Gluten-Free Diet

Updated on May 27, 2008
A.J. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
25 answers

My son was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease,and he needs to be on a Gluten-Free Diet. Anyone else have experience with this? Any advice on eating out?

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J.B.

answers from Provo on

This may not help too, too much, but I've got a professor with Celiac's who I've worked with for years. We took a bunch of students to St George for 2 months and had a hired cook and everything, so we got to know his needs really well. When it came to eating out, the rule was basically Mexican, Mexican, Mexican! You can almost always get recipes that only use corn instead of any wheat. Cafe Rio, for example, will do anything with corn instead of wheat if you ask--it just might look a little different than it would. Good luck learning all there is to know!

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M.R.

answers from Denver on

I don't have experience, but I did work for whole foods market and they have PLENTY gluten free products, if you go to Customer Service they will print you pages of all they carry, and sometimes they even have cooking classes and ideas on what to do. Good luck

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S.S.

answers from Fort Collins on

It's not as hard as it first seems. Although the normal American diet is full of glutens, there are substitutes readily available. Take the time to read the labels on all food products and check out your local health food store for some great alternatives. I go to Vitamin Cottage in Fort Collins for great variety at reasonable prices. And remember that a gluten free diet is healthy not only for your son but for the whole family.

When eating out be sure to ask your wait person about what is served with your meal including the ingredients in some items. Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions. It's also a good idea to choose foods that are simple but nicely prepared. That way you can more easily control the ingredients in your food.

Hope this helps,
S. Seastone, CHTP

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T.W.

answers from Fort Collins on

I honestly don't have any advice, but I do know that there is a store that advertises Gluten Free. I'm not sure what the name of the store is, but it is located on Highway 34 just west of Loveland on the south side of the street. I think it has the word Grandma or Grannies in the name. Sorry I don't have anymore specifics! Good luck!!!

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A.G.

answers from Denver on

I have gluten sensitivity. Meaning, I don't have Celiac, but gluten make me bloated and lots of other side effects. While I can have soy sauce and little traces of gluten here or there, I have to be VERY careful not to load up too much on wheat. And since I don't have a whole lot of time to bake and make homemade food, I go to Whole Foods. First, at Whole Foods, you can pick up a gluten free handout at their customer service desk. It is a HUGE list of all the things they have in the store, or things they can order for you that are gluten free. Then, all the prices for gluten free items are in pink. So all you have to do is walk down the pasta isle and look for the pink label for gluten free pasta. And then go down the snack isle and pick up what you need there. I am not saying this is it, but this will get you going right away while you do all your research and build your gluten free pantry, and discover what works for you and your family. Celiac Disease is serious. Everyday the patient is eating gluten, is a day they don't get vital nutrient... You definitely don't want that for a growing boy. So, while you are doing your research, and experiments, GO TO WHOLE FOODS! BTW, they are all very nice and informative if you need help. Good Luck!

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S.M.

answers from Casper on

I think you could find a way to supplement the following recipe rather than using wheat flour:

SUPER COOKIE

Cookies and milk—the two go together like peanut butter and jelly in the United States, but not in Bolivia and Peru. Severe calcium deficiency is common among children in the two countries, where the people don’t traditionally drink milk or consume other calcium-rich sources. Not to worry, however: nutrition professor N. Paul Johnston (BA ’66) is putting the calcium in the cookies.

Trying various recipes out on students at the only school in Santa Rosa, Bolivia, last summer, Johnston and student researchers concocted a favorite, featured here. In addition to calcium, the recipe calls for the Andean super-grain quinoa, a grain packed with protein and vital omega-3 fatty acids and the subject of decades-long BYU research. You too can enjoy the protein perks of quinoa, which is available in most health food stores. You’ll have to add your own calcium carbonate, though—or enjoy your cookies with a glass of milk.

