Last week we hosted the Prince’s cousin, The Princess, while her family was out of town. The Princess looks just like Cindy Lou Hoo, but she is 4, not 2. She is the quintessential girly-girl; complete with a sparkling pink and purple wardrobe, right down to her bejeweled socks. The Prince and the Princess are fond of each other and have always gotten along well. She is the baby of her big family, and as such, has a relaxed manner yet knows how to speak up for herself! She has great social skills too, as a consequence. And though The Prince is older, they are at about the same emotional, developmental level, which makes them good playmates.
For the first time, however, we had a bit of squabbling over what to play. She wanted to play Princess games and he wanted to play cars, trucks, astronauts. But if I could get them interested in something gender-neutral, all was well. Legos, blocks, computer games, and surprisingly, Thomas trains turned out to be mutually acceptable to the Royals. Unfortunately, it rained all week, which called for more parental creativity in the entertainment department!
The Princess is not a picky eater, though she apparently shares the Prince’s disdain for vegetables. She is dairy-free by choice, not for any particular medical reason, but because she just doesn’t like the taste of milk products. And she also belongs to the tribe of “none of my food can touch each other on the plate,” but other than that, it is a joy to feed her, because she actually EATS and is a bit adventuresome in the food department. She is not on the GFCF diet, of course, and I pondered how to handle that. I did buy her a few “comfort” items that her mom said she liked and that we do not normally have on hand. I felt that was important since she was here without her family for a week. But knowing she was willing to try new things, I fed her some of The Prince’s GFCF favorites.
So I thought the reactions of the Princess to some common GFCF convenience foods might be helpful to those of you who are new to the GFCF Diet and who have older children or to those of you with both ASD children and NT children who are trying to simplify things and buy the same foods for everyone. The Prince has been on this diet since he was 2, so it is all he knows. I realize the older your children, the harder this diet can be.
So here are the picks and pans from the Princess:
Thumbs Up: Wellshire Kids Dinosaur Chicken Bites, two thumbs WAY UP. She loved these! Perky-O’s, just like Cheerios, didn’t mind a bit! Envirokidz granola bars were big hit. Earth Balance Buttery Spread passed for real butter Tinkyada spaghetti Cupcakes made with Gluten-Free Pantry mix with CherryBrook Farms icing mix and India Tree Nature’s Colors Sprinkles Plain popcorn with Earth Balance butter and salt Plain potato chips
Thumbs Down: MiDel cookies and Kinnitoo cookies (“These smell funny!”)
Glutino crackers ("These are not Ritz.") Robert’s American Tings (“Well, they look like Cheetos, but they don’t taste like them.”) Robert’s American Veggie Booty (“Gross! They are green.” Ironically, the grossness factor is partly the appeal for the Prince!)
I also came to the conclusion that a little OT is good for any child, even if they are not on the spectrum. We have a mini-tramp in the middle of our family room. While, it is not the most attractive item when it comes to home decorating, but it is helpful for the Prince to take a few jumps before or after school, or if he is a bit stimmy, or if he decides to jump on the furniture, I can redirect him to the mini-tramp. The Princess adored the mini-tramp and told me to tell her parents to get her one! One of my favorite moments from the Royal visit was the two of them taking turns on the trampoline. He would do a “Power Jump” and she would do a “Princess Jump.”