Celiac Disease and kids
How do you tell an 8 year old that she cannot have cookies or a grilled cheese sandwich anymore? Coping with Celiac Disease for an adult has its obstacles, but when a child needs to cope with it, they have the same obstacles but normally do not understand the reasoning behind the drastic changes.
The first few weeks and months will be rough. Learning to read the labels, looking for hidden sources of Gluten not only will take longer to shop but will hurt your pocket book, more than a regular diet. The first thing you will want to do is take your child with you and ask them to read the labels first looking for wheat, barley, rye or the hundred other names it can go by. This not only prepares them for the future when they have to do this on their own. It also gives them some self-esteem as they are part of the process.
Finding snacks and lunches for school will always be a challenge. However if you send them left overs from the night before, it will keep some of the headache away. Luckily chicken, Ham, Pork Turkey (no stuffing) and chicken are all gluten free. As well as most rice potatoes and most vegetables.
Most blocked cheese is gluten free and great for snacks as well. Fresh fruits are a good alternative, but you will need to watch the canned fruits as a lot of them have wheat in them as a thickening agent.
The last and in my opinion the most important is to find a good gluten free sweats selection that you can bake yourself. Kids will have the hardest time with the especially at birthday parties and at school. Kids love peanut butter cookies and can be made with sugar, peanut butter and an egg. Again with this step keep your child involved as it shows them how to bake or cook for when they live on their own.
Celiac disease will be hard on the child, but with help from you it doesn't have to be. Remember stay positive and your child will as well.
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