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Picky eater or food sensitive?

When people, especially kids, don’t like certain foods, we chalk it up to being picky. But could it actually be an unconscious rejection of a food to which the body is sensitive, be it an allergy, intolerance, or even celiac disease?

Take me, for example. I wasn’t diagnosed with celiac disease until age 32. After my diagnosis, I reviewed my past for missed clues – could somebody have figured this out earlier? Aside from the obvious symptoms I had as an adult (anemia, stomach problems), I realized that there were subtle clues beginning as a child. One was that I didn’t like foods that contained gluten! Hard to believe, but I didn’t like cereal, pancakes, waffles, donuts (what kid doesn’t like donuts?), bread or cake. I used to ask my mom for steamed rice for breakfast (rice is gluten-free) and at Thanksgiving I always devoured the potatoes (gluten-free) instead of the stuffing or pie (gluten and gluten). In high school, when other kids ordered sandwiches at the deli, I ordered turkey and tomato slices – no bread. Surely, my friends thought I was a bit strange! And even as an adult, before my diagnosis, I didn’t choose pasta or pizza or burritos (flour tortillas). Throughout my life I had unconsciously phased some of the gluten out of my diet.

Now, I’m not saying that someone should have diagnosed me with celiac as a child based on this dislike of certain foods, but I think it is good to be aware that if a child or adult has an inexplicable dislike for a food that most people enjoy, it could mean something.

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