Holiday Scenario 11
Your child with celiac disease is upset because his classmates are having a cookie exchange and he thinks he can’t participate. What do you do?
“This can be a tough one. The first part is having the honest chat with your child that, yes, he or she can’t eat many of the cookies because they’re made with gluten and will make him or her very sick. But then you as a parent have a couple of follow-up options. Option #1 = tell your child to participate in the cookie exchange, but NOT to eat the cookies. Then, when they come home, they can trade in their gluten cookies for a gluten-free dessert of their choice. Option #2 = make or buy several varieties of gluten-free cookies, place them in zip-top bags to prevent cross-contact and clearly label them. Then, distribute to the other parents with instructions, so that classmates can share gluten-free options with your child with celiac disease. It’s a heavier lift, but achieves that dual purpose of a) inclusion in the exchange and b) being able to eat the cookies he or she receives.”
– Beyond Celiac Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski, No Gluten, No Problem
“It’s important that you understand if your child is compliant on the diet in your absence. Many children, especially those who don’t have symptoms, can’t resist the urge to cheat. Some kids rather be sick than different and they may not understand the long-term risks. If this is the case, it may be best to keep your child at home.”
– Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President