I know many of you are on this gluten (or other allergen) free journey because of your children. If not, they are probably being brought along for the ride as you eat gluten free. I wanted to give y’all some personal context today with our kids and how their food allergies are shaping what we eat. Families with food allergies are certainly an adventure and we are here to help make it better.
As I’ve mentioned before, we primarily eat gluten free first off because of me. I have to eat gluten free, and I’ve had several other foods allergies that have come and gone through the years. I have been allergic to dairy, nightshades and rice.
Does it Transfer to the kids?
Many food allergies are not genetic, thankfully. Unforunately, my sensitivity to gluten is one that is genetic. There are 2 genetic markers for gluten sensitivity and I have both of them. My wife and I knew, therefore, that our kids would each end up with one marker so they would always have a risk of them of having to avoid gluten.
Both of our older girls started having GI issues about a year ago. After trying a few other things to see what it might be, we had some food allergy testing done for our middle girl who was the worst. She did come back with intolerances for gluten and diary, so we went ahead and took both girls off of these.
After that, they were still having a few issues, though less frequent and seemingly after eating “gluten free” processed products. Their GI issues would randomly flare up and, while we suspected rice, it was always a bit hard to tell. We took her back to the doctor, and low and behold, she does a strong sensitivity to rice, even worse than dairy. She also came back as having sensitivity to potatoes, though fairly mild. Thankfully other nightshades do not appear to be an issue.
How does that affect everything else?
Having a rice allergy does make things a bit more challenging for us. We do not typically eat a ton of premade foods, but for trips to the zoo, vacation, etc, it is really nice to be able to give them GF pretzels, sandwich bread, or other premade snacks. It’s also nice for friends to be able to grab a gluten free mix or bread at the store when they want to get something for our girls. Sadly, the majority of these are no longer an option.
I was going to start doing more “regular” GF recipe testing for the blog, but, alas, many of those recipes are heavily reliant upon rice flour. That does not mean I won’t be posting recipes, just that they will probably be more grain free focused. Thankfully, the market has adapted more since I was avoiding more foods, and there are more rice free options today than ever.
Is this forever?
Lord willing, these allergies will not be with our kids forever. We hope and pray they will mature out of them as I did with some of mine. Some of my went away after a couple years even as I was in my 20s. Certainly they will always retain at least one of the genetic markers for gluten sensitivity, but gluten free is much easier than gluten, dairy, AND rice free. I personally know the challenge of having to avoid rice, and dairy and nightshades. If it does continue, there are still many options and we will help shepherd them through knowing how to eat well and carefully as well as look into possible treatments.
If your kids have food allergies, don’t lose hope. It is very normal to grow out of allergies as kids get older. Even if they don’t, perhaps that will cause them to create the next big gluten free or dairy or whatever free product that will take the world by storm! Praise God we have such a huge food variety available to us and new things that become available every day! Be thankful for the fun times we can have with our loved ones, eating whatever they can eat. Most importantly, don’t let the stress of it overcome your life.
Make it a tasty day,