This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc. Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)Gluten-Free Alcoholic BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
I just got a box of Cheerios for the rest of the family, and they say "gluten-free". Which made me wonder how did they do it? I react to oats, ironic after eating 3 bowls of Cheerios every day for 30 years, so I avoid them, even gluten-free, but I was curious. Did they actually use gluten-free oats, and would there be sufficient supply? Wouldn't they have to raise the price? On the back of the box they explain: they SORT the oats from conventional fields to remove wheat, rye, and barley. Okay, that's probably done by computer, and I've seen enough of those "how it's made" shows to know that they can do it rapidly, using puffs of air to knock the offending grains out of the line, but how rigorous is this? I have to assume that they wouldn't claim it to be gluten-free unless they were pretty sure about it, but would you eat them?
I took a cruise on the MS Amsterdam, and as they recommended I contacted them about gluten-free food 90 days ahead of time. They sent me a form to fill out about what gluten-free items I wanted - pancakes, pizza crusts, bread, muffins, etc, for each day of the trip. So did I get that? Heck no. In the main (fancy) dining room I got 2 pieces of toasted gluten-free bread with each meal (and tough as nails - nobody took me up on my dare to eat it), but there was no sign of the stuff I requested, or of any way to ask for it. I would not have trusted the staff of the buffet to handle it safely anyway - no idea whether they had separate toasters, but I doubt it. I did get an offer of gluten-free pasta at one of the optional restaurants, but didn't take it. Clearly they were not in the gluten-free loop and that form I filled out was a sham. I managed to find safe food, but it certainly was limited. At least I didn't go home with the notorious cruise extra pounds. The main dining room staff seemed to mostly understand my needs, and gave me the next day's menu each night to pick out some items that they would check for me, so that was good, but the buffet was clueless. I will be contacting Holland America to tell them about this.
The Thai Kitchen soups in the little bags are easy to make without cooking. Squeeze the bag to break the rice noodles into smaller pieces (just to make it easier) and pour the noodles into a cup. Add hot water to cover, add seasonings, and just let it sit until the noodles are soft. Some of the seasoning packages are a little hard to open, so you might need a scissors.
A small crepe place near me offered gluten-free crepes, and yes, she had a pitcher of gluten-free batter, but she could not dedicate one of the crepe bakers (like a big round stone) to the gluten-free crepes, so I let her know that she couldn't call them gluten-free. I don't think she even has that on her menu any more. Some restaurants need more education.
Yes, the hostess mentioned an iPad, but when the waitress didn't offer it as an option, I figured they might not be prepared to deal with this. Knowing what I know now, I would make sure to ask for the iPad, but really, is it so hard to print the allergy list from the website and just hand it to a customer as they walk in? The food was not worth going back intentionally, but in a pinch I might stop in again. Maybe if the waitress had known to bring up the iPad, I wouldn't be so cranky and would be raving about how marvelous the service was. But not the food.
Not the perfect loaf, but with trial and error I found recipes that suit different needs. One crumbly bread that is good for making bread crumbs. A few loaves that are good for slices. Biscuits, French bread, crumpets, pizza dough. Keep playing around, and make a lot of different recipes until you find some keepers. I have never found one that gives you the texture of Wonder Bread, but there are better and worse versions of homemade wheat bread. I started with Bette Hagman's books 10 years ago and made and re-made and adapted recipes, picking up others from the internet or other cookbooks. Of course I have a houseful of weird flours, but some things are good enough to have to hide from the gluten-eaters.
I agree that it's nice to have the ability to check on multiple allergens, but I wasn't offered an iPad, and I was not planning to go there, I stopped in because I saw the place in a mall I had not been to before and remembered that they could do gluten-free. I didn't know I would have to do homework before I could eat there. I have eaten at restaurants so very rarely over the past 10 years that I was hoping for something nice and easy, and it was neither, so I was greatly disappointed. I expected to be given an actual menu like at PF Chang's or Outback.
