Cooking for Your Family When Your Child Has Celiac Disease

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After months and possibly years of having to contend with your child’s chronic discomfort, it may come as a relief to finally know the source behind it: celiac disease. This disorder is caused by the small intestine’s inability to digest gluten, a protein found in several grains. Though parents may initially find it difficult to provide a balanced diet for a child with celiac disease, the following steps can help. Parents are also encouraged to contact Sunrise Children’s Hospital to ensure that their child’s nutritional needs are being met.

Avoid all gluten products
Once a child has been diagnosed with celiac disease , he can no longer eat any products with barley, rye, or wheat. Given wheat’s presence in foods like bread and pasta, which many families regularly use in meals, some parents might wonder what items they can substitute. Fortunately, foods like millet bread and rice pasta, neither of which contain wheat nor gluten, can easily replace your favorite dietary staples.

Beware of foods that may contain hidden gluten
Though natural beef, chicken, and pork are safe to eat for celiac disease sufferers, imitation or processed meats might include traces of gluten. Parents should also beware of soups that have a gluten base. If you have any doubts as to whether a particular food contains gluten, do not let your child eat it.

Keep your cookware free of residual gluten
Parents need not restrict other children from eating gluten products if they do not have celiac disease. If you keep gluten items in your home, though, be sure to thoroughly wash all silverware, plates, and other kitchen tools that may come into contact with those foods. Should even minor amounts of gluten remain on a plate that a child with celiac disease uses, it can cause symptoms to flare up.

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. If you would like to learn more about this condition, call Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 731-5437. If you suspect that your child might have celiac disease, use our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral system to find a healthcare provider.

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