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What's all this talk about Gluten Free?

What’s all this talk about gluten free? We all know that bread is the vehicle for eating butter! And who can say no to pancakes and waffles? The truth is that 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with celiac disease.

So what exactly is celiac disease?

Celiac is a genetic autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestines. It makes it difficult for the body to absorb certain nutrients. It is the most common autoimmune disease.

Some symptoms include:

abdominal bloating and pain

chronic diarrhea



For a more complete list of symptoms go to

If someone on your family tree suffers from celiac, it’s important to get tested. If you are diagnosed with the disease, you should consult a dietitian to help with your gluten-free diet.

Unlike some food allergies, celiac isn't something children grow out of. It is a lifelong condition, treated with a gluten-free diet. According to The University of Chicago Medicine, the small intestine should completely repair on its own within approximately six months of starting a gluten-free diet.

How to help your child cope with their new diet

Make your child an active participant.

We have found that when kids participate in what they eat—including menu planning, helping in the kitchen, and helping with the grocery shopping—they are more willing to try new things.

Try substituting ingredients so they can still enjoy some of their favorite foods.

Boil shaved carrots or zucchini. Add some cheese and sauce, and voila, it’s pasta!

We found this great gluten-free pizza crust recipe from Katie Lee at the Food Network.

Pizza crust with cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. (I like to put it on a towel to get all the moisture out.) Let cool.

In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Katie Lee

Don’t give up!

Studies show that it can take up to 10 tries to get your child to eat a new food or a new diet.

For more information, check out these great resources.

Favorite find!

Consider getting your child a medical I.D. bracelet. Here's a site that offers fun, kid-cool bracelets:

They offer charms for all sorts of allergies, so you can customize your bracelet to your child's needs.

More to check out

They have a complete list of foods that you should avoid, including some surprising things. Did you know that Playdough contains gluten? Even though that's not a food (usually), it’s important to thoroughly wash your hands after making your fabulous art!

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