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How Do I Start This Process?

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My daughter has just been diagnosed through biopsy. How do I start getting her gluten-free? She's 5 and loves pancakes, waffles, cereal, bread, and other treats. She also loves veggies, fruit, and rice, so that's a good thing.

I guess what I'm asking is, how do you begin? Do you start by substituting the obvious sources (breads, pastas, etc...) with gluten-free versions and then consider other stuff like sauces and spices? This seems pretty overwhelming right now.

For "treats", are they some brands that are better than others in terms of taste? Are there items that a kid will like more than others?

Any advice is appreciated.

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Welcome to the forum.

My son is nine and we all eat gluten-free. He likes Van's gluten-free waffles (i think they make non-gluten-free too so read the package). Udi's bread, glutino pretzels, freeze dried apples, enviro kids crispy rice bars, chex cereals and Bisquick has a gluten-free version also that makes good pancakes.

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Hi there!

If it were me...I would not start subing in the replacements right away. Fruit, veggies, meat and rice is the healthier way to eat anyway. If you start subing in right away you'll find you'll throw tons of stuff away and you'll go broke. Plus, it's probably not a good idea to introduce a lot of new foods at once. Stick with the stuff you'll know she'll eat and she likes.

If you can, I would try not to make a big deal out of the diet change, so she doesn't know she is missing anything. I would start with the things that help you put dinner on the table (dressings, marinades, sauces, spices). That way you'll know what you could throw on chicken to have an easy meal. As far as products...by far the Udi's bread is the best. It took us forever to find it. It's in the frozen food section. I spent so much money on other breads and they were TERRIBLE!! AND another staple in our house is the Bob Mills Corn Pasta. The rice pastas are TERRIBLE! If she is used to eating regular pasta she would probably like the corn pasta. I think it helps to cook it on the longer side of the time table. It can be a little chewy.

It is really over-whelming at first but you'll get the hang of it before you know it.

Good luck!!

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I agree with the advice above. I'd start with doing as much naturally gluten free options as you can. We buy one new gluten free food to try a week. (Well we aren't doing that much any more, but that's what we were doing.) We wound up throwing a lot of food out at first. By doing the naturally gluten free stuff you give them a chance to forget what gluten tastes like and they are more agreeable with new foods when they aren't trying to totally replicate it. We had to switch the whole family gluten free. It was very overwhelming at first, and sometimes still is. In the beginning you may accidentally gluten her more than you want. You just miss things at first. I remember switching my roast recipe to use soy sauce instead of onion soup mix. I thought I was so clever only to realize that um, yah, soy sauce has gluten in it. (Not all brands, but a lot do.) Gluten is in a lot of things. It's in things you don't expect.

Foods we buy a lot - Progresso soup. We use their soups to replace Lipton Onion Soup Mix for my crockpot meals and we use cream of mushroom soup for a lot of my casserole meals that I used to use Cambells on.

Chex cereal goes over well in our house. Gluten free pancakes some of my kids like them, some will not eat them. Udis is the only bread I can get my kids to eat.

Kinnikinnick makes gluten free Oreo type cookies and chocolate chip ones that taste similar to store bought chocolate chip cookies. Those we don't buy a lot, but they help with the store bought fix. Kids want to be like everyone else.

Watch out for things like Rice Krispies - they are not gluten free. A lot of things you think don't have gluten in do.

Tinkiyada pasta is a life saver for us. Just make sure you read the directions and cook it as long as it says to. The first time I made it I tried to do it by looking at it like I do regular noodles and they wound up way under cooked.

I hope that helps.

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Here's a few starters

La Choy soy sauce

Bullseye BBQ sauce

Select Wishbone salad dressings say Gluten free on back (Ranch & French)

Heinz ketchup

French mustard

Use powders like garlic, ginger , onion that are pure with no Natural flavorings.

BTW discard your Pbutter and Jelly (unless they are the squeezable) they are contaminted. Same for any condiments you may have wiped on bread then put knife back into the jar.

Udi's Bread and bagels are the only ones worth trying

Vans or Natures path waffles and french toast are good

Pamela's pancake mix is good

King Arthur cookies and muffins mixes are very good.

