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Mom-of-Two

Getting Kids Enough Vitamins On Gluten Free Diet

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As we prepare to start out almost 8 year old on the gluten free diet, I have some concerns- we are lucky that she eats meats and a bigger variety of foods than a smaller child- she eats eggs, black beans, meats, dairy, almonds, peanut butter, etc but she does eat a lot of pasta and loves it! She actually likes the brown rice pasta and the quinoa/corn pasta so we are good there! BUT, my concern is, gluten free pastas and breads, waffles, etc do not have vitamins in them- the pastas are great for protein and fiber, but no folic acid or iron in them. The kids do take a multivitamin and I don't have a lot of iron concerns since she eats meat and eggs. But their vitamins don't have folic acid in them (Animal Parade). She is not a green leafy veggie eater, much to my dismay! She eats celery and carrots, corn, cooked carrots, and sweet potatoes I usually make into fries for them, just sliced and baked with some olive oil. I am continuously working on the green leafy veggies and hope it will come in time, but for now it just isn't happening! I try to mix into a smoothie but she is not real fond of smoothies.

How can I be sure she is getting what she needs while eating gluten free? Should I use a different vitamin? I prefer the ones I am using to the store brands or Flinstones because they are so full of artificial sweeteners and color dyes, very synthetic. I prefer whole food vitamins.

Any advice?

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It is amazing what you can put in pasta sauce and kids not notice. ;) Start slow. Gradually build up.

My kids LOVE kale chips - they will pretty much eat any veggie cooked that way - even brussel spouts. They tend to have a sweet taste that other methods don't bring out.

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Gluten free or not gluten free, i wonder how my kids get enough vitamins. Mine are 16 & 17. The 16 takes a pill form vitamin. But the 19 yr old likes Flinstones style. The 16 yr old needed more magnesium so he switched and eats less salt ( tho still too much) and his BP went way down to the best it's ever been. He drinks lots of OJ with Calcium & that has folic acid.

Maybe you could look up what has folic acid besides greens? I think some fruits have it.

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It is amazing what you can put in pasta sauce and kids not notice. ;) Start slow. Gradually build up.

My kids LOVE kale chips - they will pretty much eat any veggie cooked that way - even brussel spouts. They tend to have a sweet taste that other methods don't bring out.

That reminds me... I don't know what vitamins are in it but you can hide zucchini is things like pasta sauce & soup. I chop it really small and it dissolves in the soup. My mom never knew it was there in the chicken and noodles we made for her. She is my worst eater right now and I try to sneak veggies into her.

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Ok, maybe that is my best bet then, to sneak them in and get creative! My 4 yo definately needs veggies, he also won't eat meat, stubborn thing.

I have made kale chips twice and not been too pleased with the results, maybe I need a new recipe, I have just baked with olive oil and salt on a baking sheet- but the taste just wasn't what we expected. I think my oldest would absolutely eat them, if they came out right- we are moving in the right direction with her, she is experimenting more the older she gets.

Her growth has slowed down the last year- which when I found out I had celiac, made me urge to have her tested because she has always been so solid in size, and grew 4-5 lbs a year until last year when she gained less than one lb and grew only one inch from 6-7 years old- which I found odd, but her pediatrician was never concerned with. The GI who tested her said her slower growth is not due to celiac because she did not have internal damage or malabsorption. So who knows.

I guess my concern comes in taking out cereal, waffles, whole wheat bread, and pastas- I realize these are fortified and kids get a lot of their B vitamins this way, on a daily basis. I have not seen any gluten-free cereal or grain products with vitamins, which is what concerns me about her diet change.

Like I think I have said before, I myself am low in iron, folate, and B12- since going gluten-free- not from the celiac, just from losing all grains the last 3-4 months. So I worry more about her in that regard.

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I didn't think about things like oranges and strawberries either, which she eats a great deal of.

And black beans are on the list, that's a start since she eats those.

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What about Chex cereal?

My son has had a " green smoothie" from WF that had kale in it. He said it also had banana and was good. My neighbor says that she puts kale in smoothies as long as there is a banana it hides the " green flavor". You might be able to experiment by trying a small one at WF or somewhere to see if they will drink it and how it's made.

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My son is now 7 and I have found that after a year of being gluten free, he is MUCH more adventurous than my other son. He will try new things and take a few bites before deciding. Other son (9) dramatically holds his nose and makes a big deal out of everything.

