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Addressing Gluten Freedom in Early Childhood

by Yvonne Vissing
January/February 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/addressing-gluten-freedom-in-early-childhood/5023315/

It’s birthday snack time. A well-meaning parent brings cupcakes for the children, who are very excited for the sweet treat. The problem is, one of the children has Celiac disease and another one seems to have health problems after eating wheat. How do you include all the children in this special snack time, without making anyone sick? 

What children eat is a challenge for caregivers, who are in a position of responsibility making sure their young charges are safe. Peanuts, milk products, and gluten can create both short- and long-term health problems for certain children. Some child care organizations have a policy that children can only eat what their parents send them, but parents may not realize that the children have Celiac disease or have gluten sensitivities or intolerances. It is sometimes under the watchful eye of a caregiver that children’s reactions to certain foods are first identified. Goldfish crackers, Cheerios, cookies, macaroni and cheese, and sandwiches are all mainstays of many children’s diets. Knowing when a child is coming down with a bug or having a reaction to gluten can be pretty tough to identify at first. 

How do you know when a child has gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease? ...

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