?>

A GF Blog Run By a 12 Year Old

Gluten Free Kid Blog Logo

The Gluten Free Kid Blog

Recently I stumbled across Gluten Free Kids Blog at http://www.glutenfreekidsblog.blogspot.com/.  So another typical blog, much like Raleigh Cel Kids, right?  No, this one is quite unique.  Many parents of children with Celiac cruise the internet to read reviews, techniques, and information to help them with their kid’s Celiac, but this blog actually receives its posts from a 12-year old.  While the site appears to have gone stagnant, with no recent posts since 2008, what you will find there is some good information, including recipes, candy lists, and other information.

What I also like about the concept of kids blogging about Celiac is that they begin to personalize the information.  My five year old thinks it’s neat when she sees me begin taking pictures of something.  “Is that for your blog, Daddy?”  And that got me thinking.  No, this is not my blog, I do it for my girls and to share the information we come across.  I really want, in 2010, to bring her into the conversation more.  Look for that in the future!

A Gluten Free List for Wal-Mart

Wal Mart Picture

image used under Creative Commons license by flickr user Ron Dauphin

With all the recent finds at Wal*Mart, I figured it was only a matter of time until a list would come out.  Now, obviously, this list does not reflect an official statement from Wal*Mart, as it is just from another GF blog, so take it with a grain of salt, but it provides a starting point from where you can do additional research.  Many of the products reviewed here on Raleigh Cel-Kids are included, plus many others.  With the buying power and presence of a Wal*Mart, besides just strictly GF foods, I really hope for them to pressure some other companies to begin manufacturing products on dedicated equipment, like the Rice Chex line of cereals.

http://www.gluten-free-diet-help.com/gluten-free-products.html

A Good, GF Pretzel

Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels

A good tasting, gluten-free pretzel

If I myself discovered tomorrow I suffered from Celiac, pretzels would be the one thing I would miss. I love to just crunch and munch on pretzels, not dipping them much, just enjoying their natural flavor. Unfortunately for my girls, we had as of recently, not found a good brand. Recently, though, we tried the Glutino bag, and happy to see, one out of two of my girls love them.  We can actually purchase them at Wal*Mart, so that cuts down on the cost somewhat.  At $6.00+ a bag, this is an expensive snack, but a definite versatile snack.  We can put them in a snack mix with Rice Chex, we can dip them in cheese dip, and of course, they taste fine all by themselves. These pretzels taste like they contain some type of seasoning, and the crunch is there as well.  I don’t mind eating them myself sometimes, but try not to too often, due to that cost.

An all-in-all great find.  If only we could work on the cost a little, I would have no complaints.  Definitely is nice to find a snack that can be used in the car, or in school lunches, or at home.  We really hope to see more in the line of gf pretzels.

Merry Gluten Free Christmas!

Raleigh Cel-Kids wishes each of you a safe, happy, gluten free Christmas!Gingerbread Cookies

A Gluten Free Christmas

Logo from Free From Blog

GF Christmas from the Free From Blog

The folks over at Free From Gluten blog (http://www.free-from.com/blog/?p=771) have been doing a ‘Days of Gluten Free Christmas’ since December 1st.  Each day they bring up a topic of folks celebrating Christmas gluten free.  For instance, on the first day, they reviewed those chocolate candy advent calendars.  Now, I always personally thought the chocolate tasted a little like cardboard in any of the ones I sampled over the years.  Fortunately, things changed, and you can actually find some gluten free calendars.  We actually just use a Hershey Kiss countdown, with a bell at the bottom, but it is great to see gluten free calendars.  You will find this and all kinds of other recipes, items, and more on their blog.  Some of the topics, like office parties, can definitely be adapted for school holiday parties, so I think their site definitely will aid all of you in helping provide a gluten free Christmas for your children!

Uncle Ben’s Rice or The Difficulty With Labels

Uncle Bens--GF or Not?

Uncle Ben's--GF or Not?

Our girls will eat rice.  I feel like I need to publicize that in the newspaper or something, for how picky they seem sometimes.  We steam jasmine rice regularly in a steamer, and one will eat it with La Choy soy sauce (gluten free!) and the other with Parmesan cheese.  Recently, we picked up some Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice packages, more for us then for the girls.  We really did not anticipate it being gluten free.  When we brought it home, I figured I would check online just to see if the girls could eat it.  At their website (http://www.unclebens.com/nutrition/) they do a nice job talking about rice and their products.  On this page, it states:

Rice is naturally sodium- and gluten free and hypoallergenic

So…does that mean all their varieties of Ready Rice are also gluten free?  I know for sure, they put sodium in the Roasted Chicken variety we bought.  Does that then mean it also includes gluten?  And it’s probably hypoallergenic, should we rub it on our arms or anything!  But this type of thing frustrates me.  We do assume their flavored rices do contain gluten, but what if someone recently diagnosed or not as adapt at reading labels looks first at their website.  They’ll see, ‘Oh, rice is gluten free, so I can eat these convenient packs everyday.’  Definitely best to avoid things like this, as the labels definitely mislead the consumer.  All the more reason for supporting the push to mandate these labels in all foods.  Hopefully Uncle Ben and his folks will take the next step and better label their flavored brands.  We do give them credit for at least listing that plain old rice is gluten free, now we need the next step, correctly labeling their flavored rices.

Child’s Guide to a Gluten Free Christmas

The logo of www.glutenfreeceliacweb.com

The logo of Gluten Free Celiac

With the holidays upon us (like you wouldn’t know here at our blog!), you can find many resources online.  For anything from recipes to gf candy to holiday meals, the web continues to be a Celiac’s number one resource.  We stumbled across a website recently that, while is not extensive, provides some common sense ideas for making it through Christmas.