Both Pamela's and King Arthur choc cake and brownies are good

Bisquick gluten-free mix is great for biscuits

For mainstream snacks;

Tostito's tortilla chips we get the rounds and use them with cheese , salsa , guacomole etc..

select Quaker rice cakes (check the back label for Gluten free it will say)

Nature valley has 2 granola bars that say gluten-free on front box

Smartfood popcorn

Pirates booty (says gluten-free on front package)

cereal:

Chex

Kix

Natures path 2 types

Enviro kids

I often mix the specialty brands with Chex or Kix to make it less expensive

Pasta's are a complete matter of taste we like Bionatura(Quinoa and rice) and Tinkyada(brown rice) but many people like the corn.

Annie's make a gluten-free mac and cheese that is pretty good.

good luck

I agree with trying to stay with as much natural foods as you can at first.

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My son is 6 (will be 7 the end of March) and was just diagnosed in November. The best way to start is just go cold turkey. It's alot to take on and can be overwhelming at first, but we caught on quickly and now it's really not that hard, only 3 months later. The biggest problem with having 1 person in a house diagnosed is that you have to decide how gluten-free your house will be. I highly suggest removing wheat flour from your house at minimum. You know how when you pour it, it makes that puff? Well that puff can stay in the air for over an hour and if your daughter would breath that, she just ingested gluten. There are great recipes out there to substitute gluten-free flours for wheat. I have a killer cake recipe that used white rice and tapioca flour.

Alot of what you do depends on what you have available to you. If you have a Whole Foods near you, you are golden. We don't, but the local grocery store just remodeled and has a decent selection. I think the best bread is UDI's (it tastes like a very hearty regular bread), but my son's not crazy about it. I bought some gluten-free flour and pancake mix, but have yet to use it, so I can't give you any advice there. I also bought frozen waffles. Again, haven't used it. I did buy some frozen UDI's bagels (which are fantastic) and frozen donuts (kinninnicks) which my son loved.

I started very basic with Chris. I fixed what he liked that I KNEW was gluten-free (meat, potatoes/rice, and vegetables). As I felt comfortable, I added in other items. Alot of items are now labeled gluten-free (like some progresso soups, hot dogs, cereals, etc). Many stores also keep lists of their gluten-free items. I got an iphone in December and added an app called 'Is That Gluten Free?' If you have an iphone, I highly recommend the app. It costs $7.99, but is worth every penny.

The main things you want to look for in an ingredient list is wheat, barley, rye, and malt. Then there are the hidden things. I think the ones I concentrate on are modified starch (starch is fine because it's just corn, but modified can contain gluten), natural flavorings (this can contain about anything, including gluten), caramel coloring, and vingar (must be distilled to be gluten-free). Wheat will always be listed (by law), but barley, rye, and malt aren't always listed if they are in one of the above mentioned items. Again - alot of manufactures are listing their items as gluten-free these days.

The fun part is cross contamination. First you need to figure out how concerned you are with cross contamination. I suggest you be highly concerned. I've read things that 1 crumb of bread can be enough to set off someone with celiac disease. As your daughter goes gluten-free, any gluten she consumes she will be highly sensitive to, so it's worth it. This basically means assuring that the food your daughter eats does not come in contact with gluten. butter containers, peanut butter jars, and anything else you dip an knife into and then possibly re-dip should not be used by the person who is gluten free. I buy Chris his own smaller container of butter and PB. We use squeeze bottles for everything else. Always wash your hands between working with gluten and non-gluten and don't mix cooking utensils. At home it's much easier to control, so I also suggest trying to get comfortable with things there before venturing out to friend's houses and restaurants. Also, are you going to worry about items that are processed in a plant or on a line that processes gluten? I try to avoid it, but I know lots of people with celiac disease who aren't as strict. Most plants try to avoid the cross contamination, but need to recognize it on labeling.

Lots of treats are naturally gluten-free or at least label their packages well. Hershey's is great. Most of their stuff is gluten-free, but if it's processed in a facility with gluten, they label. A good portion of candy is naturally gluten-free. As far as gluten-free treats, Chris seems to really like the Glutino brand of stuff. They have oreo's that he likes alot. It was also the only gluten-free pizza, so far that he seemed to like at all.

I didn't realize I was typing so much - sorry! My advice is to start small - limit her diet to the simple and naturally gluten-free items that you know and add in other items a little at a time. I found, with Chris, that he is happy eating pretty naturally gluten-free, so I don't have to go buy all the expensive gluten-free items!

My daughter has just been diagnosed through biopsy. How do I start getting her gluten-free? She's 5 and loves pancakes, waffles, cereal, bread, and other treats. She also loves veggies, fruit, and rice, so that's a good thing.

