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Truleesmom

Looking For Gluten-free Kid-friendly Restaurants

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Hi, My daughter was just formally diagnosed with Celiac Disease -- had her biopsy a couple weeks ago. I'm feeling so overwhelmed at all of the information that I need to learn. Been trying lots of gluten-free stuff from Whole Foods, but more than half she doesn't like. Can anyone recommend any good food items that kids like? Also, what about gluten-free fast food and other restaurants that have gluten-free menus? I came across a good thread talking about restaurants in Northern Virginia, but it was dated back to 2004 -- was hoping more people had more recent experiences. One more thing -- we're traveling to the West coast for Spring Break and I am so nervous about being able to find safe food for her at the different restaurants that we'll be dining at. p.s. We're in Northern Virginia -- so any restaurant recommendations for that area would be super helpful! Thanks so much!!!


Leslie negative blood test, but positive results after going gluten-free -gluten free since 12/08; TRYING to be dairy free since 4/09 (waaaay harder than gluten-free!)

Daughter: Age 7 - tTg test >100 8/07; endoscopic biopsy confirming Celiac Disease 2/14/08 - gluten free since 2/08;

Daughter: Age 12 - negative blood test, but gluten free since 7/09. Wanted to try gluten-free diet for behavior issues -- has worked wonders!!!

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Hi, my son was 4 when diagnosed and is now 7. The thing with gluten free packaged foods is that some are really good and others a not, so you just have to keep trying until you find her favorites and then stick to them. In my opinion, when it comes to cookies and such you cannot go wrong with Kinnickinick. They even make a really good gluten-free/dairy free pancake/waffle mix. We use there packeaged breads as well. Also, the gluten Free Pantry makes very good mixes for brownies, cakes, cookies, etc. We also buy packaged brownies from Food By George. For pasta we use (and it seems many other here too) Tinyada brown rice pasta. If you take a couple of minutes off of the suggested cooking time, it comes out just like the real thing. Trader Joe's brown rice pasta is as good. Ian's makes very good chicken nuggets and fish sticks as well as french toast sticks. There are so many options no you just have to try them all to see what she will like.

As for places to eat, Burger King is ok without buns and they use a dedicated frier for french fries. Wendy's you always have to ask to make sure about the dedicated frier, it depends on the individual restaurant. We eat alot at Cheeseburger in Paradise because they are one of the few places with a gluten-free menu that offer gluten-free fries. Apparently that is a big deal when you are 7 ;) . But, Chili's, the Outback, and Carrabas also have gluten free menus as well as The Bone Fish Grill (but their gluten-free menu choices are more grown up). We recently went to PF Chang's because my son really misses Chinese Food and he was in heaven. It was a little pricy for Chinese Food but it was worth it because he enjoyed it so much. Good luck.

Nicole

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Let us know what her favourite prediagnosis foods were, and we can steer you towards the best alternative . . . sometimes, that just means making it yourself.

Our kid/family favourites:

Pamela's pancake mix - make extra and freeze between wax paper to pop out of the freezer and microwave for a quick breakfast

Muffins - we use the recipe for muffins from the above Pamelas pancake (and baking mix) - this is our favourite so far

Glutino pretzels

Bell&Evans chicken nuggets or strips (make sure package says gluten-free - they make other varieties, too)

Van's frozen waffles (once again, make sure you get the gluten-free version)

Cereals: Son prefers Fruity Pebbles. Daughter (trying to minimize food dye at this time) prefers Tigger&Pooh corn puffs or Health Valley Corn Crunchems. Other mainstream cereals: Dora Cinnamon Stars, Trix (check label, gluten is listed if it's in there and apparently they sometimes change their recipe) Coco Pebbles, Little Einsteins.

Instant Mash Potatos - Betty Crocker Potato Buds (I can't stand instant potatoes but the kids like them and sometimes you need something quick)

Jif Peanut Butter

Nutella

Rice Cakes

Tinkyada Pasta

Kraft Popcorn Cheese Powder - this is the same stuff as in the kraft blue box mac & cheese, sold in a little blue canister located with krafts parmesean cheese, then you can make mac&cheese with the Tinkyada pasta. Some people also just buy the kraft mac & cheese and use the cheese packet and throw away the gluten pasta.

