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Help Removing Gluten From Older Asymptomatic Child
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Sam was tentatively diagnosed in Spring of 2003 with celiac. Beth, her older sister is showing some "light" symptoms -- mouth sores, geographic tongue (separate from the mouth sores), etc. No gastro symptoms. She is 7 and about to start second grade. I though the summer would be a good time to get her gluten-free. But, it has proved just as challenging as during school. She keeps telling me she is not like Sam, her tummy is fine. I know most of it stems from all the "stuff" she loves and won't be able to have. Most of it is stuff I don't let them have often anyway - store-bought sweets, pizza, etc. Any advice for making a smoother transition. With Sam, it was easy, she was 2, nearly 3. I just removed all she could not have, basically by learning to make it from scratch without gluten. Beth is not so easy. Friends have such neat food, you know.

Thanks.

Michelle

mom to Beth, 7 1/2 and Sam, 4

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Hi Michelle,

My daughter was also 7 when she was diagnosed.... completely asymptomatic. She was diagnosed by blood test and biopsy in December. We were shocked. She adjusted pretty well to the diet. I just told her it was something she had to do so she wouldn't get sick like I did.

I definetly bent the rules on giving her junk to ease the transition a bit. I made Danielle's gluten free brownies, bought gluten-free candy, had ice cream sundae parties instead of bithday cake, brought root beer floats to friends' houses for dessert, etc. All of us (2 gluten-free; 3 non gluten-free) eat only gluten-free snacks and desserts. I do keep one small shelf for regular bread and non-gluten-free nutrition bars that my husband and two other children enjoy. Other than that, all the other food in the house is gluten-free.

Not to say we threw healthy eating out the window. She has always loved fruit, veggies, meat, potatoes and rice .... so I kept up with these "regular" foods and eliminated all gluten-containing food from the house.

Now, when the others want regular pizza they order take-out my daughter and I have gluten-free pizza. We didn't do this right away. It was too hard on her at first... but now she is o.k. with it.

At school, my daughter kept a stash of gluten-free cupcakes in the nurse's freezer for improptu b-day parties, etc. She also had a drawer in her teacher's desk where she could keep a stash of non-perishable food for whenever she couldn't have what may have been passed out by a guest reader or guest.

I have also tried to empower her to make her own gluten-free food choices... after almost 6 months she is getting pretty good at it.

So far so good... although about once a week we still have the "If you don't know what's in it -- you can't have it speach"

Hope this helped. Take Care,

Ruth

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I'm 13 years-old...still a kid...and therefore, with some advice to offer. One of the reasons why someone would dislike the gluten-free diet would be because of the restrictions and limitations that come with it. After all, if your daughter could eat a macaroni and cheese that tastes the same, a delicious pizza, and bread that is identical to that which she used to eat, it would be no big deal....just don't eat anything that other people give you....so, the key is: find replacements...quickly, so she doesn't develop a great aversion to the gluten-free diet, and two: try to make her feel normal....although I am not one of them, I think that a lot of kids want to fit in with everyone else. The less uncomfortable and different she feels eating gluten-free foods or dealing with people who aren't eating gluten-free foods, the better. Of course, it's not as simple as: find replacements...therefore, I'll give you some suggestions. I keep a list of good gluten-free foods in a word document to post for newbies needing good gluten-free foods. I remember the first gluten-free bread I ate: it was disgusting and I was really upset at the prospect that this kind of cr*p (excuse the term) would make up my diet....for the rest of my life. The less exposure to these foods, the more optimistic a Celiac can be. I was lucky to find the board early on and it helped me avoid running into bad-tasting gluten-free foods...here are some suggestions:

- Store-bought Cookies: try Pamela's Products -- the BEST cookies. The lemon shortbread are decent, but some people find them too strong a lemony taste. However, try the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They are AMAZING!!! Even including regular cookies, they are the best store-bought I've ever had.

- Homemade Cookies: if you have 15 minutes to spare, make peanut butter cookies. Very good...even my aunt who hates PB liked them. Preparation time is about five minutes and the recipe calls for 10 min. baking -- it might take 15. All you need is 2 cups of PB (Skippy or Jif), 2 cups of sugar, and 1 egg (this is also good because there aren't any weird gluten-free flours and stuff...where do you buy those things, anyway? I don't like to cook, and I surely don't like to cook something that requires six different types of flour...it's ridiculous and I like simplicity if I am even going to bother cooking something...I don't mind making basic things, but now 6-flour-cookies that take three hours to make and three minutes to eat... ).

