October 2011 Subscribe today
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Kids Can Fluff Their Gluten-Free Feathers
A few weeks ago, a story circulated on Twitter about a special penguin. He was frail and featherless, most likely due to a problem digesting food and absorbing nutrients, the report said. Abandoned by his parents, the little bird was in bad shape. Then, a group of zookeepers took him under their wing. With some proper feeding, the penguin made a miraculous recovery and even rejoined his group.
While reading this story, I couldn’t help but think of the kids with celiac disease who have made incredible strides with a simple change in diet.
Failure to thrive is one of the most frightening things a parent can face. Watching your child suffer while you scramble for answers – it’s a pain no parent should ever know. Thankfully, in the case of celiac disease, that devastation can quickly turn to joy when a child goes gluten-free. For some, the change is overnight; the improvement in mood and energy so apparent that a single weekend marks the line between near death and new life .
Like the penguin, our kids can’t be spoon fed forever. They go to grandma’s. They go to parties. They go to college. There are gluten-free options at every stage, but that doesn’t make a difference if your kids aren’t choosing them.
That’s why we launched Kids Central. NFCA’s online hub for gluten-free kids and parents is now bigger and better than ever…and there’s only more to come. To commemorate this expansion, we’ve also launched our Awareness All-Stars Kids Fundraiser. This exciting event invites your gluten-free kids to create their own personal fundraising page to share their story and discover the joy of giving back (plus win some AMAZING prizes). Read all about it in our article “Kids Central: Now Bigger and Better!”
While you and your child are working toward those prizes, we’ll put the funds you raise to work by counseling manufacturers and educating foodservice workers on gluten-free specifics. In particular, we’ll continue to turn good schools into GREAT Schools by teaching them how to serve gluten-free food exactly as it should be: 100% gluten-free.
Please take some time to explore what Kids Central now has to offer. Then, help your child create his or her own fundraising page for NFCA. It’s a GREAT opportunity to talk about any questions or challenges they may be facing.
Gluten-Free Savory Halloween Foods for Your Celiac Child
By Tina Turbin
With Halloween just around the corner, you’ve got a lot of planning to do if you’re the parent of a celiac child. After all, we don’t just have to worry about costumes and where to go Trick-or-Treating—we also must be wary of gluten-containing candy. While other parents only have to worry that their kids might have too much sugar, we also worry that their candy could contain an ingredient that poses a serious threat to their health—gluten. One way to reduce their chances of eating gluten-containing candy as well as eating too much sugar is by making some delicious non-dessert Halloween foods.
What kind of Halloween food doesn’t have any sugar in it? There are plenty of creative ideas for savory meals and snacks for this holiday, especially homemade ones. I recommend making a “party bowl” of various oven-baked ingredients such as rice crackers, popped sorghum, and your favorite nuts. Don’t forget to throw your pumpkin seeds in the oven, topping them with salt or gluten-free Cajun seasoning, after carving jack-o’-lanterns!
You and your celiac child will have lots of fun putting together savory dishes with scary or Halloween-themed presentations. Make gluten-free pancakes shaped like jack-o’-lanterns, “blood” and “bone” stew (tomato soup with ribs), and “bug” (raisin) or “worm” (gluten-free pasta) salad. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to making special Halloween dishes.
Have your kids fill up on this nutritious gluten-free fare before heading to a Halloween party or going Trick-or-Treating; they’ll probably wind up eating a lot less candy—or so we can hope. Top off your delicious creations with this gluten-free dessert recipe:
Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Brownies
A delicious Halloween treat!
15 oz. can pumpkin
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees for metal pans. For glass, dark, or non-stick coated pans, preheat to 325 degrees instead. Grease bottom only of pan.
2. Stir together brownie mix and pumpkin in a large bowl until well-blended (about 30 to 50 strokes). Spread in greased pan and bake immediately.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted about an inch from the edge of the pan comes out clean. Cool completely in pan before cutting a serving.
About Tina Turbin:
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten issues a number of years ago, after being diagnosed as celiac after many years of unresolved troubles. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety.
Tina is an award-winning children’s book author (DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children’s audio book profits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay updated on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
Gluten-Free Recipes for Octoberfest
By Chef Oonagh Williams
The word Octoberfest (or “Oktoberfest”) is something of a misnomer, since it always starts in September in Munich, Germany.
The first Octoberfest was on Oct. 12,1810, in celebration of the marriage of the then Crown Prince (later to be King) Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Now, it includes 16 days of festivities, with the sounds of Oompah bands, carnival rides, and the constant clinking of beer-filled steins as everyone utters the toast “Ein Prozit” (to good health).
The Munich Octoberfest has become the biggest folk festival in the world, with about 7 million people from around the world attending and truly gargantuan amounts of food and drink being consumed – 5,478,200 liters of beer alone, 176,590 pairs of pork sausages and 84 units of oxen, among other delicacies like pigs feet.