Glutino plain bagels (found in the frozen section) with philedelphia cream cheese

Lay's Stax (Lays has lots of chips that are listed as gluten free but some sensitive celiacs still have problems, the Stax variety is run on a dedicated line)

Tings

All fresh fruits and Veggies - if you could get her to eat them before ;)

Au Gratin Potatos - Great Value Brand (Wal-Mart)

Tacos - Ortega (corn) shells, sauce, and spice packets

Snack - I make "chex mix" with Corn and Rice Crunchems, Glutino Pretzels, mixed nuts (which are for me - the kids eat around them) Lea&Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Lawry's Season Salt, Butter, McCormick's Garlic Powder and Onion Powder

Bagel Chips - I make with Glutino bagels, olive oil and sea salt and onion powder baked in the oven - you can throw some of these into the chex mix too.

I'll leave it at that for now but also throw in . . .

Our favourtie cookies are homemade. I have found dough and cooked cookies freeze well. I also freeze leftover muffins and (uniced) cupcakes. In fact, I freeze many many things. Most quick convenient items are no longer available to us however, most gluten free items freeze well. I always make extra and freeze for the times that we have a busy night. Tonight we are making pizza (gluten free pantry french bread mix for the crust). We'll make one to eat and one crust cooked by itself for the next time that we just don't have time to do the whole thing. . . Oh and we use ragu pizza sauce with that.

Also, bread type items that you buy frozen (bread, english muffins, bagels) you should actually defrost/warm up in the microwave, then let it come to room temperature and then toast it . . . it really helps with the texture. Muffins we just heat up in the microwave and eat warm.

Also, when you are cooking, get your daughter involved. She'll have some buy-in on the food since she helped make it. Also, might as well start training them to cook their own stuff once they are on their own . . . even if that is years away.

And to finish off, here is a list of companies that do not hide the gluten in their labels. So if you don't see wheat, rye, barley or oats listed, you don't have to worry about the vague terms like "natural flavoring"

http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/in...donothidegluten

Oh and restaurants . . . we really don't eat out much. We have eaten at McDonalds successfully (fries are controversial and a personal decision), Wendy's, Chili's, and Cheeseburger in Paradise. On vacation, with another family, I packed her lunch when going to one restaurant that had nothing for her.


Janet

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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The above suggestions are excellent!

I'd say we have the most good luck at Wendy's and McDonald's (fries, bunless burgers, some salads, etc, check the online menus.) Sometimes we go to Golden Corral, which is a buffet place. A lot of people here do not do buffet because of the higher likelyhood of cross contamination, but we haven't had a problem so far.

We don't do Burger King, because they're always throwing the onion rings in with the fries in those holding bins under the warmer lights. Before going gluten-free, I frequently got a couple onion rings with my fries, or vice versa.


-Sarah

--Son, Lucas, age 7. Gluten-free since May 2007

--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.

--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.

--Myself, Gluten-free since 8/07

Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

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We don't do Burger King, because they're always throwing the onion rings in with the fries in those holding bins under the warmer lights. Before going gluten-free, I frequently got a couple onion rings with my fries, or vice versa.

We don't eat at Burger King either. While their fryer is dedicated, the draining baskets are not. The onion rings, which are coated in gluten, are in the same bins as the fries. They are on our "nono" list.

My daughter was dx just before her 5th birthday, and we've had the same issue. She loves some things... hates others. But one of our favorite travel foods is EnerG Wylde Pretzels. They are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free. And, they are pretty tasty!

Fast food is incredibly tricky. We'll eat at Wendy's since my daughter will eat baked potatoes. Other than Wendy's and McD's (which yes... is very controversial), we don't eat out at FF places with her. We can successfully dine at Outback (baked potato, grilled chicken), Cheeseburger in Paradise, and a couple other local places that are great "here."

Lots of luck in your travels. We are traveling next week.... and I'm nervous, as I always am whenever we leave the comfort of our own area, where I *know* where everything is.


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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Let us know what her favourite prediagnosis foods were, and we can steer you towards the best alternative . . . sometimes, that just means making it yourself.

WoW!!! Thank you all so much for the great information!!! Of course one of her favorite places to eat, (and mine) which is now, I'm sure, out of the question was Panera! She really LOVED their soups. She loves most soups, but theirs in particular. And from what I could gather, it seems all of their soups are made with flour. She loves Arby's also. Anyone have any info on either? Also, does anyone know where to get these "cards" that I keep reading about in these posts? I guess it is a card that describes Celiac and lists restrictions?? You carry it to give to food servers/chefs?? Do they come from the doctor or just a website like this one?


Leslie negative blood test, but positive results after going gluten-free -gluten free since 12/08; TRYING to be dairy free since 4/09 (waaaay harder than gluten-free!)

