Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chewy as a Rat

one day last week we were sitting at the table eating tacos for dinner (mmmmm, tacos.) we have switched to using corn tortillas now that we are watching gluten for daniel, and i found some really tasty ones that use sprouted corn, so they are extra-added-bonus healthfood. partway in to the meal, nicholas offers his latest descriptive phrase, telling me that "mama, this is as chewy as a rat." i'm pretty sure he meant it as a compliment. i really hope that he is not using an actual rat as a basis for comparison.

and just in case you were wondering, if a child of 4 swallows a penny, it is only a problem if the penny lodges in the windpipe before reaching the stomach. ask me how i know this.


Alisha said...

Hi, I jumped over to your blog after reading comments from Karen's blog, I am Christy Halsell's sister-in-law, (I married her brother Dave). I just read your last blog and saw that you "have to watch the gluten for Daniel". My daughter, who is 2 was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease. We are working on finding all the right foods for her and trying to be creative in the process. Sometimes it is a bit challenging. And I have to admit, I am a worrier and now, I question everything and am afraid to try something new in fear of hurting her stomach. If you find yourself with a spare moment, I would love to get any ideas for menus, places to shop from you. You can email me at, or I can check back into your blog for info.

Thank you for any help, advice you can give me,

joyfulone01 said...

Hey Christy~
It's been far too long since I've talked with you, but my mom forwarded your monthy pictures and I decided I'd check out your blog. Your boys are growing up so fast! They are adorable. The 'chewy as a rat' comment is so cute... mine, who is also 4, said "mmm, this is gooder than hotdog" the other day - a proud moment ;) They are so witty at that age, and it's amazing what they come up with. I'd love to be on your mailing list as well if you wouldn't mind. The address in Hopefully I'll here from you soon :)
Joy (your cousin ;))

joysnatcher said...

Okay, I won't ask how you know that. My question is, "Did it lodge in the windpipe? Did you find yourself Heimlich-ing?"

Christy H.

christy said...

Christy, i have to tell you that having to do the heimlich is one of my greatest fears, or any cpr for that matter. yes, i have taken the classes, but i would be happy to defer any and all first-aid related incidents if at all possible. although, with 3 boys, i have been telling chris that once the maternity bills have been paid, we will likely start in with the emergency room bills....

as for the penny, no, it was not stuck in the windpipe, although i think that it was stopped in his throat for a while, which is part of what freaked him out enough to tell me, i think. i had him drink something so that it would go all the way down, but then i started worrying that something bad could happen on the way out, so i got online. everything said "smaller than a penny" was ok, but nothing said what if it WAS a penny. but, when i called the dr. they told me that it was fine....

ah, the joys, eh?

christy said...

i already sent this in an email to alisha, but i thought i would post it here in case anyone else lurking quietly may also need some info on gluten-free stuff:

one website i found that was really helpful is . it has lists of safe foods and forbidden foods, and other things to watch for to remain as 100% gluten free as possible. if you are a worrier (i am too), it may make you worry more, but i have also found that there is some comfort in the knowledge that i am doing everything i can. my husband still has to remind me to chill out, though. :)

as for shopping, what i did was print out the lists from the website above, and then i have become a crazy-label-reader. the silliest things that you wouldn't ever think of have gluten in them--like rice krispies. made with rice, right? but it has barley malt, which is a gluten. it's enough to make you crazy. so even if i think i know what is in something, i read the label. unless it is something that i have already used and trust to be gluten free, because i am starting now to know which brands are safe, etc. i also try to plan for times when we are out and i don't know what's in something, or there will be snacks that have gluten, like the church nursery or parties, or whatever. i made a few treats and put them in the freezer so when we are at places with cake or cookies, i have a substitute for daniel. i am trying to make things as normal for him as possible, without making myself nuts about it.

i have also been talking a lot about it with him. i don't know how much he understands, but he often tells me that he only eats things that "have gluten free in them." my biggest worry is when he is out and i'm not around to police things, since he is so little it would be easy for him to get a hold of something and others not to know. also, i am finding that while there are people out there who have heard of celiac or gluten intolerance, most people have no idea how many things have gluten in them, and something that seems obvious to me (goldfish crackers), may not be to someone who doesn't i have to explain a lot, and often.

the other thing that helps with shopping is going to a health-food store. wild oats and whole foods are both in my area, and they have a lot of information and many of the food items on their shelves are labeled gluten-free, which was a relief for me, especially in the beginning. if you have a vitamin cottage in your area, they are *much* cheaper of a health store, and there may be others that are similar near you. still, my food bill has probably doubled, because many of the glutenfree items are 2 or 3 times as much. i think if i weren't trying to replace things like bread or crackers or cereal, then i could buy more cheaply, but those are the things he likes and that he sees others eating, and i don't think i am emotionally ready to tell him he can't have those may be different, though.

i have found that many of the recipes that i have already can be converted, especially the ones that have just a little flour for thickening or something (i use cornstarch). also, there are many mixes and substitutions out there. some brands we have found that we like are pamela's products ( and tinkyada brand pastas . i find them at the health food store, but you can get them online or i have also found that has some things that you can buy in bulk if you don't have a good store near you. just search for gluten free, and i think that the shipping is even free.