Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gluten Free in the City

Being GFCF can feel super isolating...spending entire days dreaming about the elasticity of regular pizza dough, the taste and smell of fresh melted cheese, and dreaming of how I once ate sushi with soya sauce....I know you feel me on that one. I am so grateful that I was blissfully unaware of my intolerance as a child..I got to experience real unaltered deliciousness...though I seem to remember spending a lot of my childhood doubled-over repeating to myself "this too shall pass". Whether you are new to GFCF life, or a seasoned veteran, read on and maybe share some thoughts at the end to provide solidarity and knowledge to a growing community...

If you think it's hard being GFCF, try being the parent of a child that is GFCF... I am speaking anecdotally of course, but having a little one on a GF or GFCF diet can feel SUPER DUPER isolating in a world of donuts and ding dongs. 

Birthday parties are the cake, no cookies, no cupcakes...and no ice cream. Ok, there are alternatives...but common...try selling rice dream to a 4 year old. It is one thing to be old enough, like I am, to understand that if I eat gluten I will get sick and therefore I should avoid it...even then I admit, sometimes I indulge and feel the wrath later...but it is a total different story when you are kid. Just TRY reasoning with a 4 year old who REALLY REALLY wants that ice cream, cake, pizza, cookie, bread, cheese, milk, and so on and so on.

Then there are bagged lunches...Oh what in the world do you make a sandwich out of bread that has to be toasted to be edible?...I am all for a piping-hot toasted sandwich, but a -3 hours later- toasted sandwich...NO THANKS! Thinking up creative packed lunches takes effort, and a lot of ambition...they have to be healthy, delicious, and GFCF...AND they have to be good enough that the kid actually eats it (send 2 hard-boiled eggs and a bag of carrots and see what happens)...A full lunch bag at the end of the day is the WORST.

Working at MM, it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that allergies are a top issue in today's schools, summer camps, and day cares. We are scent-sensitive, because many of our kiddos are prone to sensory overload; we provide an allergen-sensitive environment, in which each child's allergies are thoroughly considered before materials are placed into each student's homeroom. At MM...we get it. We know about dextrose, semolina, and milk derivatives; we know about sulfites, mono sodium glutamate and caramel colour! TONS of us at MM happen to be on GF and, or GFCF diets, and we provide a Gluten and Casein Sensitive environment all year round, including in the summer for camp. 

If you are concerned about allergies and summer camp, give us a call! We are allergy-sensitive, down to our play dough :)

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