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Nantzie

How To Explain Celiac To 4yo

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I was just wondering how everybody explained celiac to their child. My daughter just turned four. She only has mild to moderate symptoms; D that doesn't seem to hurt/worry/bother her, mild tummy aches and appetite issues, dark circles under her eyes and some behavior issues that may or may not be related to celiac. In other words, things that are more worrisome for me than her.

I know that she's old enough to understand quite a bit. I am ordering a couple of books for her from Amazon - Eating Gluten-Free with Emily and The gluten-free Kid. They are geared toward kids who are a little older, but I think they'll work. I think they'll also be good in helping me figure out how to explain this to her school.

I was just wondering how everyone else approached this with their kids.

Nancy

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I think you're on the right track with the books! It can be tricky with kids, explaining things that seem over their head.

I find just being striaght up sometimes helps as well. Kids are sometimes a lot smarter than we give them credit for. :lol: Try just being as direct as possible...she may surprise you. :huh:

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Guest nini

I got Danna Korn's book "Kids with Celiac disease" and used her recomendations

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My daughter will be four next month and has symptoms just like what you describe! She occasionally complains of tummy aches, has non-painful diarrhea, etc. We tested her using Enterolab, and it came back that she is gluten sesitive/intolerant.

I haven't put her on a gluten-free diet yet, mainly because her symptoms are so mild and bother me more than her! I would love your feedback once you've done this for a bit. I'm dreading pulling some of her favorite foods, not to mention trying to be in control of what others feed her!! :blink:

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My daughter just turned 5. We bought her Gluten Free with Emily and No More Cupcakes and Tummy Aches.

I've done a lot of explaining, discussing, and doing everything possible to be positive about it. Instead of saying, "NO you can't have that" -- I try to remember to say things like, "Sure, that is yummy - but how about we have this instead, it doesn't have gluten in it."

I keep positive, but continually reinforce the "no gluten."

My daughter's blood tests came back as inconclusive, but we went on to have the endoscopy because of the constant tummy aches and "D." Turns out that she had ulcers in her small intestines, and we never would have known that without the endoscopy. I immediately pulled all gluten from her diet, and she's a million times better now. She's not completely better, but she's growing again...and that's awesome!!

On June 13th - she weighed 30 lbs and was 39" tall. (her 3 year old friend is taller and heavier) And, when she went for a follow up visit the other day, she was 33 lbs and 40.5" tall!!!

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I was actually very straight foward with my son. He was diagnosed at 4 years as well. He did have some pretty bad symptoms (constipation mainly). I explained to him that his body is confused and thinks that gluten (I explained that gluten is all of the cookies,cakes, cereals, pasta, and breads that he eats) is poison and that is why he is so sick. He really did understand. Now at 5 I have no problem with him understanding that he cannot eat or touch any food without me or someone designated as a food giver for him says it is ok.

Nicole

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I told my son that some foods are what makes his tummy hurt and he needs to ask me before he eats something. He knows that here at home everything is safe, but when we're away he needs to ask. He's 3.5 and it works well for us!

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My son will be 4 in Sept. When he got diagnosed in June we told him that gluten (or wheat, oats, barley and rye) made him sick just like they make Daddy sick. He now will only get to eat foods that are safe for him and Daddy. We only offer him safe things at home obviously but we have been working on him needing to ask before eating something when we are away. I was so proud of him last Sunday when he told the children's worker at my parents church that he couldn't eat the animal cookies. He tells people he can't eat wheat and after reading Danna Korn's book I have been trying to teach him the wheat, oats, barley and rye thing. I think he understands pretty well for his age. It really helped here that he had a parent he could be like. (You are gluten free too aren't you, Nancy?) We totally played that up and Luke loves eating Daddy's special stuff. :) Kendra

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Thanks everybody for all the great advice. I ordered Kids with Celiac Disease, as well as the other two books. I'll have to play up the "Just Like Mommy" thing. I never mentioned my gluten intolerance to her before because she has always been such a picky eater that I didn't want her to tell me she was brocolli intolerant or something. :lol: I found out from some other parents though that their celiac kids ended up not being picky anymore after going gluten-free. Fingers crossed on that one..

I did talk to my daughter's preschool today. I decided to just go ahead and make gluten-free versions of whatever they're having for lunch/snacks. That way I won't have to worry so much, and they won't have to deal with it either. I'm going to put together some information for them sometime in the next couple weeks and have a meeting with the director and her teachers.

For the record, all they did was write it all down on her information card. They didn't say I needed to bring a doctor's note. They just said they wanted as much information on it as I could provide them with.

Wonder if they'll provide me with my own filing cabinet? <_<:lol:

Nancy

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