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Help Explaining Celiac Disease To A Little Kid?
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12 posts in this topic

My friends' daughter is 7 or 8 I think. Whenever I come over now she puts a snack in my face, usually a cupcake or something and is like "Here you go!" And I am always like No thank you! We tried to explain to her, nothing with wheat or dairy but she doesn't understand really what that means. We also said I mostly eat fruits and vegetables too. Her parents also feel guilty that they couldn't find anything in their kitchen that I can eat ( take out, tv dinners and cereal) and she might have caught onto that. Its an interesting situation, since even adults are clueless about wheat ( "can u still have white bread?") so explaining my condition to a small child is especially challenging. Anyone else went thru this?

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7/8 is not too young to understand. My 6&7 yr old r gluten-free & completely understand what food is safe & what food is dangerous for them and that different people have different problems with food. May I suggest u arrive with your own snacks to share... maybe something they can relate to as "normal" like tortilla chips & salsa, ice cream, cut up fruit w/ caramel dip or delicious cupcakes that happen to be gluten-free..that way they don't think you are "odd" just eat a little different.

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While she's not too young to understand, she also doesn't have to deal with it every day, or REALLY live with it, since you are a friend, so it's going to be hard for her to internalize.  That said, I don't find her behavior of offering bad - that's an excellent behavior!  But not asking if you want it and respecting your answer (of no) is the problem.  (Well, this is my approach for teaching my 3-year old, anyway.)

 

What we say to my 3-year old is that wheat makes mommy sick, and it's not something that vitamins or medicine can make better; wheat will just make me sick for many, many days, so mommy doesn't eat wheat.

 

It's an over simplification, but I think it's suitable for very young kids.

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"What we say to my 3-year old is that wheat makes mommy sick, and it's not something that vitamins or medicine can make better; wheat will just make me sick for many, many days, so mommy doesn't eat wheat."

Going to remember this, my son loves sharing his snacks with mom & dad, it will be easier to say no w/o breaking his little heart by telling him like this.

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"What we say to my 3-year old is that wheat makes mommy sick, and it's not something that vitamins or medicine can make better; wheat will just make me sick for many, many days, so mommy doesn't eat wheat."

Going to remember this, my son loves sharing his snacks with mom & dad, it will be easier to say no w/o breaking his little heart by telling him like this.

 

My daughter CAN have wheat, though, so when I go off to teach yoga Saturday mornings, she has taken to asking daddy to have lunch "with wheat", since she knows she won't get it if I'm home. :P  It's hilarious.

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Kids that age know about allergies.  I just say, no thanks, I'm allergic to that.

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my grandson, now 9, picked up on the whole concept really fast.  he could already read by the time i got diagnosed.  he would ask me if i could eat something and i asked him what's in it?  then he would read the ingredients and when he got to 'wheat' he said NOPE.  he is actually pretty educated about it for a kid his age.  the 4 yr olds do not care as long as i make enough for them :)

 

edited to say:  actually, he 'gets' it better than many adults!!  hahaha

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tarnelberry, I teach yoga too!

 

my granddaughter is 4 1/2 and whenever I go over there I bring my own food. sometimes we eat out, and take my food with me. about a month ago she asked why I am always eating my own food, and I told her I have food allergies and some foods make me sick. she was happy with that answer, as she has allergies so she knows what they are.

 

last week I was eating with them and she turned to my daughter and said in the course of conversation, you know mommy, grandma has allergies so she can't eat what we eat. 

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edited to say: actually, he 'gets' it better than many adults!! hahaha

HEY! What's that posta mean?

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My daughter CAN have wheat, though, so when I go off to teach yoga Saturday mornings, she has taken to asking daddy to have lunch "with wheat", since she knows she won't get it if I'm home. :P It's hilarious.

Too cute!

Actually not much different at my house - 17 & 20 yr olds - "Dad, can we go out for gluten food?"

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Too cute!

Actually not much different at my house - 17 & 20 yr olds - "Dad, can we go out for gluten food?"

Answer: Yeah, bring me back something good, I'll pay you later.

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Answer: Yeah, bring me back something good, I'll pay you later.

This means they want money for food or Dad to take them to this bar with pool tables and steak sandwiches.

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