Keeping Kids Gluten Free at School

Now more than ever before it is easier for a parent to ensure their child remains gluten free, even when at school. The key to ensuring your child avoids gluten is to pack lunch items which are gluten free and to teach your child about which menu items are appropriate for a gluten-free diet. Through diligence and planning, you can help your child thrive in today’s much improved gluten free world.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat, triticale, barley and rye. Sources of gluten include; breads, malt, baked goods, malt vinegar, food coloring, cereals, sauces, pastas, cereals, baked goods, soups, sauces, salad dressings, beers and roux.

What does it mean to be intolerant to gluten?

If you notice you react badly to gluten and have symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and stomach upset, you should visit your doctor to be tested for gluten intolerance. The medical condition for a gluten allergy is called “celiac disease.” If a person has celiac disease and consumes gluten, it will irritate and damage the lining of the intestines, making it hard for the body to digest and absorb nutrients. A person can have celiac disease due to gluten intolerance, but some individuals suffer only from gluten sensitivity.

How can you help a child with gluten intolerance fit in with other children?

It can be very hard for a child on a special gluten-free diet to feel like other kids, because of having to follow a special diet. However, there are many gluten-free kid friendly foods similar to what the other children are eating. You can find gluten free chips, pizza, chicken nuggets, bagels, pretzels, cookies, and other snacks. When your child goes to school, packing a lunch of gluten free foods will help him or her feel less self-conscious about their condition and make him or her feel like all the other children.

What is it important to promote a healthy attitude for a child on a gluten-free diet?

As the parent of a child with gluten intolerance issues, it is up to you to maintain a positive attitude. When parents have a healthy and positive attitude towards something, it generally trickles down to the children. Sometimes following a special diet can be very difficult and children never want to feel different from their peers. Emphasizing the health benefits of a gluten-free diet will help a child to understand their condition and grow up feeling normal.

Why is it beneficial to promote gluten awareness?

It seems celiac disease and gluten-free diets are all the rage right now. You can use this awareness to your benefit if your child is suffering from a gluten allergy or intolerance issues. Eating at gluten-free restaurants, buying products that contain no gluten and trying some gluten-free recipes at home are all great ways of helping your child to expand their palates and enjoy foods that they can comfortably tolerate.

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