Going Gluten and Casein Free: The first couple days.

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My wife and I decided to try the diet with our son and see if it would improve his behavior positively.  Unlike medicating him, a diet is easily reversible if necessary, and doesn't have any adverse effects overall.  Of course, it means looking for the right resources, and has far reaching implications if it turns out his behavior is caused or aggravated by gluten or casein.  So, we thought we would try out the alternatives.  For Gluten, we purchased some Gluten Free/Casein Free flour from our local grocery store.  Smiths, Albertsons, and Harmons all had this same flour, all for about $5.00 a pound.  It's expensive, but for a trial it is worth it.  We also purchased (from the same makers) some gluten/casein free brownie mix, polenta, and chocolate chip cookie mix. The first one we tried was the brownies.  They were easy to mix, and the batter tasted the same.  The only thing I didn't add to it was the recommended vanilla, but other than that all was mixed according to the instructions.  Once finished, I spread it out in a pan, and baked according to directions.  I was amazed!  They came out very moist, and have retained that moisture far longer than other brownies I have ever made.  More cake-like than the traditional gooey brownie you may think of, it's been quite impressive.  I was sold, and my son ate it with relish (and he doesn't normally eat anything but icing on cake-like products).  It's still too early to tell, but I think we had a hit with these brownies.  Next, dealing without milk.  Casein is one of the primary milk proteins, making any milk-based product a problem.  And a huge problem, as my son has almost an addiction to cottage cheese (though that may make sense if it's becoming an opiate in his system).  So, how to break him of his milk kick? I started with the replacement milks:  soy and rice.  Now, I'm not a big fan of soy based products.  Soy is another food high on the food allergy list, and it's not something I wanted to try on Jonathan at such an early age.  So, I tested it myself.  The soy milk we purchased was a small one quart carton of Silk, which was calcium fortified.  I poured a small amount in a cup and tasted it:  it was really sweet and surprisingly good!  I gave some to Jonathan, and he drank it, and took more.  A small victory, and no side effects.  Next, I tried the rice milk.  We could only find a two quart carton, so we purchased that.  I poured it out, taking a small taste.  It paled in comparison to the soy milk.  It had less flavor out of the carton, and seemed more watered down.  I tried it on Jonathan, and he took a taste and poured it out on the floor.  Well, the verdict was out, he didn't like it.  But I may try it again on him in another form, because he did try it just after tasting the Soy milk.  So, that has been our experience so far.  As it stands, the conversion hasn't been too difficult with Jonathan eating more fruits and almost no cheese (just need to continue to remind the in-laws of the new diet), and his behavior has improved noticeably.  We are cautiously optimistic on this front.