Quinoa Cookies

• 1 cup quinoa flour
• 1 cup wheat flour
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 3 tablespoons calcium carbonate (optional; available in most health-food stores)

In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Combine dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix by hand or with a mixer. Drop rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for eight minutes at 350 degrees.

It would be a great idea to have these in your purse if you eat out and there is nothing on the menu you are sure of.

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L.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi! I don't know much about the disease, but I thought I could help. I check out a recipe blog everyday--she posts crockpot recipes and just happens to be on a gluten-free diet! www.crockpot365.blogspot.com hope this helps.

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N.H.

answers from Missoula on

my sons doctor just took him off of gluten too so we are starting to get things figured out as well. there are some great websites out there. i think from what i have discovered eating out happens less on this diet. when you do go out you have to do a lot of talking with the waiter or whoever about how the food is prepared as you cannot have any cross contamination. yes, you will have to be the mom that is asking all the strange questions about how the food is prepared and what other food it comes in contact with. the taca.org or taca.com (ican't remember if it is org or com) has a lot of helpful info. eventhough it is for autism they are really helpful to get you started. gl,N.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

My 3 year old daughter was just diagnosed last month. It's been quite a learning curve but the results have been worth the effort. There is ALOT of information on the internet, also we've bought some good cookbooks and a good book to help us understand the disease better. We got 100 questions and Answers on Celiac Disease. We really like how informative it was. Bette Hagman has alot of cookbooks and we also go the cookbook Wheat free, gluten free cookbook for kids and busy adults.
Some really good websites have been:
http://www.naspghan.org/user-assets/Documents/pdf/disease..., this is an 8 page pdf with lots of good info and the last page has some realy good links
www.celiac.org
www.celiac.com

If we are planning on eating out, I'll call the restaurant ahead of time to see what type of GF options they have. If they don't have anything, we don't eat there. But it's better to find out ahead of time instead of getting there and having no options (that happened the first time we ate out, it was very upsetting). Lots of restaurants have their GF options online. Places like outback, chili's, red robin, pf changs have been good so far.

It was very overwhelming at first but we are starting to get used to it. Places like Whole Foods/Wild Oats and Vitamin cottage have GF cookies, snacks, cereals, annies GF mac and cheese, mixes for waffles, pancakes, brownies, etc. They have end caps and then you also find things just walking through the aisles. King Soopers also carries quite a few GF things too, you just have to walk the aisles and look for them. Make sure you read labels, even on things that say GF!
Hope this helps.

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H.W.

answers from Denver on

Hi there,

I had to eliminate gluten and everything else for a few months to try and identify any food allergies my son may have had (he was nursing at the time). No allergies to my milk, thank goodness, but I got to experience how the difficulties of an allergen free diet for three months. Also, my son is allergic to cow's milk and egg now, so we are careful eating out due to those allergens.

As far as eating out gluten free, I found Chipotle or anything Mexican to be acceptable - you can do corn tortillas and chips and then just be selective about the rest.

Barbeque is another excellent option. Always check the ingredients of the sauce before using. We always get the barbecue cooked without sauce and get the sauce on the side. Good, authentic bbq that's been cooked for hours tastes fantastic without sauce.

We also bought rice bread and took that wherever we wanted burgers and had the establishment just bring the burger plain. You can also ask for (or take your own) extra lettuce and make a lettuce bun.

You can do Tokyo Joes. They have a gluten-free soy sauce. TJ is VERY allergen aware - they have a great list of ingredients menu. You can also buy gluten free soy sauce at the store for your own asian fare meals at home. Mongolian Grill fare has gluten free too.

Bob's Red Mill has recipes on line.

You can cook almost anything with an alternative to gluten. Quinoa, mentioned below is good. There is potato flour and rice flour and numerous other things. Go to a Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage, or some other health food store and ask for gluten free. It's out there. It's like a whole other world we didn't know existed. And, your family will eat the best its ever eaten. :)

Check out http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/ for more support and information.

Email me if you'd like more support. Good luck!

H.

