Gluten free while baby was in my belly. Gluten free while I was breastfeeding. So now that baby is ready for food, does that mean they need to be gluten free too? The questions never stop for any mother, but for us gluten free mommies we’re hyper-critical of our baby’s eating phases for so many good reasons.
Seeing as we ourselves live strictly gluten free lives, that certainly doesn’t change when baby comes into the picture. In fact it becomes even more important to avoid gluten like it’s a plague since the last thing you need while your pregnant is a violent glutening. So it only makes sense that since our babies aren’t ever exposed to gluten from conception on that they may themselves be gluten free when the time comes for food. Trust me, this question was top of my list while I was pregnant.
Sure there’s a million genetic reasons why our babies are what they are. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that a genetic lottery alone would determine my baby’s food future. That my dietary restrictions would have no conceivable effects on my unborn baby’s future with food. After all, she was eating and not eating everything I was, it was a travesty. Both of my little girls missed out on gluten filled donuts, bagels, hoagies, and pizzas galore while they were in utero and beyond, fun for them huh? Don’t worry, both of them were born a healthy 8 lb and change, early to boot, so this gluten free diet does something for baby’s growth, like miracle grow. But I nevertheless couldn’t help but wonder if they ever would taste the delicious Italian flavors I grew up with.
Truth is, since very few of us are able to see the future and know exactly what our children’s lives will look like, those questions are still questions. And the best part, even if they eat gluten from their first bite of cereal there’s no telling if one day they’re story will be just like mommy’s. After all, I woke up to a total body change, that took years to diagnose yes, but a drastic change that made a whole grocery store off limits. Prayers that that future they escape. But all I can tell you is what they’re life with food looks like so far.
My toddler is living a half and half life, filled with gluteny snacks, pastas, and breads, and plenty of gluten free meals too, not out of necessity but merely by convenience. For my safety we limit how much gluten cooking and baking touches our kitchen, not to mention cooking and baking twos of everything is exhausting. As a gluten free mommy to a non-gluten free little girl I’m trying to introduce her to both worlds. She tastes flavors from mine and gobbles up parts of her daddy’s, getting the best from both. And even though food seems to be worry free for her now, I’m on heightened alert at all times. I watch her every bite like a hawk and am ready at any point if we need to make a change.
For my baby girl, well she’s just starting out. We started her just like her sister, under doctor’s advice, to slowly introduce new foods, giving two to three days between newbies to watch for reactions. And so far, oatmeal, puffs, fruits, and veggies, gluten and gluten free, all seem to be safe. She’s loving it all, except oddly not the fruity flavored oatmeal which I thought would be a huge hit but instead I get that adorable stink face and shutter with disgust. And just like her big sissy, we’ll be keeping her under a microscope too. Her first birthday cake, first solid food dinner, and first Disney snack will all be free of gluten for now!
Truth is when it comes to our girls we don’t have all of the answers. Actually not even half of the answers. I’ve interrogated the doctors at every appointment about their food habits and each time I’m reminded how well they’ve taken each food so far. Nobody has the answers of what will come but we just take it slow and steady. So maybe their future will be different than mine? Who knows, but I’m here, they’re built in gluten free guide, just in case they need to join mommy on my lonely gluten free boat.