Gluten Free Celiac Web posts 7 Strategies to help children make it through Christmas.  While I will let you visit the link below for the entire list, the site does make some great points, such as identifying the ‘trouble spots’ and planning ahead.  We definitely do this day-to-day, thinking about other kids’ birthday parties, special ‘surprise’ treats, and travels, but Christmas presents many challenges, and seemingly daily parties at school.  Another great tip is bake in advance.  We do that here in our home, or my wife does!  She will make a large batch of cupcakes, then individually freeze them so she can pull them out when needed.  That definitely comes in handy as birthdays pop up regularly.  For Christmas, I would think you would want to make several types of cookies (see our previous GF gingerbread recipe–yummy!), then freeze bags of those as well.  The site contains some other best practices, so please make sure you take a look!

http://www.glutenfreeceliacweb.com/2009/12/03/a-childs-gluten-free-christmas-7-strategies/

Books About Celiac/Gluten For Kids

*Link to Amazon for more information on this book below

*Link to Amazon for more information on this book below

One of the things that, as a former teacher, we always used to help communicate with students/children about difficult situations is literature.  A good fiction story can put divorce, depression, and even death into a context children can understand.  In my classroom, we once did use a chapter book to help students open up their own feelings after the death of a student in the school.

For that same reason, dealing with a disease, like Celiac, can create confusion and conflicts with children.  Luckily, you can find some great non-fiction selections on helping children deal with Celiac, and of course, support groups like the Raleigh Cel-Kids can also help parents discuss difficult problems.  But what about fiction?  A good picture book would help so many families out.  Well, we definitely know of at least two such books that should definitely reside in each Celiac home.

Eating Gluten Free With Emily, by Bonnie Kruszka, talks about a little girl who becomes sick, while no one can discover what ails her (sound familiar?).  Eventually they settle on Celiac Disease and Emily and her family discuss how they eat gluten free, finding yummy thinks such as brownies at the store.  They play ‘Gluten Detectives’ when out to dinner, asking wait staff if their fries are fried with anything.  A nice story, especially when she meets a fellow Celiac at summer camp.  You can find the book at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Gluten-Free-Emily-Children-Disease/dp/1439212260/ref=pd_sim_b_4

How I Eat Without Wheat

How I Eat Without Wheat

How I Eat Without Wheat, by Karen Fine, introduces us to a little boy suffering from Celiac Disease.  This book, while appropriate for all audiences, definitely is geared toward younger sufferers, in that the story relies on rhyming throughout.  Not a lot of deep discussions of Celiac and how to live a full life with it, but more of an introductory story.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/How-I-Eat-without-Wheat/Karen-Fine/e/9781425975708/?pwb=1&

No More Cupcakes No More Tummy Aches

No More Cupcakes No More Tummy Aches

Finally, in No More Cupcakes, Tummy Aches by Jax Lowell, we are introduced to a young girl who really depicts some of the struggles of living gluten-free.  At first, noticeable weight loss and lack of growing frustrate her, as she only wants to become a ballerina.  So she does what most would do, eats more of the big kids cereal, since that will mean she will grow too.  Her and her father also share a passion for cupcakes, each eating multiple at a sitting.  This all leads her to more and more illness until she finally goes to the hospital for the Celiac diagnosis.  Afterward, during holidays, she suffers with not being able to eat what all others eat, at school as well.  This depresses her, until her mother finds, through the internet of course, stores selling gluten free products.  She receives a treat: a box full of gf items including CUPCAKES.  Over time, she grows, and well let you buy the book to find out if ballet is in her future!

Find it on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1413462545/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1890627623&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1S2BJ92HJ3JZ6MANYV79

All three books definitely will help your children understand Celiac and see others who suffer from it.  The point of all though, is that each of the characters continues to lead a normal life, just with some differences.  As one states, Celiac is just one of the many things that makes her special.  Good words to live by!

GF Christmas Cookies

Yummy Christmas Cookies, Gluten Free Style!

Yummy Christmas Cookies, Gluten Free Style!

We recently shared a gf gingerbread cookie recipe that we use every year. I also recently found a website sharing many other Christmas cookie recipes, all gluten free. You can find it at:

http://specialchildren.about.com/od/foodallergies/qt/glutencookies.htm

The site includes many types, including two additional gingerbread recipes, many sugar cookie versions, gingersnaps, almond thumbprint (nothing says Christmas like these!), shortbread, and many more.

**Image attribution:

Betty Crocker Does it Again!

Betty Crockers New GF Logo

Betty Crocker's New GF Logo

In reading a newly discovered blog, The Savvy Celiac (http://thesavvyceliac.com/), I read a post about the new Betty Crocker website that highlights all of their new items.  First off, we in the gluten free/Celiac community are pretty lucky with all the great, informative blogs out there.  Right here in Raleigh, we have one of the best, Zach’s Gluten Free Raleigh (http://glutenfreeraleigh.blogspot.com/).  Then there’s Celiac Underground (http://celiacunderground.blogspot.com/), another great one here in Raleigh.  I hope we never get nominated for Best GF Blog in Raleigh, that’s some stiff competition!  Another new one I discovered recently, Gluten Hates Me (http://www.glutenhatesme.com/) is also authored by a Southerner.

Anyway, The Savvy Celiac noticed Betty Crocker’s new website dedicated to all the gluten free products from Betty Crockers.  You will see their Gluten Free cake mixes, the various versions of Chex (minus Wheat, of course!), various fruit snacks, and more.  They really spent some time on this site, adding recipes such as a Brownie Ganache Torte with Raspberries (yum!), FAQs including a clear way to see if a product is gluten free on their labels, and of course, the Twitter and Facebook tie in.  They really did a nice job with this website, and we will make sure we visit it often at http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/