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My 14 year old son has been very sick from Celiac and missed a lot of school. For
the 3 months left at BUSD 8th grade, Home Hospital or Independent Study? He is
anemic, still nauseous, weak!
Before this hit, he was very athletic.. can't do much & faints now. I need
advice! I am still hoping that he can enroll as usual at BHS... Is that
His Dr just asked me if he was back in school? After the emergency hospital IV
rescue? I may need to change health providers?
I am freaked out.
Our daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease in 9th grade after missing lots of school
because of after-lunch stomach aches. She chose independent study (she had been asking to
switch before the diagnosis), and finished HS there. It worked well for her academically,
although she seemed somewhat socially isolated to us, especially in 12th grade. She did
take classes at Berkeley High every year, and participated in some activities there,
although again, those tapered off later in high school. She has been pretty good about
keeping to a gluten-free diet, though she did continue to have stomach aches with no
immediately apparent cause and was on medication on and off. She is apparently much
happier in college than she was in high school, and stomach aches are no longer a problem.
We had a couple of nutrition lectures from dieticians, and she saw a pediatric
gastroenterologist, now retired, who originally diagnosed her disease but didn't provide
us with much of use later on except recommendations for vitamins and stomach ache
medication. I guess we didn't really need much - diet is all, and teenagers aren't always
willing to do what's best for themselves. As for our reaction to the whole thing, I
remember being very upset when we first got the diagnosis, thinking that all our lives
would be much more difficult, but providing food hasn't been a problem. She'll have to eat
risotto instead of pasta if she ever goes to Italy, which she plans to do, but I'm
confident she will manage. And she can't drink beer, which for a college student could be
a good thing.
formerly worried parent
I am so sorry to hear about the challenges you and your child are experiencing!!!
My now 18 year
old daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was a toddler - also after a
prolonged illness and hospitalization. In addition, she missed a significant amount of
school in 8th, 9th, and 12th grade (almost the entire first semester!) due to another
chronic g.i. condition. Good luck!
As a Celiacian myself, I can relate to how scary it is in the beginning, but, thank
goodness your son was diagnosed! That's the really hard part. A few years ago, the
hardest part was actually finding food, but now, there are SO many options.
''Living Without'' is a terrific magazine for those with any sort of food allergies, and
is a great resource. They also have weekly tips, and e-books of recipes you can download.
www.livingwithout.com Almost all the stores now carry some gluten free products, and the
US Gov is hard at work to standardize what ''gluten-free'' actually mean. Avoid, at all
costs, wheat, oats, rye or barley containing products. So, rice, corn and potatoes,
buckwheat are fine. But dont be fooled. READ the labels. they often say corn something,
but have wheat. Spelt, Kamut, Teff are ancient ancestors of wheat. I can't eat them, but
some folks can.
Even Safeway has gluten free pasta, and gluten-free soy sauce(San-J brand. Gf breads are
often in the freezer. You need to keep them in freezer/fridge at home so they don't dry
I ask about everything in everything when i go out to eat. And return to places where i
There is a bakery in Oakland, Mariposa, that is totally dedicated to gf food.
Its SO much better and easier than even two years ago.
Keep breathing. Teach him to read the labels, and get ready to make all your sweet treats
at home. Its not the end of the world
While I can't give you advice about BHS, I can give you plenty of counsel on celiac. My
daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago and I have lots of wisdom I'd be happy to share. The
first thing you should know is that he will get better. I'm assuming your doctor took him
off dairy as well. His intestine needs some time to heal. Sign him up for celiac camp
this summer so he can meet peers who've been living with celiac and thriving. Write me
off-line and I will help guide you through this. While it's a total game changer for your
family, you'll be pleased to know that there are lots of us out there who's families have
survived and thrived going gluten free. Many people helped us when we got our diagnosis
and I'm happy to pay it foward.
G Free Mom
I just found out that I have Celiac's Disease (based on blood tests) and need a recommendation
for a dietitian or other professional to help with the diet.
If you have Celiac's Disease, whom do recommend? Also, I will have my child tested next and
could use a recommendation for a pediatric GI specializing in Celiac's. Thank you!
I highly recommend Nori Hudson. Nori is a nutritional
educator. She is so knowledgable it amazes me.
Nori sees private clients and also teaches at the
Bowman College of Nutrition.
Her number is: 847-3197, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd also like to suggest that you check out the Paleo lifestyle.
There are many websites that will give you great info.
Robb Wolf wrote a book called ''The Paleo Solution''.