I guess what I'm asking is, how do you begin? Do you start by substituting the obvious sources (breads, pastas, etc...) with gluten-free versions and then consider other stuff like sauces and spices? This seems pretty overwhelming right now.

For "treats", are they some brands that are better than others in terms of taste? Are there items that a kid will like more than others?

Any advice is appreciated.

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I'm glad you typed so much! That was excellent advice. I'm in my 5th month but enjoyed your information and learned a few things too!

I have a 16 yr old recently gluten free and for us...it was extremely important to find a few substitutions right away for our favorite things. Udi's bread is the only one I have ever tried and we love it. Makes great toast. They also make great cinnamon rolls and chocolate muffins. These were our favorite treats. I keep these in the freezer and we get one out once in a while.

Pasta- My son much prefers the Quinoa/Corn pasta. Tried others but this to him tastes like "normal" pasta.

As soon as I learned that Snickers and Cheetos were gluten free we both breathed a huge sigh of relief....and said, "OK, we are good, we can do this!"

I agree with the other posters about staying with whole natural foods.

But a kid's gotta be a kid now and then no matter what age they are! :D

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Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback! I'm going to tour my grocery stores and local shops that carry gluten-free items and compare costs. I like the idea of sticking to foods that she can still eat since she really likes salad, vegetables, fruits, rice, tacos, meat, and diary. I'll get her some soya sauce and salad dressing that is gluten-free. And I'll get a butter container just for her. If I buy anything else it'll probably be a bag of pancake mix to try and some corn pasta, which will probably be pretty good anyway.

Does this sound like a good plan to start?

I'm not sure how much to worry about cross-contamination. She has been confirmed Celiac through biopsy. So does that mean that ANY amount of gluten will harm her?

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I'm big into whole, organic foods, so it's nice to know we have lots of choices in that department! We don't totally eat gluten-free as a family, but we're probably 90%. My daughter (she's 3) is a really picky eater and alot of what she likes is gluten based, so I'm not going to force her to go gluten-free. She does like alot of Christopher's gluten-free snacks though. The Hershey's and Cheetos were a HUGE find for us as well. My son isn't a huge chocolate fan, but does like M&M's on occassion. He LOVES Cheese curls though :)

I'm glad you typed so much! That was excellent advice. I'm in my 5th month but enjoyed your information and learned a few things too!

I have a 16 yr old recently gluten free and for us...it was extremely important to find a few substitutions right away for our favorite things. Udi's bread is the only one I have ever tried and we love it. Makes great toast. They also make great cinnamon rolls and chocolate muffins. These were our favorite treats. I keep these in the freezer and we get one out once in a while.

Pasta- My son much prefers the Quinoa/Corn pasta. Tried others but this to him tastes like "normal" pasta.

As soon as I learned that Snickers and Cheetos were gluten free we both breathed a huge sigh of relief....and said, "OK, we are good, we can do this!"

I agree with the other posters about staying with whole natural foods.

But a kid's gotta be a kid now and then no matter what age they are! :D

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Some people react worse than others to consuming gluten, but anyone who has Celiac Disease and consumes gluten will kick off the autoimmune response and do damage internally even if they don't feel it. My son had very mild reactions to gluten before he was diagnosed with celiac disease, but he was given gluten at a daycamp in December and developed a tic and severe pain in his elbow that lasted about 6 weeks. Once someone with celiac disease goes off gluten, they seem to typically get very sensitive to gluten so that when they have any, it's a much more severe response. In the end, there's only so much you can do about cross contamination. Personally, we decided to be very strict about cross contamination at our house where we can control it, but I don't totally isolate Chris either. We eat out at restaurants (mostly the Outback which has a full gluten-free menu) and he's planning on attending resident camp this summer. I'm very paranoid about the camp or anytime I don't have full control over his food, but you can do the best you can and that's all you can do. When he went to the daycamp over Christmas break, I don't think I could have been any clearer to them about the gluten and how he was not to have anything I didn't provide. They still gave him 3 snacks with gluten in them and Chris thought it was okay because he knew they knew about his celiac disease. He learned from that though and he questions everything he's given now. For his valentine's day party at school, we took in gluten free cupcakes so he could enjoy what everyone else was having and he even questioned his teacher on those! There are several good books out there to read on Celiac Disease. I read Elizabeth Hassleback's book and loved it. She's gotten criticized for a few things in the book, but I thought it was fantastic. It was an easy read and very informative from a 'real' person.

