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I Don't Know What To Feed My Kid!

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My son had some blood work done just a week ago. they said that he does not have celiac disease, but that he has a sensitivity to wheat and gluten, and they want me to put him on a wheat and gluten free diet. well, now i don't know what to feel him. i have been looking for things that say "gluten-free" but after reading several posts, i don't know if that is okay to give him. and some things don't look like they have anything like wheat or rye or barley, but i hear that they still may contain gluten. what do i look for when i am shopping? can anyone tell me the ingredients that are no-no's that don't specifically say "wheat", "rye" or "barley"? i know that if it says "malted" that he can't have that, but what else? what about msg's? can someone help please? he is only 4, and the poor kid had an apple and a peach for lunch today because i didn't know what else to give him. and how do i know if he does get something with gluten in it? i don't think he will be able to tell me.

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Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it and find in time that so many things can be made gluten-free. Here are some links that will be of help I hope.

http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/index.htm

http://www.glutenfreeinsd.com/manufacturers_statements2.html

http://www.celiac.com/categories/Safe-Glut...3B-Ingredients/

Kraft, for example will list all forms of gluten on their labels so if you don't see the words wheat, barley, rye or oats on a Kraft label, it is safe. Just knowing one company like this is a big help to start with.

Start with simple foods-I'll list a few products and foods that my kiddo eats to get you started, there are many more-cheese, hard boiled eggs, air popped popcorn, peanut butter, Hebrew National All-Beef franks or Boar's Head, applesauce cups, Jello gelatin, Jello Pudding cups-vanilla and chocolate, all Hormel Naturals Deli style meats, Rice Chex brand cereal-if it has red box with the check mark and the words gluten-free on it, Lays Staxx chips-all flavors, Betty Crocker has choc. chip cookie, brownie and cake mixes that are completely gluten-free, safe and are clearly marked.

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Breakfast: Cream of rice hot cereal, envirokids (panda puffs are peanut butter, koala crisp are chocolate, gorilla munch is corn pops, and leapin lemurs is peanut butter/chocolate) breakfast cereal. Rice chex, corn chex, and other chexes other than WHEAT chex.Egg and fruit. Fruit salad. Can he have dairy? If so, most yogurts. Apple sauce. Gluten free waffles.

Lunch: At 4, if you can get him to eat it, a homemade salad! Rice or quinoa. Gluten free pasta. You can buy frozen gluten free meals, most come from Amys brand. Corn tortillas filled with eitherlunch meat, chicken or tuna or peanut butter and jelly. Corn chip nachos.

Dinner: You can make gluten free pasta spaghetti or other pasta dish with no gluten. Rice or quinoa. Un-breaded meats with no sauces like soy sauce that are not safe. Check all seasonings. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes,

Snacks: Cool ranch doritos(NOT regular), peanut butter and celery, fruits and vegetables, regular lays potato chips(not flavored) most corn chips, rice cakes with cheese or peanut butter, nuts that arent dry roasted with flavorings,

Be sure to use a separate cutting board, separate toaster, pans, get him his own dishes that only his food can be used with for butter, nut butters, jam, anything you would stick a knife with gluten all over it in. And if he doesnt seem to be improving much, cut out ALL dairy as well

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I remember feeling the same panic that you are right now. Hang in there, it does get much easier.

I would start with fruits, vegetables, meat (plain) - these are all naturally gluten free. Then you can add in some products specifically marked gluten free. I found that at first I did most of my shopping at the health food stores in our area. They tend to have gluten free sections and more products that are clearly marked gluten free. Ask the clerks for help. Keep a list of the products he likes as we had a few rejects at first.

One of the first products I bought was a bag of gluten free mixed flour from Kinnikinnik (sp?). I substituted it in place of regular flour when making gravy, dredging meat, etc. to make our usual dinners. Corn or rice pasta can be substituted for wheat noodles very easily (we prefer the texture of the corn).

