Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eat Out Gluten Free

My wife and I took our 2 kids to a family bar and grill tonight for dinner. We asked if they had any Gluten Free menu items. The waitress said that the manager was very knowledgeable about this subject.

Do not count on restaurant employees to know much about what someone with Celiac Disease can eat. The "knowledgeable manager" pointed out Mac & Cheese on the kids menu as something my son could eat. WRONG! The noodles contain Gluten, and you know they are not GF rice noodles. We knew better, and had to figure out on our own what he could have to eat.

You need to do your own homework if you plan to eat out gluten free. You have to ask questions like "are your fries cooked in the same grease as other foods that have batter?" Instead of chicken fingers (battered) ask for plain chicken breast. Get mashed potatoes but make sure there is no gravy on them.

Fast food joints are going to be even worse when it comes to the employees knowledge of gluten free items. You need to go to their websites and do some research. Some places will state which foods are gluten free but others won't. But what they will show you are what foods contain wheat. You still need to figure out if there is any cross contamination with foods that contain gluten.

You can eat out gluten free, it just takes some research.

Child With Celiac Disease

When my son turned 1 year he had fallen off of the growth chart. He has always been small, but falling off of the chart concerned my wife and I. At the time, we didn't realize that he had a lot of symptoms of a child with Celiac Disease.

We took him to a specialist at the Children's Hospital in St. Paul, MN. One of the things he suggested was Celiac Disease. We had never even heard of this before. After doing a lot of research, it seemed that he had a lot of the symptoms of Celiac. We don't have a test that shows this, but after changing his diet to Gluten Free, he has made big changes for the better.

My son is gaining weight and is back on the growth curve. His hair started growing fast and he started getting some chub in his legs. His stools used to be very hard and discolored and they are much more normal now. He now has an appetite and is all around a happier baby.

If you think you have a child with celiac disease there are a couple of things you can do. You can go to a specialist and get blood work done. This isn't always going to be accurate because there has to be gluten in your child's system for it to show up. Otherwise you can do what we did. After realizing that my son had all of the same symptoms related to this disease, we put him on a gluten free diet. We started seeing good changes in him. After he went back to the specialist for a checkup, he was impressed with how healthy my son looked.

Starting a Gluten Free diet can be a big challenge. We didn't know where to begin. After a lot of trial and error, we have learned a great deal