When this mother found out her son had severe celiac disease, she knew she had to make some changes to the family kitchen.
And because the rest of her family members could eat gluten, she didn’t want to cut it out from everyone else’s diet entirely.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects people whose bodies can’t process gluten. For the more serious cases, gluten causes damage to the body and can result in seizures, heart disease, diabetes, cancers (most commonly lymphoma), and more. In other words, it can be lethal, and the symptoms are painful.
For her son, his gluten allergy is so high that even a crumb has the potential to kill him.
So, understandably, this mom was determined to keep her son safe without asking her family to quit gluten. She got creative with labels, rules, and presumably a lot of 2-for-1 deal hunting at the grocery store.
Firstly, she had to up her cleaning game.
Now after cooking anything that may contain gluten she cleans the counter with Windex or Fantastic spray to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.
The whole house follows a strict rule not to share any utensils under any circumstances.
She has separate pasta strainers in two distinct styles so they aren’t confused.
You know how frustrating it is when a small piece of spaghetti noodle is trapped in one of the strainer holes? Well imagine that frustration paired with the fear of it causing you physical harm. It’s not worth the risk.
But it’s not just the strainers. The household has two separate toasters because bread is chock-full of gluten and it’s basically impossible to clean the inside of one. And as mentioned before, a simple crumb could be dangerous. So a crumb-filled toaster is a death trap.
The fridge is full of jars with labels on them.
The family always has 2 butters and two margarines on the go, because the risk of a knife leaving toast residue in a shared spread is too high.
There’s only one ketchup in the fridge but everyone needs to be careful about not letting it touch any bread products when squeezing out the sauce.
Even fine or powdery foodstuffs are a concern, so she pre-mixes dry ingredients that contain gluten and keeps them sealed in plastic bags in the freezer. But even with that precaution, she avoids cooking with wheat flour.
“I almost never bake with wheat flour. I find it’s just as easy to use white rice flour or corn starch. You get the same results and that way I don’t have to worry about the dust floating around the kitchen.”
And then there’s the pantry which is basically divided in two identical halves. One side contains gluten-free options that are safe for her son, and the other half is for everything else.
It’s incredible how much she changed their lifestyle and made it look so easy!
Her organized kitchen and rules surrounding food are setting a great example for other moms, and helping to prepare her celiac child with good habits to continue as he grows up and eventually lives on his own.
It’s definitely challenging, but this amazing mom has proved it’s not impossible!
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Source: Boston Children’s Hospital