You may want to check with your local Celiac group. We went to a meeting there when we signed up that was very helpful. They had a couple of products to try and binders with labels of regular items that are gluten free. We were also able to purchase a guide through them that included lists of ingredients to avoid, look into further (i.e., call the company), or that are ok. This was really a lifesaver in the beginning.

Good luck and know that in less than a year it will seem so much easier.

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Along with all the good advice above, I'd suggest purchasing a gluten-free grocery guide. This will make your life so much easier.

They list mainstream products (Kraft, Heinz, Kroger, Hormel, etc.) by category (soups, chips, dressings, spaghetti sauce, candy, etc.)

Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guides:

http://www.ceceliasmarketplace.com/

http://www.triumphdining.com/?gclid=COPJ4f...CFdVL5QodHR95Bw

There

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Take a deep breath and let it out.

Now just starting thinking, meat and veggies to start with. All needs to be without seasoning put on before they are sold. You can season at home. (check your seasonings too, esp mixes.) Processed meats (ham, lunch meat, bacon) all need to say gluten free to be safe.

Wal-Mart's around the USA are starting to put in gluten free sections in their stores. If yours does not have one, all Wal-mart brand products are labeled gluten free if they are (Wal-Mart is switching to white labels so their foods stand out).

Remember if it doesn't say gluten free, it's probably not.

Next check your refrig and read the labels of the items you have in there. Most everything now has a website, look there to see if it's considered gluten free. Email/call them your question if you can't find it. Hint: if you see people reading at a label in the store and dialing their cell phone, it's probably one of us checking with the company to see if their product is gluten free.

Check your local stores website. Many have lists of what's gluten free.

Weird things are not gluten free that you'd never think to even check. I'd never checked on root beer or orange soda. Who knew some contain gluten. You will get to know them.

There are several lists online of gluten free candy. Check his favorites and find one or two that are gluten free. Keep these on hand for his treats. Buy a box of gluten free rice cereal (Rice Krispies are not gluten free) and some marshmallows to make him some rice krispie treats. This is easy to start with.

A hassle. You bet it is but you will get to be very good at it. He's been eating gluten up to now. If you miss something and he gets some gluten you will remember not to give it to him next time.

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My son was diagnosed with a dairy allergy when he was very young, and we had to go through this same thing. Then last week my daughter was diagnosed with celiac, and we've had to go through this all over again, but with gluten for one, and dairy for the other!

I know I'm very new to making gluten free meals for kids (I've only been celiac positive for three weeks, myself), but I'll put up what I know, for what help it'll do!

-- Something to consider as you go along. Do you want to give your son a very similar set of foods as he ate before, as you are all used to eating, only gluten free? Or are you going to look for different food choices/dishes that are naturally gluten free? The reason I ask is this: if you choose the 'gluten free products' route, where you have gluten free pasta, and gluten free bread, and gluten free gravy, etc... then there will be some issues to consider.

First, your grocery budget will double or triple.

Second, to make up for the lack of gluten, a lot of gluten free products have added extra fats and sugars, so you'll need to watch portions closer for weight gain concerns (for the adults, LOL).

Third, unlike may wheat grain products, gluten-free products rarely vitamin fortify their stuff, so if it's not whole grain, your son will be getting a lot less nutrition. So, you'll need to be making sure you do something to ensure he has enough vitamins, whether that's other foods or vitamins, etc...

Fourth, honestly? From what I've experienced - which is mostly my father's gluten free stuff that he's been trying out for the last few years - it never tastes as good as the wheat version. Or rather, it's not going to taste the same, and if you liked the wheat version of the pasta, etc... then the gluten-free version may be disappointing.

If you choose naturally gluten free dishes, it's a bit different.

It may still increase your grocery budget, especially if you choose ethnic dishes that may need special ingredients. However, most of these dishes have a better taste, in my opinion, because you're making them with ingredients they were supposed to have in the first place.

There's a big learning curve for learning to deal with all these new foods, however, and that can feel kind of overwhelming in the beginning. With the web nowadays, though, you can find a very large sampling of dishes that are gluten free, normally.

