If you have one or more in your home that has Celiac disease, it seems to be a debate on whether to try to keep separate gluten/gluten free areas or make the whole kitchen gluten free.
For us, I started figuring out my need to be gluten free in early 2011. I slowly transitioned to wheat free in 2011 when initially thinking it was a wheat intollerance. Through experimenting eating purely barley soup in early 2012, I found out that I also had major issues with barley. I had been suspecting issues with all gluten because despite being wheat free, I’d still have unexplained symptoms when being wheat free. Once I went gluten free completely in 2012, I quickly found out that even the tiniest amount of gluten threw my body out of whack. Because of my extreme reaction to gluten, I talked to our kids pediatrician and he agreed it was worth screening the kids. To our surprise, the oldest came back positive for gluten antibodies! We found this out in November of 2012.
Since finding out he had to be gluten free as well, we started switching more to gluten free in general in our household. We still kept regular gluten bread in the house for the other two kids and for dad, though. We marked peanut butter, jelly and other jars as gluten free or not. This was to eliminate cross contamination from someone making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with gluten bread and double dipping into the jar. Even something like this was making me ill.
After 3 months of worrying if someone got the wrong jar we were finding a pattern that our oldest also got gluten symptoms at the same time that I did when there was a risk of cross contamination. For example, we didn’t have 2 separate butter dishes. So there was the potential for someone to make toast and get gluten crumbs on the butter. Also I had to be careful to wipe out the toaster oven, counters, etc when making things for the two of us. I was regularly making our meals on plates rather than counters or cutting boards. It started to be pretty consistent when we both would have issues and I was getting very frustrated about getting sick in my own home! It’s the one place you should feel safe to eat and not have to worry about getting gluten! It was one thing for me to get ill myself, but to have my son describe the issues he had the next day to me really set it home for me!
The past few weeks I have removed all gluten from the house, I have started buying only Udi’s Gluten free bread for the whole family! While this does increase our grocery bill by about $6-12 per week, a worst case of $50 extra per year is nothing compared to knowing that the house will be safe.
Since switching to all gluten free in the house I have had only one episode of gluten issues. We do have a few pizza jar sauces in the fridge that have cross contamination potential in them. I’m interested to see how this progresses over the next few weeks.
The first week that I shopped knowing I was not buying any gluten bread was such a relief! I can’t describe how much relief I felt knowing that I wasn’t buying anything with gluten in it. We already had switch all our pasta to gluten free about a year ago and only had a few misc things besides bread with gluten in them. You will just feel so liberated and so much safer in your own home if you go all gluten free.
If you have someone in the household that has Celiac Disease, I highly recommend for their comfort, their health and your sanity to try going completely gluten free. Besides having your home being a safe place, everyone will also be eating better. The cheapest way to be gluten free is to simply get items that are naturally gluten free!