Launching a Wonder Kid
By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C.
Hello! Welcome to my first blog post here at Gluten Free Connecticut. I’m so excited to be here and am looking forward to working on my upcoming blog series for the site.
To begin, I’d like to offer a little introduction. My name is Colleen Brunetti. I’m a mom first and foremost. My son Aidan, age 11, is my gluten free kid. My daughter Ella, age 2, has no food allergies but she does have growth challenges we’re addressing. My best friend has Celiac. My sister is allergic to a laundry list of foods. You might say I’m well acquainted with this world of eating differently than the mainstream.
As for me? Well, I was gluten free before it was cool. About 16 years ago I jumped on the low carb train, only to discover it was gluten that made me blow up like a balloon. Those were the days of only hamburgers with no buns, salads with no croutons, a fear of food labels… and not much else! Fast forward to today, where we have sites like Gluten Free CT, and delicious GF food options abound. We’ve come a long way, baby!
Still, I know living GF is a challenge, especially when you’re raising kiddos in this food centric world, where very holiday has a treat, and every soccer game finishes with a snack. It can be hard to tell a kid they have to eat differently than all their friends. It can also be challenging (and tiring!) to keep the freezer stocked with special cupcakes and pizza, and to navigate the kid’s menu at a restaurant.
My son’s food intolerances were not diagnosed until he was about five or six years old. We were desperately trying to figure out why he was sick all the time with fevers, ear infections, and tummy upsets. It wasn’t until I was deep into my studies to become a certified health coach that I began to crack the code… that food might be the culprit. Sure enough, medical tests confirmed my suspicion, and we were launched into the allergy friendly (and not so friendly) world.
So we have lived first hand the seismic shift that comes with teaching a kid they have to change the way they eat. We navigated some tearful dinners, and became pros at bringing along a spare GF hamburger bun to a dinner out.
Finally, one day I sat down and penned a children’s story just for my son, based on a character we used to make up at bedtime. It is called “Aidan the Wonder Kid Who Could Not Be Stopped: A Food Allergy Story”. It’s a superhero story, all about a little boy who has something stealing his energy and super powers (bet you can guess what that is!).
Today I am working to bring the message to all kids that they can be super heroes when they feed their bodies just right. I’m thrilled to be blogging here to bring you tips and ideas on helping your Wonder Kid thrive!
I’m self publishing the book, and I would LOVE you to take a look at what I’m building here, donate if you can, and share it with other food allergy families too: https://igg.me/at/WonderKid/x
To start this blog series off right, I’d love to hear from YOU. What’s the biggest challenge you face raising a GF kid? What do you wish the rest of the world knew? Tell me about your experiences in the comments or on Facebook and I’ll work on some articles to discuss them.
Colleen Brunetti is a best selling author, certified health coach, and educator. Her work is centered around empowering people to define a life they love – no matter what curve balls may come. Colleen is currently launching her new children’s book, “Aidan the Wonder Kid Who Could Not be Stopped: A Food Allergy Story”. This book is designed to empower kids to find their superpowers by feeding their bodies just what they need, and uses fun and whimsy to encourage them to accept food allergies and differences in themselves and peers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org