Archive for May, 2012

5 Tips for Traveling Gluten-Free

[You learned how to cook gluten-free. You found local restaurants that serve gluten-free. Now, you have to travel gluten-free. Heading to an unfamiliar area can be intimidating, but fear not! Frequent flier Gluten-Free Mike has 5 tips to prepare you for any upcoming trip.]

Let’s face it, we’ve all had that moment of initial panic when we first received our celiac diagnosis. Speaking from personal experience, I know I was completely caught off guard and quite honestly had not even heard of celiac disease before I actually found out I had it. Sounds familiar, right?

Well, that was more than 10 years ago when the gluten-free landscape and celiac awareness were indeed at a very different place than they are today. Fast forward to today and awareness of and catering to celiacs has come a very long way, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the travel and hospitality industry.

Airplane taking off

I have been globe trekking since before I could walk, and when first diagnosed thought that celiac disease would throw a wrench into my love of travel.  To be honest, it did at first. My diagnosis came at a time when there were few good gluten-free products and they were difficult to source. Most restaurants had no clue what I was talking about and going abroad seemed to only magnify the confusion. I slowly but surely got back on the proverbial horse when I realized that celiac need not be limiting and that I needed to take control of the disease and live my life on my terms.

Over the years I have developed a few tips and tricks particularly when it comes to traveling with celiac disease, and I am happy to share some of them with you here:

1. All Airlines Are Not Created Equal.

If you are going to be flying, particularly long-haul international, check out a few carriers’ websites to see whether or not they offer a gluten-free meal option – some even provide samples of what they’ll include.  This will depend on length of flight and class of service, but most airlines will have a gluten-free option if your flight has meal service. Yes, some airlines do gluten-free better than others, and I have had some amazing gluten-free meals over the years – some even included a fresh gluten-free roll – can you imagine?  Will the gluten-free meal knock your socks off?  Likely not, but at least it is safe option to tide you over until you land.

The most important tip I can give when flying is as soon as you board, ask a flight attendant if your meal has been loaded BEFORE departure.  Oftentimes if there is a problem they can deal with it while on the ground vs. not being able to do anything at 35,000 feet. On a recent flight, my gluten-free meal was even noted right on my boarding pass – nice!  Another trick I use is when flying in a premium cabin to check out the airline’s online menus for the route. Most airlines have monthly menus for specific routes and these can be accessed online. I scan the menu to see if any of the “regular” options will work for me and more often than not there is something I can have. I have also seen more and more gluten-free snack item choices making their way on board shorter flights, which is always good to see.

2. Do Your Homework.

This sounds like a given, but just getting a feel for the area you’ll be visiting can help you enjoy your vacation (or business trip) a bit more.  I like to go online and look at the immediate vicinity around where I’ll be staying.  Where is the nearest supermarket?  What dining options are around?  Is there a local celiac group site that gives tips and advice for the area?  If a restaurant piques your interest, check out their menu or give them a ring to discuss whether they will be able to accommodate your needs. There are even an increasing number of hotel chains that now that cater to a host of dietary restrictions and food allergic travelers.  The more leg work you do before departure, the less stress you’ll have at your destination.

3. Speak the Language. 

Okay, this might be easier said than done but there is an easy solution if you find yourself in a country where you do not speak the language. Printable food allergy cards that you can either buy or download for free online.  My recent trip to Peru had me a bit leery as I do not speak Spanish.  Before I left, I printed out and laminated a few double-sided cards that  had both a celiac disease explanation and shellfish allergy notation that called out what I could and could not eat in detail.  Let me tell you that these were a lifesaver because each time I presented them, the server read them and could immediately tell me what would work for me on their menu. If I was in a location where I thought the cross-contamination from shellfish could be an issue, the servers actually brought the cards back to the kitchen for the chef and kitchen staff to read. I had zero issues or reactions on my most recent journey, which was the first time I have brought such cards along with me – and best of all they were available free online.

4. Pack Accordingly. 

No, I am not talking about what clothes to bring – though that is sometimes equally as important.  When I travel, be it by car, train, plane, or horseback (okay, that last one is a bit of poetic license) I always take along what I call my Gluten-Free Contingency Pack.  Depending on the length of my journey, I always carry a bag of nibbles so that I have something to nosh on if I find myself delayed or not having any gluten-free options readily available while en route.

