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MARISSAAMES's Photo MARISSAAMES Posts: 318
9/24/07 7:41 P

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Sorry, I'm a little late joining the conversation.

When we put our autistic son on his GF diet, our biggest challenge was the school lunch. He started the diet on summer break. On his first day of third grade, I took sturdy bags and packed two fully-functional lunches, stapled them closed, and put tags on them: "Emergency Lunch for (name.) Do NOT allow to eat any unauthorized food or share food with other children. Once you have used this lunch, please call (name and number) for a replacement lunch." I also gave the teacher a sack of emergency GF snacks with a similar note. We told the teacher how it was to his benefit to watch our son and what he ate. GF = a normal student. Off the wagon = an erratic, angry, violent, autistic kid who can't pay attention.

The teacher gave us his full support, but the second day of school, our son went through the lunch line, where nobody knew of his needs. He knew he couldn't have the corn dogs, but he got a roll and ate it. That afternoon, he hit a kid and stormed out of class. So the teacher saw exactly what was in it for him.

The next day, we typed out notes that told how Joe was on a GF diet and was, under no circumstances, to be given unauthorized food. The note had my number to call in case of special occasions like class parties, so I could make him some safe treats. We met with the lunch ladies, the dietician, and the principal who, luckily, has a celiac best friend. The dietician got all paranoid and said, "We're not set up to handle those kinds of needs!" We explained that all we need the school to do is make sure our son ONLY eats the food we give him.

As far as eating out: we rarely do it. A week after he went on the diet, we were in a small town and scoured Main Street for a restaurant where he could eat. The waitress got really impatient with me: the pork chops but no gravy, with vegetables but nothing on them... Does the soup have any kind of noodles or a gravy base? My son ended up having a good meal, but it took work. In our home town, which is bigger, we have a few choices: Thai food, or P.F. Chang's, or a local health-food restaurant that tries to keep GF selections on special. But for the most part, I try to recreate everything GF in my kitchen. It works great, because I really love to cook. But it definitely takes extra time. A very decent sacrifice.

So what have you learned today? Nothing? Well, you better get going, before it turns into tomorrow and you've wasted your chance.


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MARTHAJOY's Photo MARTHAJOY Posts: 913
9/20/07 1:21 P

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ANY fish at Legal Seafoods is WONDERFUL, though expensive. We go there for special occasions only.
Applebees is not my favorite place. I often wind up with a large salad (safe) and some sort of protein...
As I remember, both have safe ice creams too when I am eating that high calorie poison..

 
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DOTSLADY's Photo DOTSLADY Posts: 10,018
9/20/07 7:30 A

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What's your favorite menu item at these places Marthajoy?

KNOWLEDGE = POWER. BODY = TEMPLE. FOOD = MEDICINE. PREVENTION IS THE CURE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB!
One person's food is another person's poison.
__________
Celiac Disease: An autoimmune reaction from eating gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats=nutrient deficiency=cancer. Have 1 of 300 symptoms? bit.ly/cdsymptoms
CD stories: bit.ly/cdstories
Nutrition/Cancer: bit.ly/Quillinnutrition


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MARTHAJOY's Photo MARTHAJOY Posts: 913
9/20/07 1:28 A

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I have decided that I prefer eating at home unless the restaurant has a gluten-free menu like LEGAL SEAFOODS or APPLEBEES do here.
Not willing to take those chances any more!
I know my food at home is SAFE!
At least, that's the way I feel right now.

 
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MOONUNIT999's Photo MOONUNIT999 SparkPoints: (11,441)
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9/18/07 1:24 P

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Oh, I hope you're feeling better soon! I recently ordered a sandwich with no bread at a restaurant and it came out with bread. I pulled out the "allergies" word and told them I needed them to make me a platter with NO bread anywhere near it, please.

He came back out and the meat was covered in bread crumbs! I asked him did they just pull the bread off and put the meat back on the plate, because I would get very sick. He looked all sheepish and smiled and shrugged, and they went back and made me a proper plate.

