Speech Delays – Part 5

continues …

We have an associate whose son crossed the 2 year/3 month threshold and still was not talking. After consulting with her on our Speech Delays – Part 1 article, she conducted an experiment for us by temporarily putting her family on a gluten-free(GF)/dairy-free(DF) diet. In the last post, we began to publish an anecdotal record of her family’s journey into the world of GF/DF living. We continue …


Day 10: Son is sleeping less. Continues to have a good appetite. His palate is expanding and he is enjoying a more wide variety of foods. Very happy. Babbling more. Continually verbal as long as he is awake. Mother can tell words are forthcoming.

Tips and Observations

Weekend tradition: Getting ice cream with Daddy at Chick-fil-a has been changed to getting waffle fries and lemonade, both of which are GF/DF.

Fast Food Choices: After an online search of area fast food restaurant nutrition/ingredient disclosures, our associate made a list of everything that CAN be ordered at each restaurant. One copy is kept in the diaper bag, one in the glove compartment, and one in her purse.

Trial and Error:
– Allowing for personal taste, both mother and son prefer “Silk Chocolate Almond Milk.”
– Soy milk products have been avoided because of their effect on thyroid function.
– Calcium fortified orange juice is a must since dairy has been eliminated.
– With the GF waffles, use real maple syrup or other healthful topping. Artificial syrup contains caramel color, the source of which may be in question.

Lollipops: It is important to present the GF/DF diet as a regimen that is more fun than a normal diet. So keeping a bag of 60 all natural, organic, GF/DF toddler lollipops on hand (available at most health food stores) is a must. The same mindset applies to snack time at church nurseries: send GF cookies with your child. It is important that he develop, early on, the perception that his nutrition regimen is great.

Minimize Interruption of Family Normalcy: Menus have remained normal with only minimal adaptations like eliminating cheese and butter. For example, last night’s dinner was meat, baked potatoes, and vegetables.

Unintended Side Effect: The whole family is eating better. Eating cookies in the evening has been changed to Newman’s all natural popcorn, tortilla chips, or rice crispy treats made with GF cereal and Campfire marshmallows.

Play-doh: I spoke with a Hasbro Customer Service Representative about the disclaimer on the package of their play-doh stating that it contains wheat. She confirmed that the compound consists of water, salts, and wheat flour. An internet search reveals several companies who manufacture GF/DF play dough. However, we have posted below a recipe for homemade dough.

Homemade Play Dough: We have several recipes for wheat-free play dough, some more complicated than others. Our favorite, however, is the easiest and least expensive. We found it at cooks.com and have listed it below:


1 c. cornstarch
2 c. baking soda
1  1/4 c. cold water
Food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
Microwave on HIGH for 4-6 minutes or until mixture thickens.

When mixture is thick, remove it from the oven and cover the top of the bowl with a damp towel. Let it sit until cool.

Knead like bread dough or work with your hands until dough is smooth.

Store this clay in an airtight container to keep it from drying out. Objects or shapes made from the clay can be left out overnight to harden, then painted with tempera or acrylic paint. A coat of clear varnish or acrylic spray will give a glossy finish.

We divided the kneaded batch into four balls and placed each in a sandwich bag, making sure to remove all the air. When working with the clay (we kept ours white) we noticed that it was less crumbly than recipes containing salt.

Continue to Part 6


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