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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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How Do You Keep A Mixed Kitchen Without Glutening Your Child?
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16 posts in this topic

So how do you keep a mixed kitchen without contaminating the celiac in the family?  

 

Background:

My 9yo son has celiac, but none of the rest of the family has any issues with gluten.  At home, we keep our entire household gluten-free because it's easier.  I bake all of our gluten-free bread, pizza, muffins, etc., because I enjoy baking. 

 

Flash forward to now.  We are in Europe for 6 months, renting an apt.  I don't have any baking equipment and I can't find all the ingredients I need anyways.  So we get Schar bread, which is plentiful and good.  

 

However, Schar is expensive, and it doesn't make sense to have the entire family on it when only one of us needs it.  (I guess none of us "need" bread, but we do enjoy eating it.)  So I bought a loaf of regular bread and brought it home.  I put it in a separate cupboard, far away from all the rest of the food and the dishes.  I ate it at the table only once, and then removed the placemat.  

 

That night, my son started complaining that his stomach hurt, and it's been going on like that for 3 days now.  I'm beginning to wonder if I glutened him.  

 

So for those of you with mixed kitchens - how do you do it?  What did I miss?  Do I need to wash dishes separately?  Or just give it up with the bread because bread has too many crumbs?  Help!  I never ate bread in front of him.  I cleaned up.  I washed my hands.  I didn't double-dip in jam containers.  Ugh. Any advice?

 

Normally, I don't think of my son as super-sensitive.  He doesn't have problems eating lunch at school (he brings his own lunch, but I'm assuming the kids around him are eating gluten).  

 

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We couldn't do it, but we are super sensitive.  Could it have been from something else?

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We did it for a few years without issue. We had the designated "gluten-free" counter and the other counter. I never baked with wheat flour after DS was dx, too much flying stuff in the air to settle everywhere else. I made sure everything where gluten was consumed was cleaned immediately after (which is one reason we are now all gluten-free ;) I cleaned more than anything else!) 

 

Are you sure there isn't the possibility he's just ill? 
Sorry mama!

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I cringe at bread. Yes, crumbs.

I would try, if you keep gluteny bread, to make them eat it outside. That's my rule. That said and done, they decided that was too much of a bother and now I don't bring it in the house.

I would guess that they are tracking it around the house - kids especially. They just do it. And they get in it when you don't know about it. Kids. Did one of them toast it? Clean up crumbs with a rag and you didn't know it? The possibilities are endless.

I have found even though my son knows the rules about gluten, he totally forgets the fine points when I let it in the house. He will contaminate everything.

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UMmmm these comments do not give me hope!!!!! :(

I am trying to keep a gluten/gluten-free kitchen. My kitchen is tiny and I have no dishwasher so I wash all the dishes by hand. I do all the cooking and all the cleaning and I am the one who has Celiacs, Is it possible in this situation to be completely gluten-free????

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UMmmm these comments do not give me hope!!!!! :(

I am trying to keep a gluten/gluten-free kitchen. My kitchen is tiny and I have no dishwasher so I wash all the dishes by hand. I do all the cooking and all the cleaning and I am the one who has Celiacs, Is it possible in this situation to be completely gluten-free????

If you are the only one that truly touches the food and/or the other ones know the rules and strictly adhere to them (you too).

It can be done. My son is just not capable. For now.

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If you are the only one that truly touches the food and/or the other ones know the rules and strictly adhere to them (you too).

It can be done. My son is just not capable. For now.

My husband fixes himself snacks and sandwiches and occasionally makes lunch or toast for our children who are 3 and 4 years old. So in otherwords I do almost all of it they do just enough to cross contaminate food!!! The first weekend after being diagnoised my dh got a peice of toast stuck in the toaster so he "cleaned" it out and left a pile of crumbs all over the counter for me to clean up!!! And as of right now we have 3 cubes (the 1/2 cup) of butter in different amounts sitting on the counter because I will use one and set it aside for it to be mine and then dh comes in and see's that butter sitting there and decides to use it instead of "his" container of butter ugh!!!