This year, the celebration ran September 17 – October 3, but the spirit of Octoberfest continues throughout the month.
My gluten-free Octoberfest menu includes:
KIELBASA COOKED IN GLUTEN-FREE BEER
SAUERKRAUT and BRAISED FRESH CABBAGE
APPLE ALMOND PUDDING
AboutChef Oonagh Williams
British-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. Chef Oonagh gives presentations and classes on gluten-free cooking and living, consults and guides people in adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. She appears most months on her local New Hampshire ABC station, WMUR, as the featured chef.
By Christina Gentile, MS, Clinical Psychology doctoral student
We know that no matter the sign or symptom, undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease damages the small intestine, which may lead to nutritional deficiencies and further health complications due to prolonged malabsorption of essential nutrients.
However, some individuals may not realize that celiac disease can also affect their mental health. It’s a lot to process, so NFCA enlisted doctoral candidate Christina Gentile to help us highlight the key points.
In Part 1 , get an overview of some of the ways celiac disease can affect mental health, pre- and post-diagnosis. In Part 2 (coming out next month!), get specifics on depression and anxiety as they relate to celiac disease.
The temperature is dropping, which means it’s time for fall foods! NFCA and Thai Kitchen have teamed up to deliver two new Printable Guides to help you celebrate the season. Whether you prefer to tailgate or oven bake, these guides will provide some key tips and recipes that will please the crowd (and keep gluten-free friends safe).
This list, created by Alison St. Sure of Sure Foods Living, includes the latest details from manufacturers regarding the gluten-free status of their candies and any warnings for potential cross-contamination.
While the Gluten-Free Candy List reflects extensive research and due diligence, it should be used as a guide only. NFCA and Sure Foods Living recommend double-checking product ingredients to verify its gluten-free status before eating.
*Find this list year-round in NFCA’s Printable Guides.
NFCA has added tons of new content on Kids Central. When you visit www.beyondceliac.org/kids, you’ll now find an option to choose the Kids or Parents side.
The Kids side is geared specifically for younger fans, with recipes, product reviews and stories written for kids, by kids. There’s also a Gluten-Free Homeroom, which arms kids with the knowledge and tools to make their needs known, even when you’re away. The Pep Talks section features inspiring notes and quick tips from adults who know what it’s like to be gluten-free.
On the Parents side, we’ve added new sections for Articles on parenting a gluten-free child and Research from the pediatric field. You can also find links to kid-friendly gluten-free recipes and product reviews.
NFCA thanks Froose Brands for donating resources to the development and expansion of Kids Central, and for its ongoing creative support. NFCA also thanks Ian’s Natural Foods and French Meadow Bakery for sponsoring the new and improved Kids Central.
Help your child raise funds, gain confidence and earn prizes.
To celebrate the launch of a bigger & better Kids Central, NFCA is hosting a special fundraiser with a focus on kids. The Awareness All-Stars Fundraiser invites all kids to create their own fundraising page for NFCA (with some help from their parents, of course!). Kids who participate in this fundraiser will have the chance to win amazing prizes, including a gluten-free prize pack from Froose Brands and a gluten-free prize pack from Ian’s Natural Foods . The top 3 fundraisers will also be featured in a special interview and podcast on Kids Central. This is your child’s chance to shine!
This fundraiser runs through December 31, 2011 – but the early bird gets the worm! Create your page today so your child can spread the word and reap the rewards.
Each month, “Pleased to Tweet You” highlights an individual who chatted with @CeliacAwareness on Twitter. If you’d like to be featured, follow @CeliacAwareness and say hello!
Name: Tina Serino
1. How long have you been gluten-free?
I have been gluten-free since April 2009. This was 3 months before my wedding. I had a hard time adjusting because I had to re-learn how to cook, shop, and think about food all while being a brand new wife. Thankfully, I have an awesome husband who has made living with food intolerances into an adventure!
2. What do you like to tweet about?
I use Twitter to spread awareness for celiac disease, which is why I celebrate the 1st of every month as Celiac Awareness Day. A bunch of people on Twitter have joined me in celebrating, which is pretty awesome. I also like to share my discoveries, new gluten-free restaurants, recipes, treats and events. And of course, I have to include tidbits about the silly things my baby does sometimes.
3. Why do you follow NFCA (@CeliacAwareness)?
I spent a lot of years sick, tired and unable to gain weight. I don’t want to see anyone else have to live like that. By following NFCA on Twitter, I can share information with my followers and be part of the conversation about celiac disease. The more we talk about it, the more buzz we create for celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
4. What’s your favorite gluten-free dish?
I have really enjoyed eating my way around recipe books, restaurants, and store shelves discovering all kinds of great gluten-free foods over the last 2+ years. But my favorite to date is Bonefish Grill’s Chocolate Macadamia Nut Brownie. It’s sinfully delicious!