He grew up not knowing he had Celiac disease and being
sicker and sicker untill his college years when he discovered Paleo and finally
was directed to being tested
for Celiac. www.robbwolf.com
I don't have Celiac, but am very sensitive to gluten and have been
gluten free for 7 years. It wasn't till I gave up grains completely (plus
soy and dairy and sugar) that I REALLY started to heal my gut.
Good luck and best to you.
My teenage daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease a few
years ago and has been seeing a pediatric gastroenterologist
about once a year. Even on a gluten-free diet she has
frequent stomach aches and may have acid reflux. She is
often tired and tends to get depressed. The doctor
recommended vitamin D and omeprazole and a variety of tests
related to GI symptoms and general nutrition, but we haven't
had any other kinds of tests done at this time. I wonder if
a nutritionist might be able to help her feel better
physically and thus feel better emotionally. I checked the
website, and didn't find any useful recommendations. worried mother
Dear Mom, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter.
Having many food allergies myself, I know what a frustrating puzzle it can
be to figure these things out.
I highly recommend a few people....
Nori Hudson is a ''nutritional educator and consultant''. She KNOWS HER
STUFF!!! She can recommend specific tests for your daughter and will ask a
series of leading questions to give her the info she needs to help your
daughter. Her number is: 510-847-3197. E-mail is: email@example.com
Secondly(but no less fabulous) is Anasuya Basil, also a nutritional
consultant and educator. I've taken classes and done cleanses w/ Anasuya
(in groups). I've also had private consults with her. She is wonderful and
has helped me so much over the years. Both women are amazing.
Anasuya's number is: 510-848-8439 Her e-mail is
I also recommend Dr. Charlie Prins, DC. Charlie is a chiropractor who uses
applied kinesiology (muscle testing) to find out what's going on in the
system. He uses homeopathy, supplements and some herbs to treat.
Nori and Charlie often consult and refer to each other. It might be worth
seeing both. 510-526-6243.
Nori is in North Berkeley, Anasuya is in El Cerrito, Charlie is in Albany.
Good luck, I hope this helps
Hi, I wonder if your daughter might benefit from seeing a digestive health
specialist? My chiropractor also has this certification and sees me for
acid reflux and constipation issues. I know she works a lot with psoriasis
& irritable bowel issues. She has helped me tremendously by changing my
diet based on how my body processes my foods after i've eaten. I take
enzymes to help with digestion and feel the best i have in years! At least
if you call and talk with her, she might be a source of information for
you! Dr. Jennifer Lanett in Berkeley 510-644-4414.
My sister (age 40) and her 8 yr old daughter were
diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago. I often
host big (20+) family gatherings at my house. Initially I
tried to make the entire meal gluten free but sometimes it
is hard to do and some meals (i.e. thanksgiving) just are
not the same without some flour or what (think rolls, pie)
My question to you is this: am I required to make a gluten
free meal every time they come over? or should I ask them
to bring their own? I have at times made two meals-the
main one and then something gluten free for them. However
I felt my efforts were not appreciated and it was a lot of
work (that is a second story -save for different post!)
If anyone out there has a close family member with similar
diagnoses and has advice please share. thanks!
gluten free or not gluten free
I think you have been very generous... a gluten-free
Thanksgiving? As one of your non-celiac-disease guests, I
would have been dismayed. So I would suggest a compromise.
Make a dish or two and appetizers that all can enjoy, and
then ask them to bring a dish or two to make sure that they
will have something they know they will enjoy. And they can
bring enough to share with all, so that the others
(including you) will get new ideas of what to prepare for
them. I think the same should hold true for vegan guests or
others who have special dietary needs/requirements.
inclusive but not a martyr
I try to make it mostly gluten free. E.g. corn tamales, not spaghetti. For
Thanksgiving, it's easy, potatoes, turkey, salad. My sister will bring stuff like
potato rolls and gluten free dessert and ice cream works too. But she is fine if
we have cake or wheat rolls etc. So it's a semi-potluck with main course and
most sides by whoever is hosting. So maybe that would be the way to go---ask
her to bring gluten-free alternatives, but make the majority of the meal gluten
We did a gluten-free snack rule for our soccer team. It was much sadder for
one child not to get to participate in snack, than it was burdensome for parents
to bring fresh fruit, popcorn, cheese sticks, yogurt etc.
One sister & I have celiac. My mom / other sister do not.
what I would appreciate:
My mom just can't get straight what I can eat / can't.
Sometimes she'll make something ''sure'' that I can eat it,
but one of the ingredients she puts in has ''wheat flour''
clearly on the label (ie she put a can of soup that had
wheat flour into the sauce). It's incredibly frustrating
to be told that something is GF when it is not.
Anyway, that's kind of a separate issue, but kind of not.