UGH!

That's so great about the cafeteria serving healthy gluten-free options. Maybe there's hope. :)

It works if you do it. It doesn't if you don't. It's that simple.


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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,124)
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9/17/07 11:53 A

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MARTHAJOY
I hope youíre feeling better. As for eating out, it seems that much of the staff at restaurants do not understand how we suffer when they are careless. But we much also speak up. It is a hassle to keep asking questions and getting assurances only to have the meal not work out. But, if itíd a place you want to eat at in the future, why not have a talk with the owner or manager? Tell them what happened and ask if them want to work with you.

I now tell the wait staff, when I visit a restaurant, that I have food allergies so Iím gong to ask them a lot of questions about the food and food preparation. If they canít answer them, then Iíll need to talk to the cook.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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MARTHAJOY's Photo MARTHAJOY Posts: 913
9/15/07 10:55 P

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We ate fish in the restaurant and they assured me that although it was usually served breaded they would be sure it wasn't breaded. and that the salad wouldn't have any bread pieces on it. at the bottom of the salad were some little bread pieces hiding. I was UPSET. Didn't say anything...
Fish was good, but...anyway, I was sick, throwing up and spending lots of time on the toilet. We won't go back there any more.

 
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DOTSLADY's Photo DOTSLADY Posts: 10,018
9/14/07 10:54 A

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No apologies ever needed! emoticon

Martha - what in the world? What do you think they did? I hope you feel better sooner than later. That's discouraging.

KNOWLEDGE = POWER. BODY = TEMPLE. FOOD = MEDICINE. PREVENTION IS THE CURE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB!
One person's food is another person's poison.
__________
Celiac Disease: An autoimmune reaction from eating gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats=nutrient deficiency=cancer. Have 1 of 300 symptoms? bit.ly/cdsymptoms
CD stories: bit.ly/cdstories
Nutrition/Cancer: bit.ly/Quillinnutrition


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RED_DUST_BUNNY's Photo RED_DUST_BUNNY Posts: 13
9/14/07 1:29 A

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Sorry, Dot. I should have put a silly face after my explanation of the pineapple/potato thing. I know it sounds like a really wierd combination, but the kids seem to like it emoticon

Oh, how frustrating for you, Martha. I hope it clears out soon. Rest up :)

 
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MARTHAJOY's Photo MARTHAJOY Posts: 913
9/13/07 11:15 P

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Lucky are your kids to have such fine advocates and lunch ladies who listen! I wish the restaurants we visit would accomodate ME as well. I was assured that everything in my meal tonight was gluten free and it wasn't, so I am sick and exhausted and angry! Never going back there again! People there were so lovely and I BELIEVED them....Wonder how long this will take to clear out!

 
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DOTSLADY's Photo DOTSLADY Posts: 10,018
9/13/07 11:02 A

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yeah, okay I get the pineapple thing.

Yikes, I forgot you were an Aussie. my bad.

I know someone with Tourette's (as do both her boys) and she just tells people they have allergies too. She says it's easier. How are people going to learn if we don't educate them?!

Keep up the good work - and I hope your note gets mention in the newsletter - good awareness campaign!

KNOWLEDGE = POWER. BODY = TEMPLE. FOOD = MEDICINE. PREVENTION IS THE CURE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB!
One person's food is another person's poison.
__________
Celiac Disease: An autoimmune reaction from eating gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats=nutrient deficiency=cancer. Have 1 of 300 symptoms? bit.ly/cdsymptoms
CD stories: bit.ly/cdstories
Nutrition/Cancer: bit.ly/Quillinnutrition


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RED_DUST_BUNNY's Photo RED_DUST_BUNNY Posts: 13
9/13/07 10:25 A

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Lol... Great minds, Dot.
Work with me here... Pineapple, ham cheese.... It's like a hawiian pizza.... in a potato.
Was actually thinking, if it were suitably complimentary, a letter to the canteen ladies might land a mention in the "Newsletter'!! It's funny, here in Australia, you say allergy and people say "Ahhh" meaningfully (I think that, by nature, we are really a bunch of hippies). You say celiac, and you get "WTF?" Have been one step short of stapling it on my forehead lately!