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback! I'm going to tour my grocery stores and local shops that carry gluten-free items and compare costs. I like the idea of sticking to foods that she can still eat since she really likes salad, vegetables, fruits, rice, tacos, meat, and diary. I'll get her some soya sauce and salad dressing that is gluten-free. And I'll get a butter container just for her. If I buy anything else it'll probably be a bag of pancake mix to try and some corn pasta, which will probably be pretty good anyway.

Does this sound like a good plan to start?

I'm not sure how much to worry about cross-contamination. She has been confirmed Celiac through biopsy. So does that mean that ANY amount of gluten will harm her?

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You need to decide if the whole house is going gluten free. We did not take the whole family gluten free. However, I threaten the rest of the house that if we did not follow the rules to prevent cross contamination and my daughter continued to have issues, then the whole house would go gluten free. It's been almost four years and we seem to be doing just fine with a mixed house.

Now, that being said, I do not prepare from scratch any meals or baked goods that have gluten in them. There is no wheat flour or baking mixes with wheat flour in my house. The gluten items in my house are in the form of crackers, bread, cereal, cookies. (This has kept my son from bankrupting us by trying to satiate his hunger with gluten-free snacks ;) )

In order to make it easy for my daughter, the pantry became completely gluten free. She can have ANYthing out of the pantry. I spent a day sorting everything out. I completely emptied it, wiped it down and then items only went back in if I could confirm that it was gluten-free. Questionable items or items that were cc'd (like the jar of peanut butter) went into my son's cabinet. Cake mixes and such were given away to the neighbors. Then I could tell where I needed to fill in the holes.

Once a week, try converting one of your recipes to gluten free . . . somethings will take a few tries before you're happy with it. This is a good place to ask for recommendations on what to use to substitute for a previous ingredient that contains gluten. A lot of times, it's just a matter of switching to a different brand (as mentioned earlier, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce from La Choy).

Kraft, ConAgra and Unilever have labeling policies which will disclose gluten in their ingredients. For instance, if barley is in their natural flavorings, then it will be listed something like natural flavoring (derived from barley). This does not mean that they test their items for gluten. It means that gluten is not in the ingredient list.

Staples at our house:

Pamela's Pancake and Baking mix . . . good pancakes and fair muffins (I prefer my own muffin recipe)

Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta

Jif Peanut Butter

Glutino Pretzels

Most Lays Chips (Lays web-site has a gluten-free list. Lays shares their equipment so some sensitive Celiacs still have a problem. Lays Stax products are on dedicated lines)

Chex (Homemade Chex mix is a big favorite here . . . as are the Chex Muddy Buddies)

Kraft Beef Hot Dogs

Any Cheese my daughter can get her hands on

Ortega taco stuff (hard shells, seasoning mix, hot sauce)

Boar's Head deli meat

Ore-Ida french fries (check the labels, there are a couple that have wheat . . . seasoned? and crispy crowns? . . . not sure right now, but the regular shoe-string and crinkled cut are good)

Bell & Evans Chicken tenders/nuggets

Kraft Ranch dressing

Udi's bread

Udi's pizza crust

Betty Crocker gluten-free Brownie Mix

These are just a few . . . I didn't feel the need to list the obvious fresh fruits/veg/meat.

When you're ready, we'll help you get started on the baking. Homemade gluten free cookies/cakes/muffins/etc are better than those made from mixes and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the premade.

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My child went Gluten Free in January and this is what we like and dislike so far:

Like

Quinoa Pasta

Snyders Gluten Free Pretzels

Cape Cod Chips

Kettle Brand chips

Kettle Corn or popcorn

Pamela's ginger cookies

Schar Brand Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers, Shortbread Cookies

Midol Oreos

Cherry Brook Chocolate Cake Mix

Authentic Foods Flours

San Juan Gluten Free Soy Sauce

Enjoy Life Granola Cinnamon Crunch

Edy's Strawberry Popsicles

Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Vanilla Ice Cream

Pudding

Tortilla Chips

Fruit Roll-ups

Oats from Bob's Red Mill

Quaker Rice Cakes

Jello

Okay

Betty Crocker Cake Mixes

Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake Mix

Not Like

Hogkin's (sp) Cookie Mix

Van's Waffles (we make our own homemade)

Glutino Pretzels and Cereal

Pamela's Mixes

Kinninick Oreos (K-Too) and Pasta

Chebe Garlic and Onion Breadstick Mix

Flours from Bob's Red Mill

We are all different with diff't taste buds. I hope you find foods that your daughter enjoys.