I think that you should not feel like you 'have' to make
2nds for them - making any kind of meal is a huge effort
(at least in my book).
But it is very kind / thoughtful if you were really clear
about what does and doesn't contain gluten... (maybe even
list out the ingredients/cans so they can check for
the 'modified food starch' and hydrolyzed vegetable
protein and anything else if they are stringent) and be
careful about cross-contamination.
also very thoughtful / kind to make the things you can
GF. ie. normal soy sauce has gluten, but it's not so hard
to buy some GF soy sauce so they can eat another item on
the menu. (or gf salad dressing or mayonaise, etc) or
maybe even ask them to give you these things ahead of time.
And let them know ahead of time so that they can bring
their own x, y, or z - if they feel that it's just not the
same without it.
one who's been there
Your post made me wonder what you meant by "unappreciated" when
you referred to past efforts you had made to serve gluten-free
dishes. Did you mean your guests didn't shower you with
compliments, or did you mean they didn't eat what you had
made especially for them? I have had the latter experience with
vegetarian friends and family members. You make several vegetarian
dishes that you think are really good, and the vegetarians don't touch them
(and neither do the meat-eaters) because they don't like artichokes,
or squash, or avocado, or lentils, or peas, or beans, or whatever.
(My "egetarians"seem to mainly eat bread and cheese and sweets!!)
In your case, I would simply ask them to suggest dishes or
recipes for you to try. Be enthusiastic about it and tell them that you
really want to serve their favorite food. If they would rather bring
something, that's totally fine too. (My stepdaughter brought microwave
Mexican food to Thanksgiving, which was kind of smelly, but at least she ate it.)
I have friends with Celiac and once cooked Thanksgiving
dinners for a guest who was both vegetarian and had a dairy
I don't think you need to ensure that your guest with the
special diet can eat every single item on the menu.
However, I think that you should review the menu to ensure
that they have a balanced meal--that they don't end up like
the vegetarians who have a choic of salad and, hey! more
salad. So I would serve rolls if I wanted to serve rolls,
but if I were thinking about breaded chicken for an entree,
I would change it up for a roast chicken. For Thanksgiving
dessert, I might substitute a fruit crisp for a pie, and
make the effort to find a way to make the crumble topping
wheat free. I'd make rice stuffing instead of bread
stuffing. I'd thicken my gravy with corn starch instead of
flour. I don't think most of these changes take a huge
amount of work (learning to bake with gluten-free flours is
in a whole different class), but you need to be aware of
First of all, I want to acknowledge you for all the good intentions and efforts
you have made to accommodate your gluten-free family members. I am
speaking as a person who was diagnosed with multiple food sensitivities
three years ago -- so I am not just gluten-free, I can't eat any grains, dairy,
sugar, tomatoes, potatoes, and many, many other foods. I have turned into a
creative, gourmet chef using the wonderful foods I can eat -- however, eating
in restaurants is a drag, and going to anyone's home -- including my sister's,
presents various challenges. I have always told my sister that I don't want her
to go to any special trouble for me and I always offer (and usually do) bring
food. The dishes I bring to share are ones that everyone can eat. Relationships
with family members are complicated -- but have you asked your sister what
works best for her? I found that even when I told my sister that I would bring
food, she sometimes made two separate meals. Those were my least favorite
dinners, because I felt that the food she made for me was ''less than'' the
other dishes. It's actually an isolating feeling. The most wonderful meal I had
was my last birthday, when everybody sat down and ate the same meal -- and
it was delicious! Gluten-free is really easy compared to what I deal with. For
Thanksgiving, you can easily make a gluten-free meal -- and just cook/serve
the bread stuffing and rolls separately. An absolutely wonderful resource for
gluten-free cooking is Elana Amsterdam's blog/website:
http://www.elanaspantry.com/ You would be doing a wonderful thing by
simply letting your sister know that she never has to worry when she comes to
your house. I always really, really appreciate it when people cook safe food for
me, even though I certainly don't expect them to. I hope she appreciates your
hard work and your concern.
I would focus on cooking meals that are largely gluten-free.
Cooking two separate meals is a lot of work! You certainly
don't have to make the entire meal gluten-free. If you offer
a gluten side-dish/dessert, it might be nice to have a GF
alternative. There are actually many easy options for
gluten-free breads, rolls, cookies, pies, etc. Mariposa
bakery is great for GF goods. Whole Foods also has GF pie
crusts, breads, cookies, etc.
Re: thanksgiving and other larger, multi-dish gatherings, I
think it depends on how things are often done in your
family. In my husbands family, his Mom does the bulk of the
cooking and food prep (for 10 people), but she LOVES it. In
my family, we all bring dishes to share. If that is the case
(or if you would like more help with cooking), by all means,
ask your sister to bring something! Now, if you are only
asking her to bring something because she is gluten-free,
and not asking other relatives to bring things, that may be
a wee bit insensitive. Depends upon your relationship with
her and how ''formal'' your relationship is.
I imagine that the perceived lack of appreciation is the
bigger issue here.
don't stress about it
Well, I am writing from the perspective of your relatives
since my son (age 8) and I were diagnosed with celiac
disease last year. First, I understand the difficulty in
creating a gluten free meal when this is not your usual gig.
It can be overwhelming. I would not however, volunteer to
cook and then tell these folks to show up with their own
meal. How about a compromise? Why don't you make sure the
turkey and gravy are gluten free? Imagine makes a good
gluten free gravy that can be heated in the microwave.
Safeway sells inexpensive turkeys without MSG or gluten.
Next, farm out the side dishes to other family members.
They can bring the dressing, wheat rolls, pies, and green
bean casserole that are not gluten free. You can buy a few
gluten free rolls or a gluten free pie at Mariposa Bakery in
Berkeley or at any Whole Foods. Have the gluten free folks
bring a safe dressing for themselves. Everyone participates
and you might have time for a glass of wine before they all
One note however, celiac is genetic. I'm not sure if these
are your blood relatives, but it would be great if you could
encourage all your family members to be tested. It can be
silent in many people, not showing up until someone is
diagnosed with other autoimmune disorders or various
cancers. In my family, lots of other people have it and no
one talked about it until after I was diagnosed.
Mother/daughter relationships can be ''challenging'' so I don't know how my
experience will play out in your situation. I provide my own stuff and stuff for
the kids I have who also have dietary issues. I always feel badly for bringing my
own... the host(ess) sometimes seems miffed or hurt. But I do not want for one
second my issues to infringe upon someone else's good time! I agree, for most
of us Thanksgiving needs rolls and bread stuffing and pies (though I don't eat it
anymore... so sad). If you can't eat it, don't. I would tell your daughter the
menu and let her know that you will be totally okay if she wants to supplement
her meal with stuff she brings from home. Say it with a smile and lots of love.
My extended family has several celiacs as well, and I can
relate to your post. When I host them for a casual meal, I
keep it gluten-free. This is pretty easy to do if you serve
meat, veggies or salad, and rice if you want a starch.
Another alternative is to have fajitas, rice, beans, and
corn tortillas. Breakfast is eggs, bacon, and fruit salad.
For the big family meals, we go potluck style and we have a
separate table that is clearly marked for the items
containing wheat (we are careful that all guests are
instructed that utensils must not be mixed). At
Thanksgiving, one of the celiacs usually makes a gluten-free
stuffing and drops off a gluten-free pie crust at the home
of the person who has volunteered to make the pies.
Sometimes someone will also make gluten-free corn muffins or
some other kind of gluten-free bread. At birthday parties,
it is great to serve flourless chocolate cake (especially
for the 8 year old, who surely has endured countless parties
where she couldn't eat the usual pizza and cake fare) -- but
you can also just stick with ice cream. My celiac family
members are not particularly appreciative either, but it
really can be a very healthy diet and it is so difficult to
be a celiac kid that I think it's nice to keep family
dinners a place where they don't have to worry about being
the weird one out.
Family member of Celiacs
I'm sorry you felt like your work was not appreciated. I
would just be beside myself if someone went to all that
effort for me. Now that I have been gluten-free for years,
my family and friends usually make an effort to accommodate
my restrictions and I really, really appreciate it. At big
events, I never expect all the food will be gluten-free and
I bring my own bread/dessert if I want. At times it is
embarrassing to be ''gluten-free'' and have to make special
arrangements, worry about the ingredients, etc. so it's
possible your relative were feeling self-conscious about all
the effort and didn't know how to express their
appreciation. I am always grateful but perhaps not always
effusive as I don't want to bring added attention to my
weird diet in a large group. Or perhaps they are in fact
ungrateful in which case I wouldn't go out of your way. I
would not, however, insist they bring all their own food if
you want to be inclusive. Socializing as a celiac is tough
when so much of life revolves around food. If I had to
bring all my own food to a party, I just wouldn't go.
Provide some gluten-free options and make sure they know
which dishes are safe.
