Raising a celiac child really adds a layer of trial and error to an already full plate of trial and error. And thus, my son and I enter a new chapter as he figures out high school and celiac disease.
The daily lunch routine is no big deal and his social life is pretty easy since all of our pizza places have a gluten-free option and Chipotle is every teenagers dream meal. The movies do not present a problem and as far as I can tell, the drinking scene is not that appealing to him yet.
Where I am worrying is all the team bonding dinners around athletics. He is a very good athlete so I never worry about him getting picked on or teased for his diet. But, at the kick off BBQ for football, he literally had a plate of meat. To me it was gross, I put a chicken breast on a salad and had a balanced meal. He had a chicken breast, a bunless burger and two bunless hot dogs washed down with a couple of sodas. Yuck.
The first team dinner was a carbo load, gluten-avoider’s total nightmare. Three types of pasta, breaded cutlets, brownies and garlic knots with a small tray of caesar salad with croutons. I volunteered to bring a tray of penne alla vodka and brownies so that he could eat something.
My son and my husband thought I was nuts to go to so much effort. My son insisted he would just get a pizza later. But what I explained is that the mom who was hosting would feel so bad if the kid who had three touchdowns the week before had nothing to eat and was just sitting there…even if he looked like he was having fun. What I said was that he would stick out more if there was a huge fuss made around preparing something different from her kitchen that he could eat.
In the end, the hostess has two nieces who are celiac so she understood the whole thing and asked some great questions about keeping the spoons from the other pasta out of the gluten-free pasta.
Yesterday I stocked up on gluten-free brownie mix and gluten-free pasta. I think I will just bring a dessert and a 1/2 tray of some sort of pasta to the team dinners. I might even work out a special football order with one of the local pizza places so that whomever is ordering can just order the “GF Football Dinner” for one.
First dinner went off without a hitch. He ate and had a blast with his team mates. I will have this all perfected after a bit of trial and error.