17 Dec 2015

You’ve decided to cut gluten out of your child’s diet. But it keeps lurking in the shadows, aiming to pounce when least expected. Once you put the food to their lips, you realize it’s there. It finds its way back in, despite all your label reading and ingredient checking. How do you avoid these nasty surprises? Here are three tips to help for purging gluten from your child’s diet.

Find it on the food label

You can’t always be so lucky as to have gluten pop right out on the ingredient list. It’s not always catalogued among the allergens. It’s often disguised under another name or in another form. Wheat, barley, and rye are the obvious culprits to watch out for. But it hides under other names as well. Brewer’s yeast, durum, malt, triticale, atta, and farina are all signs that a product contains gluten. Become familiar with all its pseudonyms so you’re sure your child is staying healthy.

Related: Is it Gluten Free? Reading Food Labels

Hold fast to whole foods

One of the easiest ways to avoid gluten and the many forms it comes in is to put your child on a diet of whole foods. Companies like to stuff their processed food with tons of unhealthy ingredients. You may not even be able to figure out the source of many of them. Stick to fresh fruits, veggies, fish, grass-fed meats and alternative grains such as quinoa. You’ll spend less time studying ingredient labels and more time enjoying tasty meals with your child.

Related: What Does Gluten Free Mean?

Seek out substitutes

Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean your child has to miss out on great things life has to offer, like bread. Seek out alternatives to foods you’ve cut out of your child’s diet. They’re not only just as tasty, but tend to be healthier as well. You can have bread made from nut flour. Tamari is a low-sodium and wheat-free alternative to soy sauce. Cornmeal pancakes can replace classic pancakes. Spaghetti squash is a satisfying substitute for pasta.

Related: Quick Tips for Saying No to Food with Gluten

Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be challenging. Arm yourself with the knowledge of where it tends to hide itself and how. You’ll be able to start purging gluten from child’s diet as easily as any other ingredient. This new diet will end up just as diverse and tasty for your child as eating was before making the change.

You may also enjoy: 6 Gluten Free Lunch Ideas for Kids

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