Hi - this is a familiar topic because my mother-in-law was
diagnosed as celiac before I met my now-husband, then I
have had co-workers who are also celiac, and then my niece
was diagnosed at age 5 (now 18). As a consequence, there
have been many, many family (and work, and sometimes
combined family-work) functions to cook for. It has
actually been much more complicated along the way because
the same niece and her brother (non-celiac) are both
extremely allergic to all nuts except almonds, and my
sister-in-law cannot eat chocolate. SO! What we have always
done is to simply do a pot-luck, each and every time we get
together, no matter WHAT the occasion. First off, the
parents of a gluten-free (''GF'') diet child are usually very
cautious of others preparing food until they are assured
that you understand and completely follow all of the
guidelines, which includes the smallest and most seemingly-
insignificant-quantity of peripheral ingredients. So until
they are assured, and until you are fully confident, simply
ask them to bring the GF dishes to augment the meals. They
are always happy to do so, understanding that this is
usually the safest outcome of all. Over the years, I've
developed a repertoire of pure GF dishes/desserts that I'll
make, but will ask them to bring something that they
particularly enjoy and want to share. I'd say to let go of
the stress and just enjoy the pot-luck aspect of meals from
now on! And then, in time, feel free to experiment when you
have a chance. GF foods can be eaten by all, so once you
feel confident, there will be less need for two separate
menus... Bon apetit to all
I am the celiac of my family, along with my 2.5 year old
daughter (I have been diagnosed for 6 years) and prior to
that I have always been lactose intolerant and a vegetarian
for 17 years. I have to say that gatherings (family or
otherwise) that include food always make me nervous as I
always fear not getting enough to eat, being stuck eating
salad and a potato and not enjoying the ''good part'' of a
meal, ie dessert or the main course. I certainly do not
expect a meal to be completely dairy/gluten free, and when
attending potluck meals I always prepare something that I
could live with as my only food option (like a rice salad).
I am very grateful when the host of the event prepares
enough food that is gluten free so that I have a complete,
and celebratory sized meal, though I have to say this is
pretty rare unless it's my mother who is doing the cooking.
When I am going to an event and the host doesn't know about
my dietary needs, I am very shy about sharing, so I have
found myself hungry many a time, and thus often eat before
an event just to avoid that.
As for your family, I would say that since you are hosting a
''food event'' you could either, make it a potluck for
everyone, and then your celiac relative could bring whatever
she feels she needs. Or, you need to provide her with a
full meal. This can be easily done, if making pasta, make
some just for her. Go to Mariposa on Telegraph for some
bread and a nice dessert (expensive, but saves you the
trouble of dabbling in the challenging art of gluten free
baking). I am sorry that they don't seem to appreciate your
effort to feed them, but in my opinion, you do need to try
to provide for them just as you provide for your other
celiac, and sometimes hungry
I'm not sure I understand your attitude about this. If you
love your sister and niece, I would think that you would
want to provide them with a meal they can eat. Their celiac
disease is a much bigger burden on them than on you. That
said, I don't think that every single dish in the meal needs
to be gluten free. I think it's fine just to make sure most
of the dishes are and then provide alternative gluten free
versions of, say. the rolls and pie. Whole Foods is a great
place to purchase gluten free breads and desserts.
We have a relative who does not eat gluten. When he visits,
we make sure there is a meal's worth of food for him that is
gluten free-- in other words, we make a stew, Mexican food
with corn tortillas, or pizza with cornmeal crust, etc.,
although we might have a side dish on occasion that he can't
eat. He likes to cook, so he often will offer to make his
own special bread or pie crust for everyone-- can't say we
all exactly enjoy them, but it works ok. At Thanksgiving we
have regular stuffing when he eats with us, but I think
that's fine since there are many other foods for him to eat,
but we eat a special pie with a crust he likes and then,
after he goes home, we make another pie (the one we missed!)
I think it is worth the occasional sacrifice in tastiness to
make sure everyone feels included. On the other hand, he's
been very helpful about offering to help cook, etc. I can't
say he's ever expressed appreciation for the special food,
but that might be because to him it's nothing special. It's
no big sacrifice for me to eat gluten-free dinners for a
week or so a year, compared to him giving up wheat forever.
In your case, I think it might be especially important to
make allowances since one of the restricted eaters is a
child. It might be too much to ask your restricted eaters
to bring their own food, but you could ask for meal
suggestions or for them to bring a side dish, etc. And you
can talk about your holiday meal plans ahead of time and get
input. (I suspect that this is more about some other issues
of ingratitude on the part of your guests than it is really
about the food! And, I'll just say, I've got some of the
same issues with my restricted eater, but I think it's best
to keep them separate, if possible).
-Best of Luck-- Holiday Meals are tough!
I have a family member with celiac as well. I always make sure there is food for
him to eat. Sometimes the meal is entirely gluten free and other times there are
separate options for him or an element or two of a larger meal he can't eat. It
all depends on the situation -- if they are the only guests, that's one thing, if
they are attending a birthday party for someone else, that's another.
