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Celiac Disease - Staying Gluten Free In School

Written by Ganiggle
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With a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, it can be difficult to come to terms with all the foods that you should not eat anymore. This can be especially hard for newly diagnosed children. We all know that children can be picky eaters to begin with, and when they find out that some of their favorite foods contain gluten, it can be incredibly challenging for both parent and child. When your child goes to school, it can be a scary experience. Can you trust the school? Will they understand and make arrangements?

Most children with celiac disease are great at knowing what's good and what's bad. However with young children in school, there could be a lot of lunch swapping going on and maybe special "muffin days" that go on at the school. This type of occurrence will need to be fully discussed with any teacher that will come in contact with your child.

Make sure that your childs' teachers are fully aware of the situation, as well as what foods your child can eat. If there are going to be special muffin days or treat days for the students, you can request to be notified in advance. This way you can send a special safe treat with your child so they are not left out. Take a list in to the school of safe foods that your child can have, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Many teachers will plan special treat days around these lists, to ensure the safety of all students.

Another common concern for children with celiac disease is school lunch time. Many parents send their children to school with sandwiches which could be harmful to your child. The school needs to know that with certain cases of celiac disease, where the child is very sensitive to gluten, cross contamination can be a hazard. There are two things you can do for this situation. You can request to have a dedicated area for your child to eat, away from other students and gluten. They need to make sure that the entire area your child is eating at is cleaned before hand. Also, if your school has children eat in the classroom, other students must be very careful and make sure to wash their hands as well as the eating area before and after meal time.

Finally, be sure you communicate with your child all of the dangers. You may be surprised what they already know and understand about their celiac disease. Make sure that they know not to accept any food at all from a child or teacher without having them call you first to verify if it is gluten free or not. Many people are not aware of how much gluten is in foods that you might not first expect. It is important to help others understand, so that your child is safe.

Wendy Addams has a lot of experience with Celiac Disease.


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