Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Gluten Free Kid Of The Week: Lexi

Kristin Dustman was a close friend of my cousin's growing up but it wasn't until we both became mommas ourselves that we started to get to know one another.  Kristin and her family reside in Charlotte, North Carolina (which if you ask me-- is much too far from Denver).  Her sweet babies Lexi and Max both struggle with allergy issues just like my kiddos so I knew she would be on board to feature Lexi!  So excited to introduce to you:
Little Mountain Momma's
 Gluten Free Kid Of The Week
Alexis (Lexi), 4 years old in March
Describe Lexi in three words- Beautiful, Smart, Imaginative

How did you discover Lexi needed to go gluten free? Lexi had a severe allergic reaction to a tree nut at the beginning of this school year which left her skin itchy and extremely dry even after the swelling went away. Before this her skin was so clear and baby soft, she never had any skin issues. So we started pulling out different things in her diet and
noticed not only was eliminating the gluten helping her skin, but it was also night and
day with some different behavioral issues we were going through too.

We believe in a whole foods diet so we have known the deal with gluten for years now, but this gave us the motivation to be super strict with it in our family.
Since eliminating gluten completely all of us have seen improvements in our health!

What are the biggest challenges you find in having Lexi be gluten free? 
The biggest challenges are going out to eat (which gets easier when you know which places are safe to eat at) and birthday parties. Going out to eat both of our kids get grilled chicken and fruits/veggies. If we have a birthday party we are going to I will make Lexi her own
cupcakes or cookies to take with us. She is usually really good about it because she
doesn’t want her skin to itch!

Also, just the fact that when we go out with other people,
everyone else gets to eat the foods she used to love and she can’t anymore. It’s sad, but
she is usually really good about it.

How do you explain what “gluten free” means to Lexi?
We tell her that gluten is not good for our digestive systems and when we eat it, it has different effects on our bodies. Which for her is her skin and behavior. She has been so great about it, she doesn’t complain. She is always asking us if something she is going to eat (that she hasn’t had before) has gluten in it or if it’s gluten free.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would be willing to share
with other gluten free families? 

These Spaghetti  Squash Enchilada Boats are amazing and so easy to make!! Definitely one of our favorite dinners. You can find the recipe on the Detoxinista’s website.

Does your family have a favorite restaurant or bakery
that is gluten free or offers gluten free options?
We don’t eat out often, and if we do our kids usually just get grilled chicken .
We live in Charlotte, NC and I know we have them, especially uptown near the city
center. We need to try some!! One good bakery in Charlotte is the Polka Dot Bake Shop-- they serve lots of goodies and on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays they serve gluten free cupcake options with flavors of German Chocolate Cake, Banana's Foster, Raspberry Ganache...yum! Most of the time if I need bake goods, I make them. One of our favorite baking recipes to make is Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread!
Do you have any tips for parents who are embarking on a gluten free diet for their child/children?

STICK WITH IT!! And have patience. Shortly after we realized
how much gluten truly affected Lexi, someone told me it could take all of 6 MONTHS to completely get out of her system. That seemed overwhelming. But we just took it one day at a time. She didn’t eat a lot at first with the new diet, but now she is trying things she would have never tried before. I am so proud of her! Also, things can have hidden gluten in them
that you would never thing of, so be careful in the beginning and do some research. It
definitely takes some persistence and practice to get the hang of the new routine.

Do you have any favorite resources (websites, books, magazines etc...) that you can share to help another parent along this journey?

Embarrassingly enough, Google is my best friend! I follow some blogs on whole food diets/gluten free baking for new recipes and such. We also take our kids to a holistic doctor and chiropractor who is extremely helpful with all of our questions. Not to mention the adjustments themselves have helped tremendously too!!
Thanks for stopping by!  If you have any questions about Lexi's story or if you would like your child to be featured as a future Gluten Free Kid Of The Week please email!

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