Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Join eNewsletter


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):



Join eNewsletter

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Grace'smom

Label Reading For Newly Diagnosed Child

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

Where I'm only about 5-6 wks into the gluten free diet for my 6 yr old, I still have a lot of questions regarding what's okay to eat. Children's Hospital gave us a great handbook for label reading. The one question I am stuck on, however, is that if a product does not contain gluten on the label, are you automatically ok to give it a green light? So many salty snacks, ice cream treats and candy do not have food starch: wheat on the label...same with salad dressings. If I don't see it listed, I've been allowing her to have it. But I'm thinking that many of these products are probably produced in factories that do produce gluten-containing foods.

Let's say that I call each of these food manufacturers and learn that most also produce gluten containing foods at their plants. Do I then pull all of these foods from her diet? At that point, it would no longer make sense to think that simple label reading is enough to form a decision on. This came to mind yesterday when, at a friend's pool party, she asked if she could eat the candy Swedish Fish. I assumed, incorrectly, that it was the same product as licorice and said no. Then I read the label. It does not contain any wheat, it's primarily a corn-syrup product. So I let her have some. But I also have no idea what other products are created alongside Swedish Fish, and if its truly ok to eat these. And a lot of the time, that is the sudden situation we'll find ourselves in...at a relative's home for dinner, for example. I'll read the label, and upon finding it does not contain gluten, will let her have some. I just have this uneasiness in not knowing if that label reading is enough, or do I also have to call and check in each and every case if there is a chance for cross-contamination. Do you all rely on label reading alone as the standard? Please advise. Thank you, Emily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):


I, personally, go with the label. It's more than just wheat, do be sue you're looking for all the right words.

I limit the 'manufactured in a facility that also....', and I really really avoid 'made on the same lines as...'.Do your best, and you'll figure out what guidelines are appropriate for your family as you go along.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, personally, go with the label. It's more than just wheat, do be sue you're looking for all the right words.

I limit the 'manufactured in a facility that also....', and I really really avoid 'made on the same lines as...'.Do your best, and you'll figure out what guidelines are appropriate for your family as you go along.

Thank you...yes, I am aware of the other buzz words; just using the food starch - wheat as an example. Most of the foods she's eating aren't derivatives of oats, rye or barley (Save for the malt extract in Rice Krispies, etc. She sure misses those.) Thanks for the input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have any gluten-containing products in your home? If so, your home is a shared facility and your dishes and cutlery are shared equipment. But you wash them between uses, don't you?

That's kind of how I look at products from companies that are not gluten-free special facilities. I eat things made by Kraft which do not contain gluten, even though I know Kraft makes products with gluten in them. Kraft is just one example of a company with a clear gluten disclosure policy.


Peter

Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000. I was retested five years later and the biopsy was normal. You can beat this disease!

Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986

Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator since 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...yes, I am aware of the other buzz words; just using the food starch - wheat as an example. Most of the foods she's eating aren't derivatives of oats, rye or barley (Save for the malt extract in Rice Krispies, etc. She sure misses those.) Thanks for the input.

Erewhon crispy brown rice cereal. gluten-free and tastes just like rice crispies. Also comes with berries, plain, lightly sweetened and chocolate like cocoa crispies. I've gotten it in regular supermarkets all over. Look in the organic and health aisle if there isn't a seperate gluten free aisle.

http://www.gluten free.com/index.cfm/manufacturer/Erewhon/958043-___-Crispy-Brown-Rice-Cereal-with-Berries.html

http://www.erewhoncereal.com/usmills/search.php?brand=1


Gluten free since 1990.

Diagnosed by duodenal biopsy.

You don't stop skiing because you get old. You get old because you stop skiing :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are different levels of gluten sensitivity among people with celiac disease. Looking for gluten ingredients on labels is fine for most celiacs. If your daughter starts having unexplained reactions to processed foods or her antibodies don't go down, that's when you have to be more cautious about cross-contamination on manufacturing lines and in kitchens or restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are different levels of gluten sensitivity among people with celiac disease. Looking for gluten ingredients on labels is fine for most celiacs. If your daughter starts having unexplained reactions to processed foods or her antibodies don't go down, that's when you have to be more cautious about cross-contamination on manufacturing lines and in kitchens or restaurants.

I also do the individual ingredients on the label and it works fine for me. There are some things that are gluten free that are not specifically labeled that way but contain no ingredients that are not OK. Back when I was diagnosed some labels didn't tell you from what source :modified food starch was." In more recent years I see where they put after the word "modified food starch " (from corn or from wheat so you know the source).


Gluten free since 1990.

Diagnosed by duodenal biopsy.

You don't stop skiing because you get old. You get old because you stop skiing :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... I feel SO much better after reading your posts! I was so afraid that I was missing a step here. So many new things to learn with this diet. So appreciative of all of the suggestions and input. Thank you, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... I feel SO much better after reading your posts! I was so afraid that I was missing a step here. So many new things to learn with this diet. So appreciative of all of the suggestions and input. Thank you, thank you!

Once you get familiar with what to look for you don't necessarily need the label "gluten free". when my boys were young they would read the labels on their haloween candy when they got home and make a little pile for MOM. Too cute :-)


Gluten free since 1990.

Diagnosed by duodenal biopsy.

You don't stop skiing because you get old. You get old because you stop skiing :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest, I never just go with the label. I don't think it's safe, especially after reading a couple studies. A Dr. Murray at Mayo Clinic said the following, after a study of celiac disease and symptoms: we were surprised to discover no correlation between extent of intestine damage and patient symptoms.

Which means, best I can tell, that a slight outward reaction could actually go along with more severe physical harm. I tend to err on the side of caution due to that.

Some other information that I've come across over the last year while trying to figure this all out:

1) cross contamination is really easy - we learned that the hard way with corn tortillas - they are often processed in the same room with flour tortillas. The wheat flour gets on all the equipment in the room, including the ones that make corn tortillas.

2) I had thought that I could at least look at the 'risk' of this happening by the 'made in a facility that also produces wheat products' kind of label, yeah? However, that label has no legal basis. NO company is required to put anything like that on any product; it's all voluntary. So any product can be made on the same equipment, in the same room, etc... with no warning notice whatsoever. Also, while the newest allergen law has made some changes on what has to be reported for the 8 major allergens (which is wheat, so they do have more strictures on reporting a product 'may' contain wheat), this does not apply to anything that is not one of the 8 major allergens, like barley or rye. Also, this labeling is a US law, so other country's labeling laws may require even less.

3) If you haven't been able to yet, it's probably worth your while to look up all the non-food gluten sources, too. Like tea bags, which can be sealed with gluten, or some tempera type paints and glue pastes. These have gotten us a few times, too. :-(

I wish you luck - it's always hard in the beginning, I think, but it gets easier!


T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites