How to Help Your Child Transition to a Gluten-Free Diet
Children with gluten sensitivity often display behavior similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD). Other symptoms include the inability to concentrate, mood swings, irritability and depression. Along with alleviating some of these symptoms, the gluten-free diet has been shown to help with the overall well-being of children.
For parents who have become aware of the health risk of eating gluten for children who are gluten intolerant – we have put together this guide to help ease the transfer your child to the gluten-free diet.
When your child is new to the gluten-free diet, you will find yourself policing what they can or cannot eat. Unfortunately, you may find yourself saying no to almost everything they ask for over and over again. Instead of focusing on the negative – try and create exciting and delicious meals that your child can eat. This will make your child forget that they are limited and sooner or later they will start asking you to make their favorite meal.
The gluten-free diet requires self-discipline and dedication, and these are difficult things to ask from a child. There will be many events where your child will feel left out, such as school events and birthday celebrations where gluten-rich treats are plentiful.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make life easier for them. For example, you can find out from the school board or the hosting parent what snacks will be served and ask them if they can accommodate your child’s dietary restrictions. If they are unable to do so, you can make a special treat for your child. Create a decoration on the treat that they particularly enjoy – such as their favorite cartoon character or make a fun shape and make enough for them to share and pass around with their friends. In most cases, children are on board and excited when the gluten-free diet is first introduced, as the new diet makes them feel special. In a week or so, the child may grow frustrated and bored with it.
With time and clear explanations from you on what a balanced diet and gluten intolerance means, they will come around and cooperate. Visit our website and browse through our Gluten-free kids recipes section. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions about healthy living and gluten-free cooking.