Convincing a child to eat much of anything is a chore, so how do you handle a child that has been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance?
It isnâ€™t easy, but there are ways to convince them that it is not only best for their health but an enjoyable way to eat.
What are some tips for raising a child on a gluten free diet?
**Always Be Educating
Donâ€™t simply tell your child â€œyou canâ€™t have glutenâ€. Many adults have a hard time understanding gluten and what foods it is in, so itâ€™s unrealistic to expect a child to do any better. Spend time showing your child what gluten is in, how it appears on labels and how to avoid it.
More importantly, explain to them the reason why they need to be careful!
What exactly will happen to them when they eat gluten containing foods?Â They may experience allergic reactions, damage their digestive system, or suffer from numerous other medical conditions! Â Consequences speak volumes for children.
To drive this home, create a notebook that your child can carry with them containing a list of foods they cannot have and a list of foods they can have. This will help when they go to a friendâ€™s house or are in school where boundaries are often broken without your knowledge.
How do you find foods that your children like?
The real issue with gluten free diets for children is finding foods the child will like. Especially if they were previously allowed to eat things like cake and bread, changing to gluten free variations can be very hard.
Begin byÂ Â printing your own, freeÂ HARMONY GF LISTÂ to keep abreast of theÂ Gluten-Free Products that we offer.
Itâ€™s important to find and develop gluten free variations on kid favorites like macaroni and cheese, pizza, spaghetti, cookies and other sweets. Almost anything you can think of that contains gluten can be made without gluten in some form or another. Donâ€™t allow yourself to think that they need to eat different foods – just different ingredients. At the same time, donâ€™t pour money into processed gluten free foods which can be prohibitively expensive.
How do you communicate with other adults?
Once your child is out of sight, itâ€™s very likely they will be presented with gluten-containing foods. While your efforts to educate them on the risks of eating gluten will certainly help, you must also talk to the adults they are with. Teachers, parents of their friends and family members must all understand the extreme health risk of eating gluten. Make sure they understand the severity (comparisons to diabetes or peanut allergies often get the point across) and ensure your child always has gluten free snacks on hand so they donâ€™t get left out of class activities.
With the right level of communication and preparation, you can ensure your child is never left out because of their gluten intolerance – life can be normal even if it is a little more complicated. Â Please contact Harmony FarmsÂ to access theÂ largest Gluten-Free product & supplement selection along with a highly trained & helpful staff ready to serve you! Â Contact us hereÂ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-782-0064.