 
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DOTSLADY's Photo DOTSLADY Posts: 10,018
9/13/07 10:15 A

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Dot. Dots. Dotslady. It's all me :0).


...and pineapple on a spud is very creative; I never would have thought of that one. If you wrote "gluten free" to our lunch ladies, they probably wouldn't know what it meant... but if us celiacs speak up they'll start to get it!

What a great idea to send a note of appreciation to the canteen ladies for taking care of your son! It's akin to a very nice "tip!" (send it to the principal with a copy to them?)
emoticon

KNOWLEDGE = POWER. BODY = TEMPLE. FOOD = MEDICINE. PREVENTION IS THE CURE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB!
One person's food is another person's poison.
__________
Celiac Disease: An autoimmune reaction from eating gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats=nutrient deficiency=cancer. Have 1 of 300 symptoms? bit.ly/cdsymptoms
CD stories: bit.ly/cdstories
Nutrition/Cancer: bit.ly/Quillinnutrition


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RED_DUST_BUNNY's Photo RED_DUST_BUNNY Posts: 13
9/13/07 10:08 A

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Thank you, Dot. (I hope you don't mind the abbreviation?) We are lucky here. Our canteen has been recognised within the state for having healty choices. I have heard of guilty parents picking up take away and dropping off to their kids?!?! I love that my boys get to select from home cooked foods that are prepared by people who are sensitive to intolerances and allergies. The typical daily menus follow the lines of "stuffed spuds" (with ham, cheese, pineapple, baked beans etc) steamed veg, salad, boiled egg, corn cob, curry and rice, lasagne (packed with veg) etc. I love the fact that I can add a little line on the bottom saying, 'Gluten free please' and they will make sure it happens! I remember to my school days where a healthy lunch included a crumbed sausage, cheese and a bun!! Now that you mention it, I think I really ought to write a little thankyou to the canteen ladies, and all the hard work (and nutrition research) that they do!

 
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DOTSLADY's Photo DOTSLADY Posts: 10,018
9/13/07 9:33 A

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I love all those UK words - canteen, tuckshop ... we call it a cafeteria here in the US. And when I went to school the women were called "Lunch Ladies" -- I was reading Jamie Oliver's site for remodeling the school lunch program in the UK (per link from Cazza42's celiac chef blog) and it's nice you have such great food options.

Our lunch programs are very individual and locally run. Many have fast food restaurants in them! I did hear yesterday on the radio that there are initiatives to change, and that somewhere in IL, California and maybe a few other places had made healthy changes already.

I'm happy for your son. :-)

Edited by: DOTSLADY at: 9/13/2007 (09:35)
KNOWLEDGE = POWER. BODY = TEMPLE. FOOD = MEDICINE. PREVENTION IS THE CURE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB!
One person's food is another person's poison.
__________
Celiac Disease: An autoimmune reaction from eating gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats=nutrient deficiency=cancer. Have 1 of 300 symptoms? bit.ly/cdsymptoms
CD stories: bit.ly/cdstories
Nutrition/Cancer: bit.ly/Quillinnutrition


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RED_DUST_BUNNY's Photo RED_DUST_BUNNY Posts: 13
9/13/07 7:32 A

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Just had a conversation with my little boy. It was the first day that I had ordered something from his school canteen (tuckshop? I don't know what you call it there) for lunch and specified it needed to be gluten free. I asked what they gave him - steamed veg and a chicken leg + a boiled egg and juice! I love our canteen ladies!! I asked how his tummy was feeling. His answer was... "It's good - and I don't fart all the time in class anymore!" Admittedly, it was said with a giggle, but I am so thrilled to be headed in the right direction. emoticon

 
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