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Kids and the Gluten-Free Diet
Kids and the Gluten-Free Diet
My niece Lucy is 10 and she is a Gluten Free Kid. She was only diagnosed late last year through a blood sample. My Dad quickly received a phone call from my slightly alarmed brother asking if there was a gluten free intolerance that existed in our family? There was none. Neither was there any suggestion of an intolerance to gluten on my sister-in-law’s side.
Maybe Lucy had just lucked out as the gluten free kid out of her other 3 siblings. And this was just the way it was going to be for her.
My brother was a combination of alarmed and thankful when his daughter was diagnosed. A bit alarmed as it meant Luc was going to have to be mindful and careful of what she would need to eat for probably the rest of her life, and thankful as it was a likely cause, or at least part cause, to Luc’s really moody behavior and complete outbursts.
So being a gluten free kid is different to being an adult and gluten free. As a kid you rely, or pretty well much rely, on adults to meet your daily food needs and preparation of foods. It can also get confusing when you are invited out to birthday parties, Luc recently went to one and ate gluten containing foods. This was all new to her and when later asked about it, on the way home, she simply said, ‘I forgot’. Luc is slowly learning about the foods that she can and cannot eat. The understanding will get easier for her as she grows older, but the ‘why’ probably won’t. She now has her own toaster and labelled foods in the kitchen.
It’s pretty rough sometimes for these kids so I’m hoping you can get some good tips here on glutenfreekids.net and certainly check out our free e-book here!
Kids & the Gluten-Free Diet
Celiac disease is now one of the most common chronic diseases children can suffer from. Children can present symptoms of celiac disease from any age, some of which are often weight loss, bloating, abdominal pain and vomiting. Being diagnosed with the disease can often be a daunting time for both parents and children, however, there are relatively easy methods and means to help deal with the change in lifestyle.
One of the most important things parents can do to help their child or children deal with the condition is to explain the situation to them. It’s essential that they know which foods are safe for them and which foods should be avoided. Obviously this level of information and detail depends on the age of the children, but it’s good for them to be familiar with what they can and cannot eat from an early age.
Simple tasks like asking children to read the labels on foods, ensuring they know what the terms “wheat” and “rye” mean and why they should be avoided. Other ways to teach children are to involve them in preparing meals and snacks or allowing them to choose what goes in the weekly shopping trolley.
Parents can obviously set a good example and ensure they maintain a gluten-free household, however, it’s often away from the home environment that children are tempted by other foods. Schools, teachers, friends and other parents should be informed about your child’s condition to prevent any mishaps either at school or while away on school outings or trips.
Packed lunches for school can seem to be a challenge for many parents at first, however, the wide selection of [http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/gluten-free]gluten-free food and snacks available in supermarkets today means you are sure to find something your kids will like. Great recipes for evening meals include macaroni cheese using amaranth. This nutritious, gluten-free wheat flour substitute works perfectly for creating a thick cheese sauce. And kids can still enjoy some of their favourite treats like ice cream, chocolate bars such as mars bars, rolos and snickers as well as starburst.
One aspect of the condition which often worries many parents is the possibility of developing an iron deficiency. The part of the stomach damaged by gluten is also the part where the iron from food is absorbed. It’s important that parents ensure children have good sources of iron in their diets, such as fish, leafy greens and meats.
Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from [http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/gluten-free]gluten-free food to technology to holiday destinations. View Harvey’s other articles to find out more.
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