Due to many causes, sometimes doctors advise a gluten-free diet for kids. But apparently, celiac disease is one of the most common reasons why a gluten-free diet is recommended. This is a chronic digestive disorder that is typically caused by an immune reaction to gluten. If you suspect that you or your kids are suffering from celiac disease, contact Omnicare Medical Clinic in Southbank for medical advice.
Who Needs A Gluten-Free Diet
While celiac disease is the common reason why doctors recommend a gluten-free diet for kids, other factors can also conclude to the restriction of gluten. Below are the reasons why your kids probably need a gluten-free diet:
- Celiac disease. Kids could start suffering from celiac disease as soon as they reach their 6th month, their immune system will ambush the normal tissues of the small intestine, as a result of consuming gluten. The symptoms will include diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and abdominal pain. A gluten-free diet will automatically follow as medical advice to minimize the inflammation and symptoms.
- Gluten ataxia. This is a very rare autoimmune disease that targets the body’s immune system after being exposed to gluten. Depending on the case, ataxia can be related to celiac disease or other gluten-related issues.
- Dermatitis herpetiformis. Sometimes, when the case of celiac disease is too severe, dermatitis herpetiformis will follow. This is a skin condition where itchy rashes in certain parts of the body, commonly on the buttocks, knees, and scalp occur. Strict compliance with a gluten-free diet for kids is highly recommended to prevent complications and discomfort.
- Wheat allergy. Gluten can be found in many food sources like grains, wheat, and barley. Kids who have been diagnosed with allergies to wheat must adhere to a gluten-free diet for their own safety.
- Sensitivity to gluten. When kids have specific reactions to gluten but are negative on celiac disease and wheat allergy diagnosis, they usually fall into the gluten hypersensitivity category. It’s when they experience symptoms like headache, exhaustion, abdominal pain, and skin rash but are not diagnosed with any diseases.
Gluten-Free Diet For Kids
It could be quite frustrating to find out that your child is suffering from gluten-related reactions. As a parent, it’s hard enough for you to keep up with nutritious foods to provide for them every single day. But now that you know that they are gluten intolerant, things might just get harder for you.
To help you cope up with this dilemma, you may opt to check out these healthy gluten-free options below for your child:
- Sweet potato recipes. This vegetable is rich in many nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and many more. They will surely love its sweet and savory flavor most especially if it’s fried to attain crispiness.
- Cheese biscuits. Keep your kids healthy by baking their snacks by yourself. This way, you can assure that their snacks are clean and safe to eat.. You can make cheese biscuits just make sure to use gluten-free flour.
- Gluten-free granola bars. Kids are avid eaters of breakfast snacks so they will surely like a gluten-free granola bar. Letting them eat this every once in a while will basically make them forget that they are eating a gluten-free snack.
- Corn-dogs. It may not be a healthier variety of snacks for kids but there is nothing wrong with indulging in tasty corndogs once in a while. Serve this to them on a Sunday afternoon while watching a movie and enjoy a gluten-free snack.
- Peanut butter jelly snacks. This iconic breakfast snack is something that your kids will probably ask for all the time. Combine it with oatmeal and let them devour a safe from gluten meal.
Gluten Intolerance in Infants
If your child is still an infant and is still too young for a solid snack, the only way to feed them is by breastfeeding and milk formulas. Oftentimes they inherit the condition from their mother so if you are gluten intolerant yourself, continue your gluten-free diet while you are still breastfeeding.
Formulas can also be an option as long as you ensure that the milk they drink is gluten-free as well.
Gluten Intolerance in Toddlers
As your child age and reach the toddler stage, they will more likely want to try different kinds of foods to eat. It’s at this age where they explore many of their senses including their taste buds. To prepare a gluten-free diet for toddlers, you’ll have to be more creative and imaginative. Kids are more interested in the meals they eat if they find them colorful and appetizing. Some of the healthy snacks that you can provide your toddler kids are:
- fruits and vegetables
- mac and cheese
- cucumber snacks
If you are worried that you’re not providing healthy snacks for your gluten-sensitive child, remember that you are not alone. This is a common disorder and many people are struggling with this too. It’s a good thing that we are now living in an era where every kind of food has alternatives. Just make sure that everything you serve them is gluten-free and you’re good to go!