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Merged Family of Celiacs and Non-Celiacs

Celiac.com 05/11/2016 - You just got out of your daughter's doctor's appointment and have been told: "It is confirmed, she has celiac disease." What do you do? Tell everyone else in the family they must follow a gluten-free diet? What do you do when you have a merged family of celiacs and non-celiacs?

Merged Family of Celiacs and Non-CeliacsMy mother went through this very thing. With being celiac herself, she well informed herself via the internet as to what did and didn't have gluten in it. Both my oldest brother and I were eventually diagnosed celiac. This left my other brother and my father being the only two non-celiacs. It can be difficult to wrap your head around just how important maintaining a gluten-free diet is for a celiac when you aren't celiac yourself.

So yes, sharing your toaster with both gluten and gluten-free bread can make a celiac ill. Having wheat flour in your kitchen can cross-contaminate, be ingested by a celiac resulting in an adverse reaction in either the celiac child or adult. Keeping gluten away from a celiac is extremely important. Removing those croutons from the top of that salad does not suddenly make it "safe" for any celiac.

I am celiac and my husband is not. My 1 year old, Brixton, hasn't eaten any gluten to date. He will also have to be tested when he gets a little older as celiac disease is genetic. How do I maintain a gluten-free household that is both healthy for me and satisfying for my husband? Easy! Get two toasters, seriously! An extra pot just for those special nights my husband wants real good ol' gluten loaded fettuccini. I buy premade boxed treats and snacks that have gluten in them so he doesn't feel "deprived" and so I also don't have to make him cookies and treats with gluten in them.

I can say my husband really has taken to gluten-free baked items. I make gluten-free waffles and pancakes every weekend and he drools over them. Not to mention the delicious gluten-free cookie dough I make! Yum! He also knows that when we go out to a restaurant, anything is game for him. He goes to town on the fresh bread, pasta, etc. that the restaurants have. We do however try to maintain a healthy diet from day to day, therefore we primarily eat protein, vegetables, fruit and good (healthy) fats. For those days we want a little something extra, we always have boxed gluten snacks for him and some delicious gluten-free flours for me to whip up something tasty for my whole family.

The most important thing to remember is that a gluten-free diet isn't just a diet someone with celiac disease "can" follow if they want. It is a necessary diet and lifestyle they MUST follow for their health and wellbeing. Consider it their "medication" for the disease. With that in mind it may make the celiac and non-celiac families live in harmony.

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3 Responses:

 
Helen Vajk
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said this on
16 May 2016 12:26:49 PM PST
Caveat: current research suggests less triggering in children of celiacs if they ARE exposed to some gluten in early childhood. Hmm, what to do? Also, if non-celiac kids eat regular non-GF mac/cheese, they have to be of an age to eat without spreading the meal around the environment.

 
Ryan
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said this on
17 May 2016 6:26:35 AM PST
I cannot speak to the research to which you refer but when I was a toddler and gluten was first introduced into my diet I would clutch my gut in pain, curled up in a ball on the ground, crying, and of course all of the IBS symptoms that are synonymous with having celiacs and eating gluten. I cannot speak to the issue of kids sharing food, yet, but give me a few years as my girlfriend and I are almost the same severity of celiac and plan on starting a family within the year.

 
Donna
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said this on
16 May 2016 5:08:43 PM PST
This was great! I have gluten sensitivity plus an allergy to dairy. My husband is healthy. He has gluten snacks in the house,toaster is in garage. I do still pack a lunch for him (semi retired). I cook meats,veggies and fruits. I have learned to make an awesome pie crust,my husband eats that plus GF pancakes, cookies and cakes.




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