Ever since my little guy hit toddlerhood, certain holidays have been challenging because people are always trying to give him candy. It’s gotten increasingly difficult as he’s gotten older. I didn’t mind so much when he was a one year old because he didn’t eat much sweets anyway. When he was two, I decided to let him gorge on Halloween candy and he ended up getting sick with a cold, and I felt awful about it because what if he had been exposed to something much worse? So much of his health is my hands. I know that too much sugar, artifical food colorings and flavors, GMO ingredients, chemically derived ingredients, and preservatives can all have negative effects on his health. At the same time, I don’t want him to develop a Willy Wonka complex (that’s my own made-up term: if you’ve ever seen the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp, you’ll know what I mean).
Now that we are on GAPS, having problem foods can inhibit our progress. But would it have been okay to throw caution to the wind for one weekend? While I don’t want him to develop a complex over not having candy, I also know that if I allow him to have something, he assumes it’s good for his body. And why wouldn’t he? I’m his mother, and he trusts me.
I had made these candies for him so he could have some candy and not feel like he was being deprived. However, I underestimated the power of the jelly bean. He saw those brightly colored jelly beans in the plastic eggs from the egg hunt at my parents’ and he was so excited. Then I told him they weren’t good. 😦 I put some of the homemade candies in a plastic egg and gave it to him and he was really excited about that but the whole thing was like this up and down roller-coaster of joy and disappointment. I hated it. He seemed to take it well, and even told his grandma that he can’t have the candy. No tears, no complaining.
Until Sunday (we were at my parent’s on Saturday). At church someone gave him some jelly beans and hubby took them away from him, and he burst into tears and cried all the way home. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think it would have been better just to let him have them that one time. Too late. Now I have to try to make jelly beans with honey.
Okay, didn’t expect to ramble on about candy for so long… Onto the food.
We went to my family’s Easter celebration on Saturday. As usual, it was a potluck dinner. I volunteered to bring salad and deviled eggs. My deviled eggs were not exactly GAPS, since I was afraid that if I used homemade olive oil mayo then people wouldn’t like them, so I used my husband’s Best Foods mayo. I also put in some of hubby’s sweet pickles. I figured I’d only have a couple anyway. I was planning to load up on salad and ham. Problem was, there wasn’t exactly a ham. The only ham was these little cubes in a potato casserole. I ate a lot of eggs, salad, and luckily the fruit salad didn’t have any dressing on it. I also had some homemade soda made with fresh pressed orange and grapefruit juice and sparkling water. Little boy got the same foods as me, but he barely ate anything besides the fruit and soda. I hadn’t thought it through–he doesn’t like egg yolks, so the eggs were out. He doesn’t like my honey-mustard dressing, so the salad was out. I even gave him a little cube of ham, but oh, yeah, he doesn’t like ham. Luckily I brought some of our homemade yogurt, which he chowed down on while the other kids ate cake.
In hindsight: I should have brought my own ham, and some deli roast beef for my boy. I should have done the eggs with a recipe that was more GAPS-friendly. I should have brought some baby carrots and dip or some other veggie my son would eat. And maybe some GAPS dessert (although we was fantastic about the yogurt).
Fortunately, dinner at my in-laws on Sunday went much smoother. My mother-in-law had plenty of good options for us to choose from and did not try to give my son candy, but rather did an egg hunt for him with raisins, nuts and homemade candy provided by me, and grapes provided by her. At dinner, when I placed a plate full of food and a cup of homemade soda in front of the little boy, she said, “He doesn’t look deprived at all!”