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Tips To Win Over A Toddler To gluten-free Diet

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I just posted this in another section but then saw the parent section which this better fits. I apologize for the double post.

Hello. I'm new to the forum, however I have used it as a resource for about a year now as I have gone gluten free. I am now planning to take my children gluten-free as well because I see them experiencing the same symptoms as I did as a child. My concern is how in the world I will convince them that they can no longer have chicken nuggets at Mc D's or donuts at church... My 5 year old kind of understands and is open to the idea because she's ready to not have her tummy hurt everyday but I am scared of tackling this with my 2 year old. How does one go about helping a child adjust to a gluten-free diet when they are too young to really grasp the concept? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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I have found that every child is different. MY 5yo (well mine's 6) would be/is more difficult than my 2yo. I find that a 2yo doesn't question me as much as an older child.

Donuts at church were an issue for us, but we just said they aren't too healthy. Eating "HEALTHY" has been the focus for us, explaining that to them, they are actually getting it too, it it great......but we do buy gluten free donuts for a 'special occasion' sometimes, they're really good too! Anyway it just feels really good to be teaching kids healthy eating habits at a young age. We've focused on getting them to eat more chicken, fish, rice, and veggies. Just experiment with fun ways to present the food is what has worked wonders for us.

Same thing for McD's too though.....we tell them it's not too healthy. We avoid it in general now. Try not to drive by, or distract them if you see those arches on the horizon. They'll quit asking for it eventually. Tell them you can make healthy chicken nuggets at home! We used to do double cheeseburger plain no bun, but I've recently learned that the new Angus burger seasoning contains gluten and is used directly on the grill so everything is contaminated. We recently traveled out of state and packed most of our food in a cooler. It seemed strange, but I felt good about it afterward.

Good luck on getting your family healthy!!

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Just remember "out of sight - out of mind" He is only 2 and if he doesn't see it or hear about it, he will forget about it. At least until he is around other kids at school, etc. and hopefully by then he will be adjusted.

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My daughter is two and eats gluten free. We have no problems keeping her that way. She eats pretty much anything we give her. This is a great time to build healthy (gluten free) eating habits. Your two year old will never remember what a gluten filled doughnut tasted like so now is the time to change over.

We eat McDonald's french fries and shakes when we are craving McDonald's.

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My daughter is two and eats gluten free. We have no problems keeping her that way. She eats pretty much anything we give her. This is a great time to build healthy (gluten free) eating habits. Your two year old will never remember what a gluten filled doughnut tasted like so now is the time to change over.

We eat McDonald's french fries and shakes when we are craving McDonald's.

I agree that it should be easier at two years old, than it would be after they've grown to expect certain foods. I also think that even at two, a child can understand when you explain that certain foods will hurt them inside, and will make them sicker and sicker as they grow up. More importantly, we all know the expression "teach by example". When you eat gluten-free, they'll more easily follow.

BTW, McDonald's fries contain both wheat and dairy:

http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionex....do?itemID=6052

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Try and find some Bell & Evans gluten-free Nuggets. My girls (4 yrs. & 20 months) absolutely love them. I know nuggets aren't the healthiest, but sometimes you just need some, know what I mean? :) We also love Chick-fil-A. We get the chargrilled filets and cut them into strips to dip into sauce. Makes them feel "normal" because they have something they can dip. Not to mention the fries are awesome! I found that just giving it time (my daughter was 3) and having her realize how much better she feels is what helped the most.

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I agree that it should be easier at two years old, than it would be after they've grown to expect certain foods. I also think that even at two, a child can understand when you explain that certain foods will hurt them inside, and will make them sicker and sicker as they grow up. More importantly, we all know the expression "teach by example". When you eat gluten-free, they'll more easily follow.

BTW, McDonald's fries contain both wheat and dairy:

http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionex....do?itemID=6052

Search this forum for the specifics. McDonald's fries have been a hot topic for a long time but the end result is gluten free.

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