"Know the facts and keep it fun," says celiac mom and gluten-free pro Jill Brack.
by Jill Brack of Glow Gluten Free
My best advice for parents: know the facts and keep it fun. Here are five ways we "Keep Calm and Carry On" in our family.
Get Back to Basics: Cook with your Kids
The best way to know what’s in your food is to make it yourself. Convert your favorite family recipes to gluten-free or experiment with new ones. Some of our favorite gluten-free cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes are Easy Gluten Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone and Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. Don’t forget that fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beef, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs are all gluten-free and an important part of a healthy diet.
Learn the Lingo: Read Food Labels
Did you know that gluten-free products are always wheat-free, but wheat-free products are not always gluten-free? No, that’s not a tongue twister -- some wheat-free items may include spelt or barley; both of which contain gluten. It’s also important to read labels to see if a product is certified gluten-free or made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. If it is manufactured on equipment that processes wheat, it may be cross-contaminated.
Become a Groupie: Connect
Once you find gluten-free products that you love, connect with the brand via email or social media and ask them to add you to their newsletters. It’s a great way to connect with other fans, learn about special deals and a fun way to network with gluten-free folks.
Be Prepared: For Everything
1. Whether you’re traveling across the country or across the street, ALWAYS pack a safe gluten-free snack for your child.
2. Make sure you ALWAYS have gluten-free snacks on hand for play dates - especially something that non-gluten-free kids would like.
You Will Make Mistakes: Forgive Yourself
No one is perfect and you will make mistakes -- in your own kitchen, at a restaurant, even at your in-laws' Thanksgiving dinner. Just do your best, stay diligent, and remember to "Keep Calm and Carry On."