These days many people today have a child, spouse, close friend or family member that is gluten intolerant or have a gluten allergy. When this situation arises, it can feel daunting to the family and their friends so I headed to one of my friends for advice.
My friend’s name is Heather and she faced quite the challenge seven years ago when her son was diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy as well as Diabetes. I knew she would be the best person to ask because she has maintained a positive attitude in challenging circumstances.
1. Can you share some tips for raising a gluten free family?
The most important tip I have to family’s switching over to a gluten free lifestyle is to stay positive! Focus your attention on the wonderful variety of foods you CAN have! We have discovered SO many amazing foods that we probably would have never experienced had we not been forced to search for alternatives. Another tip is never be discouraged & think you can’t make a favorite recipe! There are endless replacement ingredients that (after some trial & error) are sure to satisfy any craving!
2. How about go-to-gluten free lunches?
I provided my son’s nurse a microwave so she can easily prepare foods we send in. Some of his favorites are pizzas, burritos (beef, chicken/cheddar, egg, you name it!:), he loves hummus & veggies as well as fruits & yogurts.
3. If you are gluten free, how do you educate your friends and family?
We do the best we can to educate friends & family. At the end of the day, though, it is our responsibility to use caution & ask lots of questions. People often do not think about how many opportunities exist for cross contamination so that is probably our number one concern even when people have the best intentions.
4. Do you have gluten free friends or other support for your gluten free lifestyle?
I have online friends & we do share tips & tricks occasionally but for the most part we have done most of the research & application of this lifestyle on our own.
5. Do you have entertaining tips for serving those who are gluten free and those who are not?
Keep everything separate if you can. Nothing is worse then someone making something for my son that they think is gluten free only to find out they cross contaminated it by accident. (Ex: A neighbor made my son peanut butter cookies for Christmas, but when I asked by chance if she used a new jar of peanut butter or the one she had in her cabinet she unfortunately had used the old jar, that her family had double dipped a knife in to make sandwiches, thus contaminating the jar. I felt terrible that she had gone through all the effort & still he couldn’t have them. Not everyone is SO sensitive to gluten but my son is & our situation is life threatening as he also has diabetes & his sugar drops dangerously low if he gets sick from gluten.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.