Daughter: Age 7 - tTg test >100 8/07; endoscopic biopsy confirming Celiac Disease 2/14/08 - gluten free since 2/08;

Daughter: Age 12 - negative blood test, but gluten free since 7/09. Wanted to try gluten-free diet for behavior issues -- has worked wonders!!!

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Also, does anyone know where to get these "cards" that I keep reading about in these posts? I guess it is a card that describes Celiac and lists restrictions?? You carry it to give to food servers/chefs?? Do they come from the doctor or just a website like this one?

The San Diego group has some links for free or purchased restaurant cards. Here is their sight

http://glutenfreeinsd.com/restaurant_cards.html

In reference to above quote -- I just read an article today that said Worcestershire Sauce was a no-no, as well as Soy Sauce, (the soy sauce I knew about, but not the Worcestershire). I've seen a few random mentions of White Vinegar being off-limits also for Celiacs -- what's up with that??

Most brands of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce are off limits. There are a few that are OK. Lea&Perrins (in the Unite States) is OK. LaChoy Soy Sauce is OK. Also, don't forget Terriyaki Sauce as it is made with soy sauce . . . and once again, LaChoy is OK.

The controversy with vinegar is what the vinegar was originally made from and if it was wheat, did the distillation process remove all traces of vinegar.

We use Heinz. It is listed on their website as gluten-free.

For Panera, I will refer you back to the San Diego sight. It has a nice little discussion about Panera and a link to Panera. There are a few soups and salads that are OK.

http://glutenfreeinsd.com/panera_bread.html

And here is a recent discussion on Arby's from this site.

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...mp;#entry397261


Janet

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Wow again!! Thank you all so much! :D Can't wait to put my new knowledge to test! I'm happy we don't have to cross Panera off our list completely -- and good to know about Arby's too, bummer though -- my kids love that junk, me too!

Thank you, savvyseller for the Austin Grill tip! We love that restaurant! Reminds us so much of our hometown of Austin, Texas!! And of our all time favorite restaurant there -- Chuy's Tex Mex!

Thanks again to everyone for all the replies! I don't feel as completely lost as I did before! :rolleyes:


Leslie negative blood test, but positive results after going gluten-free -gluten free since 12/08; TRYING to be dairy free since 4/09 (waaaay harder than gluten-free!)

Daughter: Age 7 - tTg test >100 8/07; endoscopic biopsy confirming Celiac Disease 2/14/08 - gluten free since 2/08;

Daughter: Age 12 - negative blood test, but gluten free since 7/09. Wanted to try gluten-free diet for behavior issues -- has worked wonders!!!

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Just thought of a couple more questions...

I recently heard about gluten-free hot dogs and gluten-free baking powder. I have Clabber Girl baking powder (Cornstarch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate) - nothing apparent there to me?? And we also buy Oscar Mayer Natural Beef Franks (Beef, Water, Contains less than 2% of Sea Salt, Potassium Lactate (from Corn), Evaporated Cane Juice, Celery Powder, Flavor, Lactic Acid Starter Culture) -- again nothing with apparent gluten. Can't find those dogs on Oscar Mayer's website for some reason - but they are a relatively new product. Very tasty -- and about as healthy as a hot dog weiner can be!! ;) Anyone know if these are truly gluten-free?

Has anyone tried the Chebe product - the frozen dough that is oven-ready?


Leslie negative blood test, but positive results after going gluten-free -gluten free since 12/08; TRYING to be dairy free since 4/09 (waaaay harder than gluten-free!)

Daughter: Age 7 - tTg test >100 8/07; endoscopic biopsy confirming Celiac Disease 2/14/08 - gluten free since 2/08;

Daughter: Age 12 - negative blood test, but gluten free since 7/09. Wanted to try gluten-free diet for behavior issues -- has worked wonders!!!

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Just thought of a couple more questions...

I recently heard about gluten-free hot dogs and gluten-free baking powder. I have Clabber Girl baking powder (Cornstarch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate) - nothing apparent there to me?? And we also buy Oscar Mayer Natural Beef Franks (Beef, Water, Contains less than 2% of Sea Salt, Potassium Lactate (from Corn), Evaporated Cane Juice, Celery Powder, Flavor, Lactic Acid Starter Culture) -- again nothing with apparent gluten. Can't find those dogs on Oscar Mayer's website for some reason - but they are a relatively new product. Very tasty -- and about as healthy as a hot dog weiner can be!! ;) Anyone know if these are truly gluten-free?

