Practical Tips For Raising Your Child Gluten-Free
I’ll keep this short and to the point…
Raising your child gluten-free is no easy task…
So we put together some helpful tips to help you stay sane – at least until your kid turns teenager and never wants your help anymore!
Routinely make lunch for your kid and send it with them…for school, for camp, for sports, etc.
When your child is gluten-free, you can’t rely on everyone else to take care of their meals. YOU are the one that makes sure they have a safe meal to eat.
Include your child in the process of investigating foods and preparing gluten-free meals.
It’s hard to figure out what foods are gluten-free – especially when they are not clearly labelled.
And sometimes a perfectly gluten-free food can be easily contaminated! Like French fries – the fries are generally gf, but when they get dipped in the fryer at a restaurant, well…then you have gluten contamination issues.
I’m guessing you don’t want to make lunch and snacks for your kid forever…
So eventually you want your child to be able to figure it out for themselves when you’re not around.
You can educate them by having them help you prepare meals. Or by having your child ask questions about the gluten-free status of meals at restaurants…
Educate your child starting today. It takes a lot of practice and patience…but it is well worth the effort.
Advocate for having gluten-free options at your child’s classroom and school events.
Two things we do here. First, when our kids were younger – like less than 2nd grade – we would ask to keep a sealable ‘gluten-free’ container in the classroom.
In the container, we would keep a bag of gf cookies and a couple of gf nutrition bars.
Well, in those first couple of years of school, there are a lot of ad hoc birthday celebrations or parties where the kids get treats…so we wanted to be sure our kids had something they could eat too.
The second thing we do is advocate to have gluten-free options at the school events – like carnivals, book fairs, or any other activity where food is being made available for the kids.
We actually met several other families and their gf kids this way.
Anyway, we think it’s important for the school to recognize that the kids with dietary restrictions should have similar food options.
Understand that your gluten-free child may not look at food – meals, eating out, going out for ice cream, etc. – as a treat.
It took as several years to realize this about our celiac daughter…and the same may be true with your child.
Food caused your #glutenfree child to feel sick. So your child may not think eating is pleasurable.
In fact, it may cause a great deal of anxiety.
That’s kind of hard to grasp – especially if you are a family that likes to eat.
So if your child is not too keen on eating all the time…just understand that it’s probably normal.
Be an educator and help others to get it right when it comes to cooking and serving gluten-free food.
One of the hardest things is when, for example, grandpa tries to give your child some animal crackers…or the local restaurant offers something gluten-free and then it turns out to cause your child to get sick.
That is super frustrating.
We’ve seen some really negative restaurant reviews online from people whom this happened to.
But we would rather go back to the people in these situations and let them know something went wrong. We would rather help them get it right and thank them for trying.
And that’s the kind of kids we want to raise…ones that confront the situation and try to make it right.
Raising gluten-free kids is not easy…but it is something that you can do! You’ve got this!
Just remember…raise your children so they can advocate for themselves someday…
Involve them now so they can learn.
and be an positive advocate for gluten-free options out in the your world.