File this under 'Never think about gluten'--the dentist! Yes, with all the non-food things to consider (Play-doh, soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, etc), don't forget about the dentist's office as a potential place to find gluten. On a recent trip to our girls' dentist (Raleigh Pediatric Dentistry--see Google Map), the dental technician was excited to show us the gluten free marked on the teeth cleansing paste. While our girls never experienced a reaction in the past, we definitely appreciate the option of gluten-free. And of course, being grape flavored, our girls did not mind that at all either! While sometimes these things slip out of our mind, the best we can do is stay vigilant. Always make sure they put Celiac in your child(ren)'s file as well!
Our girls love muffins. Using gluten free ingredients, we are surprised at how light and fluffy they always come out. Nothing says fall like a good pumpkin muffin. We recently found a new recipe that both girls approved of.
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin 1 2/3 cup sugar 2/3 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 2 t vanilla 3 cups gluten-free flour mix 1 t xanthan gum 2 t baking soda 1 t salt 1 t ground cinnamon ½ t ground cloves ½ t baking powder ½ cup raisins, if desired Heat oven to 350. Fill muffin tin with muffin papers. Mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into tins. Bake about 35-40 mins. Cool completely. Freezes well.
We knew for quite a while Skittles, the rainbow candies, did not contain gluten. The label did not show it, but on their website (http://skittles.com/products.htm) you can find gluten free varieties. We recently stopped at Sheetz to pick out a special treat. My oldest went for the Crazy Core Skittles. Sure enough, looking at the back label, gluten free was clearly printed. Great! We definitely appreciate seeing companies put gluten free even on these smaller packages. Makes things much clearer!
Halloween approaches again. What do you do about all the possibly threats to your Celiac? Candy apples, trick or treating, so many possible contamination risks…what do you do? Keep the kids in for October? No–you can allow the kids to enjoy the holiday, and still keep them gluten free with some simple steps.
Like the Trick or Treat swap. Just a simple thing, really.
- Make sure to buy a variety of kid-sized gluten free candy ahead of time (see this current 2011 list: http://www.celiac.com/articles/22704/1/Gluten-free-and-Gluten-safe-Halloween-Candy-2011/Page1.html).
- Allow your child(ren) to go trick or treating without worrying about what goes in their basket
- DO NOT ALLOW them to eat ANYTHING yet
- When they get home, dump the haul, remove any questionable or definitive gluten-containing candy and let them replace 1 for 1 with candy from the ‘safe’ pile you purchased ahead of time
- Allow them to enjoy their gluten free stash, while you enjoy the gluten stash. Or, I guess, throw the gluten away or donate.
- Talk to the parents who will host the party. See what is offered, share your child’s needs, and send him/her with similar gluten free options
- Talk to your child to make sure no food comes in contact with the gluten food
- If you host, try to make food a lesser important character
- Don’t overlook other opportunities for gluten. I remember the ‘bowl’ games, where kids put their fingers in bowls of brains (spaghetti), eyes (grapes), and the like–lots of opportunities to get glutened. Play-doh as well. If hosting/sponsoring, allow all kids to use latex gloves, or at least your child
Scary Fruit Roll Ups (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=952)
GF Halloween Candy List (2010-read cautiously-http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=948)
Peeps for Halloween (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=169)
That’s right…you and your gluten-free child(ren) can participate in Earth Fare’s family night. With at least one parent dinner, your kids eat free on Thursday nights. So you can try one of the yummy meals and your child can get a gluten free sandwich (our girls always opt for gf grilled cheese), fruit, milk, and the trading cards. And they put it in a kids bag, just like the happy meals at a less than gf drive-thru restaurant. We love to see places provide gf options! See more here.
Like most Celiac families, we want to ensure our kids get opportunities to be like the other kids. One area we struggle with is eating out. Even though it is probably much healthier to eat in, we want to make sure they do receive the opportunities to eat out occasionally. Chipolte Mexican Grill is a place you can take your kids for gluten free options. If you visit their site (http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx) you can actually find a good matrix of various allergens in their food. Of course, they share food preparation areas, but if you ask them to clean the area, and you trust that, you can find some good gluten free options. Their chips, some corn shells, and all their fillings come gluten free, a great thing. With 3 Raleigh locations (Falls of Neuse, Glenwood, and Hillsborough Street), a Cary location, and locations in Durham and Chapel Hill, you can find lots of gf options nearby!
So recently at Kroger, which has become our goto store for GF products, we found Mrs. Leeper’s corn spaghetti. In the past we tried the rice pasta, but we wondered if this would be a little different, being made of corn. In all, gf pasta is the one area we cannot get right yet. Either too gummy, tough, or soggy, we have yet to find a good gluten-free option for our girls outside of Annie’s GF Mac and cheese. Maybe corn will be better…
With a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease, you need to check EVERYTHING. Gluten can hide everywhere on products, places you would never suspect like chap stick, lotion, toothpaste, and even vitamins. We always used the chewable Flintstones for our girls to hopefully give them what vitamins and minerals they miss as a result of a gluten free diet. Recently, however, we could not find them at BJs. They did have the gummy Flintstones, but the ingredients very clearly said wheat, so no to gummy.
We found Lil Critters Gummy Vites (at a cheaper price with more included) and saw a nicely displayed Gluten Free on the label. A nice relief. Makes you wonder, though, why the gummy Flintstones contain wheat. For the most part, manufacturers often use wheat as a reduction agent, trying to keep things from sticking. But if the L’il Critters Gummy vitamins can do that without wheat, why can’t Flintstones? Oh well, our girls definitely like their gummy ‘candy’ in the morning anyway!
Awhile back, almost 2 years ago, Cel-Kids Blog (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=480) reviewed a variety of condiments. Ketchups (or Catsups, depending on your locale!), mustard, mayo, and more. We were glad to find on the Hellmann’s website they listed their products gluten free. No marking on the label, but clearly on the website.
I recently made a sandwich (being sure not to contaminate the mayo with regular bread crumbs!), and saw the gluten free marking now on the label. Looks like Hellmann’s, and more specifically Unilever (yes, who also makes soap), realized many people are looking at labels these days. Good for them! This allows you to ensure your dips (with gluten free crackers or veggies), potato salad, and other menu items stay gluten free!
Kroger continues to impress us with their attention to the gluten free population. We recently found their brand of Nutella spread. Besides being cheaper, the label clearly says gluten free, as you can see. Also, notice the line below that…’This product never contained gluten.’ Great to see more focus from Kroger!