So what’s in my contingency pack?  Well, I am glad you asked.  I typically include a few gluten-free snack items like chips, pretzels, cookies, or snack mix along with a couple meal replacement bars or snack bars.  Okay, and maybe there might be a chocolate bar (or two) in there.  A just-add-water type noodle snack or dry soup is also great to toss in your carry-on and I typically will carry those for ultra long-haul flights of 14 or more hours. I also like to toss a few snack items in my checked bag so I can have a snack at my hotel without having to pop-out to a supermarket right away.

5. Be Flexible.

Flexibility is really key. You might find yourself in a situation with limited knowledge of or availability of a host of gluten-free options. Don’t panic.  Regardless of the situation (and some of mine have been less than ideal) I have never gone hungry while on the road.  Sure, you might not always be able to have exactly what you want, but there will be something – trust me. I have always been amazed at how far people are willing to go to accommodate my dietary needs while on the road.  Also, a little education goes a long way.  I cannot count how many times I had someone on the road say “I had no idea that contained gluten” or “I have heard of celiac, but never knew why you couldn’t eat gluten.”  Just think, the more people become exposed to celiac disease, the less bumpy the road ahead becomes for all of us.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned since my diagnosis is that I will not let being celiac define who I am or dictate what I can and cannot do, and you shouldn’t either.  Life does in fact continue and it’s for the better because I now know why I would get sick after certain meals and in retrospect, pre-diagnosis was actually more limiting than I have found celiac to be.

It’s a great big gluten-free world out there so please, get out there and enjoy it.  Oh, and there will be hiccups along the way – it’s just inevitable – but when they happen, look at them as learning experiences and not roadblocks.  They happen to all of us, gluten-free or not.

– Michael De Cicco-Butz

May 17, 2012 at 8:27 am 2 comments

5 Tips for the Gluten-Free School Years

[Kids spend hours a day at school – including meal times. College students live and eat on campus. How do you ensure their dietary needs are met? Wendy Gregory Kaho of Celiacs in the House shared her tips for navigating the school years with your gluten-free child.]

Whether it is preschool or college, planning ahead is the key to gluten-free school success. Here are my best tips for making you child safe and understood at school. Including your child at every step along the way will build confidence and teach important life skills.

1. Know your rights and advocate for your child.

Find a support group with experienced parents who can offer their insight and advice, and use online resources to educate yourself about your rights. Armed with the facts and good support it will be easier to take a calm, yet firm approach with school staff.

A 504 Plan Guide is on the Resources/Printable Guides page at the NFCA site.

2. Educate the staff.

This includes the school nurse, teacher, cafeteria staff, counselor, and principal. Explain what to expect from your child and how to best meet the child’s needs while sharing the facts about celiac disease and its only treatment, which is a gluten-free diet. Inform the staff of possible reactions to gluten that your child might experience and how they can help your child after accidental gluten exposure.

Look at the sample Teacher Letter on the NFCA site.

3. Plan and prepare for parties, field trips and events that involve food.

Whether you keep a supply of gluten-free treats for your child at school in a freezer or special drawer or plan on events as they occur, staying informed and prepared will help your child feel included. Make the process fun and an opportunity to teach nutrition and the cooking skills that will serve your child for a lifetime.

Take a look at the fun gluten-free kid food ideas on Pinterest.

4. Empower your child.

Include them in the process of choosing foods and planning and packing lunches. Role-play and practice how to explain their dietary needs.

Gluten-free school lunch ideas from Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom will get you started.

5. Stay positive.

Help your child see the opportunities to advocate for themselves and others with special diets or other needs.

Find more resources at NFCA’s website, including resources for all school levels and webinars in the archives with more school tips.

– Wendy Gregory Kaho

May 16, 2012 at 8:20 am 2 comments

5 Tips to Becoming a Dairy-Free Diva

[Alisa Fleming is the founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of the best-selling book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. We asked her for advice on how to manage when you’re gluten-free and need to eliminate dairy, too.]

So you’ve spent months, perhaps years, working to cut out gluten. You’ve finally got a host of meals in your arsenal, some food products you can rely on, and a good understanding of reading labels for hidden wheat. But then it hits – the curve ball from left field. Your body’s decided that dairy is an enemy, too.