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J.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have celiac and so does my 3 year old son. There is a store in Taylorsville called Against the Grain owned by a woman named Diane Bell. Everything in the store is gluten free and she knows everything there is to know about the diet. She has information on restaurants that have gluten free menus as well as info on food storage. Some restaurants that I know of are: Chili's, Asian Star, Outback Steakhouse, PFChangs, Wendy's (burgers w/o buns, fries, icecream, chili, potatoes, ranch salad dressing), McDonalds (burgers w/o buns, fries, parfait w/o granola, ranch dressing), Z'Tajas, Pier 49 Pizza (Downtown location), and there's an italian place but I forget the name. If you want talk more with me, you can email me at [email protected]____.com or if your up for some reading just google celiac disease and you'll spend hours reading stuff you never knew! Good luck...I hope you and your son are feeling better soon.

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C.A.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It definitely takes more preparation, but it can be done! Check online at restaurants beforehand. Most places that have a website have allergy information included in them, or even separate menus for gluten-free choices. The best things I found are allergy cookbooks and the web. There are lots of sources, it just takes some looking! Any local health food store is likely to carry gluten-free choices (most major grocery chains have some as well), so shop around and ask questions. Good luck!

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A.A.

answers from Denver on

Deby's bakery in Denver is good and mostly gluten-free. The Harvest bakery makes GF (not DF) bread once a week - you have to call ahead of time to order. There is also a fantastic pastry chef who can create most anything to accommodate any allergies. www.GFpastrychef.com. Beau Joe's in Boulder has a fantastic allergy-free menu.

How old is your son? As long as he's over 1 he can take Body Balance as well... it's a liquid wholefood supplement that works wonders for Celiac disease because the nutrients can be absorbed imediately upon putting it in your mouth, it doesn't have to go through the digestive system. Many people w/ Celiac disease are somewhat emaciated because they have trouble getting th proper nutrients... this helps a ton w/ that. Please feel free to call me if you have questions ###-###-#### or go here http://www.lifeforcesuccess.com.

Hope this helps!

A.

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M.L.

answers from Denver on

Since you are new to this the best thing to do would be to join a group. They have them for adults and children. I belong to an adult group out of the Boulder/Longmont area. To find a group I would go to www.csaceliacs.org. You can get a lot of information at this website. There is a list of restaurants that have gluten free foods. They also have a book of gluten free products. Whole Foods is one of the best stores - but they are expensive. The best whole foods I have found is at Wadsworth & Alameda. The Vitamin Cottage is a good store also and they are very helpful. I purchase a lot of food on-line from glutenfree.com. Good luck and contact me if you need more information or need someone to talk to.

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M.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have celiac disease, too. If you are in the SLC area, there is store calledAgainst the Grain. They sell only GF products. They are also a good link to the GF community which is good for education, restaurants, and other info.

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N.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My husband suggests the Gluten Free Gourmet.She has a few cookbooks. PLUS there are a lot of blogs for food ideas, and other people that can help put you in the right direction.

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A.D.

answers from Boise on

We are just starting a gluten-free diet (we are also cutting out dairy and soy) my son has autism and we are doing it to help him. This has been a real challenge, but there are some great cookbooks out there. We have yet to figure out the eating out part yet. Some health food stores sell gluten-free items including breads and I have seen some gluten-free stores opening up too.

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C.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi,

My son is also on a gluten free diet for health reasons. There are some great recipe books available. I would do a search on Amazon.com because I can't remember the exact names of the books.

As far as eating out goes, you can go to wendy's website and it shows which menu items are gluten-free. I don't think Mc Donalds has much gluten free stuff. But you can check their website too. I have gone to Indian, Thai, and Chinese resturants that have a lot of gluten free menu options. If you go to a chinese resturant you have to order things with out soy sauce because it contains gluten.

I think the best thing to do is to have a lot of home-baked GF muffins and cookies and to freeze them. Then when you need to run someplace or send your son with a snack you can just grab one, and pack it with you.

