I have been diagnosed with celiac disease for 20 years. I have a six month old who I have exclusively breast fed to avoid her having issues with formula. Should I avoid gluten, dairy and soy with her? Should I test her for celiac disease at a certain age?
There is no indication in celiac disease literature that avoiding gluten, dairy or soy is indicated for children who may carry the gene for celiac disease. If you are interested in learning if your daughter is genetically at-risk, you should speak to your pediatrician about obtaining the gene test. If your daughter has the HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 gene, she should be tested for celiac disease and your doctor can help determine the appropriate age to do so.
Natalie Menza, RD
Corporate Dietitian for ShopRite Supermarkets
UPDATE FROM BEYOND CELIAC IN 2019:
New guidelines for feeding infants at risk for celiac disease
The amount of gluten fed to infants at risk for celiac disease may influence whether they actually get the disease, leading the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center to recommend new guidelines for feeding these babies.
The guidelines say that at-risk infants should eat less than 5 grams of gluten-containing food on average per day beginning when food is introduced to a baby at 4-to-6 months and continuing until the age of 2. That equals less than an ounce of pasta or one slice of bread, Stefano Guandalini, M.D., wrote in the center’s March Impact newsletter.
Children are considered at risk for celiac disease if they have a first degree family member - a parent or a sibling, who has celiac disease. A newborn who has been tested and found to have the genes associated with celiac disease, HLADQ 2.5 or HLADQ8, would also be at risk, according to Guandalini.