Lactose intolerance is a very common additional diagnosis when people discover that they have celiac disease, but what many don’t realize is that dairy sensitivity to the proteins in milk also occurs frequently in those with gluten sensitivity.

Your initial reaction to cutting out both gluten AND dairy might be something like this, “What am I going to eat? I can’t live without cheese!” You are not alone. For some, the journey to dairy-free living is actually pretty easy. But for many, dairy addiction presents some struggles.

To help lead you down that easy road, here are 5 Tips to Going Dairy-Free:

1. Identify the Dairy

Just like you may have already done with gluten, you need to learn what the term “dairy” really means, and where it may hide. Most importantly, understand that “lactose-free” does not necessarily equal “dairy-free.” If you are sensitive to dairy, it usually means that you have an issue with the proteins in milk. Lactose is just “milk sugar” and can be removed fairly easily from milk products, while the protein is more vital. I’ve yet to see a dairy product that was “milk protein-free.” Here is my Dairy Ingredient List to help get you started.

2. Break the Spell

If there is a food (like cheese) that you feel you absolutely can’t live without, then you probably have a pretty strong emotional and/or physical addiction. Like people who quit smoking, even a little cheat can send you back to square one. The first few weeks may be hard, but push through – for most people, the cravings do subside and your body thanks you.

3. Stay Whole

It can be tempting to stock up on every alternative that the stores have to offer, but when first starting out, try to avoid the myriad of dairy alternatives. While many are good, most will be “different” from the dairy you are used to, and may make you crave “the real stuff” even more. When you do need to use them, try to avoid making them a focal point of the meal. Use just a sprinkling of vegan Parmesan on a gluten-free pasta rather than going for that vegan cheese-laden, gluten-free lasagna.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Sloppy Joe's

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Sloppy Jose’s over Polenta, from Alisa Fleming

4. Stock up on Flavor

It’s easy to forget all of the wonderful foods out there when so many dairy products are used to mask them! For a quick pop of flavor atop your entrée, chop some olives, crumble a slice of cooked bacon, mix up a favorite spice blend, or squeeze a lemon. Using other wholesome ingredients will help to heighten the flavor of food rather than hide it.

5. Take Your Taste Buds to New Places

Go on a culinary tour in your own home! Make a list of all of the amazing dishes that are naturally or easily dairy-free and gluten-free. Think quick Cajun dishes like jambalaya, whip up a Chinese stir-fry with wheat–free, gluten-free Tamari, adventure a creamy coconut Caribbean-style entrée, fire up some Pad Thai with rice noodles, enjoy an Indonesian peanut satay, and even have fun attempting to roll your own sushi (don’t worry, you can use cooked seafood at home!). Most of the world actually lives dairy-free or dairy-low. Think about what they are eating and loving!

For more guidance, see my article, Six Simple Steps to Successfully Going Dairy-Free (and Gluten-Free) for Good.

– Alisa Fleming

May 15, 2012 at 9:11 am 6 comments

5 Tips to Get Out of a Food Rut

[Diane Eblin is a Certified Health Coach who helps her clients achieve easy, healthy gluten-free living. She is also a professional recipe developer, author of The Gluten-Free Diner e-cookbook and founder of The WHOLE Gang. Diane and her entire family, including her dog, all live gluten-free, so we asked her for tips on keeping meals fresh and fun.]

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “I’m in a food rut.”  What does that really mean?  Well, the definition of a rut is a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one. You know  – the daily grind, same old stuff, the same meals over and over, yada yada yada.

So, if you’re in a food rut, how do you get out of it?  Well, the simplest answer is to eat something different.

Before you punch me for such a lame suggestion, I’m going to give you 5 tips on exactly how to do just that.

Diane Eblin - The WHOLE Gang

Diane Eblin of The WHOLE Gang

1. Use Real Food Ingredients

This is the No. 1 most important tip for staying out of a food rut.  Use single ingredient foods, whole foods or real foods.  They are naturally gluten-free, have no labels, and are in the produce, meat and seafood sections of the grocery store.  If you keep making meals out of a box, you’ll keep making the same meal.  If you don’t believe me, Google “chicken recipes” and you’ll get back 77,000,000 results.  They call for chicken, not chicken in a box.