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I put red tape on things that are gluten-free only. Perhaps you could mark things?

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It was only my husband and I who ate the gluteny bread, not the kids.  I caught my husband "double-dipping" in the jam, so he went out and bought a new one.  But I don't think my son had any jam.  But oh, the crumbs - the bread is crumbly.  They could have gone anywhere, I suppose.

 

This is why we keep a gluten-free kitchen at home - it's so much easier.  I don't have to stress about the crumbs, or the butter, or anything else. 

 

That being said, it is possible it wasn't gluten.  It may be he just didn't want to go to school this week.  Who knows.  

 

Thanks for the tips!

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I think its better for the whole house to go gluten-free really its only far for the child that has to eat gluten-free... And truly safer if u cook something in the oven that has gluten in it and then cook something gluten-free. that item is contaminated now so unless u wanna constantly bleach ur stove and just bleach ur whole kitch i think its best for ur child to all go gluten-free!! But good luck

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I think its better for the whole house to go gluten-free really its only far for the child that has to eat gluten-free... And truly safer if u cook something in the oven that has gluten in it and then cook something gluten-free. that item is contaminated now so unless u wanna constantly bleach ur stove and just bleach ur whole kitch i think its best for ur child to all go gluten-free!! But good luck

Cooking in an oven will not get gluten into a dish of food. Unless you have crumbs on the ceiling of the oven that could fall in? Or the gluten food is cooking, uncovered, next to an uncovered gluten-free dish. One might splatter into the other.

Also, bleach does not " kill" gluten. Gluten is not alive. Gluten must be rubbed and rinsed off of something. So regular dish soap and some scrubbing will do the job.

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How are you washing dishes? I think it is necessary to have designated sponges and cleaning/drying cloths for the gluten free person. And Gluten free dishes should be washed before/separately from glutened dishes in a hand wash scenario. Has the toaster been shared? Toaster needs to be gluten free for him to use at all. Aluminum foil helps us in a pinch for protecting spaces and segregation in cooking/grilling scenarios. How about the cutting board and knife? There should be dedicated gluten free cutting board and knife as well.

That being said any reduction in gluten in his space will help him. There are many variables in a move, so it could be a number of contributing factors. Good luck with the changes and narrowing down the influencing variables. I hope that he is feeling better soon.

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Thanks for the tips.  And I agree about the gluten-free kitchen - that's what we do at home.  This is just a temporary fix in a foreign country in an apt without a lot of flexibility.  The only gluten in the house comes in the form of corn flakes and that one loaf of bread I got.  He doesn't use the toaster because it came w/the apt.  I washed all the gluten dishes by themselves first and then piled them up with everything else to get washed again and washed the sink between dish loads - no dishwasher, all by hand.  No cutting boards, just plates.  Only 1 knife in the kitchen will cut bread.  

 

I decided I would try another loaf, mindful of all that has been said above, and see what happens.  If he says his tummy hurts again, then I'll stop and we'll do without or splurge on Schar for everyone.  It's really just my lunch, while he is at school, that ends up being not-gluten-free.  

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We have a mixed kitchen, and it sounds like you're doing everything we do. My guess would be that either he's just sick, his tummy hurts for some psychological reason (moving to a foreign country for 6 months would be stressful for anyone!), or he got glutened somehow outside of the house.

 

That said, I really have no idea if we're glutening my DD, because she doesn't have any noticeable reaction. But I can't imagine how we (or you) could be much more careful without making the house completely gluten-free.

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Didn't see a separate toaster?

Only one toaster and it's totally contaminated.  Celiac son doesn't eat toast right now (not worth buying a new toaster for 6 months of toast).  

 

He's feeling fine now.  And no reaction after the last loaf of bread came through the kitchen.  

 

I did find out that my husband was eating bread at work, and bringing home gluten-contaminated tupperwares but not telling me.  So into the sink they went with everything else.  That may have been the source of any gluten contamination.  Geez - it's like CSI out there.

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