Friday, January 16, 2015

Gluten-Free Parenting

One aspect of gluten-free living that is often overlooked is the effect it can have on our kids. Whether they are our children, grandchildren, nieces or the children of others, these kiddos have special gluten-free needs that have to be considered. With a little guidance, and support from us, we can help these little ones in adopting a gluten-free lifestyle. 

It’s never too early to start teaching children about the ins and outs of a gluten-free diet. I always try to remember that kids are just that – kids. I don’t know about your methods, but experience tells me that lectures don’t work when dealing with kids. I’ve found that dropping little nuggets of knowledge here and there in place of blah, blah, blah lectures can be very effective.

One idea that’s worked for me is creating gluten-free games, like a grocery store scavenger hunt. This gets young ones involved with and excited about the products they’ll be munching on later – and out of my hair! Another idea is to turn coupon clipping into an impromptu scissor practice. And how about using plastic play foods as part of a restaurant game? Taking turns “making dinner” for each other could be fun and informative – if little Billy reaches for bread, ask if it’s gluten free, and so on. The folks over at Allergic Living have some more great tips on just these sorts of things: Click here.

Keep it Fun
As we all know, kids these days are glued to things with screens! They seem to be naturals with gadgets, so why not integrate technology into your gluten-free lessons? An awesome Web bookmark for ideas is G-Free Kid; check out these great tips: Click here.
What about this: Getting the gluten-free mini-mes their own gluten-free mini-fridge will seem like a huge deal to them, right?! Well, it can also be a great tool for moms and dads. Stock that thing full of healthy snacks, then sit back and enjoy the smooth transition when a little one approaches you with hunger pains: “Oh, you’re hungry, honey? Go get in your fridge! Have whatever you want!” Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom has the skinny on all sorts of cool tricks like that one: Click here. 

Older kids may be more familiar with what they can and can’t put in their bodies, but like most gluten-free folks, questions still do arise. The Savvy Celiac is so much more than just a resource for Celiacs alone, and addresses adolescents’ gluten-free issues: Click here. 

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