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Living Wheat Free, or how Pookah is putting me in the poor house..

I haven’t really talked about Pookah’s transition to living wheat free.


The transition has NOT been easy.

Let’s start with the cost.

Because you see, I can’t really find most of the wheat free foods in my local Kroger or Publix.  But to be fair, you can find quite a few things at most, just NOT mine.

You see, even though I live in a pretty nice area of town, it is….how can I put this in a politically correct way….the black part of town.  There are actors,  football players, doctors lawyers, teachers, and welfare moms all shopping at my Publix and Kroger( interesting mix huh?).  But the Gluten/wheat free section is limited.  It’s better than I expected, but still limited. And there is NO Whole Foods.  Or Trader Joes.

But if I go across town to the “rich” (read predominantly white) neighborhood, there is a Whole Foods, A Trader Joes, and a Publix and Kroger with a gluten free section to die for.

This irks me, upsets me, and makes me want to hit somebody.

So for the most part, to get variety and better tasting foods, and snacks, I have to shop at Whole Foods(better known as Whole Paycheck) and Trader Joes across town.  Spending precious gas ($3.48 a gallon?????) to get there before I spend the rest of my paycheck trying to feed my child.

Let me give you an example… I spent $235 this week on wheat free/gluten free food.


That is NOT including me and C-Dub.  Even though, I am using some of his stuff for us because it’s just too expensive NOT to.

To be fair, there is gluten/wheat free everything.

For a price.

And I am paying that price.

I think it wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t going to daycare.

But that, my friends, is where the problem lies.

They provide the food there.  It is included in the $165 a week I send them( for 3 days).  Or at least, they did.

Now, I provide all snacks( cookies, animal cookies, chex mix:yes they have gluten free chex mix, wheat free Graham crackers etc.). And milk( don’t forget about that lactose intolerance issue we’ve got too).

But recently, I’ve noticed that when they serve something that has wheat in it ( pasta, fish sticks chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburger helper…..) my child only gets veggies and fruit.  Why? Because that’s all they will give him.  Now, the menu is out every week in advance.  Good you would think?

Not if they don’t serve what’s on the menu.


So, I take Pookah with the expectation that he can eat what’s on the menu, only to pick him up and find out that he didn’t eat hardly anything because the menu got changed.  When I know in advance, I usually have time to prepare.  But lately, everyday, the menu has been changing.  Leading to frustration on my part and a hungry child on Pookah’s.

Finally today, I had a talk with the cook.  We came to an understanding you might say, and I am going to bring in a load of wheat/gluten free stuff.  So how did I spend my morning? At Whole Paycheck searching for and finding wheat free fish sticks, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pizza, bread.

Hopefully, this helps in our quest to allow my child to eat more than just brocolli and peaches for lunch.

This journey has been HARD.  Especially when you take into account that Pookah is barely eating table food as it is.  So finding and getting him to eat these things has been hard( even though he just loves the cookies).  I have to read the label on EVERYTING.  It’s amazing what has wheat in it.  Meatloaf for instance.  Yes, folks use crackers in the filling for their meatloaf.  Most packaged fried foods have some kind of wheat based breading on it.  And all the pre-packaged pasta meals are wheat based.  Sigh.

The one thing I have discovered that he loves loves loves is chicken.  He will eat chicken until the cows come home.  MOST days.

But do they serve chicken at daycare???NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It’s turkey turkey turkey.

In the words of Florida Evans…DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!

I just can’t catch a break.

But anyway, I’m curious to see if he eats the chicken nuggets.  I am hoping, I am praying…….

I’ll let you know…..


Wednesday 16th of March 2011

Not only is it expensive to go gluten free you have to make sure products that don't normally contain gluten aren't processed with ones that are! Like Oats! Then they charge you a fortune for them. I am working on adding gluten free recipes to my blog and cookbook.


Thursday 17th of March 2011

so true!! I learned that with Oatmeal!


Monday 14th of March 2011

I had a blog about living with food allergies and plan on starting a newer one. However, my son and I live wheat free and have for about 5 years now. Anyway I have managed to make many gluten, dairy free foods from scratch. Saving money, time and doing away with stress.

A friend of mine has a fabulous cookbook that addresses this issue. Email me for further information if you are interested.

God Bless, Corliss


Monday 7th of March 2011

In my quest to cook healthier for my family I discovered Quinoa. It kinda reminds me of couscous or rice. Just looked at the package and it is wheat and gluten free. Prepared it last night as a risotto and my 13month old loved it. Maybe Pookah will like it. I am trying to prepare it like oatmeal as I type not sure how it will turn out but will soon see.


Sunday 6th of March 2011

Man Pookah is going through it :( , you are doing a great job though ;) I love the whole paycheck reference no joke they are up there with pricing. Hopefully he will grow out of some of his allergies.

Candace (NYStateofMom)

Saturday 5th of March 2011

Wow I had no idea how many things had wheat in them! I feel for you! I know with your schedule buying the pre-package is the easiest but cooking two big meals on Sundays and serving them during the week might work best. Awww Pookah got a lot going on :-( I think I've only been in a Whole Paycheck twice and it was to buy birthday cakes for co-workers, I can't just hand over my check lol


Saturday 5th of March 2011

That would work great....if Pookah was a consistent eater! He's too damn picky!