Going Gluten Free - One Parent's Perspective

Written by: Melanie Schlachter

Earlier this year, my preschooler was diagnosed with sensitivities to just about every food you can possibly imagine – gluten, corn, soy, milk, nuts – the list goes on and on. Feeling guilty and overwhelmed but not discouraged, we immediately started overhauling our fridge and pantry, scrambling to identify and stock up on foods our child actually COULD eat.

Naturally we turned to the Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) for help. Our go-to resource for every parenting challenge, we found NPN chock-full of resources and information with advice on a topic even as micro as ours. We attended a “Health Starts Here” workshop at Whole Foods, read blogs from various wellness experts, and even discovered several groups and discussion forum threads started by parents of kids with similar food allergies.

I became a food label detective. Packing lunch for preschool became much stressful with tips straight from the “Gluten & Dairy Lunch” post. Even the @NPNparents Pinterest Board contains great parent and kid tested allergy recipes & products!  It was reassuring to know that other families were finding ways to manage through special dietary needs and could share their tricks and success stories.

Since January, our entire family has been living free of the foods my son is unable to tolerate. Now I spend my days working from my local coffee shop as I always have (only now I’ve switched to tea), feeling beyond grateful for the advice from other NPN parents.

Neighborhood Parents Network has been connecting a diverse community of families with resources to navigate parenting in the city for more than 30 years. Expectant, new, and seasoned parents come to NPN to help tackle everyday challenges and surprises. NPN makes it easy to find support, trusted school and childcare search, essential information, and fantastic city events. Join our community of more than 6,400 members at www.npnparents.org.

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM