GFCF is not cheap in anyway and there is not much variety. I’ve been excited to come across new foods that say gluten free, but alas they usually contain casein. I was going out of my mind trying to figure it all out. My son was such a picky eater and I mean picky. He had maybe 3 foods he would eat at the point that we started and I worried so much that he would just refuse everything and start to starve. But I knew what these foods were doing to him and I couldn’t let that go on anymore. I had to go back to basics. Fruits, veges, meats and snacks from scratch. Not easy and it takes so much patience to work through trying all these foods to find ones that your child will eat. It’s slow going and you will constantly be worrying if they are getting enough, if they will constantly refuse to eat anything but ‘restricted foods’.
It will get better and it does get easier. The worst and –I say this with all the love in the world- most annoying part of it all is the withdrawal. They may get angrier, stim more, cry more, self injury more and when you get down to the nitty gritty, they will hunt out ‘restricted foods’ like a crackhead looking for a fix. I am not kidding. My kid hounds me when I eat bread and goes for playdoh or any not so edible thing that has gluten or casein in it. I’ve heard of kids licking the newly polished floors because they can literally smell the gluten in the wax. I’ve heard so many stories of children eating things, you would not imagine had gluten or casein in it. You have to be on constant watch; daycare, school and just being at someone else’s house could inadvertently cause an ‘infraction’.
A really good tip if you are on your way. Approximately 6hrs after an infraction you will start to notice signs. This has helped me countless times when trying to figure out what food he was ‘reacting’ to, when I started to see him ‘react’ I counted back about 6hrs and would find out what he ate. I removed the food and no more ‘reactions’.
Now on to the good stuff. If everything goes accordingly –the diet works for your child, you have made sure to remove all ‘restricted foods’ –you may not see the same improvements if you are doing a slow diet- you will start to notice some or all of the following: Less/no – headbanging, self injurious behaviour and hitting, pinching, biting of others. Less – meltdowns, headaches, stimming, stomach pains and waking up in the middle of the night screaming/crying. More – eye contact, focus, speech, awareness, interaction and imaginative play.
Now remember, you could see results right away or they could take a few months. Gluten and Casein are in many, many things so it’s good to recheck what your child is eating when you are implementing this ‘diet’. Also Remember that it’s not just about gluten free, casein has the exact same effect. Good Luck.