Using real food ingredients will save you lots of money.  You can purchase those organic meats on sale, in bulk and, for beef, choose those less expensive cuts that take longer to cook. Pull out that crockpot and let it cook while you sleep.  Then portion out the meats, freeze what you’re not eating now, and you’re ready to make a few of those millions of recipe results you just Googled.

2. Be Inspired

There are so many inspirational resources for recipes and ideas for your meals.  The list includes wonderful cookbooks, both gluten-free and not, along with websites, magazines and cooking shows. You can even work with a health coach to both inspire and inform you.  Not a food magazine junkie? Then just take a look at the covers to see what the latest and greatest food trends are out there. If you like what you see, get the magazine and the recipe. Learn how to substitute non-gluten-free ingredients with ones that fit your diet. This way, you can grab any recipe and start cooking!

Peppers

3. Menu Planning

Get out of your rut by planning a weekly menu so you’ll have the ingredients on hand to make unique meals and know what you’re doing with them.  Without a plan, you’ll end up grabbing the same old thing, which you’re already bored with and tired of making.  It only takes 15 to 20 minutes to plan out your week and another 15 to 20 minutes to plan out the whole month. Use the resources mentioned above for creative ideas and recipes. I like to start with an inventory of what I have on hand so I can build that into the menu and save money. I often end up with more than a week’s worth of ideas.  Make a multi-week menu to keep those good ideas from going to waste.

4. Variety is the Spice of Life

If you’ve never compared ethnic recipes side by side, you might be surprised to learn that there are common ingredients that span the world.  What changes are the spices and herbs used, which change the flavor profile of each dish. For instance, let’s take a simple chicken stew. You can make it Italian with tomatoes, Mexican with cilantro and green chilies, French with white wine, Indian with cardamom, turmeric and coconut milk, Moroccan with raisins, cinnamon and ginger, Greek with olives, and so on. So gather up your spices and travel the world on your dinner plate.  My two favorite sources for spices are Penzeys and The Spice House. As with any spice, you must make sure they are gluten-free.  These two companies will tell you which ones are not and which ones are gluten-free, as are most.

5.  Pre-made Menu Plans

If you have just plain run out of ideas and nothing is inspiring you, then you can use a menu planning service or you can visit the many blogs that post weekly menu plans and use theirs.  For instance, on my website you can search on Menu Plan Monday and find many weekly menus or Monthly Menu Plan and have your whole month planned out.  A few of my favorite sites sharing menus include Celiacs in the House, Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom, and Celiac Family.  If you use a menu planning service, you can have the menu plan, recipes and shopping list all created for you on a weekly basis.

So, if you are in a food rut, grab some new sources of inspiration, plan out your menu, shop for real food ingredients and spices and get cooking.  You can have a different meal every day of the year!

– Diane Eblin, CHC, AADP

May 14, 2012 at 8:15 am 5 comments

5 NFCA Webinars to Watch Right Now (Plus 1 on the Way)

You’ve learned the basics of gluten-free, and now you’re ready to learn more information. Well, you can read until you’re blue in the face, but there’s another, more engaging way to get those facts and tidbits you’re looking for: Webinars.

In case you didn’t know, NFCA hosts a monthly webinar series, with topics ranging from everyday food choices to gluten-free holiday prep. The webinars are free, and we always post the recording and slides in our archive, so you can go back and listen again and again. Here are 5 webinars you can find in our archive right now.

NFCA Webinars

1. Food as Medicine for Celiac Disease: Nutrition Beyond the Gluten-Free Diet

In this webinar, NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Board Member Rachel Begun, MS, RD, offers practical advice on how to incorporate foods into our diet that heal the body and can even prevent disease. Pay close attention to her tips on combining different foods, like leafy greens and citrus, to improve absorption of nutrients.

Watch this Webinar

2. Maintaining a Healthy Weight While Eating Gluten-Free: The Importance of Mindful Eating and Physical Activity

How often do you eat because you’re stressed? Or tired? Or bored? Dietitian and local celiac support group founder Amy Jones, MS, RD, LD, reveals some of the habits that contribute to weight gain, especially when following a gluten-free lifestyle. (Did you really eat that many cookies before you went gluten-free?) We bet you’ll have an “A-ha!” moment listening to this.