While my son likes most vegetables, he doesn't eat as much green as I would like. We make smoothies often. A banana, some frozen mango and frozen berries, coconut milk and about two handfuls of fresh baby spinach and it is yummy. I bought some tinted plastic tumblers with lids and straws so he can't see the color (sometimes it is not pretty - especially if you combine red berries and green leaves).

His new favorite side dish is creamed spinach (google "spinach your kids will eat" for the recipe.) Not low fat, but it is delicious.

Our nutritionist told us to do a multivitamin mostly for B12 and other things he would be missing from not eating fortified bread products. We just use the gummy multivitamin from Target. He has his levels checked each year and so far everything has been great.

To be honest, he is eating MUCH HEALTHIER now (gluten free) than before because we prepare everything at home, don't eat much processed food anymore, never get fast food, etc. etc. The whole family is better off.

Cara

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Every child is different, my dd is on year 2 of gluten-free and she is less adventurous in her eating habits than before dx. She will gag and throw up any new veggies . She wants her empty carbs and meats. Her fruits are now down to mainly apples and I have to force small amounts of grapes , pears and watermelon on her . Before Dx she used to enjoy other fruits and would at least try a veggie without vomiting it up.

I have tried hiding zuchhini , eggplant, squash etc.. in sauces and meatloafs etc.. and I can only get away with small amounts as soon as she sees the flecks of color she is turned off. I am getting desperate and am turning to a whole foods product that is dehydrated and powdered form of veggies and fruits . Since I haven't started yet I can't recommend it but I will let you all know.

ALthough whole foods are always the best way to go if I just can't get her to keep it down I had to turn to other sources.

good luck

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As we prepare to start out almost 8 year old on the gluten free diet, I have some concerns- ... The kids do take a multivitamin ...

How can I be sure she is getting what she needs while eating gluten free? Should I use a different vitamin? I prefer the ones I am using to the store brands or Flinstones because they are so full of artificial sweeteners and color dyes, very synthetic. I prefer whole food vitamins.

Any advice?

I think you're on the right track, and it sounds like your children are getting a great supply of vitamins. Lucky kids! There are so many gluten free flours to play with in baking that I don't believe they'll be missing anything (nutritionally) that they would have gotten previously, eating wheat.

Besides vitamins, have you considered Omegas? Their brains are developing so rapidly, and I feel sometimes this is overlooked. Omegas are also thought to reduce inflammation in the body too. Just a thought.

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I guess my concern comes in taking out cereal, waffles, whole wheat bread, and pastas- I realize these are fortified and kids get a lot of their B vitamins this way, on a daily basis. I have not seen any gluten-free cereal or grain products with vitamins, which is what concerns me about her diet change.

Like I think I have said before, I myself am low in iron, folate, and B12- since going gluten-free- not from the celiac, just from losing all grains the last 3-4 months. So I worry more about her in that regard.

I love this site:

http://whfoods.org/nutrientstoc.php

for example, you can see the best sources of b-12 are not grains:

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=107

But salmon and sardines (%110 and %135 of RDA)

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See, I always believed that B12 was much higher in meats and dairy- but, I have never been low on it before I went gluten free so I don't get it! Three months gluten free, I was tested low in iron, folate, and B12- which I was NOT low on at all 6 months prior when I was tested along with the celiac panel. I see my GI speciailist next week actually for a follow up- while I do not expect a ton of change in my numbers at only 3 months, that is when she sees celiac patients to follow up, I am hoping my antibodies are at least going down and I plan to ask about the vitamin issue.

I haven't seen any vitamins listed on gluten free flours, pastas, cereal, etc which is why I was curious. I know how vital folic acid is to kids growing, I don't have a lot of worry over iron because my almost 8 year old eats meat and beans, etc and I always pair those foods with vitamin C fruits for absorption (last night she had steak, and I gave her strawberries for fruit) and I try to limit dairy at those meals and do water instead, saving dairy for snacking like yogurt/cheese.

I don't know why their multi doesn't have folic acid, very odd to me!

Also, I have experimented with omegas- my youngest has no problem and will suck it right from the cup- but my oldest has no part of it, whether a gummy style or liquid!

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Also, I have experimented with omegas- my youngest has no problem and will suck it right from the cup- but my oldest has no part of it, whether a gummy style or liquid!

If you were interested :Nordic Naturals has a strawberry flavoured (natural) capsule we like - and it's good quality - doesn't go rancid like others we have tried.

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