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happygfmom

8 Year Old Sneaking Food With Gluten In It!

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My 8 year old was diagnosed with gluten intolerance about a year ago. I had her tested after I found out that I have celiac disease. My husband and son are what they call "normal". Our house is split, half gluten free and the other half "normal". When my daughter first found out that she could not have gluten she handled it very well. It didn't seem to effect her at all. Once summer vacation started, I noticed she was sneaking food that had gluten in it. Or when I would ask her what she wanted for a snack she would say " something with wheat in it" or that she was "craving wheat". My husband and I talked and have decided to make the entire house gluten free. My main concern is that my daughter is starting to have a bad "relationship" with food. I want my daughter to have a positive attitude when it comes to food. I am worried that this may turn into an eating disorder. Has anybody else dealt with this issue? If so, how did you handle it?

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I have no experience at all with your situation I'm sorry. It sounds really tough :( It's hard with kids, they think they're invincible, and often they haven't experienced the long term suffering that many Celiacs do before they're diagnosed as adults. Even adults have trouble sticking to a gluten free diet...and sneak food too!

I think making your whole house gluten free is a terrific idea. And totally necessary.

I have an 8 year old daughter who I'll be getting tested soon. She shows all the signs. And to be honest, I'm terrified of the situation you're in. Parenting is HARD. Actually, I completely expect to be in a similar situation to you!

But what to do? The first thing that springs to mind is get her involved. Rather than say "this is what you eat", maybe take her food shopping, get her interested in her options. Let her be very involved in cooking and baking. Get her to help you make her snacks for school. Set aside time on weekends for a big bake up together. Search the Internet together for gluten free goodies to try and make. Show her that being gluten free isn't a bad thing.

And keep talking to her. Keep explaining about celiac disease and why it's important to avoid gluten.

And expect her to 'sneak' food sometimes. Try not to get angry at her for it, but rather communicate with her about how she's feeling and how the gluten made her feel. Good and bad. She'll figure out soon enough that it's not worth the moment of yumminess for the way she'll feel afterwards.

It will be a big learning curve for all of you, but I have no doubt you'll get there in the end xxx

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I have an 8yr old girl with 18 months gluten-free. we are 95% gluten-free at home with a few things my dd doesn't like for us that are non-gluten-free. My girl gets mad about not being able to have the non gluten-free treats like doughnuts/munchkins, french fries at drive thru's etc..

but otherwise I am lucky she will not eat anything with gluten as she gets bad diarhea (sp?) real bad, throw away underwear bad. So she wants, but doesn't take. I understand the age and hormones etc... going on . I feel for you this is an emerging age for girls early development is starting , body awareness , hair growth, body odor etc.. starts at 8-9. They become independant in many aspects of their life. Last night my dd decided it was time to get her ears pierced so off we went. they are asserting themselves.

She understands consequences at this age, explain to her it's not fair and it's not her fault. But she can't have it, her body reacts even if its not outward signs. Let her know that although she may not be immediatlely sick the long term effects can be bad.

Going gluten-free in the home will show support and unity. We were completely gluten-free for 6-9 months and then when she got used to things we brought a few of our favs (not her favs of course) back in for us.

good luck, It's a tough age for girls. todays 7/9 is the new 10/12. tween years.

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I don't have girls but have two boys that are gluten free. My youngest son went gluten free last Nov. He was 5 when he was diagnosed. Almost a year later he is doing great. He has learned to advocate for himself and realize it is alright to tell adults no when it comes to food. My 10 1/2 year old son is doing a gluten free trial (no diagnosis) and I thought it would be harder for him to resist. So far he has done well. They both have had their ups and downs with emotions but they are dealing with it. I figure when they both get older the sneaking gluten foods may happen too. We too are a shared house, but since three out of four of us are gluten free, there is very little gluten (just what hubby wants) and he tries not to eat it in front of the kids. We have had comments from my 6 year old that he would like to have some of the things off the top shelf of the pantry(where dad keeps his gluten stuff). So yes it is on their minds, but so far no sneaking. Taking your house gluten free definately will help with the support.

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Welcome to the board, happygfmom!

My 8 yo has been gluten free for 5 years now, living in a gluten-free home the entire time, intiated by her super sensitive younger sister. So, we don't have the same issues that you have faced. It is so hard navigating gluten free living sometimes! While involving her in the food choices and baking and prep are great, if they interest her, my 8 yo feels like cooking/cleaning is a horrible chore (even though I love them!) . . . so be sure to check in with her about how she wants to navigate her gluten-free life. My other DD (6 yo) and my DS (4 yo) love the cooking and baking - the cleaning too, so they enjoy participating in it all. But the 8 yo - forget it!

Anyway, we have tried a lot of things, and we stick with the foods that our kids want to eat. We have lots of fresh fruits and veggies available. My kids would love for me to make more smoothies, but I struggle to do smoothies and juicing as much as they would like - I think it adds a lot of equipment cleanup to the chores. We also get good quality meats that they enjoy eating, and they all love salads - you can try different dressings, including making your own. Chips and fries are another good one - there are potato, sweet potato, squash, and greens (like kale) that you can bake up for eating as well.

I would also quit calling gluten free people/settings "normal". For gluten free people, those people/settings are simply "hazardous". Proper hazard assessment and risk analysis is what is often required for gluten free people to "enjoy" those people/settings - hardly "normal" to a gluten free person.

And my kids really enjoy meeting other gluten free children and families! Have you found a local support group? Good luck!

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Or when I would ask her what she wanted for a snack she would say " something with wheat in it" or that she was "craving wheat". My husband and I talked and have decided to make the entire house gluten free. My main concern is that my daughter is starting to have a bad "relationship" with food.