- Fruits/Vegetables/Meat: I eat so much more fruit now...apples, bannanas, strawberries, blueberries, canned mandarine oranges, canned peaches, etc. There are, of course, meats: chicken, steak, pork, hamburgers, etc....no fresh meat is excluded...but I often forget about fish, which are, too, gluten-free.

- Bread: People will say Knikinick or however it's spelled is great, but I've found Ener-G to be a bread that tastes astoundingly similar to regular gluten-filled white bread...that's what I use...you make your pick...go with me or the majority!

- Pizza: probably thought you'd never have that again, right? Get Chebe (you can only get it online), but buy the bread mix, not the pizza crust (the bread mix turns out better). Follow the instructions, mush it out into a round "thing", bake as instructed, and then add sauce (Classico is good and the only kind that I know to be gluten-free....but expensive), and gluten-free cheese. It's terriffic. By the way, you can get the Chebe at http://www.chebe.com. Try it...the shipping is free and once you realize that you like it, you can buy it in bulk and get discounts. Please!!!! If you take ANY OF MY ADVICE FROM THIS POST....TRY THE CHEBE!!!

- Miscellaneous: Raisins, Quaker Rice Cakes, most soft drinks are gluten-free including all kinds (diet, caffeine free, etc.) of Coke, Sprite, Sunkist, Pepsi, etc. As long as you stick with the brand-name companies (not the Supermarket Colas and be careful with Root Beers). There are many gluten-free candies...I actually made a post under the "Teenagers Only Section" for gluten-free candies...check there for the complete list that Gf4Life provided...actually, I'll copy it below:

Hi celiac3270,

I have a list of mainstream gluten-free and milk free candies that I use when shopping for candy for my kids. I got it from the Gluten-free Casein-free Diet Support Group for Autistic kids and they are very strick when it comes to putting products in their booklet each year. I know that Dextrin is one of their ingredients that is avoided, so these should be safe. Still read all the labels, since manufacturers change their formulas far too often:

Nestle: Sweet Tarts, Spree Chewy Candy, Regular Spree Candy

Farley gummy bears

Willy Wonka: Gobstoppers, Bottle Caps, Pixy Stix, Nerds, Runts

Mike & Ike: Zours, Jelly Beans, Hot Tamales

Starburst Fruit Chews (NOT Starburst fruit twists!)

Necco: Necco Wafers, Sweethearts, Conversation hearts (Valentines), Necco Candy Eggs (Easter), Candy Stix, Talking Pumpkins (Halloween), Peach Blossoms (Christmas), Necco Ultramints, Canada Mint & Wintergreen Losenges

Rock Candy (made from pure sugar)

Ce De Candies: Kidz Rings, Candy Fruits, Candy Lipsticks, Smarties

Mars Inc: Skittles, Jelly Beans

Sunkist: Fruit Jems, Jelly Beans, Orange and Cream chews, Super Sour Stars

Sorbee International: Lollypops

Jolly Rancher: Hard Candies, Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly: All flavors of Jelly Beans EXCEPT: Cafe Latte, Buttered Toast, Caramel Corn, Buttered Popcorn, Chocolate Cherry Cake, Chocolate Pudding, Strawberry Cheesecake

This should give you a lot more options and they are all available pretty much everywhere. I can also put together a list of others that you might only find online or in healthfood stores if you would like. Just let me know.

As for chocolate, I found that the Scharfen Berger chocolate bars are very yummy. They are gluten and dairy free by ingredients. The small bars are wrapped in a different facility where they also wrap other chocolates that do contain milk, so as a precaution they put a milk warning on the label. I am very sensitive to dairy reactions and have never had a reaction to these bars. They are a bit pricey and not available everywhere (I got mine at Whole Foods) but they are very nice to have when you are craving chocolate. There are also a few kinds of baking chocolate chips that are gluten and dairy free.

God bless,

Mariann

Chips: most things by Frito Lays (not Doritos), you can have: Lays Potato Chips, Wavy Lays Potato Chips, Cheetos, Fritos, etc. You can get a complete list at http://www.fritolay.com/nutrition/glutefree.shtml:

FritoLays Gluten-Free Products:

Last updated August 28, 2003

BAKED DORITOS

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