Coeliac disease can appear at any age, and can be seen in children as young as one year old. Some doctors are conducting research that could connect gluten and food allergies to other diseases and syndromes, for example, autism and Asperger,s syndrome. They are seeking to determine if there might be a way to manage those kinds of disorders using a gluten free or wheat free diet.
TIPS: Once you make the decision to replace gluten, ‘Its a life experience, and its a life changing experience; says a member of a coeliac gluten free support group. ‘I was determined kids were not going to suffer. If other kids had pizza and cookies, they were going to have pizza and cookies.
At home you can watch what kids eat. At school and outside, its not so easy. Education, planning, and vigilance are important for establishing and maintaining a safe school environment.
Try providing your kids with a lunch box containing their favorite foods and drinks or them to carry gluten free dried fruits or raisins in a bag. Make sure they understand that they should’nt swap food with their friends.
Parents can plan for a gluten free lifestyle by talking to their child’s school. Support organizations can provide an educational pack of information for the parents of allergic children, which can be helpful in informing teachers and other staff about your child’s needs, keeping them alert to dangerous situations that could lead to an allergic reaction. Schools should not currently have to provide gluten free meals, though some school caterers may be willing to make small changes that ensure their food is safe, and may prefer to provide packed lunches for your child.
It is really important to us that my son is treated as Benjamin and not treated as ”the boy with the food allergies’; says parent of a young child with coeliac disease. Everybody has something to deal with in their lives – this happens to be this.’
The emphasis on making sure your child stays safe and healthy while keeping his or her school life as average as possible is of the greatest importance. Letting your child be part of the group is also at the top of the priority list.