Wheat and dairy can have a mild opiate-like effect on some people, even to the point where those people can experience withdrawals going gluten-free. It's more in the realm of narcotic addiction than eating disorder and eating some wheat will definitely trigger her craving for more. Perhaps it's time to teach her a little bit about addiction and self-control.

Also, if she's eating dairy you could try offering her a little milk or a piece of cheese instead of the wheat. If she also gets the effect from dairy it may fulfill the craving and give her a safe alternative.

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First of all, I think that the cravings effect of gluten is extremely strong, and takes weeks of 100% gluten-free to go away, even for an adult.

Secondly, I agree that at this point, you should not be calling gluten-eaters "normal." It just makes your daughter feel like she's NOT normal, and that there is something WRONG with her. She doesn't need that!

I would never have managed to keep just myself gluten-free without making the household gluten-free.

Basically, I told my family that I would promise to make everything taste good, but that I was NOT going to cook two sets of breakfasts and dinners. If they wanted cookies, cakes, etc., they would either have to eat them out, or eat them gluten-free (home-made gluten-free, which is a far cry from the styrofoam premade gluten-free foods). They had their own bread for lunch-time sandwiches, but everything else was gluten-free.

And amazingly, the occasional (once or twice a week) stomach-aches disappeared, the bed-wetting stopped, and rashes disappeared.

We now believe that all the kids are gluten-intolerant (or perhaps even officially celiac, but we couldn't care less about the official diagnosis). They are all 100% gluten-free, and it really was not hard. But I'm sure it would have been if I had not promised them that I would make a gluten-free version of whatever they were craving, from pizza to cake to cookies to turnovers to pie to bread.

And like above posters, we also have much more in the way of fresh fruits and veggies than we ever did before. We eat very little processed, pre-fab food, and I think we are healthier for it.

That may sound like it takes a lot of time, but it's not nearly as much as I thought it would be. Making things from scratch takes 10-20 minutes more prep-time than shoving something in the microwave or shoving chicken nuggets in the stove. Making bread takes 10 minutes of prep time, and then you dump it in the breadmaker and walk away for 90 minutes.

I have 3 kids and a full-time job, so if I can make it work, I think anybody who wants to can make it work. But a "split" household? I honestly think that's just asking for trouble. I know some people make it work, but with a child of 8,that would be terribly difficult and would likely have some emotional repercussions for the child. Letting the child feel free to eat anything in their own home seems a lot healthier to me.

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My 8 year old was diagnosed with gluten intolerance about a year ago. I had her tested after I found out that I have celiac disease. My husband and son are what they call "normal". Our house is split, half gluten free and the other half "normal". When my daughter first found out that she could not have gluten she handled it very well. It didn't seem to effect her at all. Once summer vacation started, I noticed she was sneaking food that had gluten in it. Or when I would ask her what she wanted for a snack she would say " something with wheat in it" or that she was "craving wheat". My husband and I talked and have decided to make the entire house gluten free. My main concern is that my daughter is starting to have a bad "relationship" with food. I want my daughter to have a positive attitude when it comes to food. I am worried that this may turn into an eating disorder. Has anybody else dealt with this issue? If so, how did you handle it?

Hi. My 8 year old son has been gluten-free for 4 years, my husband just went gluten free a year ago, and my daughter and I are what you call "low gluten." So, I feel your pain, but will enthusiastically tell you that you that we've been able to get through it, and I'm absolutely sure you can as well.

First rule -- You need to experiment with every single gluten-free brand out there to discover her faves. Here are some of our favorite carbs that you may want to try to help your daughter forget about wheat once and for all --

Udi's White Bread, Bagels, Muffins, and Pizza Crust, Tinkayada Pasta, Snickerdoodle Cookies, and Dr.Schar's rolls and italian bread (pizza crust is pretty good too).

Dinner -- Quite frankly, even before the gluten issue, my son always preferred fish and meat to pasta, so dinner time hasn't really been an issue here. However, we ALL love Bell and Evans Gluten Free Chicken -- best frozen chicken products on the market -- gluten and non-gluten. We also make MUCH mexican -- fajitas with corn flour tortillas and tacos (all Old El Paso products are gluten free). At any given time we have fresh salsa and tortilla chips in the house.

I make a lot of fried rice and use San-J gluten free soy sauce, which actually tastes better than the cheaper wheat-based soy. (Note -- PF Changs actually offers the gluten-free soy option now as well).

Baking -- The Betty Crocker gluten free products are great, and my son prefers the Pamela's Pancake Mix to the other brands. For scratch baking, use nothing else by Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Gluten Free mix. Expensive, but worth it because you can use it cup-for-cup in any recipe that calls for gluten (though some require a little extra xantham gum). We use it in the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe, and I swear the only difference between them and those made with traditional flour is that they are slightly grainier, and they do tend to go stale faster. In my homemade chocolate cake and cupcake recipe, there is absolutely no detectable difference.

My daughter and the neighbors kids all love the gluten-free brownies by Foods By George(frozen). Their frozen pizza isn't half bad either.

If that doesn't cure her craving for wheat, I don't know what will! Good luck -- 8 year old girls are tough even when they aren't gluten free! :-)

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Thank you for all for your great advice. I am thankful that my daughter loves salads, fruits and vegetables. Everything that we cook in our home is gluten free. Even for my son's birthday I would make gluten free cake. I believe it will help once I take out the few snacks that have gluten in them.

Again, thanks for all of your input.

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Maybe try her on a gluten free B complex vitamin, too.

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