Tips to Help Allergic Children Avoid Gluten

chocolate chip cookies Gluten allergies are something that should be taken seriously. If you just discovered that your child is allergic to gluten, then your family is about to experience some big changes. It can be overwhelming to try and figure out how to avoid feeding your child food that contains gluten. Here are some tips to help you do that.

I recently discovered that I have a gluten allergy. This is not something I am happy about, because it means I will have to give up eating many of the foods that I really liked. Fortunately, I am an adult, which means that I am able to understand why I won’t be eating things like bread, cookies, or pasta anymore.

Parents who just learned that their child has a gluten allergy are going to be making many changes to their child’s diet. Young children are not necessarily going to understand why they can’t eat some of their favorite foods anymore, and are likely to continue to ask for those foods. This means that parents are going to have to be extremely vigilant in their quest to help their child avoid foods that contain gluten.

Here are some quick tips to help parents avoid feeding their child foods that contain gluten.

Read all the food labels.
I happen to have several food allergies, so I read been reading the ingredients on each and every package of food that I think I might want to try and eat. It’s best to do this while you are standing in the aisle in the grocery store, so you can put the food back if it contains gluten. This is a great way to avoid accidentally bringing home foods that will make your allergic child sick.

The gluten free section is your new best friend.
This is where you can find safe, gluten free, substitutions for a lot of foods that normally would contain gluten. There are gluten free breads, cookies, crackers, and granola bars out there. A company named Annie’s makes gluten free macaroni and cheese. It is going to take some trial and error to discover what these gluten free foods actually taste like, but I think it is worth the effort to give them a try.

Do your research.
Grocery shopping can be easier if you enter the store with a good understanding about what types of foods generally contain gluten. If your child’s doctor doesn’t provide you with a list of foods to avoid, you may need to go online, or read books, that will give you that information.

Plan ahead.
One of the things that can cause a person to “cheat” on his or her diet is when they cannot easily find the foods that will help them to continue the diet. Make sure you have enough gluten free snack foods around, so your child won’t feel deprived of the foods that he or she really likes. Parents can avoid the temptation of giving their child “just one” cookie that isn’t gluten free if there is a package of gluten free cookies sitting right there.

Image by Lara604 on Flickr

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