Watch this Webinar

3. Top 10 Ways to Get Gluten-Free Kids to Eat Healthy

This webinar is designed for dietitians who counsel families affected by gluten-related disorders, but there are plenty of tips anyone can use. EA Stewart, BS, MBA, RD, walks you through the best ways to set up a gluten-free kitchen, plan meals with your kids and foster good eating habits by putting healthy options within reach.

Watch this Webinar

4. Nutrition and Training for the Gluten-Free Athlete

NFCA Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski leads this webinar about the best ways to fuel your body with a well-balanced gluten-free diet. Pete explains what to eat before, during and after an athletic activity, then answers actual training questions from the audience.

Watch this Webinar

5. The Importance of School Nurse Education and How-To Strategies for Parents of Gluten-Free Kids

Summer vacation is just starting, but now is a great time to brush up on what you’ll need to review with school nurses, administrators and teachers in the fall. Nina Spitzer, President of CDF’s Greater Phoenix Chapter, outlines the 504 plan and who you’ll need on your child’s School Team. Bonus! Get a list of recipes for yummy gluten-free lunches.

Watch this Webinar

Coming Up…

Our next live webinar will take place on June 20, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The topic will be “Yes, You Can Eat! When Gluten Isn’t the Only Ingredient You Avoid.” The webinar will feature NFCA’s Answers from a Dietitian blogger Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN. Sponsored by Lucy’s.

Register for this Webinar

May 11, 2012 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Dining Out Gluten-Free? 5 Ways to Try Something New

[It’s easy to get stuck in a dining rut. Chandice Probst of Gluten-Free Frenzy and CDF Arizona East Valley has some tips to help you get out there and find a new favorite place to eat gluten-free!]

For those of us living with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dining out can become run of the mill with the same few places and the same dishes every time. It is time we look at dining out as an exciting adventure and something that will be satisfying and, more importantly, safe.

Dining out gluten-free

1. Try a new dish at your favorite restaurant.

Remember that episode of Seinfeld when George does everything opposite of what he would normally do and it works out in his favor? Now I am not telling you to eat gluten, NEVER. What I am saying is that if you are usually a chicken dish kind of person, go for the beef. Not a vegetarian? Try a vegetarian dish! You will be surprised by what you like that you didn’t even know you did.

2. Go Ethnic!

Some of the greatest restaurant reviews and eating experiences I have had were in other countries or in ethnic restaurants. Peruvian, Cuban, Ukrainian and Brazilian foods (I lived on Brazil’s manioc starch, gluten-free bread, Pao de Queijo, while visiting this country!). Indian cuisine is especially enjoyable for those living gluten-free. Most Indian cuisine is prepared without gluten (Naan is off limits). Those dishes that do require flour are often made with garbanzo bean flour. Make sure to always check first!

3. Find those diamond in the rough gluten-free dining establishments.

You can do that by trying new places and actively seeking out the reviews of others. Always make sure the chef is following proper practices required for those living gluten-free, then enjoy amazing gluten-free food you otherwise might not have.

Dining out gluten-free with friends

4. Make gluten-free eating fun within your own community!

Local support groups, expos and awareness events often introduce you to some of the greatest gluten-free foods and products you will ever eat! Make a day out of trying lots of new products in one place. It’s a great way to try before you buy as well. www.glutenfreecalendar.com

5. There’s an app for that!

There are so many amazing resources out there that can provide you with great gluten-free reviews and advice on new, safe places to dine. One of the best I’ve found is Find Me Gluten Free. With this free app you can find gluten-free friendly restaurants based on your location. This is the app I use when traveling for awareness events and more! Knowing that the CEO has celiac disease himself gives me great confidence in knowing that I will find a safe and delicious restaurant, no matter where I am.

– Chandice Probst

May 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment

How to Talk to Friends and Family About Your Child’s Dietary Needs without Scaring Them Off

[There’s an important step that everyone faces in their gluten-free lifestyle: Talking to family and friends about your dietary needs – or those of your child. For parents of gluten-free kids, it can be a particularly stressful time. We went straight to the source and asked Heidi Kelly of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom for tips on starting those conversations.]

It seems like yesterday when my now 8-year-old son was diagnosed with celiac disease and within a split second, he went from being a carefree and “normal” 5-year-old Goldfish cracker and Happy Meal loving child to one who had to become concerned with a life-long condition that would end up affecting so much more of our life than we could ever possibly imagine.