If you are not using a lot of gluten-free pre-made products, you will be making a lot of stuff yourself. Although this may happen anyway, with some sauces and dips being challenging to find gluten free versions of.

Nutrition-wise...this choice is as nutritious as the dish would normally be.

You can tell which one I decided to do. :-)

For some easy things to start off with...

corn tortillas - Seriously, make your own with masa, because even though corn tortillas don't list flour as an ingredient, most of them add flour to the tortilla molds that they use to shape their tortillas. Maseca brand masa is gluten free - most of the masa (sometimes called masa harina) is processed in facilities with wheat, too, but Maseca isn't. Just add water to the flour, pat into a tortilla (thick) and dry fry it in a frying pan. Goes nice with beans, avocado, tomato, etc...

Lots of fruits and veggie finger foods. Something that helped me with my son was to try some new fruits and veggies that the little one hasn't had before, and also make it fun. That made a huge difference - he concentrated so much on the fun that the change in diet didn't upset him as much. I cut out weird shapes with the fruits, made mashed potato snowmen with tons of tiny, chopped veggies that my son could decorate it with, set up his (cleaned) toys on his plate with veggie and fruit 'toys', had tea parties, etc....

Replace the typical pasta and pizza dishes with stews and casseroles that use other grains. Whole grain quinoa can be used like rice in flavorful dishes, even though it's a bit smaller grained. But it also has more nutrition than rice. The other grains I can't vouch for - I've only had time to experiment with the quinoa so far. BUT one of my expenses has been to buy quinoa flakes; I've been told that you can use this in recipes instead of quick oats.

Meats - you have to REALLY check them out. A lot of raw meats now, if you look closely at the label, have stuff added to them! Natural flavors, natural broth, etc... We ended up having to get our meat at a health foods store. Most 'pure' spices are gluten free, although I'd stay away from blends, so you can spice your own meat, is all.

And...a quick list of gluten/wheat things you may not be thinking of, since it's overwhelming at first!

- if a label says wheat free, it is not the same as 'gluten free'

- dental - the toothpaste at home, or at the dentist. Flouride and polishing paste can have gluten. You can ask them for gluten free alternatives.

- drywall - if there is construction going on, drywall contains gluten, so the dust will have gluten in it. Something to be careful of at schools and such, I imagine.

- shampoos, chapstick, soaps, etc... - if it can get on the lips or in the mouth, it can cause problems. For a little guy, you just know he's gonna swallow some soapy water or stick his hands in his mouth, yeah? Softsoap is gluten free, I understand. And Suave products will say clearly on the label that it has wheat or gluten in it if that's the case.

- I've heard people say to be careful of gluten in detergents too, since they can get on the dishes, or get on the towels that dry the dishes, and thus on the food, but I don't know how sensitive one needs to be to be affected by this.

- cat and dogfood, glues and paints - LOL, for little guys, the same 'can they get it in their mouths' issue comes up.

- medicines and vitamins

And that's all I can think of for the moment! Hope it helps. And good luck to you!

My son had some blood work done just a week ago. they said that he does not have celiac disease, but that he has a sensitivity to wheat and gluten, and they want me to put him on a wheat and gluten free diet. well, now i don't know what to feel him. i have been looking for things that say "gluten-free" but after reading several posts, i don't know if that is okay to give him. and some things don't look like they have anything like wheat or rye or barley, but i hear that they still may contain gluten. what do i look for when i am shopping? can anyone tell me the ingredients that are no-no's that don't specifically say "wheat", "rye" or "barley"? i know that if it says "malted" that he can't have that, but what else? what about msg's? can someone help please? he is only 4, and the poor kid had an apple and a peach for lunch today because i didn't know what else to give him. and how do i know if he does get something with gluten in it? i don't think he will be able to tell me.

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All great advise above...you'll be surprised how quickly you learn the ropes.

Something simple that helped our family -- we put small round bright green stickers on everything in the kitchen that is gluten-free...in the fridge, pantry, spices, etc. Even if you know an item is gluten-free these little stickers make preparing food that much easier.

