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HopefulMama23

Suggestions On How To Get 5 Year Old gluten-free?

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My son is 5 (will be 6 in a few weeks). His whole life he has struggled with excema, raspy couching, skin rashes, concentration issues, and impulse control problems. He's a sweet, intelligent boy, but the impulse and concentration issues have started to affect him at school. I was recently diagnised with celiacs myself and in all my research on it, I came across a lot of testimonies of parents that had seen concentration and control improve in kids once they were on a gluten-free diet. Since I am already doing it myself, I decided to try it for him.

My problems are:

He is NOT happy about it- so much so that anything "special" I buy him to eat, gluten-free bread or cookies or snacks, he refuses to eat. I'm stumped on what to feed him so he is eating enough and on how to deal with his rejection of this.

Other people- my mother especially, thinks this is a dumb idea and I know she is sneaking him gluten. I'm grateful to her for all that she does to help with our kids, but this makes me irate. Any tips on how to approach her on this?

The school has asked me for a doctors not or they will not enforce the diet (I pack a lunch but sometimes they have a snack or a kid brings in cupcakes for a birthday, etc). He is not formerly diagnosed so I'm not sure how to deal with this one.

Any tips?

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My 5 year old is still in the testing process so we have not gone gluten-free yet. The process is taking longer than I would like (months!) but I know I have to be patient. I know going gluten-free will help him but no one will support it without an actual diagnosis (in-laws, school, etc.)

Because he tested positive (blood panel) we got the rest of the family tested as well. I came up positive and am now going through the next steps.

If you have celiac disease, shouldn't he be at least tested? Before you switch his diet, make an appointment with his pediatrician to get him screened - it should be done for all of your first degree relatives.

Sorry I can't be more helpful about the diet. So far my 5 year old has tried (and liked) Udi's sandwich bread, rice cakes (smothered in nutella), rice chex, and gluten-free pretzels. I'm letting him get used to things little by little so when we get permission to finally remove all gluten, there won't be lots of changes at once. We switched his flour tortilla to corn last week and he barely even noticed.

Good luck.

Cara

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Why not go ahead and get him the blood work and scope/biopsy if necessary while he is still consuming gluten? I have had my boys screened yearly since my diagnosis. My youngest one initially was negative, and on his test 3 months ago he had a positive iga ttg. I did not do further testing and put him guten free based on his blood test. I did however, get a signed note and paper filled out for the school from the allergist. He wrote on there "suspect blood test for celiac disease. Must avoid gluten." That was sufficient for the school. Initally they were trying to have a shared classroom and decided it was to hard so they made the entire class only have gluten free snacks (he is in kindergarden). There is a child in his class with nut allergies and no one is allowed to bring anything in with those in so they did the same for my son. I don't think they would be as accomadating if I didn't have some kind of paperwork signed by his doctor. Also, no matter what diagnosis route you choose or don't choose your mother needs to respect your decision to not give him gluten! My son initally (upon my diagnosis) would love to eat my "special stuff" and loved almost anything I made gluten free before he was diagnosed. But once he "had" to eat gluten free, his tune changed. Things he previously would eat he quit and said everything I gave or made just for him was gross. He got really hungry, because I refused to let him fill up on junk. I had several options for him and let him decide if he would eat or not. When he got hungry enough he ate. I also since I was diagnosed, refused to cook separate meals for the gluten eaters. Unless we were eating on our own, meals are made so everyone can eat it. This approach from the beginning for me helped him at dinner time because he was used to it. He was really upset at loosing pizza and donuts. I think his refusal to eat or his dislike in gluten free things was a way for him to have some kind of control since he lost it. Around a month his attitude changed and he now eats things again that he used to like and has even discovered he likes some new things. So hang in there he will come around. Offer healthy choices and he eventually will eat when he is hungry.

Here are some things my 6 yr old likes:

Fruit of any kind

cut up carrots/celery/cucumbers/tomatoes with dip

rice cakes with pb & j or with melted mozzerela cheese and pepperoni on top

fruity and cocoa pebbles (make sure the box has gluten free on it)

Betty crocker fruit snacks

Betty crocker Bisquick mix to make waffles and pancakes

Betty crocker yellow cake mix (I add 2 oz of softened cream cheese to batter to make it moister) and brownie mix

tortilla chips and salsa

cheese/cheese sticks

K-toos chocolate sandwich cookies

Pamelas chocolate chunk cookies

Yoplait yogurt many varities such as original, trix and gogurt

Udi's bread and bagles (this one took awhile but now loves it)

Sam Mills corn pasta (I've tried so many rice pastas and hate them all)

Lay's stax

gluten free pretzels

jello

muddy buddies made out of corn or rice chex

gluten free "rice crispy" treats

orida ff

meat: beef, pork, chicken

fish and shrimp

and your normal run of the mill meals I make

Hope this gives you a starting point. :)

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Is there anything you can swap out without even telling him, or having him notice? Like making a grilled cheese with gluten-free bread (I love love love Rudi's) instead of regular, or doing a pasta night with gluten-free pasta (I think quinoa pasta tastes exactly the same as Dreamfield's...). If he'll eat soup, he won't even notice that (white) rice noodles are any different than non-gluten-free noodles in chicken noodle soup once they soak up the chicken broth. You can make mac 'n' cheese using gluten-free flour in the roux. For dessert, I have yet to find a gluten-free brownie recipe that tastes gluten-free or has a noticeably different texture.

