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Why are my kids gluten-free?

Posted on May 30th, 2007 by Alison Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

glutenfreekidsBoth my daughters (age 2.5 and 9 months) have been gluten-free their whole little lives. People ask me “Do they have celiac disease?” “Why do they have to be gluten-free?” “When will you get them tested?” Sometimes I feel a bit on the defensive – I am sure that some people think that I am “imposing” my diet on my children, depriving them of graham crackers and goldfish for no good reason.

Here are what I think are some good reasons:

  • Each of my daughters has at least one main gene for celiac disease, and possibly two (I’ll draw you a chart later!) While this does not mean that they will definitely develop celiac disease, they have a predisposition to develop it.
  • People with celiac disease are at an increased risk of developing other autoimmune conditions.
  • In order to test for celiac disease, a person has to be consuming gluten.
  • The gluten-free diet is a healthy diet because most junk foods are off limits.
  • Much of my family is gluten-free, including my husband and nearby grandparents.

So, why would I give my kids gluten? Maybe in the future, they will eat it. But for now, during this crucial developmental time, I feel that the possible negative effects of them eating gluten far outweigh the social challenges of keeping them gluten-free.

Wait – I didn’t say it was easy! But it is doable. For help, read our newly-added Gluten-Free Babies and Kids page.

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  1. Our fourth is 9 mos and is gf. Our third has CD and what a horrible experience it was. We didn’t find out until he was nearly 2. All our future children will be gf. I’d rather deal with the headache of the diet than the headache of a reaction to gluten.

    Your baby info page is nice. I’ve read all of it before (don’t necessarily agree with the bf idea since I bf our Celiac nearly two years) but it’s good to have all that in one spot.

  2. I have celiacs and although my kids have not been diagnosed they react as badly as I do to gluten. I’ve been batteling the school with the whole gf thing, and they really dont get it! Your forms on the babies and kids page are very helpful! Thanks so much!
    As far as the breastfeeding thing goes, I know from my own experiences, it does pass through. Anytime I would have something that was contaminated my babies would react before I started. It was a terrible thing to see.

  3. Great site- I have gluten sensitivity. I have been suspecting that my 10 month old might share my problem. After reading your list, I can pick out at least 3-4 symptoms. My husband and I have decided to put him on a GF diet for 1 month. We will see how it goes.
    just added you on twitter too-

  4. Janice,
    Please keep me (and readers) posted on the progress of your son! Good luck!

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