Gluten Free Kids

WSVN — Snack time can be a bit tricky in the Streis-Feld household.When Madelyn was diagnosed with celiac disease this year, a condition where the body can’t process gluten. The family had to make some big changes.

Dayna Streisfeld: “So I have a partially gluten free house and partially not.”

Mom Dayna says she did a lot of research.

Dayna Streisfeld: “The first week she was diagnosed I read three books.”

But admits going to the grocery store is one of the greatest challenges.

Dayna Streisfeld: “More and more people are finding that they’re gluten insensitive.”

Nutritionist Ronni Julien says parents shouldn’t panic if their child must switch to a gluten free diet, but make sure you do your homework.

Dayna Streisfeld: “It’s not just looking at a label for something that says wheat.”

Ronni says gluten can be hidden in many foods kids.

Ronni Litz Julien: “Some of the artificial flavorings, the dyes and the caramel colorings all could have gluten in them.”

Stores like this Publix in Weston have made it easier for shoppers putting a lot of gluten free items in one area. But Ronni says parents must become label readers.

Ronni Litz Julien: “Corn is acceptable. Rice is acceptable. Things that are not are wheat, barley, rye.”

And while much of the cookie and cracker aisle is off limits, the deli and produce section are critical for adding back in what a gluten free diet might lack.

Ronni Litz Julien: “This is a great way to get back fiber and many of the nutrients.”

When it comes to sweet treats, don’t fret lots of food companies have jumped on the gluten free bandwagon.

Ronni Litz Julien: “So if you do your homework and check the labels, you’ll find that in fact something like this would work.”

Since her daughter’s diagnosis Dayna has re-stocked her entire kitchen.

Dayna Streisfeld: “You’ve even gone to the extent where you mark the gluten free products so she knows exactly which snacks are hers.”

She’s labeled everything she can safely eat.

Dayna Streisfeld: “Even the peanut butter is clearly marked. I started with a sharpie and then I purchased stickers.”

Madelyn says it’s not always easy, but she’s getting used to it.

Madelyn Streisfeld: “When I am gluten free it makes my stomach feel better.”

Ronni says parents also have to be aware of cross-contamination. You may have to purchase an extra toaster and other utensils to keep them separate from those used with gluten products.


Ronni Litz Julien