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My Daughter Has Celiac Disease, Now What?

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I'm overwhelming with what to look for, what food/ingredients to avoid when buy at food store.. Also, my daughter loves anything like crackers, toasts, chips. She hates veggies/fruits. So, I'm not gonna buy gluten-free food as they are so expensive at our Walmart, they have small section of some gluten-free food now. Someone suggested , bake the beans and sprinkle with some cinnamon or other spices, I can't remember which beans but. Can anyone here please make suggestions for snacks and meals also, if there's any good recipes for gluten-free muffins, I'd love to make some mini muffins for her. Also, someone said, if she has celiac disease, usually should also do cesain free and dairy free diet to start at a baseline. Her dr said she has celiac disease and wants her to avoid anything with gluten. She's almost 3 and is very picky! Also, if there's any websites where it's easy to read and understand about celiac disease and if theres any sites on different fun recipes that many kids like/enjoy!

Thanks,

Amy and Sarah

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Relax and breathe! It will all be ok. I was fine with a gluten-free diet, then got really nervous when my son was diagnosed. He too loves crackers, bread etc. BTW if anyone knows of something like Goldfish crackers that are gluten-free, please yell loudly :D

My son is also very picky, but I had a successful first run last weekend baking gluten-free granola bars, Wowwee bars, muffins, cookies and cupcakes. Lots of mac n cheese is available gluten-free (even at Target!). He really likes rice cakes smeared with PB or nutella. He has not had any secondary intolerances, because we caught it early. If she has been having GI problems, you'll want to stay away from dairy and processed foods for a while. Almond milk is very good.

Udis' gluten free bread is the best I have found, and it doesn't have to be toasted. Maybe you can try veggie dippers- celery and peanut butter, apples and PB- heck anything with PB is good.

Great lists of safe and unsafe foods are on this site. Ask any questions here and you will find your answers. Good luck. Hopefully your little one will start to like fruits and veg like mine did- you just have to make it fun for them! Oh yes, and add pureed squash to gluten-free mac n cheese. She'll never know it's there!

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Hi Amy and Sarah,

Take it a day at a time, step by step. You're not going to make a lifestyle change over night. While you go through your food at home, keep meals simple - meat, fruit, vegetable, some rice. Then you can slowly start experiementing. My son is 4 and was just diagnosed. I think the transition for me isn't too awful merely because I've already gone through some food grieving of my own over the summer with having to cut out dairy/soy/chocolate for my breastfed daughter. By the time my son's diagnosis came around I was surprised with the positive result but ok with the diet.

We met with a Children's Hospital's dietician last week who's done this for over 20+ years. She made it a lot simpler than what I had been reading. Pharmaceuticals are one group - not regulated for gluten so you need to ask, make sure any oral medicines are gluten free. The pharmacist should be able to call the manufacturer for you. Next is meat/dairy/eggs - regulated by the USDA. All of these are gluten free in its natural form. It's when you start adding things that it can be problematic. But they have to list if they add a grain (wheat) to anything. So it'll be on the label. Finally, the rest is regulated by the FDA and the top 8 allergens must be listed on the label. You'll find it bolded in the ingredient list and/or in a statement saying something like "Contains Wheat." Wheat is one of the top 8 allergens. That leaves rye, barley, malt (derivative of barley), and oats (not usually a problem but usually contaminated). And those will be in the ingredient list as written - no weird names for them.

For my son's situation this is enough. If his antibody levels don't go down as they should then we'll have to dig deeper and look at manufacturing practices. In that case, statements like "Made in a facility that also produces wheat" or something like that, is voluntarily put on a label. It'll probably become law soon but for now it's voluntary. So company A could say that but company B could leave it off even if they also produce something with wheat. If it turns out that your daughter is more sensitive then you'll have to do more investigating on specific manufacturer practices.

A few sites that have helped me:

1. Celiac and info: http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicals...geS2166P12.html

2. Food Recipes: http://myaspergersgirl.blogspot.com/

This is a blog of a mom who cuts out a lot of the major allergens but I've had great luck so far with her recipes. The pumpkin bars were sooo good. It was the first thing I made gluten free. She just posted an apple or pear bread that looks good and could be made into mini muffins I'm sure!

