I’m not sure if this will make a noticeable difference for my son’s health, but it will certainly be easier because I have organized key resources to support our efforts.