Lesson Learned

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 2ODD, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    For the past few months, I have had my children on a "diet". The rule of thumb being: If it wouldn't have come out of my grandmother's kitchen, they don't eat it.

    Everyday, I make bread. Thank goodness for a breadmaker. I make my own cereal, granola, and high protein cookies/cakes, etc... Cookies and cakes are special treats and may be given once a week on a weekend. Not an everyday thing. Pop/soda is something that I have almost forbidden. If it's processed, it doesn't belong.

    Feeling a little tired today and knowing that husband wasn't going to be home for supper, I decided to make a "special" meal. Frozen pizza and floats for dessert. NEVER AGAIN!!!

    My son raged for hours!! Thank goodness my husband wasn't home. I sometimes wondered if this new food lifestyle was worth it. I guess it is for us even if it's a boat load more work for me (even with a bread maker).

    Does anyone else find that their child is more difficult after eating certain foods?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've used my breadmaker to make pizza base. I also make pizza using a slice of bread as a pizza base - individual toppings can be better managed that way. Choose fillings you would be happy with - fresh vegetables, home-cooked bolognese sauce, garlic butter. Easy on the cheese.

    Or use the same dough recipe, dump the lot into a non-stick oiled baking dish, sprinkle on some dried herbs (I dry my own from my garden) then let it rise into a pillow. Bake as usual, turn it out and use it as foccaccia. I cut it into squares, cut each square in half (slice it open) and fill it with various goodies, then cook under a grill or in a sandwich press.

    We've also done the diet thing, it worked for us partly, but not a major difference. However, we did find that our particular brand of bread mix was permitted for difficult child 3. Not all are OK.

    Home-cooked meals are great, but grandma's recipes may need a little perking up. A lot of our newer recipes COULD have come out of grandma's kitchen, if only she had known of ingredients like Moroccan spiced lemons, for example (yes, I make my own bottles of those, too). And pesto sauce. And bolognese sauce. Risotto. Home-made pasta. Gnocchi. All quick and easy home-cooked healthy meals, but never cooked by grandma...

  3. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    Can you come and cook at my house? lol
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah!!!! been there done that!
    I'm working on a recipe to mix clonidine in gluten free bread mix. (Just kidding.)
    But yes, definitely, we notice behavior changes with-gluten, red dye, and milk products.
    Also, my son has low blood sugar, so even though his 3 hr test came our normal (so did mine and that's ridiculous), I know he has that issue. So sometimes I have to choose the lesser of two evils--something with-preservatives or nothing at all? Know what I mean??
    It's always best to plan ahead.
  5. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that have a white bean purée incorporated in to them. Has anyone tried anything like this?

    I've noticed on days that we don't consume meat at a meal (Fridays during lent) that if his meal is mainly carb based that we seem to have more episodes. On days that there's protein (by the way, pb and beans are out of the question) we have better days. So, I am always looking for new ways to disguise wallet friendly proteins in to his diet, not just in meals but snacks too. Any recipes, ideas or suggestions?
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have you tried quinoa? You cook it like you would rice (except you can stir it), and then you can use it like oatmeal, pasta, rice, etc. It's high protein and high fiber.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I have a recipe book full of what I call gourmet poverty food.

    Sounds like you have a problem with blood sugar levels and carbs. If you switch to wholegrain carbs, eliminate white carbs entirely, see how it goes. Lots of fresh vegetables can be a good substitute and keep the meat content low. We shouldn't eat more than a piece of meat the size of the palm of our hand, two meals out of three a day. We generally eat far more than that.

    I like to roast a mix of fresh vegetables. I saw that you can buy alfoil trays of vegetables to roast, already seasoned etc. I priced them - ridiculous! Tried them once to see how best to copy it. You don't have to only eat roast vegetables when you have roast meat, either. Even when I'm cooking a roast, I cook the meat on a rack with water underneath, and the vegetables are in another large pan all to themselves.

    The method - cut vegetables into pieces two bites big. Put them into a plastic bag with no holes (gently inflate it first to check). I put in potatoes, carrot (generally whole, or cut in half lengthwise - tell the kids it's Bugs Bunny's favourite, roast carrot), pumpkin, kumara (orange sweet potato), beetroot, celeriac, turnip - anything. Be aware of total quantities. husband always says I cook too much but it generally gets eaten. Maybe two or three pieces get left, that's all. Having a range available is great.

    Put all the vegetables into the plastic bag. Spice it if you want - I sometimes add a sprinkle of salt and a generous sprinkle of dried herbs. You can add a teaspoon of flour if you want. Close the bag, inflate it a little (blow into it until it puffs up a little) then toss the vegetables dry. Next, pour in a tablespoon or so of oil. I use macadamia oil or olive oil. Toss again, then tip the vegetables into a baking dish. Arrange them so no flat side is down. Then slide it right into the oven and bake for about an hour or so. Turn the vegetables about half way through cooking time. If you're baking something else like lasagne, this goes down well. Or you could cook a fish pie. Or anything.

    That is the low fat roast method. Depending on your baking dish, you may need to oil it first but generally oiling the vegetables makes it easier to roast them without poaching them in oil.

    This is easy. And if the kids say, "I hate this vegetable," then you can pick and choose who gets what. Or leave some of the more unusual ones out if they don't like them. Roasting whole onions or whole garlic heads is also great, but can be very strong.

    We eat a lot of rice, but cook it in the microwave oven. Because Australia is these days very much part of Asia, we have a lot of rice varieties available. If you suspect carb load is causing problems, avoid white rice in any form. That means no risotto, no white rice. Substitute brown rice. You can cook it the same way you cook the white, but it needs to simmer for twice as long. Once you have cooked brown rice, you can do things with it, that you would do with white. I serve Chinese food with brown rice. I also make fried rice with brown rice. But skip risotto. Doesn't work.

