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Is Your Child Sneaking Foods off the Gluten-Free Diet?

Celiac.com 12/22/2014 - Is your child sneaking a bite here and there off his or her needed gluten-free diet? You should know not only for the health of your child but to also ensure there are no other issues you need to help address, such as an allergy to nuts or dairy which can cause other issues. As a parent we need to stay on top of things to get to the bottom of any “unresolved” issues in their little bodies. If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s critical that he or she follows a diet 100% free of gluten. Alarmingly, according to Celiac.com, 43% of celiacs cheat on their gluten-free diet, and 13% cheat 20-40 times per year or more for various reasons.

Photo: CC--SaxOne of the reasons children may cheat on their diet is because they don’t have substitutes for their favorite gluten-containing foods. Have a talk with your child about the gluten-containing meals, snacks, and desserts he or she craves and misses and make sure there are plenty of gluten-free versions of these foods available at all times, especially over the holidays.

Another reason celiac children may cheat on their diet is because eating gluten doesn’t make them feel sick. It’s important to sit down with your celiac child and have a heart-to-heart talk about how even though your child doesn’t feel sick, gluten is still wreaking havoc on the villi of the intestines which in turn can lead to very serious health conditions such as infertility and gastrointestinal cancer. You may want to include your child’s doctor or nutritionist in this discussion.

Lastly, get your child excited and proud to be gluten-free. Have your celiac child join a local celiac children’s group to stay motivated and feel “normal” and connected to others with the same dietary restrictions. Pick out special gluten-free recipes to make for dinner or dessert. Attend a gluten-free cooking class together. There are many ways to his or her celiac pride.

Your child won’t be tempted to cheat when you make this recipe!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the original Toll House recipe, halved because I don’t want to make so many cookies. These are really delicious!

Ingredients:

  • A heaping 1 ¾ cup rice flour or gluten-free flour mix
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick shortening, Earth Balance, or butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ package gluten-free chocolate chips
  • Nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Mix sugars and shortening or butter until creamy.
  2. Beat in egg, then dry ingredients except chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  3. Once smooth, add chips and nuts and roll into balls.
  4. Flatten slightly.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  6. Let cool on cookie sheets.
  7. Remove and eat or store in an airtight container.
  8. Enjoy!

 NOTE: You may replace the egg with egg replacer or applesauce to make them vegan.

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1 Response:

 
Luann
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
29 Dec 2014 12:00:34 PM PDT
I was diagnosed 25 years ago at age 40 and did NOT want to have to be GF. I went 90 days almost GF (didn't watch some small stuff) and my DR did a second colonoscopy. While still in my twilight sleep he showed me both videos of my intestines. The first was HORRIBLE, inflamed, red, black and blue and leisons. 90 days later was just a clear blue image! I told my Dr. that was the BEST thing he could have done for me! To see the rotten intestine vs the no longer infected in 90 days. I think of that frequently. Try it with your kids. They will be shocked.




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@cyclinglady thanks for checking in Restricted diet didn't do much. Still had some VA last time they checked. Heath still otherwise fine, so RCD remains unlikely. My sxs kick in lockstep with life stress, so that kind of points to some general IBS stuff on top of celiac disease. Very doubtful I'm getting any gluten in, but fingers crossed my system is just a little hyper-vigilant, as I ponder on this thread.

I have always noticed that the table wine in Europe is pretty damn good! I am a wine lover and so is my husband but he does like his Green's beer.

The reason they set the limit at 20ppms is that through scientific study, they have proven that the vast majority of people with Celiac Disease do not have an autoimmune reaction to amounts below that......it is a safe limit for most. Also, just because that limit is set at 20ppms, does not mean that gluten-free products contain that amount of gluten. Testing for lower levels becomes more expensive with each increment down closer to 0-5ppms, which translates into higher priced products. Unless you eat a lot of processed gluten-free food, which can have a cumulative affect for some, most people do well with the 20ppm limit.

I'm in the Houston area so I'm assuming there are plenty of specialists around, though finding one that accepts my insurance might be hard. This might sound dumb, but do I search for a celiac specialist?? I'm so new to this and want to feel confident in what is/isn't wrong with my daughter. I'm with you on trusting the specialist to know the current research.

Hi VB Thats sounds like a good plan. Would it help to know that a frustrating experience in seeking diagnosis isn't unusual With your IGG result I'm sure a part of you is still wondering if they are right to exclude celiac. I know just how you feel as I too had a negative biopsy, but by then a gluten challenge had already established how severely it affected me. So I was convinced I would be found to be celiac and in a funny way disappointed not to get the 'official' stamp of approval. Testing isnt perfect, you've already learned of the incomplete celiac tests offered by some organisations and the biopsy itself can only see so much. If you react positively to the gluten free diet it may mean you're celiac but not yet showing damage in a place they've checked, or it may be that you're non celiac gluten sensitive, which is a label that for a different but perhaps related condition which has only recently been recognised and for which research is still very much underway. We may not be able to say which but the good news is all of your symptoms: were also mine and they all resolved with the gluten free diet. So don't despair, you may still have found your answer, it just may be a bit wordier than celiac! Keep a journal when you're on the diet, it may help you track down your own answers. Best of luck!