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How hard is it to have a toddler with celiac?

The doctor wanted a blood test to see if my son has it. I'm kind of worried because a lot of "toddler food" has glucose. What can he eat if he does have it? Will we have to live our whole lives around this, read every label, be the annoying parents at the restaurant that ask a million questions about what's in the food?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:24 PM on Aug. 27, 2009 in Kids' Health

Answers (6)
  • My 4 year old son suffers from Celiac, plus he is Diabetic...yes double whammy!! I think you meant to say, a lot of toddler food has gluten...because when you have Celiac, you can not eat gluten...that means wheat, yeast, barley, basically anything that is a complex carbohydrate. My son eats a lot of fruits and veggies and we eat gluten free pasta and gluten free bread most of the time.

    Answer by katfranz111 at 7:21 PM on Aug. 27, 2009

  • Luckily more stores are beginning to cater to celiac and other special diets. Trader Joe's is a good one if you have it in your area. They list all their gluten free foods online.

    Answer by lvpenguino at 9:08 PM on Aug. 27, 2009

  • The blood test will only be an indicator of whether or not your child may have Celiac Disease. To make a definitive diagnosis, an endoscopy w/biopsy should be performed. My son presents like a child with Celiac Disease and even his bloodwork shows that he may have it, but the biopsy was negative for Celiac. However, his biopsy was positive for EE or Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which is a type of allergic reaction to foods caused by a whilte blood cell (the eosinphil). The symptoms for CD & EE are much the same in young children (weight loss, vomiting, heartburn, etc.). If a child has EE, gluten may not be the only problem (or even the problem at all) and further allergy testing should be done to identify food triggers. Because the allergic reaction is often different than what you would typically see, triggering foods can be much harder to recognize. So before changing your child's whole diet, make sure you know what is going on

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:18 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • It's not that hard, as there are many foods available that don't contain gluten, like unprocessed meats, fresh fruits & veggies and loads of GF grain choices (rice, quinoa, teff, potato flour, bean flours, etc.), .There are also many very good substitute ready-made foods available (my son loves millet & flax bread & kinnitoos cookies (like oreos)) and more & more regular grocery stores are stocking GF items (Betty Crocker just came out with GF cake mixes!). Quite a few restaurants have GF menus now, too, but even if they don't, you can either pack your own foods for your toddler or stick with safe items like meat, fish, and fresh fruits & veggies (steamed or grilled w/o seasonings or marinades).

    There are also several gluten-free & Celiac groups here on Cafemom that have recipes & lots of other moms to give you help & ideas.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 8:28 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • My oldest son has autism, so we went on a gluten free diet for a while and it's hard. But you do learn quickly what food(s) he can have and there are even some restaurants (I think Chili's???) who are starting to add gluten free foods to their menus. And yes, when you eat at restaurants that don't have gluten free listed specifically, you will have to be that person that asks a million questions. We got to where we narrowed it down to a handful of restaurants we visited and those were the only ones we went to, because we knew their food and what was "safe" Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc really will be your best friends, although around here we can find gluten free foods in some of the regular grocery stores.

    Answer by missanc at 8:31 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • I have a two year old son who also has to have little to no gluten in his diet. Its gotten a lot eaiser, they offer a lot of pasta which tastes great (my other son eats it too and loves it) and the bread and they have cookie mix and betty crocker just came out with a whole gluten free line, they even make a ton of ceral now gluten free and even fruit snacks :) Fruit and veggies are great too, there is options and as someone said above resturants are starting to include choices too i know outback has choices for gluten free items.

    Answer by 82ndairbornewif at 1:03 AM on Aug. 29, 2009

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