It started at Juliet’s 2-year well-check. The doctor measured her and her height was only at 20% for her age. Everything else was good, really good actually. I talked about any concerns I had, and questions he had, and I left the office with a happy and healthy 2-year-old.
But then I got home.I put Juliet down for her nap, and I couldn’t stop thinking about her height. It sounds silly, I’m sure, but to me, it just didn’t seem right. While both of my girls napped, I sat on my couch searching every website I could for toddler height, short stature, 20% in height, etc.
Several of my searches resulted in information about Celiac’s and a Gluten Allergy. I read them. I read them all. For two whole hours. Juliet had almost every single symptom listed. I know, you have a sore throat, you google it, and it says you are dying. But for real, I was taken aback at how much the information I was reading fit my little Juliet.
Juliet had been a great sleeper ever since she was born, and I always just assumed she was the perfect child, letting her mother get some much needed downtime. But she was sleeping about 14 hours a night, then taking a three hour nap. Way more sleep than the average toddler, she was always tired. Her adorable baby fat and distended stomach, signs of malnutrition brought on by a gluten allergy. Constipation, again, gluten. The little rash on the back of her legs, yep, possibly gluten. And her height? The reason this whole search started. Gluten again.
As I have mentioned before here, Juliet was also born with a milk-protein allergy. As I read, I found that 50% of people with a gluten allergy also have a dairy allergy.
So, exactly four weeks ago, my husband and I decided to trust our instincts, and go Gluten and Dairy Free. I began cleaning out our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, and before I knew it, we had almost no food left in our entire house. I was scared. So scared. How are we going to do this? How are we just going to completely change the way we eat, without any time to prepare, or figure things out?
I reached out to friends, researched some more, went shopping, read recipes, checked out every store within a 15 mile radius, and, well, we are doing it.
Our entire house is now Gluten and Dairy free, because we are not going to eat food in front of Juliet that she cannot eat. She has taken extremely well to the changes, only asking for cheese, or yogurt, or pizza every once in awhile. And the changes we have seen in Juliet are already incredible. She only sleeps 11 hours a night now, with a one and a half hour nap. Crazy. More than four hours less sleep than she was needing last month. She has grown at least half an inch, if not more, in the last four weeks, and she has not been constipated since the change in diet. Her rash? Almost completely gone.
While I am still struggling to cook meals that she will actually eat, I have managed to find some great go-to toddler food that I can throw in the oven or microwave after my failed attempts of shoving cauliflower rice in her mouth.
Dr. Praeger’s, Applegate Naturals, and Glutino all have amazing selections of gluten and dairy free food, and you guys, I found gluten free, dairy free cookies! A total win for Juliet.
Clearly, she can’t eat this food all the time. Just because it is gluten free does not mean that it is healthy. But it’s a start, and a life-saver when my home-cooked meals don’t go over so well.
A lot of people have already asked if we are going to have her tested for Celiac’s. Right now, we don’t plan on it. The test is a rather invasive procedure, so we are just going off of results for now. And so far, we are happy with the results we are seeing.
Juliet’s personalized plate – here