I usually use a flour blend from Bette Hagman's cookbooks, so I did the calculations for what they use in the ATK cookbook and got: 80% of the total is my flour mix, 20% is brown rice flour, to substitute for making their mix. This approximates their blend (although without the milk). I found their bread recipes tasted good but the bread was very heavy and dense. I cut the psyllium by 1/3 and that seemed to help, but I don't see this as superior to the usual recipes I make. I might try substituting the psyllium in those recipes and see what happens. In case you're wondering, I prefer Ginger Lemon Girl's Favorite Sandwich Bread, or Bette Hagman's Oregon Bread. Give those a try.
I made the ATK sandwich bread recipe (not in a breadmaker) and found it incredibly dense. I can't imagine trying to bite into two slices of it with a filling. It does indeed taste good and it toasts up really well, but soft it is not. I tried the multigrain bread recipe, cutting the psyllium powder from 3T to 2T and that seemed to help, but it's still pretty dense. You do need to bake it longer than any other recipe I have tried in order to get rid of the unusually large amount of water added. They also recommend a lower baking temperature than my usual recipes, so you might need to adjust the breadmaker settings.
I stopped at a Red Robin yesterday for the first time in about 10 years, because I knew they could do gluten-free, but the hostess told me they no longer print the information because "all the allergy information is on our website". So when I sit down there, there is no information I can use on the menu, and I have to either rely on the server's memory or find someone with internet access. The hostess told me that someone could bring an iPad around for me. Really? This is the best they can do? Is this how Red Robin does it everywhere or was it just this place that doesn't print anything out for customers?
I understand that they don't want to print out expensive menus in case their selections change, but you'd think they could at least have a current copy of their online allergy lists printed out. The food was so mediocre (including a gluten-free burger bun that disintegrated halfway through, leaving my hands covered with sticky crumbs) that I don't plan to go back, but I want to write to someone and register a complaint.
Good luck, and thanks, however, you'll have to take the word of the restaurant that something is totally gluten-free because you won't have a physical reaction to indicate cross-contamination. At least you'll be able to look at menus and processes and see where some of our difficulties lie. Make sure you get a good list of ingredients to avoid from this site and check for them. If you want something deep-fried, ask what else is cooked in the oil. Ask whether pasta water is added to a sauce. Tell them you can't take the burger off the bun or pick the croutons out of the salad and see how they react. Expensive, exclusive restaurants will often be more accomodating, but many of us can't afford it but would be more likely to go to something like Friday's or Ruby Tuesday. Consider the level of training at the restaurant - many cheap chains will be lousy with cross-contamination even if they say they can accomodate you. Note also the reactions of servers/chefs when you ask for gluten-free - there is everything from concerned compliance to eye-rolling disdain. If you get a chance, take along someone who has been gluten-free for a long time who can point out things you might not think of. If you're ever in central NJ I'll be happy to be your guest at expensive restaurants .
Your son might be able to keep his hunger under control by adding more protein (meat, eggs, cheese), and eating fewer carbs (bread, pastry, pasta). I'll stay full much longer after 2 eggs scrambled with cheese and spinach than after a bagel or several bowls of cereal. Making pasta for him is a nice gesture, but the gluten-free pastas out there usually have simple basic ingredients (no gums!) and are much easier to have on hand when you want them. Try a few and figure out whether you prefer corn (falls apart quickly), rice (Tinkyada is good), quinoa, or other types of gluten-free pasta. Don't worry too much about xanthan gum. It will be hard for your bread to hold together just using gelatin or eggs or other non-gum methods. Feed him natural, unprocessed foods for a while until his guts heal, then you can try something with more exotic ingredients like xanthan gum (which you can find in all kinds of foods - even candy and ice cream).
The quoted passage from the book doesn't refer to Celiac symptoms at all, but to malabsorption of starch and the fermentation and gas that can go with that problem. That's an entirely separate problem from the immunological reactions that occur with celiac disease, so that passage pretty much has no relevance for us.