I have always been a weekly menu planner. I would sit down each Sunday after church, plan my menu, my grocery list, and then pretend to be busy so Nathan would do the shopping:). He probably laughed out loud seeing me admit this in writing. Anyway….it never failed that we always steered away from the plan. I would leave work late or traffic was bad or the day wasn’t a happy one, so we’d make the decision to stop in at a restaurant. It made those lazy days so much easier. Not so anymore.
Yes, restaurants have added more gluten free items, but with a shared kitchen full of gluten it can still be extremely risky for a kid with celiac. Being the Tucker family control freak, I just have not been comfortable venturing outside of a controlled kitchen. However, with vacation quickly approaching I had to try something.
Our first trip was to Pei Wei. My pediatrician raved about their gluten free practices and tons of websites/blogs said the same. We went after church, thankfully arriving about 5 minutes before the rest of Brentwood decided to eat. Immediately I became a little nervous…..they have a limited gluten free section and nothing on the kids menu. However, after mentioning to the cashier that Pierce had celiac she made a recommendation on how to make a kids meal gluten free. It was obvious there had been some training on the subject. Pierce loved his food and had no adverse reactions.
Since then, we have tried Mellow Mushroom and Zoe’s Kitchen. He ate like a pig at both and didn’t feel sick afterwards at all. Mellow’s gluten free crust isn’t bad at all (leftovers do leave something to be desired). Zoe’s doesn’t have any kids meals that are gluten free so Pierce and I shared the Power Protein Plate. Everything that is gluten free is clearly marked on the menu which is helpful. I should say I felt like a bad mom after leaving Zoe’s. I didn’t even mention that our son had celiac or request special attention to our meal. I must get better at that. I think after two good experiences I felt more comfortable, but it is important to continue to stay focused on keeping him well.
There are many days I miss the local Mexican restaurant….our little gluten filled haven around the corner. Although, the last time we were there Pierce puked ALL over me (day before he was admitted to the hospital) so it’s probably best I steer clear. I do look forward to getting more comfortable with the idea of dining out with the kids. Mostly I look forward to getting back to my lazy ways of not cooking:).
Look at this happy face at Mellow!
I have to share this last little nugget.
In mid March, we stopped by the neighborhood park one afternoon to swing and play. Pierce had yet to be diagnosed and was sick every day, so we thought some fun was needed. We arrive and walk over to the swings. After being in the seat for less than 2 seconds, Pierce screamed bloody murder. I tried to push him to remind him how fun it was, but he kept screaming. I, so upset and frustrated, picked him back up and proceeded to sit in the cornet watching other kids play. I remember wanting to cry in that moment, wishing my son would get better and feeling like it would never end. Last weekend, we went back to the park for first time. That once sick and sad little boy had the BEST time. He went down the slide, ran around and laughed hysterically while I pushed him on the swing. It was the best feeling in the world. The best.