3. Keeping the budget down: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglute...pensiveFood.htm

Specific foods that work for us... We had to do gluten-free cereal. My son is an addict. He loves EnviroKidz but there's always some of the Chex cereals that are gluten-free now. Lunches/dinners - keep it basic, keep it simple. My son loves rice so we have that once or twice a week. Otherwise, I stick to meat/veggies/fruits. Soups. Corn tortilla roll-ups (his favorite is with ham or turkey, cheese and bits of spinach). He likes Annie's rice and cheese. We're still experimenting with pancake mixes. I heard Pamela's is great (all of the mixes) but I can't do it because of dairy/soy. Snacks: string cheese, yogurt, chex mix (make up your own - so many flavors), dry cereal, dried fruit/vegs (my kids love the just veggies brand), fruit sticks/leathers, EnviroKidz rice bars (this is more of a treat because of the cost but I plan on making my own bars after a bit here), fruits/vegs & dip (carrots, apples, etc with pb or yogurt - mix in a little honey if you want), rice cakes, leftovers (hehe, my son grabs what he can in the fridge!).

Hope this helps! Good luck! It'll get better.

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My son was 2 when he was diagnosed and was VERY picky. Once he was eating gluten-free, he seemed to start eating anything we put in front of him. He loves fruit, but has had a vegetable aversion since birth. I ALWAYS put them on his plate and he has to eat a "no thank you" bite. He's 4 now and he will eat his veggies now. He no longer gags and makes a big deal out of it. I also hide veggies in everything and since he loves spaghetti, I puree the sauce and add whatever I can find to the tomato sauce--broccoli, zucchini, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, squash--whatever I can add, I do. I do this with mac&cheese as well, except I use the white or orange veggies that will hide in the cheese sauce. Then I serve the veggie in its whole state, raw or steamed along with the main dish. I refuse to make multiple meals for everyone. You eat what I serve or choose not to eat ;) It's just so much easier for us all to eat gluten-free.

As far as starting out, start very basic and don't focus on the stuff she can no longer have. Glutino crackers are like Ritz, and if she can do nuts, my kids like the Nut Thins cheddar flavor-they are really good!!! Get a bag of gluten-free pretzles too. Envirokidz cereal and cereal bars are a favorite and it's pretty low sugar. I buy in bulk when it's on sale. I make m own bread because I refuse to pay 8$ for a loaf of bread. My kids like the Nature's Path gluten-free berry waffles and the Vans regular and mini waffles you can find in the freezer section--Safeway, Fred Meyer/Kroger, Whole Foods, New Seasons etc... Pirates Booty is another favorite snack food as is Tillamook and Darigold yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus or Kraft ranch dressing with veggies. Cut fruit, PB or almond butter, cream cheese, applesauce etc..

This is how we do our days:

Breakfast-grain, fruit, protein: example-waffle, banana, eggs or my special waffle-1 waffle smeared with PB, sliced bananas, a dollop of vanilla yogurt and a few mini chocolate chips sprinkled over the top-mmmmmmm

Am snack-fruit and protein: example-apple and PB or cheese

Lunch-grain, protein, veggie: example-quesadilla (with cheese and black beans) and green beans

PM snack-fruit and grain: example-applesauce and pretzles to dip

Dinner-grain, protein, veggie: sky's the limit--pasta and sauce, fish and rice, steak and potatoes-whatever you love can be converted to gluten-free!!!

If you need any help with recipes, let me know, I'd love to help!!

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Here are some muffin recipes but they are not cf:

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=63271

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=63144

and this site has amazing recipes, many are cf:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

Karina has lots of cooking and baking tips that are very helpful.

If she likes popcorn then buy some coconut oil like Spectrum. Pop the popcorn in a pan on the stove(not to high of temp.), use plenty of the oil and you don't need any butter, its healthier and tastes great plus she will have have watching it pop out of the pan when you take the lid off...I do ;)

There are lots of recipes on the cooking/baking section so go there and check it out and ask questions...we love to answer!

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I also recommend Karinas blog - it has some great ideas on it for meals.

Depending on where you are you may also be able to get a hold of a book called "4 Ingredients Gluten free". Its recipes call for 4 ingredients or less and there are some really good ideas for snacks.

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