5. What’s one thing you can do now that you couldn’t do before going gluten-free?
The number one thing I am grateful for is the fact that I was able to conceive and carry my baby boy to a healthy full term. I’m also grateful that I no longer have to run to random people’s bathrooms and hope no one’s standing too close outside the door!
6. In 140 characters or less, why should others join the gluten-free community on Twitter?
Living with celiac disease can be a real challenge. Having a community of great GF “Tweeps” alongside you makes it an easier journey!
Each month, “Face It” highlights a popular post from NFCA’s Facebook page, including a sampling of the responses. “Like” NFCA on Facebook and join the conversation today!
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness : Spot poll: Over the last 6 months, what percentage of your gluten-free dining experiences would you consider positive?
Answers: (We got 39, so these are a sample!)
Tammi Ackerman : 75%. But that one really bad reaction tends to overshadow the good ones.
Patrick Adams: 40%
Colleen Cook: 90% positive for my gluten-free 3 year old. I always write a thank you note (email) to places that accommodate my daughter. Positive feedback is very important. We eat a lot of Indian and Mexican food. I don’t trust fast food places for my daughter so we don’t go. I grill every restaurant even if they claim to have a gluten-free menu because it is not a regulated term.
Jessica D Yankiewicz: 100%! Though 10 years ago when I was diagnosed, I would have said 0%. I love that Outback has a great gluten-free menu and knowledgeable chefs. The Melting Pot has a wonderful gluten-free menu. And my favorites are Good Eatz in Reading, PA, and Sweet Freedom Bakery in Philadelphia, PA, that has tons of gluten-free goodies. What a positive change.
Suz Starner: 20%
Katie Mcintyre: 100% in the past 6 months thankfully! We normally eat at the same 3 places though, and they mostly know us now.
When Life Gives You Lemons…
NFCA has discovered a promising new entrepreneur: Andrew Zampitella ! The young advocate organized and ran a lemonade stand that not only quenched patrons’ thirst, but also gave them a refreshing burst of celiac awareness. Andrew’s stand included a poster board about celiac disease, with information from NFCA’s Printable Guides. According to Andrew’s proud mother, Tracy, the fundraiser was incredibly successful. We can see why!
Don’t forget: NFCA’s Awareness All-Stars Fundraiser is now in progress. Your child can create a fun and informative fundraising page – and win cool stuff for helping the cause! Top prizes include gluten-free party packs filled with tons of goodies from Froose and Ian’s, plus a special interview on NFCA’s website!
Free Webinar for Dietitians: Oct. 20
Top 10 Ways to Get Gluten-Free Kids to Eat Healthy
Thursday, October 20 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
Join NFCA for an hour-long Webinar as EA Stewart, one of our Ask the Dietitian experts, outlines 10 ways dietitians can engage their gluten-free pediatric and adolescent patients in healthy eating habits.
Using her Top Ten Tips, EA will:
Have a question for EA? Send your inquiries to [email protected] by Thursday, October 13.
Sponsored by Blue Diamond, this webinar is free of charge. The only requirement is a working Internet connection!
Gluten Sensitivity Conference: Nov. 3-6
The Gluten Truth Meets the Circle of Life: A Tale of Two Hemispheres
Thursday, November 3 – Sunday, November 6
Westin Galleria Dallas Entertainment
Dr. Kenneth Fine, Director of the Intestinal Health Institute, invites you to this special “edutainment” event all about gluten sensitivity. Attendees will enjoy 4 days of informative presentations, gluten-free food and networking receptions. NFCA Founder & President Alice Bast will be among the noted guest speakers at the conference. She will present “Turning Celiac into Service: Unleashing Your Passion and Life Purpose ” on Saturday, November 5, at 11:10 a.m. -12 p.m.
For more details and ticketing information, see the event listing.
*For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Maple Knoll Village Retirement Community Goes Gluten-Free
Maple Knoll Village, a continuum care retirement community located in Springdale, OH, is one of the latest institutions to go GREAT !
Lynette Peterson, Director of Foodservice for Maple Knoll Village, already had experience cooking for individuals with celiac disease after her niece had been diagnosed. However, it wasn’t until a resident checked into Maple Knoll Village that she identified the need for gluten-free options within the retirement community.
“We had a resident come into our nursing facility – a 90-year-old woman who has been gluten-free for over 20 years. We had a great time developing a menu for her and have since had one more gentleman in our rehab unit for a brief stay. He was thrilled with the variety we offered, and said the food was much better than what he experienced at the hospital,” Lynette said.
“Of course, things always taste better when you feel better! When he went home we even sent a basket of goodies along with him,” she continued.