Has anyone tried the Chebe product - the frozen dough that is oven-ready?

Clabber Girl is fine . . . mine actually says gluten free on the front of the label.

Oscar Mayer is part of Kraft so they will list their gluten on the label. If you don't see wheat, rye, barley, oats listed somewhere then it's OK.


Janet

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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With the new labeling laws it's fairly easy to read labels. Most major brands won't hide gluten. If it has wheat in it, they have to label for it, and barley, rye and oats are listed 99% of the time. Barley will often appear as "malt" or "malt flavoring." Basically if it has malt, it's got gluten.

Although federal labeling laws don't require barley to be listed, it almost always is. The celiac specialist nutritionist said it's very rare for barley not to be listed. But if you're not sure about something, you can always call the manufacturer. But she said that she's only seen it once or twice on off-brand stuff.

Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce is fine. they do change their formula from time to time, so check the label every time.

Organic Tamari brand soy sauce is wheat free (it's listed right on the label).

Most baking powders and baking sodas are gluten free. Kraft Calumet is gluten-free and we've never had a problem with Arm & Hammer. Has anybody else?

Just in general, I found it's good to stay away from restaurants for the first few months while your child starts to heal. That way you know exactly what she's eating and cross contamination isn't such an issue. I'd be very leery of letting my kid eat a food from Panera, even if it had no gluten ingredients because it's a bakery and they've got flour all over the place. If the server didn't change their gloves, you'll have a sick kid the next day.

Best of luck to you!

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If you're in NOVA try Five Guys Burgers. Their Fries are gluten-free and you can order a bunless burger. It comes wrapped in foil. Yummy but messy. -- and their burgers don't seem as greasy as other fast food places.....

Chick Fil A also should have gluten-free fries -- and you can get Grilled Chicken sandwich - minus the bun - with their ranch dressing their fries are good!

I think Wendy's Chili is gluten-free....but at my local store, I don't trust the thoroughness of the employees that much.

I've heard rumor of Elevation Burger (in Arlington?) Might also have gluten-free fries.........Haven't been myself.

Have eaten without incident at Austin Grill, too.

Tinkyada Pasta, Glutino Pretzels and K-Too's cookies are a must. Pamela's Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix and Namaste Spice Cake Mix are also essential when your daughter wants to feel "normal".

Good Luck!


Amy

Gluten Free since 4/05 - adult onset

Symptoms for 4+ years prior

Immediate family tests negative

No Known family members w/ celiac disease

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Hey, if you're going to be passing through Flagstaff, AZ on your trip, lemme know and I'll hook you up with some good places. I live here in Flagstaff, and we have some great gluten-free options in restaurants here.

Susanna


Diagnosed in March 2006 by blood test and biopsy. Eleven year old son diagnosed in May 2006. Both gluten-free since diagnosis.

The Susanna (Flagstaff, AZ)

"I GOTTA have more cowbell!."

--The legendary Bruce Dickenson

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We've tried the frozen dough Chebe bread, and we like it! :)

It took about four months for our tastes to change over to accept the gluten free diet.

I'm guessing that mac n cheese will be in your gluten free future, our favorite is by glutino.

Welcome to the site!


Michigan

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Where are you going when you hit the west coast? Those of us over here can point you in some helpful directions! Pamela's baking mix will make you some fantastic treats to take with you on your trip too. If you visit the website you can find a lot of recipes. I bake almost everything with it. It makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bread! PM me if you want my recipes. It's so overwhelming at first, but pretty soon it will be 2nd nature! Have a safe and fun trip :D


Rachelle 20dance.gif

Daughter diagnosed 1/06 bloodwork and biopsy
-gluten-free since 1/06

Son tested negative-bloodwork (8/07), intestinal issues prompted biospy (3/08), results negative, but very positive dietary response, Dr. diagnosed Celiac disease (3/8)

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Hi,

I will be visiting Flagstaff next week. We are driving from Orange County to Flagstaff - to see the Grand Canyon, among other National Parks and then heading back. Can you recommend some gluten-free places to eat at?

Thanks!

Elissa

elissaley@gmail.com

Hey, if you're going to be passing through Flagstaff, AZ on your trip, lemme know and I'll hook you up with some good places. I live here in Flagstaff, and we have some great gluten-free options in restaurants here.

Susanna

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~~Lisa~~

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."--Moliere

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."--Douglas Adams

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!--Amanda

_________________

gluten-free since 1/08

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