    Microwave instructions - find a deep enough dish. Put some rice in the bottom. Cover the rice with water, one index finger knuckle deep above the rice. be aware it will swell up three times its original volume. To cook - bring it to the boil in the microwave, then simmer it. I find about 2 minutes on high brings it to the boil, then for white rice, 10 minutes on medium low simmers it. Brown rice - 20 minutes simmering. Black rice/royal rice (it's purple, watch out - it stains) takes 30 minutes to simmer. The rice should absorb all the liquid entirely. Cooking times will vary a little with your microwave oven. When the rice is finished, immediately fluff it with a fork. Any remaining moisture will rapidly sort itself out.

    Black rice (aka royal rice) is new here. I find it can be a bit indigestible. it is also a dessert rice. The Thai recipe is to mix the hot cooked rice with palm sugar then coconut cream. I often add a squeeze of lime juice, maybe some lime zest, passionfruit pulp and sliced mango. Chill it, eat it cold. Very filling, but too much upsets my system.

    Potato is pure starch. Limit serve size to one piece per person per day. Sweet potato is fine, so is pumpkin. So is carrot.

    Non-meat protein - what about eggs? I make my own pasta with eggs and flour. Have to use at least 50% white flour or it won't hold together. I gave up on wholemeal pasta years ago, unless I buy it commercially. Filled pasta is good, and fun for kids to make. Gnocchi is fun to make, I remember making it with difficult child 3 when he was only three years old. Your bread machine should have a pasta dough setting, although I tend to just do it by hand and then use a pasta machine (hand cranked rollers) to roll it out. I also use the pasta machine on bread dough - I roll out the dough into a flat rectangle, then add fillings. I roll up the rectangle and cut it into whorls, then stack them on their side in a cake tin to rise. Chelsea bun method, but you can make savoury ones too. I used to send difficult child 3 to school with home-made cheese and olive rolls - they looked like echidnas, I used scissors to cut spikes into the dough, sprinkled them with cheese and used sliced olives for eyes. They also go well with a fresh salad.

    Anyway, that's a few simple ideas. Kids love to help make this stuff and especially with our annual village fair, it's fun to enter this sort of thing in the contests.

  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    We've been on the girlfriend/CF diet for 5 years because gluten and milk turn my daughter into a difficult child diagnosis'ed with ODD. I don't limit anything else, but I cook from scratch and try to avoid processed food. I eat so little processed food that when I do eat it, I notice a chemical taste to it. My kids do eat processed junk food as long as it has no gluten or milk.

    It is a lot of extra work to cook like Grandma did, but it was even worse having a difficult child in the house.

    I'm glad you found something that works.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I love cooking from scratch. I don't love doing the dishes and cleaning up afterwards. But I absolutely adore homemade bread - as long as I don't have to knead it! Food processors have a dough blade for this. My itty bitty Cuisinart was awesome, but the bowl only held 3 cups. One recipe is 6. So I got a Hamilton Beach, and killed the motor the 3rd time I used it. Got a Black & Decker, 3rd time I used it the dough blade and bowl fused together. They're sending me a new set... Problem is, they don't have a "slow" speed like the Cuisinart did.

    But I digress. The homemade bread, though I use white flour, I usually substitute 1/3 or 1/2 of it with rye or whole wheat flour. And I did notice the kids seem to be calmer. I'm seriously thinking about working on a gluten-reduced diet.

    But - I can't control what they eat elsewhere. Jett forgets his lunch more than he remembers it, even when he had a "cool" lunch bag. I gave up there. And Onyxx - well, she's a teen and is not home a lot (though on time every day for a week now...). So reduced.

    I stopped buying things with red 40 in them because BFF H is sensitive to it - makes her vomit - and noticed Jett's grades improved. I don't know if it is the red, or other stuff, but...

    I also now have to watch carefully - we got results from the longevity study husband's family is part of, and both have borderline-high blood sugar and cholesterol. Genetic... father in law has diabetes, the entire fam has high cholesterol. Ugh.
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Step, in my opinion it isn't worth trying gluten-reduced if you are hoping for any behavior benefit. It is a lot of extra work and even tiny amounts of gluten can ruin it. If your kids are going to eat it elsewhere, it won't make a difference even if they eat totally girlfriend at home. If you are doing it for other reasons, or for you or husband, it might be different.

    I agree it isn't so much the cooking that I mind. It is the cleanup.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    In the early days of my home bread making, I ran out of bread flour. I went looking, and the only bread flour I could find was in a health food shop. Something they said was called "spelt bread flour". I figured it doesn't matter how you spell it, as long as it works as bread flour.

    My bread did not rise. I did a bit of online research, found that the reason health food shops like spelt flour (an ancient form of wheat, allegedly) is because it is low in gluten. Not totally devoid, but low. In my recollections, people who need to reduce gluten should be avoiding it entirely, so I can't see the point, myself. But they should have told me at the health food shop, that spelt flour needs soda to raise it, not yeast. I ended up using up the spelt flour in other recipes, even though it was clearly labeled as being suitable for bread makers. No information on the packet saying, "Don't attempt to use yeast, you idiot." I suspect even carb soda wouldn't work too well - it's still carbon dioxide trying to find some gluten to cling to so it won't escape from the bread dough...

    I have a friend who has coeliac. Her mother made her wedding cake, it was gluten-free. I often visited just as her mother was taking yet another experimental wedding cake out of the oven, so I tasted a wide range of fabulous gluten-free cakes. My friend is clear proof that you can live a good life on a girlfriend diet. To begin with, though, her mother said she would visit the supermarket with her daughter who would be checking the labels of all her previously favourite foods, standing there in tears of mourning for all the food she could never eat again, not ever.