Gluten is a composite of starch and proteins found in certain grassy grains like wheat, barley and rye.
The federal Food and Drug agency set a gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten free. It was similar to the level adopted in recent years by the European Union and Canada. The F.D.A. first proposed the 20 parts per million standard in 2007, and companies have used that limit as a guide for their products even before the new rule was published.
When eaten by people with celiac disease, gluten can trigger the production of antibodies that damage the lining of the small intestine.
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods.
EMPOWERING CHILDREN FOR GLUTEN FREE DIET
• Start reading labels early. Show children the word “wheat” on labels to help them recognize the word even before they can read. This helps to place the “blame” for not being able to eat a food item on the label rather than on the parent.
• Involve the Child in Meal Planning and Preparation: Children should be encouraged to participate in meal planning, purchasing groceries and preparation of meals. Young children can select produce at the grocery store, set the table, and help wash vegetables or fruits. Older children can help choose the menu, select grocery items, and make all or part of a meal by reading recipes and ingredient lists.
• Role play: Practicing what a child will say to an adult when offered a questionable food is important. Most parents teach their children to be polite and respectful to other adults and those in authority such as a teacher or parent volunteer. Saying “no” to such an adult will be difficult for a child if they do not know what to say.
• Identify “look-a-like” foods: It is very common for families to find “look-a-like” foods for the child. While this helps the child feel less isolated when eating with friends, or at parties, it is important to help
• the child understand that their foods are different. By understanding that their “look-a-like” food is not the same as regular foods (i.e., cupcakes), the child is better able to make safe choices when the parent is not available to help. For example, Mom may make “Rice Krispies Treats®” at home with a gluten-free rice cereal.
• Parents can set an example by maintaining a positive attitude. Even very young children look to their parents for emotional cues and strategies for handling stressful events.
WHAT TO EAT?
Gluten Free foods:
• unprocessed Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural form
• Fresh eggs
• Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
• Fruits and vegetables
• Most dairy products
It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives.
• Corn and cornmeal
• Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
• Hominy (corn)
WHAT TO AVOID?:
Avoid all food and drinks containing:
• Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
• Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
• Any type of Wheat including…
• Durum flour
• Graham flour
Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’
In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
• Cakes and pies
• Cookies and crackers
• French fries
• Imitation meat or seafood
• Processed luncheon meats
• Salad dressings
• Sauces, including soy sauce
• Seasoned rice mixes
• Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
• Self-basting poultry
• Soups and soup bases
• Vegetables in sauce
You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:
• Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
• Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
• Play dough
• Childrens Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation: www.celiachealth.org
• A Child’s Guide to Dealing with Celiac Disease: www.celiaccenter.org
• R.O.C.K Raising Our Celiac Kids Web site: www.celiackids.com
• Celiac Disease Foundation: www.gluten.org
• Kids Baking Club: www.glutenfreecookingclub.com
Source: Multiple including Mayo Clinic