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D.T.

answers from Denver on

This is an education process and it will take time. You've gotten some good resources here on web sites. The Allergy Self Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones is really good

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B.G.

answers from Billings on

Alyssa-
I don't have any personal first hand experience- but my best friend has Celiac Disease, and she ate alot of things like taco salads, any meats without breading, such as grilled, potatoes, mashed or fried or just baked, but I understand that if you were to go to a place like McDonald's, your choices and very much limited. I know she ate alot of salads, but that isn't very practical for a small child. I guess I havn't really told you anything you probably don't already know.

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A.A.

answers from Missoula on

Wendy's has gluten free fries, and that is the only fast food restaurant that does. If your family wants to go there, you could plan ahead and bring some gluten free chicken nuggets, and ask for the happy meal with just fries, and put your nuggets in the meal, so your little guy doesn't feel left out. That is what I do.

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S.C.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi there

I work with a girl that has recently found out that she had to cut gluten out of her diet. She is really careful. Eating out is almost imposible. She has to avoid all spices, coloring, added flavor etc... If you are in the fort collins area she works with an oranization called a fork in the road and they have really helped her find products to avoid and how to modifiy her diet. She has to make her own bread and be aware of all things that go into her food so shopping takes a long time and eating out is really hard. Good luck, I hope this helps.

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S.B.

answers from Denver on

My son ended up not sensitive to wheat or gluten but we tried everything before narrowing to corn, bean (soy) and cow. As you know, these are in EVERYTHING. I found that most gluten free flours are bean flours or corn so not for us. But do go to vitamin cottage. they have an advisor online you can e-mail. Also, you can set up a personal shopper with a nutritionist. I eventually set up an Exell spreadsheet with our reliable products and then the store i can get them at. this really helped out the grandparents as you can get some things at King Soopers and others at Safeway or super Target. So take a couple of nights after you get your basic education on what to buy and what to avoid, and pick a store. shop slowly (without kids) and read the labels. You start getting the hang of it. Gluten is tricky in that it can be in things like Vanilla and baking powder. then ttry these sites: Allergy friendly, kinnickinick (a friend orders a meal once a week through them so she has one nice meal to depend on without stress), and look up : recipe, gluten-free. Eventually you get used to it. and then you can start baking once you figure out the flour substitutions. also, a friend adds club soda to some recipes to help with the leveling. Lastly, stick to organic products. I love; Enjoy life, hormel natural meats, Back to Nature (not sure about the gluten free offerings), and Brianna's dressings. Good luck and take baby steps. it has taken about 3 months to get the right combo of sensitivities for my son (the celiacs and allergy tests were negative but he still hd issues) and thenabout 6 months to say, I think i got it figure out. also, teach your child. talk with them about what is going on. Mine is two. He knows if i say: "It has soy in it." that he will feel sick and doesn't want it.

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K.P.

answers from Denver on

Hi There!
I am on a gluten free diet and so is my daughter who is 6 years old. I do not know how old your son is. If he is old enough to know the foods he eats. On eating out, ask lots of questions. Tell the waiter/waitress that you have food allergies and they are usually very willling to work with you. Olive Garden and Carabbas do have gluten free menus that you can ask for. If they do not have a GF menu, ask how the food is prepared. Are the french fries from real potatoes? Is the meat/ vegetable prepared with a marinade? If the resturant makes most of the food there on the premisis, you are better off because they know what is in it and what is not. I have often had the waiter/waitress ask the chef about something and they are very helpful. I have also had the waiter/waitress bring out the ingredient label on something if it was not prepared on the premisis. Just remember that they want to prepare a meal that your or you son want to eat and enjoy not suffer from later. They are willing to accomodate your needs. This is typically hereditary so you or your husband my have some issues with wheat too.
Best of luck, feel free to contact me if you have other questions.
K. Perez
[email protected]____.com

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