Good luck to you!

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wow! thanks to everyone who posted in response. i really appreciate it. it is all so overwhelming, and i will definately be using some of the tips posted. i never thought that he could get gluten from using the same dishes and utensils as the rest of the family. his 1 and 1/2 year old brother has all the same symptoms as he does so we are doing the gluten free thing with him too, so i guess i will just have to get dishes just for the kids. and for everyone who asked, they are both lactose intolerant but only have a problem with milk. milk products- i.e. cheese, yogurt, ect. are ok. i have been told by a friend with celiac that they may not have issues with milk once they are gluten free. anyone else know anything about that?

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It may be a matter of opinion and I may be misunderstanding a previous poster but it is not necessary to have special plates, cups utensils and such just wash the ones you have well, unless yours are old very scratched plastic, then buy new. It seems they may have been referring to the containers that butter and other condiments are kept in. You do need separate strainers dedicted to gluten-free only(or anything that is mesh or full of holes or indentations) because gluten gets stuck in them and it's impossible to get out-think of that sticky starch that is left in the strainer after pasta. Separate teflon coated pans(or anything) that are dedicated gluten-free only-if you use teflon. Non-stick cannot be scrubbed like other plain metals because it would damage the coating.

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milk products- i.e. cheese, yogurt, ect. are ok. i have been told by a friend with celiac that they may not have issues with milk once they are gluten free. anyone else know anything about that?

Very often the lactose intolerance will go away after being gluten free. Both myself and dd's were completely gluten free for a year before it we could tolerate dairy again. Now we can eat all the dairy we want without problems, as long as it's also gluten free.

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You might ask your MD if you could have a consult with a Registered Dietician. When we found out about our daughters celiac disease, we met with a Dietician from Phoenix Childrens Hospital who was very knowlegable. He gave us many handouts teaching us how to shop gluten-free and a "safe" ingredient list and an "unsafe" ingredient list. Shopping at first was difficult, but is much easier now. For breakfast, my daughter loves Rice Chex, Cinnamon Rice Chex and Honey Nut Rice Chex, Corn Chex and Chocolate Chex. They say right on the box "gluten free". Be careful of store brands becuase they are not gluten free. ALso we love the "Pamelas Pancake and Baking Mix". We use if for cupcakes, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies and more! It tastes very similar to flour products.

For lunches, we do ham/cheese roll ups, yopliat yogurts, mixed fruits, carrots and celery with peanut butter (jif is gluten-free) and I make lots of homemake chicken soup and freeze it in individual containers and she eats that a lot for lunches. We also like Mrs. Leepers Corn pastas (we buy them at Walmart) and they are amazing. Much better than the rice pastas. They hold up good, are tender, and do not mush. We use Classico Spaghetti sauce for them. That is a quick lunch to fix. Also we buy Lundberg Rice Cakes (our favorite is the honeynut flavor) and we put peanut butter on them for her "sandwhich". I also make the "Gluten Free Pantry French Bread" mix and slice and use that for sandwiches. The bread is great hot from the oven, but after it cools I slice it and place it in the fridge. I either warm it in the microwave the next day or toast it (in a seperate toaster than what is used for regular bread) and she loves it.

I have contacted several companies via email and they send me list of the gluten-free prodcuts. Ingredients can change, so it is best to read ingredients, but the list are helpful. The bettycrocker gluten free cake mixes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies are good. The are in a yellow box and say Gluten Free right across the top. Also, for everyday food from canned food to frozen food to lunch meat and yogurts and chips and popcorn, check out the "great value" brands at Walmart. They label all of their brand foods either "Gluten Free" or "contains wheat" or "processed in a facility that contains wheat". So for everyday items, I always buy Great Value brand because it takes the guess work out of knowing if something is gluten free or not.

I have downloaded this list and I keep it with me at all times when I shop. It is a list of unsafe ingredients;

http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsaf...ents/Page1.html

There is also a "safe List' on that page.

Good luck! It does get easier!

Darissa

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