Good luck!

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For a child, I second the idea of trying to get a diagnosis for him. For an adult it makes no difference but until he gets out of high school (or even college) he is going to be facing this issue with the schools and if you can get him diagnosed now it would be much easier for him. If he has been (mostly) gluten free for any length of time it would be necessary to put him back on gluten for a couple of months for the testing to be valid.

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I agree with the others on getting a diagnosis if you can, especially if he is fighting you on this. If he has celiac then he will have to accept this no ifs, ands, or buts. Without a formal diagnosis it is going to be harder to keep him safe from gluten with others working against you. If you have celiac he definitely is at risk for it. As far as keeping him gluten free in your house, my kids understand that we cannot have gluten in the house or their sister will be sick. I do allow them gluten outside of the house and at school. My soon to be 5 year old is an absolute pain in the neck and can taste the difference in gluten free foods. I have given him stuff and him not been aware it was gluten free and he's told me he didn't like it. When my dd was first diagnosed she wouldn't eat a lot of things that are gluten free that she eats now. I think they need a certain amount of time to adapt to the new tastes. For my dd with celiac it seemed like after she was off gluten for a long enough time she lost the "taste" for gluten filled foods and then introducing gluten free options went better. Perhaps that will work the same for you. I agree with everyone else here though I would get him screened.

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I have a different opinion. I was diagnosed in 2008. Then the lights went on and I realized my son probably has it too. I had his blood tested and he was positive. I had to tell my Ped what to test, since she did not know. She could not interpret the results, I did. Then she said, well, I guess he has it (all his labs were positive.) I've never had a doctor's note or anything "proving" he has Celiac. He was 9 at diagnosis. I gave him the option of biopsy or trying the diet. He chose the diet and the results were amazing. I set up a parent teacher conference with his teacher. I brought with me a bag of snacks and candies that are gluten free. Then I asked to have him notify me of special events that would involve cookies, pizza, etc. and I provide something special for him. He got a pizza delivered from Zpizza at school once and thought he was the king of the world. We've not had a single issue at school.

Now for the advice that some might consider hard. He's five, and he lives in a benevolent dicatatorship and will eat what you give him. It's not like he can go out for a burger with his buddies, he is only 5. He'll get used to it, and once he sees how much better he feels, he won't resent it so much. If my son was not willing to do the diet, he didn't have to eat the food I gave him. He would have eventually gotten hungry though :D

Hope that didn't sound too harsh, but just let him know you're in charge and eventually he'll eat. Stick with naturally gluten free things and he will come around.

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I have a different opinion. I was diagnosed in 2008. Then the lights went on and I realized my son probably has it too. I had his blood tested and he was positive. I had to tell my Ped what to test, since she did not know. She could not interpret the results, I did. Then she said, well, I guess he has it (all his labs were positive.) I've never had a doctor's note or anything "proving" he has Celiac. He was 9 at diagnosis. I gave him the option of biopsy or trying the diet. He chose the diet and the results were amazing. I set up a parent teacher conference with his teacher. I brought with me a bag of snacks and candies that are gluten free. Then I asked to have him notify me of special events that would involve cookies, pizza, etc. and I provide something special for him. He got a pizza delivered from Zpizza at school once and thought he was the king of the world. We've not had a single issue at school.

Now for the advice that some might consider hard. He's five, and he lives in a benevolent dicatatorship and will eat what you give him. It's not like he can go out for a burger with his buddies, he is only 5. He'll get used to it, and once he sees how much better he feels, he won't resent it so much. If my son was not willing to do the diet, he didn't have to eat the food I gave him. He would have eventually gotten hungry though :D

Hope that didn't sound too harsh, but just let him know you're in charge and eventually he'll eat. Stick with naturally gluten free things and he will come around.

While I get what you are saying a lot of the kids are having poor growth and poor weight gain. My dd for example hasn't ate dinner lately because she's so darn picky. She will just not eat. Some of these kids will choose not eating at all and they don't all eventually eat. Some will just lose weight and become more malnourished.

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My daughter went gluten-free at age 6. She actually wanted to do it because she was tired of feeling sick. The whole family went gluten-free.