One good resource is the Mariposa Bakery in Oakland. You can buy some rolls
or a couple of cupcakes or whatever to substitute for those parts of the meal, so
they have something nice without too much work on your part. To me, that is
akin to buying a package of Boca burgers when you have invited a vegetarian to
a BBQ. The whole meal doesn't have to conform to the restriction, but it doesn't
seem hospitable to exclude certain guests from the meal entirely. THat said, if
they ask what they can bring, you could certainly suggest a loaf of gluten-free
bread or dessert option or whatever...
I was a vegetarian for several years. During this time my
in-laws had my husband (then boyfriend)and I over for
dinner several times. They are meat lovers:) Anyway,
dinner was usually a big slab of meat, maybe a vegetable
side or two and a salad. They rarely made vegetarian meals
or offered a protein alternative. Needless to say, after
dinner I was still hungry. I know we were visiting their
home, but it would have been nice if we could have a
vegetarian meal at least once in a blue moon. I started
bringing alternatives-a little tofu, a veggie burger, easy
choices that weren't hard to cook/reheat. Then my in-laws
started calling before we came for dinner and reminding us
to bring ''something for me.'' I found it somewhat lacking
in etiquette. Now I eat meat so it isn't a problem
anymore. My advice to you is to continue to provide a
gluten-free choice for your sister and her daughter. This
is more important than my case because it is a health issue
not just a choice like vegetarianism. If you need some
ideas for menu planning consult your sister. You are the
host and they are the guests, so I believe it is your
responsibility to make sure they have something appropriate
My brother has celiac's and when I invite him over for
dinner I make gluten free meals. For Thanksgiving, I make
two dressings -- a gluten-free cornbread and a regular
bread stuffing. I make desserts with Bob's Red Mill baking
mix + xanthan gum, using recipes I know will tolerate this.
Shortcakes, brownies, cookies... It's not hard, really,
just takes a bit of reframing what you use to cook with. I
feel it not to be a duty, but a kind thing to do, to offer
foods that everyone can eat, even the allergic people. The
thing is, people who are not allergic can eat the foods for
the allergic people, but not vice-versa. There have been a
couple of occasions when I made something that I want to
serve with a good Acme loaf, like pastas (rice/gluten free
pasta is available in every pasta manifestation) or mussles
or whatever, and on those occasions, I ask my brother to
bring his own bread of choice. Other than that, I make sure
my meals include something for him, but not two entirely
different meals. That just makes a big, unnecessary drama
of the dining experience, which is silly. Stews can be
thickend with rice or potato flour, for instance. No one
will really notice the difference, nor will they care. You
can use the same for dredging meats, making deep-fried
foods, etcetera. Instead of regular soysauce you can
purchase soy-only shoyu which actually tastes better
anyway. Anyway, pick yourself up a couple gluten-free
cookbooks that appeal to you and make a few things for
yourself, test out some recipes, modify your own with some
of their ideas. You can accommodate Celiac's diet with
ease, you just have to think outside of the regular box.
And yes, I think you should.
Easily gluten free
My daughter (almost 5 y.o.) was just diagnosed with Celiac.
I'm feeling totally overwhelmed by all the dietary changes
we have to make to put her on a gluten-free diet. What do we
do about restaurants? Birthday parties? How do we explain
this to her and to others? etc. Is there anyone out there
who can give me advice and walk me through this? I'd really
Once you have a celiac diagnosis I hope you get some
professional support through your doctor, like a referral
to an R.D, to learn about cross contamination, etc. We
cook mostly gluten free for the whole family now, but it
was a gradual process. It has helped my 9 yr old feel
included when he's sad about being different or missing
certain foods, mostly treats. Finding good bread (Garbo
Sport-whole grain and Schar-french bread) then
finding/adapting new recipes for choc chip cookies,
pancakes, etc. made a difference. We collect GF recipes in
a notebook for those tired days when imagination and
memory is rockbottom. For inspiration and recipes, there
are many interesting sites and yahoo groups, i.e.
celiacchicks.com. Amazon has pretty good prices on GF
Best of luck!
I live a gluten-free life and it's not as hard as you think, once you get used to it.
There is a ton of info on the internet about it, as well as stores that carry GF
foods. I cook GF at home, even though I'm the only GF person. My family doesn't
mind the brown rice pasta (Trader Joe brand), I use Chex crumbled as bread
crumbs in recipes, and Jules GF Flour in recipes. As for birthday parties, I
suggest you maybe bring your daughter a cupcake that is GF so she has a treat.
