Recently, I was fortunate to speak at the Celiac Awareness Tour Chicago. My talk was about “gluten-free kitchen confidential” — tips for keeping gluten-free at home and away.
I had many tips and thoughts to share, but here are the headlines:
- BYOF — Bring Your Own Food. Always be prepared with safe gluten-free food, whether for school, sightseeing, plane trips or dinner parties.
- Make sure gluten-free kids always have a great-looking, great-tasting gluten-free treat to bring to birthday parties or other occasions. It doesn’t always have to match what the other kids are having, but it should look tempting!
- Focus on whole, healthy, naturally gluten-free foods such as meat, chicken, fish, fruit, veggies, dairy and eggs. Focus on all the good things that you can eat, not on what you cannot eat.
- When in doubt, leave it out. Don’t eat something unless you are 100% sure it is gluten-free. Also, if a restaurant doesn’t seem to fully understand your gluten-free requests, then leave. The risk is simply not worth it.
If you have questions about the gluten-free diet, please feel free to email me or post a comment any time. If it’s a more involved request, I also do gluten-free consulting — see the “Consulting” tab at the top of the page.
We’ve been told (see previous blog post) to add more protein and calories to the 5-year-old’s diet. Her weight has slipped from the 15th percentile to the 5th, but thankfully her blood tests came back pretty good. The only thing off was her prealbumin, which measures protein in the blood and is used to assess nutrition. Her prealbumin was 20, but it should be 21 to 41.
We’ve been advised to make every bite count. Since she tends to pick at her food, we need to make sure what she does eat has high protein and nutrition.
It’s a little difficult, because while we need to add calories for the 5-year-old, we don’t need to add them for her sister or her parents (that would be me). So we’re focusing more on healthy high-protein ideas, rather than things like ice cream and milkshakes.
Here are some suggestions we’ve received. If you have other ideas for gluten-free high-protein or high-calorie snacks and meals, please add them in a comment.
Click for high-protein ideas
We took my 5-year-old daughter for her annual celiac checkup yesterday. Unfortunately, her growth curve has slowed a bit and her doctor was a little concerned. She is still at the 5th percentile for height, as she has been in the past. But her weight curve slowed from the 15th percentile to the 5th.
They took some blood tests (despite my daughter carrying on and crying for 10 minutes) and we’ll get the results next week. In the meantime, they want us to add more protein to her diet, so more eggs, beans, peanut butter, nuts, dairy, whole milk, etc.
We love her doctor, Dr Guandalini. He’s a pediatric gastroenterologist and founder of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. We also love Lara Field, the friendly dietitian who always has time to talk to us and offer helpful advice. They both couldn’t be nicer.
Welcome to the Gluten-Free Nosh blog.
My youngest daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago. Since then she has been on a strict gluten-free diet and our house is 95% gluten-free.
We’ve learned how to create gluten-free versions of some of our favorite foods, how to navigate through restaurants and vacations gluten-free and how to deal with issues that come up at schools, birthday parties and playdates.
Our latest challenge is to increase nutrition by developing recipes that use alternative gluten-free flours that are higher in protein and fiber than most traditional gluten-free foods. We’d also like to develop gluten-free versions of traditional Jewish recipes, since we’ve struggled finding suitable substitutes on too many holidays.
We’ve designed this site to share recipes, tips and experiences that we hope will help gluten-free families. Please leave us comments to let us know what you think.