Monday, February 14, 2011

Gluten-Free Kid Tips

A big challenge for GF kids is helping them to eat healthfully while away from home. Here are a couple of tricks to make it an easier transition.

I make sure that my child's school has gluten-free birthday cupcakes in the teacher's lounge freezer (6 fit nicely in a quart freezer bag). They're easily on-hand for last minute celebrations. My son loves to strut into the teachers lounge to get himself a treat when needed.

At school, my kiddo has "emergency lunches" in the school cafeteria shelf if the GF school lunch on the menu that day is changed, or if a lunchbox is forgotten. I made ours out of several shelf-stable items -- peanut butter to-go containers, snack-sized corn chips, applesauce containers, pickle containers, and cut fruit containers.

Gluten-free pizza can be sent to pizza parties. Amy's had several good GF and GF/DF frozen pizzas, or you could send a few slices your own. Udi's is a fabulous GF frozen crust, and Bob's Red Mill makes a wonderful Pizza Crust Mix.

Send Gluten-Free "Kits" with your kiddo to have in the classroom and at play dates. This could include a couple GF granola bars, GF cookies, GF crackers, GF pretzels, etc in a plastic container. It's good to include a note describing gluten intolerance to the teacher or parent. I have posted our note below.

Now, get out there and play!


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You may modify this note to suit your child's needs.
(Kiddo's name)'s Gluten-Free Snack Guide
(Kiddo's name) has an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease, also known as gluten intolerance. This means he can't eat regular bread, cake, crackers, granola bars, cookies, pasta or pizza.
His body thinks that gluten is a poison. Gluten is in wheat (wheat, spelt, kamut), rye, oats, barley and malt. When he digests gluten, his antibodies in his small intestines come to fight the "poison", and end up hurting his small intestines. Digestion and nourishment can't happen after repeated ingestion of gluten.
(Kiddo's name) CAN EAT lots of things. Some snacks include yogurt, cheese, milk, nuts, fruit, veggies, pickles, pudding, Jello, corn tortillas, Fritos, Cheetos, potato chips, juice, soda, and the gluten-free snacks included. He can eat all candy except Nestle Crunch, Kit Kat, Twix, Twizzlers Licorice, and Whoppers.
Good lunch and dinner items are eggs, hot dogs (check package to see if they are gluten free), meat, cheese, potatoes, corn, rice, peanut butter & jelly, corn tortillas. Breaded items, pasta and many soups are not allowed.
If (Kiddo's name) does eat gluten, it is NOT AN EMERGENCY and (Kiddo's name) will not immediately get sick. He usually tells us if he thinks he ate gluten. We consider this kind of error a step in the process of learning about his new diet (he was diagnosed in _________), and we do not shame or criticize him for it. We simply talk about the risks of doing so.
THANK YOU for your concern and for keeping (kiddo's name) healthy! Please call me if you have any questions.
(Mom and Dad's name and phones)

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