I call ahead at restaurants to ask what's safe on their menu. Some chain
restaurants have the info on their website. You are lucky she was diagnosed so
early, some people suffer for many years.
Bring something she can eat to the birthday party. At
restaurants, ask what they recommend for someone who doesn't
eat wheat or gluten. Sometimes it is just a salad. Cafe
rustica offers a gluten-free pizza. They even deliver! There
are many things to eat besides wheat: potatoes, sweet
potatoes, buckwheat, rice, corn, etc. Many many gluten-free
products are available at the grocery stores now: noodles,
brownie mix, bread, etc. I recommend Nairn's crackers.
Mariposa bakery is a wonderful resource. Across the street
from Caspar's on Telegraph in Oakland. Good luck!
Have you discovered the Mariposa Bakery on Telegraph
in Oakland? It's a great place for gluten free goodies!
My daughter is one and we figured out that she's gluten intolerant after 5
months of nightmare when she was 8 months old. She's breastfed and would
get gluten through my milk. As soon as I stopped gluten foods, her weekly
nursing strikes stopped and she's been a happy baby ever since. So not quite
the same situation, except that I have had to adjust my diet. The good news is
that there are more and more gluten free products out there. I found many at
Whole Foods (they even have a special green gluten free label next to the price):
cookies, crackers, breads and buns and pie crusts (in the frozen section), etc.
There's also a good gluten free bakery on Telegraph called Mariposa. I can't help
you with how to explain this to your daughter, but since she's 5, chances are
she's old enough to understand that she has to avoid certain foods/ingredients
not to have a tummy ache?
Gluten free mom
My 16 yr old daughter was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance,
celiac's disease. Anyone have any good websites that she would relate to
toward teen diets, food preferences) and any that as a parent I would
helpful? Currently I am seeking a site where I can type in a food and
find out if
it's safe or not. Does that site exist?
mom in Oakland
There are many resources on the web re: celiac disease.
You might start with the following:
You should be able to get a general list of ''safe/unsafe''
foods as a start. With specific packaged foods, ingredients
may change periodically, so it's important to check. A new
labelling law is about to go into effect, which will make
things easier. There are also lots of helpful books,
including one in the ''Idiots Guide'' series. (Type ''celiac
disease'' into a search at amazon.com and you'll find it.)
Several mail-order companies specialize in gluten-free food
(see www.glutenfree.com). Whole Foods has a pretty good
selection, including one freezer (at the Ashby/Telegraph
store) that contains only gluten-free baked goods (bread,
pizza crust, etc.)
Feel free to email me with specific questions.
I am growing increasingly concerned that my 11th month old son
may have a gluten allergy or celiac disease. Are there any
parents out there that have been through the discovery and
diagnosis process with young children?
My son has had an alarmingly large appetite since he began
eating solids and quickly becomes panicky if food is not served
as soon as hunger hits. He has had many eczema outbreaks and
rashes since beginning solids. I tried rice cereal several
times and he broke out in red rashes all over his body. After
eating his stomach becomes quite distended and seems to surpass
the normal ''toddler tummy''. He still wakes twice to nurse in
the night and really seems to need the milk. He often goes
right back to sleep after nursing. Despite this large
consumption of food and breast milk his growth has slowed
dramtically. He weighs about 5 pounds less than his friends of
the same age.
Lastly it often seems that his tummy is bothering him and he
wakes crying and wanting to be held or nursed. He is often
gassy and constipated.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I would love to hear about
your experiences both with traditional and alternative
Celiac disease is serious business. What you need is genetic testing,
not just a blood test for antibodies. Most people who are really
celiacs will show up negative on the regular blood panel your doctor may
order. If you can afford it ($300?) go right to the genetic test. Dr.
Aron in SF, 415-600-3700 is the only doctor I know of in the area who
does this. FYI: for infants and young children, the most common symptom
of celiac disease is emotional irritability (neurotransmitter receptors
are primarily in the gut), not intestinal disturbances. Perhaps
(hopefully) your son simply has a gluten intolerance (or dairy or some
other allergy) which is not the disease at all. Good luck!
Here are some resources that may help you out:
Celiac Bay Area
Bay Area Celiac Support Groups
National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse
If you have suspicion of Celiac Disease, please take your kid to a
gastroenterologist PRONTO - This is a disease that is easily controlled
with a gluten-free diet, but can cause all kinds of health problems if
not properly diagnosed. Good luck!
