We understand that when your child is diagnosed with coeliac disease, it can be a little overwhelming; try not to worry – once you have all the right information on managing a gluten free diet, you will all settle into a routine! You can find out more information about coeliac disease and the gluten free diet here.
We offer a complimentary starter pack for anyone diagnosed with coeliac disease. Packed with gluten free food samples and useful information, the Juvela Starter Pack will give your child the chance to try some gluten free foods and decide what they like.Sign up
When they have a list of their favourites, you can set up a gluten free prescription. Your child is entitled to a reasonable amount of essential gluten free foods on prescription. These foods provide alternatives to everyday staple foods which are essential for a healthy, balanced gluten free diet and ensures a supply of safe foods to help your child with their special diet.
Ensure that teachers and catering staff know and understand about your child’s special diet. Ask if you can have a chat with the catering staff– they may already be familiar with the diet and may be catering for other children in school. Ensure they understand the importance of avoiding cross contamination, and perhaps take some information along with you that you can leave with them. The school can arrange special gluten-free lunches, or you may prefer to send a gluten-free packed lunch.
Encourage your child to tell friends about their special diet and explain it in a really simple way so that their friends understand! Maybe just saying that that eating gluten makes them have a poorly tummy. There is no need for them to be embarrassed, and friends are bound to understand.
It’s also a good idea not to share food with friends as it may not always be gluten free. You will all start to learn which foods are safe.
You will get used to be a little more organised and planning ahead when you’re out and about. Its handy to always have a snack in your bag or pop one in your child’s coat pocket. Supermarkets, cafes and restaurants have really improved on gluten-free snacks, but it’s always good to take one with you for emergencies
Don’t worry, your child can still enjoy parties – you could perhaps offer to make some gluten free sandwiches or pizza to send to the party, or if you have time, bake their favourite gluten free cakes or muffins to take along.
If they are going to a friend’s house, you should let the friends’ parents know that your child has coeliac disease and cannot eat certain foods. If you are unsure, you may prefer to send some suitable gluten free foods with them instead.
We think it’s important to always be open about what the coeliac condition actually involves food-wise.
Once you feel comfortable enough with your fellow friends, family and colleagues, it’s a good idea to educate them too – or even refer them to this very site! You might find that they’re more interested than you’d think.
When you go out for a meal, you will need to ask a few questions to check which foods are safe – and once thing are a little more established, maybe your child will feel comfortable in asking those questions themselves – it is really important that the restaurant understand the importance of the gluten free diet – but rest assured, you won’t be the first person who has asked! Many cafes and restaurants now have lots of gluten free dishes and some even have a gluten free menu. If you are unsure, call the restaurant in advance and check the menu or have a look on their website….then you can relax when you arrive.
Gluten-free food that is touched by any other gluten-containing foods during preparation, cooking and serving is considered “cross-contaminated”. As a coeliac, you’ll probably become sick of hearing the phrase cross-contamination, but learn to love it. It’s mostly common sense, but even the most practised person makes mistakes – so it’s really important to develop strict routines to make sure every environment is safe for you. As a friend, family member or parent of a coeliac, it’s really important to understand about avoiding cross-contamination from gluten-containing foods. The dangers of cross-contamination can be severe for someone suffering with coeliac disease.
Whether you are a coeliac eating a meal with others or you are preparing a meal for a person with coeliac disease, there are some important things you should keep in mind.
The best advice for ensuring that you stick to your gluten free diet is to plan ahead and be as organised as possible.
Gluten free foods can be pricier than their gluten-containing counterparts in the supermarkets, so that’s why it’s particularly important to prioritise, budget and, if you are fortunate to live in an area where gluten free foods are still offered on prescription, make the most of your prescription!