At first, because there were less gluten-free products available in the stores around me, we mainly ate things that are naturally gluten-free. Like chicken and rice, beef stew, vegetable soup. Things she was already comfortable with. For her lunch at school I just packed either a salad and some fruit or something in a thermos.

At first I went overboard buying all sorts of gluten-free specialty foods. And this trend continued for a couple of years. I spent countless hours trying to bake things.

I have since pretty much given up on baking with a few exceptions. The zucchini bread recipe on this website comes out well. You wouldn't know it is gluten-free. I also do coffee cake, occasionally pancakes, and apple crisp. That's about it. Those things are edible. The pancakes taste different maybe because I don't use eggs or dairy. But my daughter likes them.

Using rice or corn pasta was no problem. My husband is Italian and he didn't even notice the difference.

Daughter doesn't like most gluten-free cookies. She does like some of the Lucy's and some of the Enjoy Life. I don't like any of them. She did not have a lot of sweets prior to going gluten-free. Now I just buy little candies that are gluten-free and free of her other allergens. There are very few of those because she is so limited. I keep these things in a jar. For birthday and such she has some of those.

The big things for my daughter were feeling better and doing better in school. Perhaps once that happens he will feel better about it.

In the meantime, you may have to make your entire house gluten-free. That is what I did in the beginning. Gluten is not a problem for my husband or me but I felt bad eating it in front of her. So I did not. My husband began to complain though. So once in a while I would buy him a prepared sandwich or some baked goods. They were kept out of the way.

Another thing that helped was that I bought her her own little fridge. Of course she has additional allergies. She was worried that a grandparent or babysitter (not that she ever had any) might feed her the wrong thing. She knew that anything in her fridge was safe for her. She also has a shelving unit for her special cereals and things. We don't have a pantry in our kitchen.

I merely gave her no choice. We de-glutened and de-allergied our entire kitchen. At the time, my friend had a teenaged grandson living with her. He and his friend were eating her out of house and home. So we took all of the unopened food that she could no longer eat over to her house. Otherwise I would have given the non-perishables to the food bank.

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Thank you so much everyone for the feedback!! I absolutely intend to talk to his doctor and have him and my other kids (I have 3) tested, but in addition to celiacs I am also interested in him following the diet for the benefits in treating autism and ADHD disorders (with a gluten-free/CF diet), so regardless of test results I will likely pursue our family eating gluten free.

Thank you especially for the food and meal suggestions- I was inspired last night and tried Annie's gluten-free mac and cheese and he LOVED it, so while its not exactly a wholesome choice, it does give me something I can fall back on for dinners. I also bought Udi's bread on a recommendation and it seems a lot better than the one we were using before (he's a big toast eater so this was a tough one).

Also, I ended up having a long talk with his teacher and it turns out her own daughter and grandkids are gluten intolerant, so she was totally on board with enforcing the diet. I'm just left with the after school program and my mother to train now.

Thanks again- and keep it coming!

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My dd went gluten-free at the age of 6. At first she thought that gluten free breads, cookies, etc were so gross. So I simply stopped making gluten-free baked goods and stopped buying them as well. I would feed her anything that was naturally gluten-free such as cheeses, meats, yogurts, fruit, veggies, yummy dips, potatoes, rice. We made goodies out of chex cereal (so many great options there) and cocoa pebbles rice krispy treats. We used corn tortillas for cheese crisps, wraps, and even as a makeshift pizza crust! Eventually, after having no baked goods for a few months, I gradually started to re-introduce things to her. And, surprise, she would love it! She now eats Udi's, rice crackers, gluten-free cookies....really anything. I also learned more about the different types of flours and how some of them have very strong flavors that are off-putting. I think it also took her a little time to "forget" the tastes and textures of gluten filled food and readjust to gluten free food. Give him time, he will eventually adjust. I do agree that you should at least have his blood tested. Goodluck!

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Your son sounds like he might have ADHD, so let me tell you about my son.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5. His big thing has always been impulse control. He'll be 7 at the end of March. He's on ADHD medication that very much controls his impulsiveness. One of the concerns his doctor has always had is a total lack of weight gain for the past 2 years. She kept talking about the appetite suppresent of the medication and I kept telling her that he eats like he's starving to death. She feels really bad about not catching the Celiac Disease thing earlier as that should have clued her in. I'd never heard of Celiac Disease before, so I certainly didn't blame her! About a year ago, Chris started complaining about his knees hurting him every night. I attributed it to growing pains until my mom reminded me that he wasn't really growing. I took him to his doctor and he thought Chris might have juvenile arthritis. I took him to a pediatric specialist who said it wasn't that, but she wanted to test him for Celiac Disease. The bloodwork came back positive, so we went to see a pediatric GI specialist who did a biopsy and confirmed celiac disease. My son went gluten free the end of November. When he was diagnosed, lots of people where like 'oh, maybe this will fix his ADHD'. gluten-free diets have known to have a positive affect on Autism, but not ADHD. The best treatment for ADHD is medicine as it is a physical disorder where the brain does not produce enough dopomine. At a young age, autism and ADHD can have some of the same outward appearances.

