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FOOD,  FOOD INTOLERANCE,  GLUTEN FREE,  LIVING,  PARENTING

On Raising a Gluten Free Child

Raising a Gluten Free Child

It’s been a few months now since Raeca has joined Jared on the gluten free band wagon. I know I shared at the beginning of the summer that we were testing her for Celiac since it is hereditary and she was displaying some of the classic symptoms for it, but I don’t think I ever shared the results. A few days after getting the test done the doctor called to tell us that she tested negative.

While some would think that would be a good diagnosis I was kind of disappointed* because I knew that gluten was indeed affecting her in a negative way and now we had no real “proof” (medically speaking). Despite her diagnosis (or lack thereof) we have continued to assume she at least has a gluten intolerance and time and time again we are assured we are doing the right thing, when we will eat at other people’s houses and even though we (and they) are as careful as possible to avoid any gluten contamination and yet she is sick for days afterwards.

Raeca has been handling the transition to a completely gluten free diet so well. She actually likes almost every gluten-free food that we’ve sent her way and has even eaten gluten-free breads that Jared has tried his best to eat but just couldn’t handle. This has been such a blessing.

I thought with foods like goldfish crackers and pretzels still so fresh in her memory that the transition would have been more difficult but it really hasn’t been the case for her.

Today I wanted to share a few things that we have done that I believe have helped this transition.

EXPLAIN THAT GLUTEN HURTS THEM
We’ve explained to Raeca that it is gluten that makes her tummy hurt, so when we are over at someone’s house and she asks for a delicious donut or other treat all I have to do is tell her that it has gluten in it and she understands, she never whines or complains about it because she knows what it does to her.

MAKE SURE THEY KNOW TO REFUSE SNACKS OR ASK IF IT IS GLUTEN FREE
Raeca isn’t even 4 years old yet and has gotten quite good at either declining snacks when offered by kids or asking adults if the food is gluten free. It is something we’ve chatted about at home, she knows that she isn’t supposed to share food with other children because she may get sick.

MAKE SURE OTHER ADULTS KNOW
Sometimes kids just forget to ask about the food, it’s bound to happen, if you can make sure to keep any adults in the loop who will be in charge of potentially giving your child food you can reduce the risk of contamination. Our families and close friends know as well as her preschool teachers.

HAVE GLUTEN FREE FOODS AVAILABLE
If we go to a friends house for lunch or the evening I always try to make sure to bring food along that she can eat. Sometimes that means I bring an entire meal and sometimes just a snack. Raeca will be starting preschool this week and they will often have “special days” where kids will bring a special snack, I already have a list of days and I plan on sending her gluten-free cupcakes on those days.

GET THEM IN THE KITCHEN
Kids are always more willing to try food when they have helped to make it. Get them in the kitchen pouring and mixing and they will be more interested taste testing afterwards.

Do you know any gluten free children?
Are there any tips you would add to the list? 

*Just to clarify: I was disappointed that we didn’t have a clear diagnosis for Raeca, NOT that I wanted her to have celiac. 

Linking up with Gluten Free Tuesday.

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