Happy birthday and may God bless you today!
Hey there, it's good to see you doing a little research. I don't have celiac myself, but my 8yr old daughter was diagnosed at age 4 (scoped). I have learned the general rules of thumb that keep her feeling healthy and the pitfalls that can ruin the best intentioned research & preparation. This is my first post in here so I'm just going to lay out a rough outline of my ideas for you & hope for the best. At first the hardest part was finding palatable replacements. We found several brands that were easy to make & tasted MUCH better than many we'd tried before, like Tinkyada pasta with the rice-bran in it actually has good texture (I'm sure there are others but we didn't find any), "Really Great Foods" pancake mix which I found also works in a waffle maker, "The Gluten-Free Pantry" sandwich bread mix (to which we dedicate a bread maker that we use about twice a week), etc. Our son has egg & peanut allergies as well btw, so it's a little more difficult than average for us to get alternative recipes to work properly. Right away, we learned that it doesn't matter what you're cooking if you cross-contaminate it with wheat because the flower is in your cooking utensils, mixer, embedded into your cutting board, in residue on the cookware, etc... it will get in the gluten-free products thereby "spoiling them". We had to make sure our kitchen never gets gluten products in it now, it's too hard... Things like spreading butter on wheat bread then dipping the knife back in to get a little more will contaminate the entire butter dish making it unusable. Any mixer or breadmaker or pan you use to bake with would become contaminated... So we basically bought new cookware & started over after wiping down all of our cabinets as best we could. Buying gluten-free specific items & keeping cross-contamination to a minimum is fairly straight-forward. The tricky part, however, seems to come from the undeclared sources of various food additives. Things like caramel color can be derived from wheat OR corn (have to do some research to find out which), malt powder (someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but Rice Krispies, for example have malt and I've been told it is derived from wheat, so even though wheat isn't declared as an allergen present in the ingredients, this is not a gluten free food), soy sauce is usually wheat derived, etc. The list goes on... All you can do, is your best though. In our case, we simply pack her lunches, bake her own treats for parties, make her friends wash their hands when they come over before using her computer or playing her games and everything seems to be fine. You can't be perfect so it's a fine line you have to walk.. striving for as gluten-free as possible without becoming obsessed & letting it take over. With your dad, are you simply wanting to be able to go out to eat with him? bring him things? invite him over for meals? All that can be perfectly easy to do if you perfect the cross-contamination stumbling block and YES everyone messes that up from time to time. Just learn, adapt & overcome. Eventually you'll have a handle on it & know where you stand. Good luck