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You've gotten more specifics than your head can probably hold, so here is my family's (2 celiacs, 2 not, a partially gluten-free house; 8 years now)advice in generalities:

1. embrace the change.

2. prepare to have grieving moments

3. allow your son to be mad, but don't pity him

4. be adventurous -- one person's "we hated this" could be your favorite food. Try lots of things, and give yourselves permission to throw stuff out if it's yucky

5. find a cookbook you like. (see number #4 -- one that YOU like)

6. at the beginning, it is useful to make a list of things you want to find gluten-free versions of, and concentrate on those. Makes you feel like you're getting somewhere

7. don't panic - you CAN DO THIS

8. take all advice -- from stores, this board, articles -- with a grain of salt. Some people are militantly gluten-free, some less so, some not really paying attention. This is your life. Find a way that suits you.

Good luck! Believe it or not, in about a year you will find it simple, and wonder why you worried. Really, you will!!

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You've gotten more specifics than your head can probably hold, so here is my family's (2 celiacs, 2 not, a partially gluten-free house; 8 years now)advice in generalities:

1. embrace the change.

2. prepare to have grieving moments

3. allow your son to be mad, but don't pity him

4. be adventurous -- one person's "we hated this" could be your favorite food. Try lots of things, and give yourselves permission to throw stuff out if it's yucky

5. find a cookbook you like. (see number #4 -- one that YOU like)

6. at the beginning, it is useful to make a list of things you want to find gluten-free versions of, and concentrate on those. Makes you feel like you're getting somewhere

7. don't panic - you CAN DO THIS

8. take all advice -- from stores, this board, articles -- with a grain of salt. Some people are militantly gluten-free, some less so, some not really paying attention. This is your life. Find a way that suits you.

Good luck! Believe it or not, in about a year you will find it simple, and wonder why you worried. Really, you will!!

Well said!!

Throwing stuff out is hard when you paid big bucks for it but if you can't find a use for it (I used some terrible flavorless cardboard crackers in a meatloaf) then it's just taking up space and making you feel guilty everytime you look at it and don't eat it.

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My daughter is 4 1/2 and was diagnosed just over a month ago. It has been a whirlwhind of emotions. Some days seem easier than others. Hang in there and good luck! I know how you are feeling!

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My daughter has been gluten free for 3 years (she's 5). My husband and I have been VERY careful about cross contamination because ANY amount negatively affects her. She has had her own cupboard that NOTHING with gluten goes into. Primarily, the only foods with gluten in our house have been our bread and our snacks. We eat gluten free meals because we eat with her.

I went gluten free 5 days ago. So I'm living out of her cupboard and started baking gluten-free for her and I. Bought all new baking supplies *pans, muffin tins, rolling pin, utensils* We never really baked before, we just bought the snacks, but with two of us now, it will be MUCH cheaper to bake.

I am a HUGE fan of Bob's Red Mills products. For me- not being a baker- the pre-mixes have been a life saver. They actually TASTE good. On their website, you can order bundles of either the mixes (cake, muffins, pancakes, bread, brownies, etc..) or you can get a bundle of flours and make your own mixes- I'm going to make the step up to making my own soon.

Hits in our house-

Vans Waffles

Ian Chicken Nuggets

Natures Path Crisped Rice

Enjoy Life granola and granola bars

Enviro kids bars and cereals

She eats EnerG bread, but I think it tastes like vomit.

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**This is casein (dairy free) too, just ignore the dairy part if that isn't an issue**

Gluten-free Casein-free Diet on a Budget: Meal Plans

The following recipes make limited use of specialty gluten-, casein- and soy-free items like expensive flours and other substitute ingredients. Most everything can be purchased at your local grocery store and these recipes are meant so that everyone in the house can eat it rather than needing to cook two meals.

Breakfast

* Bacon Potatoes

* Cereal with milk

* Cereal, Cream of rice

* Donuts/donut holes

* Eggs, fried, scrambled, poached

* Eggs, Scrambled with avocado

* French toast

* Fruit

* Grits

* Hash Brown Casserole

* Hash Browns

* Hash with poached eggs (corned beef or ham)

* Hominy

* Meat

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Modified from a gluten/casein/soy free diet site

The Steps to gluten-free

Be Prepared!

Remove gluten

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My daughter is 4 1/2 and was diagnosed just over a month ago. It has been a whirlwhind of emotions. Some days seem easier than others. Hang in there and good luck! I know how you are feeling!

Thanks for your support. There is so much to learn!

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