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7 Essential Tips for Gluten-Free Success for Families

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Gluten free spelled with blocks with bread and grains in picture

Gluten intolerance is a growing problem that affects kids and adults alike. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye and some other less familiar grains, and it is hard to digest.

Some people have a gluten sensitivity, some have an identified gluten (often wheat) allergy, and some have an autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease.

When celiac disease sufferers ingest gluten, there is actual damage to the small intestine. A strict gluten-free diet is the necessary treatment for celiac disease.

The idea of following a gluten-free diet can seem a bit overwhelming. It’s important to seek out appropriate support along the way. You can follow these basic guidelines to help increase your overall success with the diet in your home.

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Keep the Emphasis on Healthy Eating While Eating Gluten-Free

There are so many new gluten-free products on the market in the interest of convenience.

It’s great to easily find so many gluten-free choices now that are tasty! Still, remember that foods in their whole, natural state like fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, and healthy oils are naturally gluten-free.

Try to keep the overall focus on healthy food choices for a healthy body as you navigate the gluten-free diet for your kids and family.

Read Product Labels

Products on the market are now labeled more clearly as to whether or not they contain gluten.

Still, the word gluten often does not appear in the actual ingredient list.

Make it a habit to familiarize yourself with gluten-containing products and be sure to thoroughly read ingredient lists on products to watch for hidden ingredients that may be gluten-derived.

Gluten-free packaged products

Avoid Cross-Contamination

People who are highly sensitive to gluten, particularly those with celiac disease, have to be watchful that the foods they eat aren’t cross-contaminated with wheat or other gluten sources.

Using gluten-free kitchen equipment at home such as a separate toaster, and choosing products from dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facilities, are important to prevent cross-contamination and possible negative reactions.

Structure Settings for Success

Make simple gluten-free menu plans to prevent mealtime stress for your family. When you know what you are going to eat for dinner, you are less likely to routinely choose less healthy packaged or restaurant options.

A little planning can help to minimize questionable food ingredients and ultimately prevent gluten infractions.

Identify Non-Food Products That Contain Gluten

Many people don’t realize that while they are working so hard to omit gluten from their foods, they may be regularly using health and beauty care products that are absorbed through the skin and can still cause problems.

It is a good idea to also read the labels on non-food items to find gluten-free alternatives. Luckily, labels are often clearly marked with ‘no gluten’ or ‘gluten-free’ to make it easy for shoppers to choose safe products.

Picture of Panama Jack reef friendly formula sunscreens

When in Doubt, Contact the Manufacturer

Sometimes a product label does not indicate that it is gluten-free, but in fact it may be. Companies also change product ingredients all the time, whether omitting or adding ingredients to the list.

If you are unsure about a product, play it safe and contact the manufacturer to ask about the gluten-free status of that product.

Work with Your Qualified Health Care Professional

Thankfully there is a lot of helpful information to be found about following a gluten-free diet.

Because of the digestive and related implications for gluten intolerance, it’s important to work with your doctor or qualified practitioner toward your health and wellness goals for your kids and family.

Need some support for feeding your picky eater kids?

Get the quick go-to guide, Build a Better Eater on Amazon!

Build a Better Eater book for parents of picky eaters

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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