So, my son is about 3 months into a gluten-free diet and we are still struggling with the weight as now the appetite suppressent of the ADHD meds is kicking in. He gets most of his calories before 8am and after 6pm. We've finally seen our first weight jump just in the last few days. He's up about 4lbs and 1/2 inch. The joint pain, however, has been totally gone for months.

If you suspect, however, that your son does have Celiac Disease, I highly recommend taking him for the bloodwork to see if that comes up positive. You'll have to take him off the gluten-free though to make sure the antibodies show up. If the bloodwork shows up positive, you can do the biopsy and then have a diagnosis either way. Having the diagnosis gives you leverage with the school, with relatives, and with yourself. If he has to go gluten-free for his health, then it's alot easier to work with as a parent than if it's something you are just trying.

My son has Celiac Disese, so he had already naturally cut out alot of foods that had gluten because they made him sick. His favorite meal is chicken/pork/steak, a baked potato, and vegetables. If your son really likes bread, then going gluten-free is tough. There are alot of foods that are naturally gluten-free. Let me know the types of foods your son likes and I can try to find you an alternative. Hershey's is a great one for treats.

As for the school - you can just tell them that he is not allowed to have food that is not brought from home. My son's teacher keeps treats for him in the freezer at school, so that if someone brings in a treat, my son can also eat one. Your son's teacher may not go that far without a diagnosis, but they should respect your desire to have him not eat what is not brought from home.

As for your mom. I don't know. My thoughts would be to just talk to her. Acknowledge that you get she thinks it's a dumb idea, but you would appreciate her respecting your decisions with your child and keeping him gluten free.

Good luck.

My son is 5 (will be 6 in a few weeks). His whole life he has struggled with excema, raspy couching, skin rashes, concentration issues, and impulse control problems. He's a sweet, intelligent boy, but the impulse and concentration issues have started to affect him at school. I was recently diagnised with celiacs myself and in all my research on it, I came across a lot of testimonies of parents that had seen concentration and control improve in kids once they were on a gluten-free diet. Since I am already doing it myself, I decided to try it for him.

My problems are:

He is NOT happy about it- so much so that anything "special" I buy him to eat, gluten-free bread or cookies or snacks, he refuses to eat. I'm stumped on what to feed him so he is eating enough and on how to deal with his rejection of this.

Other people- my mother especially, thinks this is a dumb idea and I know she is sneaking him gluten. I'm grateful to her for all that she does to help with our kids, but this makes me irate. Any tips on how to approach her on this?

The school has asked me for a doctors not or they will not enforce the diet (I pack a lunch but sometimes they have a snack or a kid brings in cupcakes for a birthday, etc). He is not formerly diagnosed so I'm not sure how to deal with this one.

Any tips?

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    • It looks like you were tested with the old anti-gliadin antibodies, which unfortunately are not good tests for Celiac Disease.  These old tests show that at some point gliadin has gotten into your system and an antibody has formed against it.  It may be a sign that you had "leaky gut".  These kinds of antibodies can come and go and overall are not very helpful in establishing a diagnosis. But there are some other blood tests that still might be useful:  the tissue transglutaminase (tTG-IgA) and the newer gliadin test:  deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies (DGP IgA and DGP IgG).       Some doctors will proceed with a biopsy if you have symptoms and negative celiac blood tests, because even in Celiac Disease blood tests are negative about 10% of the time.  There are some screening checklists here:  http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/screening-checklists.html If you have all the right tests and they are negative, you could still have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or other types of food sensitivity.  At that point you could do an elimination diet to determine what is causing symptoms.
    • Wow!  I wish you the best on your upcoming Ironman.  I have done some sprints and relays, but never an Ironman.  Usually, I do Century Rides.  Like you, I am on a lower carb, high fat gluten-free diet.   Hey, I am looking at two Nunn containers right now in y kitchen.  One, citrus fruit does have corn, dextrose.  The other, Pomergranate Blueberry does not.  It simply has sugar (non-GMO sourced).  
    • Welcome!  At 235, your Immunoglobulin A is normal.  In the case of celiac disease, this test validates the other IgA celiac tests (it is a control test).  The positive gliadin IgA is elevated.  This means you should get referred to a Gastroenterologist for an endoscopy to obtain small intestinal biopsies.  You do not need all the celiac blood tests to be positive.  In fact, I just had only the elevated gliadin IGA and my biopsies revealed some moderate to severe patches of damaged villi.   Keep eating gluten until you see the Gastroenterologist.  In the meantime, keep researching celiac disease and ask questions!  
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