Saturday, October 27, 2007

Switching out carbs

When Trillian and I decided to switch Scooter's diet, we knew that the hardest thing by far was going to be getting him away from his favorite snacks. The boy could survive of of Cheerios and/or Goldfish crackers. Sure we needed to find acceptable substitutes for chicken nuggets and grilled cheese sandwiches, but there were a few protein sources we could turn to until we hit upon child-approved brands. But it was not uncommon for Scooter to snack from bowls of fishies and Cheerios throughout the day. Whenever we left the house, we brought a baggie of snacks along with us.

I could justify this snack since Cheerios are made from oats, and we would sneak in the whole-wheat cheddar Goldfish when we could find them. But both oats and wheat are sources of gluten, so they would have to go.

We actually managed to start getting Scooter off of Cheerios before we'd even made the decision to try the new diet. And that was by accident. One time, as I was shopping at Whole Foods, I remembered that we were almost out of Cheerios. The regular ones were sold out, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to try out an organic version. Not acceptable! And I have to agree with Scooter that the texture was all wrong. They were really rough and sharp.

So he became a little gun-shy about Cheerios. Which was only confirmed for him when I tried PerkyOs, a gluten-free 'equivalent' to Cheerios. While the texture was better, though not the same, as the previous attempt, not even the frosted ones could cover up the difference in taste.

Goldfish crackers have been a bit harder to give up, and I'm not entirely proud of how we helped him forget them. Because we offered sweets. Cookies and brownies made from gluten-free, dairy-free mixes.* That certainly has made it easier for him to forget about the crackers.

To be sure, we're also pushing fruit a little harder and have been experimenting with other options. He'll sometimes eat the "Corn Balls" (similar to Kix cereal) I brought home, though not with the same love as Cheerios. He has rejected the rice crackers I love so dearly. Recently, I tried baking a loaf of bread from a mix,* and it turned out much better than the ready-made loaves of rice bread we've had before. But he has also upped his protein intake, rediscovering his enjoyment of bacon and eggs--and the kid is so skinny that we're not too worried about the increased fat right now.

I don't think I would necessarily recommend our method (or even consider it an organized approach). We had no intention of getting him to think that Cheerios had suddenly gone bad, but that does seem to be his thought. And cookies, cake, and (soy) ice cream can't be the answer to everything. But so far--knock on wood--we seem to be headed in a promising direction.

* I've mainly used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free mixes so far. They also don't contain dairy and are designed so that you can use dairy substitutes in place of milk and butter.


Aliki2006 said...

We tried that gluten free cereal and no one liked it... :( Actually, I didn't either!

HVM said...

I am so glad I found this, and that someone is writing about the diet- I feel like I'm a couple weeks behind you, just starting to realize the fact that I have to try this diet... thanks again!