I;m sorry your little one isn't feeling well! I went through some
similar stuff with my son, although he turned out not to have celiac
disease. There is a simple blood test for celiac which your doctor can
do. You can also eliminate gluten and see if that helps (wheat, rye,
barley, flour). But since the rice cereal upset his tummy, and rice
cereal doesn't have gluten, he may just have a sensitive tummy (like my
son). Giving probiotics helped--we gave 1/4 teaspoon Jarrow baby
acidophilus mixed with a little milk, yogurt, or applesauce. Once he
was old enough to chew, Yum Yum-dophilus pills were a big hit. (Both
available at whole foods and elephant pharmacy.) Dr Lodewick, an
allergist and immunologist in Berkeley, was also very helpful in doing
tests to rule things out. Good luck!
mom of gassy boy
To test for celiac disease, a simple blood draw is required. Not
pleasant, but not a huge deal either. Trust yourself, is my advice, and
to ease your concerns, start with a pediatrician visit and explain all
of his symptoms. If you're worried about blood sugar levels too, you can
ask for both to be tested and have the blood drawn at the same time to
test for both. That would mean only one poke. Probably the glucose test
will have to be after fasting (8 hours, I think). Maybe he's just having
a growth spurt and is hungrier because of that. But, why not rule out
your worries, restore your peace of mind. If something shows up on the
tests, you'll be able to address any problems earlier, and that is
always better than later, IMHO.
mother of endocrine challenged child
While I cannot specifically answer your question, I have good friends
with Celiac Disease. Your concerns seem well-founded. Here is a list
of resources which I hope you will find helpful. Connecting with other
celiacs or celiac families is one of the best things you can do, and BPN
is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of great celiac support
groups in the Bay Area and online.
www.celiac.com is a wonderful website with a ton of information and
links to other resources. Go to the message board section - they have
one or more forums that will apply to your situation.
There is a support group organization called ''Raising our Celiac Kids''
with groups in the bay area. Use google, or go to www.celiac.org (click
corner) or www.celiac.com to find listings for the local groups.
Also see www.bayareaceliacs.org and click on support groups for more
local groups and yahoo mailing lists.
If your child does have Celiac Disease, There's a wonderful 1-day
conference at Stanford every September or October that you will want to
attend. It is intended for celiac patients, caregivers and health
professionals, and is organized by enthusiastic volunteers.
Information, when it becomes available in mid-summer is usually found at
http://www.celiacsprue.org or google ''stanford celiac conference'' to
get a picture of past years programs.
A gluten-free friend
i have celiac disease and most of the symptoms you describe do not seem
like he has celiac disease. It does not have anything to do with the
apetite level. The only symptom that might be it is constipation. Also
celiac people eat mostly rice based items s clearly it's not it. There
is a simple blood test to do before treating him for something he might
I have celiac disease and it runs in my family. I read your post and
You received some helpful information for celiac websites. However, I
wouldn't jump to the conclusion that your son might have celiac disease
just yet. The symptoms you are describing sound like major digestive
troubles that can occur in some babies. Babies have very sensitive
digestive systems. Any new food introduced for the first time can upset
a baby's digestive track which can result in gas, constipation and
eczema. Rice, apples, bananas and milk can all cause constipation. Plus
cows milk and wheat are extremely difficult to digest for anyone at any
age. The only thing you mentioned feeding your baby is rice cereal. You
did not mention feeding your son gluten containing grains like wheat,
barley, rye, and possibly oats.
(Rice does NOT contain gluten. Some people think it does because they've
heard the words ''glutinous rice'' which is not a true term, it's only a
despription of the texture of a type of rice know as ''sticky rice'').
Are you feeding your baby other foods, like wheat (contains gluten),
cows milk, cheese, fruit, etc? If so, don't try to introduce too many
different kinds of foods all at once, as this may confuse you as to
which food is causing the problem. Introduce them one at a time. Keep a
food diary. Talk to your pediatrician about it. It makes sense that
pediatricians are always telling parents not to feed their babies wheat,
eggs or dairy until they're at least 1 years of age. These are common
food allergens, and a child can develop an allergy to one or all of
those foods if he/she is given them at too early of an age. Before you
jump to the conclusions about celiac disease, I would first keep a
careful watch on what kinds of solids you feed your son. The problems
may eventually clear up. If however your child gets worse, especially
after they are eating a regular diet of solid foods, then I would look
into food allergies, intolerance and even celiac disease. The celiac
disease websites can help you with what to look for in children. The
problem with the disease is not the disease itself, it is easily cured
with a strict gluten-free diet. The problem is our medical system. In
Italy all children are routinely screened for celiac disease by the time
they reach 6 years of age. In Europe the average amount of time it takes
a doctor to diagnose a patient with celiac disease, from the time their
symptoms first appear is 6 months. Here in the United States it takes on
average 10 YEARS! By the way, I've read that the simple blood test most
doctors start with is not always reliable. I don't know what they use in
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