Maple Knoll Village currently offers a 5-week menu cycle in their nursing unit and try to make their gluten-free selections mimic those that they already offer. “It has been a challenge I enjoy,” Lynette said. “We always have people try things before we tell them they are gluten-free.”
Lynette is now developing a new gluten-free menu for the Manor House Restaurant, an independent establishment within the Maple Knoll Village community that’s also open to the public.
“My goal is to offer items that would be difficult for someone to prepare at home, and a bit different than what they find mainstream,” she said.
For more information, visit Maple Knoll Village’s dining site, www.manorhousemkv.org.
GREAT in the News
To learn more about GREAT Foodservice , contact [email protected] .
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
Scott’s Gourmet Oat-alicious Cookies
As soon as these cookies arrived, I checked the label. Sure enough, they’re made with certified gluten-free oats. The cookies are sweet and very chewy, almost like toffee, but they have an extra layer of softness and texture from the oats. Enjoy each cookie whole as a stand-alone treat, or crumble it over a bowl of ice cream for a special dessert. Beware: Some crumbling may occur during the shipping process, but what’s a few sticky fingers for a mouthful of delight?
Joe’s BQ Firefighter-Preferred Rub and Sauce
When our summer intern Rachel brought in some gluten-free barbecue chicken featuring this sauce, we couldn’t pass up a taste. The sauce is thick, sweet and a little bit smoky, and it’s certainly a finger-licking experience. The rub, on the other hand, adds a punch of flavor without getting goopy. But the most memorable part was the smell of the spices heating up on the grill. And since both the rub and sauce are gluten-free, you can make wet or dry chicken wings to please any tailgater’s palate.
You’ve probably had one of Amy’s gluten-free rice bowls, soups or burritos, but did you know the company now makes gluten-free shortbread cookies? We were surprised too, so we dug in as soon as we got our hands on some boxes. The cookies come in three varieties: Classic, Almond and Chocolate Chip. The Classic is moist and buttery like traditional shortbread, while the Almond was like a thicker, more buttery version of the almond cookies served in Chinese restaurants. The Chocolate Chip had just the right amount of chocolate to cut through the rich dough. Beware: they crumble easily, but they’re good whole or in pieces.
These little treats have a flavor unlike any other bar I’ve tried. They’re made with nuts, honey and herbs, so they’re sweet and savory at the same time. We tried the Rosemary, Sage and Coconut flavors. While the Coconut was delicious, the herb flavors won us over for being truly unique. The bars are individually wrapped so they’re ideal for when you’re on the go. Just don’t tote too many – the bars are calorie dense, and it’s way too tempting to eat more than you need.
*Get Hot Products updates from NFCA every week!*
FSU Quarterback Reveals Celiac Diagnosis
Like a true quarterback, Clint Trickett was right on target. The Florida State Seminoles player knew something was wrong when he couldn’t gain weight. Trickett got tested for celiac disease, then followed up with a biopsy that confirmed the diagnosis. Prior to diagnosis, the college freshman tried to put on pounds by eating 4,500 calories per day, according to Fox Sports Florida. Trickett is now gluten-free and gaining about 1-2 lbs. per week. The athlete said he noticed a major health improvement within a month of removing gluten from his diet.
To learn more, read the article in Athletes for Awareness.
University of Arizona Students Take a Stand for Gluten-Free
The University of Arizona has improved its gluten-free dining experience in response to student demands. Students can now enjoy Udi’s Gluten-Free bread and a gluten-free pasta selected by a tasting panel of gluten-free students. The school also has a new gluten-free club, started by a senior marketing and communications major whose sister is gluten intolerant. In addition to making sure gluten-free demands are met on campus, the club plans to offer information about gluten-free needs to restaurants and fraternity and sorority houses, according to the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
Reuters: A Gluten-Free for All Drives Product Sales
The booming volume and success of gluten-free products has prompted a similar rise in mainstream attention. Most recently, Reuters covered the medical and fad factors contributing to the boost in gluten-free product sales. The article includes input from celiac expert Dr. Alessio Fasano, gluten-free blogger Shauna James Ahern and NFCA’s Alice Bast.
Did You Speak Up about Gluten-Free Labeling?
The public comment period for the FDA’s proposed gluten-free labeling rule ended on Oct. 3. Gluten-free consumers, manufacturers, healthcare providers and advocacy groups submitted thousands of comments regarding the proposed 20 ppm threshold for gluten-free. Several leading celiac advocacy groups, including NFCA, submitted a joint document that called for a single definition of gluten-free as opposed to a tiered approach or the use of “low gluten,” which could confuse consumers. In addition to this joint document, NFCA submitted a letter that supported the proposed 20 ppm threshold for gluten, but also recognized that third party gluten-free certification offers a greater level of assurance with more stringent standards. The FDA aims to publish a final definition by this time next year.