A celiac diagnosis is a hard pill to swallow at any age, but it is not the end of the world. Once you get past the initial shock (and the first few weeks of trying to figure out exactly what you CAN eat), you will begin to realize that you can in fact navigate this beautiful, brave new world with your child. Looking back, I wish at the time that someone had pulled me aside and provided me with a few tips and tricks to make the transition easier. I hope to be that person for you now.

Heidi’s tips for talking to friends and loved ones about celiac disease:

1. Keep it Simple.

Celiac disease is a very serious and complex autoimmune disease, and it can be difficult for even physicians to fully comprehend the full nature of the beast. Resist the urge to conduct a mini medical seminar for each of your child’s friends’ parents, lest they send both you and child right back out the door! Keep it on a need-to-know-basis. After all, the intent is that your child will be invited back again, right?

How I go about explaining Sam’s medical condition and dietary needs to new parents, teachers, baseball coaches, etc., is to tell them he has celiac disease and must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet in order to maintain his good health. For simplicity’s sake, I compare it to a severe food allergy, only without the EpiPen. I do this because, in general, everyone understands the classic food allergy, and celiac disease is just as serious – albeit in a different manner – and the immune response is triggered by food. If Sam accidentally ingests gluten, there is no fear of anaphylaxis or a trip to the emergency room for the adult to worry about.

This is a very important balancing act! You want to convey the “strict” aspect of your child’s diet, but you also don’t want to scare parents/teachers/coaches away from wanting to include your child in the everyday fun activities of childhood. Remember, your celiac child is most likely just as healthy (if not healthier) as every other child,as long as he/she is eating the correct diet!

2. Educate Your Child

No one will be a greater advocate and watchdog for your child than him/herself. Depending on their age, you want to explain as much about their condition as they can possibly understand. There are a few really good books to help with this, and my absolute favorite is Mommy, What is Celiac Disease, by Katie Chalmers. Once your child can learn to confidently say “I’m sorry, gluten makes me sick,” half the battle is won. Or, as my 4-year-old so eloquently states, “No thanks, gluten makes my butt hurt.”

3. Everybody Knows Someone

With the prevalence and acceptance of food allergies today, almost everybody in your sphere will know of a child with a food allergy or intolerance, especially at school. You have to remember that your child’s teacher sees dozens of kids each year, has cafeteria duty for many dozens more, and has probably been to a continuing education seminar on the matter. Most of the parents you encounter at school will have known of a child in class from years prior who had a food allergy or intolerance.

Most will be sympathetic. In my opinion, it is important to let them be sympathetic. Everyone will react in their own way. The key is for you to keep a level head and not let it dominate every conversation you are involved in. And on that last point, I know…easier said than done.

Chocolate Gluten-Free Goldfish

Chocolate Gluten-Free ‘Goldfish’

4. Positives Are Better Than Negatives

Of course it is important to let people be aware of what your child cannot eat, but it is equally important to let people (and your child) know what they CAN eat. Your child can have a piece of fresh fruit. Your child can have baby carrots. Stay away from saying “no” as often as possible, and try to focus more on the “yes.”

For those special moments when a Happy Meal is in order, make a Mommy McMeal! Goldfish Crackers on the docket for snack day? Yep, you can make those gluten-free, too! Need a gluten-free Lunchable for that first day of Kindergarten? Easy peasy, my friend.

Don’t resign yourself to living without…instead, get your inner glutadoodle on and say to yourself, “Two can play at that game!”

5. There is No Substitution for Preparation

School snack, birthday parties, baseball games, etc. If people continue to see that you are prepared to deal with the food issues involved with these activities, they will be more at ease and more accommodating. They have to know that you are prepared to deal with it so that they don’t have to. Think about it, who would want to plan a gluten-free birthday party for their darling six-year-old just so your kid can attend? You have to embrace the fact that you are now the parent of “that” kid and let others know that it is a beautiful burden you are willing to bear.

The bonus? Before you know it, other parents will be asking “Just how how does she get her kids to ask for fruits and veggies instead of the [insert popular sugar-laden, gluten-filled kid fare here] for snack time?”

When all Else Fails…Laugh

Sometimes, you just need a good chuckle. I like watching this YouTube video from Better Batter: Stuff People Say to Celiacs.

– Heidi Kelly

May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am 8 comments

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