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Celiac Disease and Multiple Food Allergies

 

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9/11/2012

Question:

My six year old daughter has celiac disease and is lactose intolerant and can’t have soy, corn, or rice. What can she have? Where can I find it? How can I get financial assistance?

From,
Laura

Answer:

Dear Laura,

Thanks so much for your question.  I’m sure it must be overwhelming to see your daughter have so many dietary restrictions.  The good news, however, is that there are many healthy and delicious foods she can eat, including fruits and vegetables, meat/fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans (other than soy), lactose-free milk/yogurt/cheese/ice cream, almond/hemp/coconut milk, and gluten-free grains such as quinoa, millet, and teff, along with certified gluten-free oats if she is not sensitive to them.

Regarding financial assistance, I am not aware of any programs in place in the U.S., however, my best piece of advice is to focus on providing meals with naturally gluten-free foods for your daughter as mentioned above, which won’t incur any additional expense for you.  Fruits and veggies, especially when purchased in season, can be a very economical choice, as can beans, seeds, and legumes.  Eggs are another high quality source of protein that provide a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. 

Another way to save is to make your own gluten-free treats at home, as opposed to buying pre-made treats from the store.  Not only is this a fun project for you and your daughter, but you also have more control over the ingredients used and can make substitutions as needed (i.e. use sorghum flour in place of rice flour, or lactose-free milk in place of regular milk).  Once you discover your favorite gluten-free grains and flours, you can often buy them in bulk for a discount through Amazon, plus they will alert you when any sales are going on. In addition, there are many wonderful websites with food sensitivity/allergy friendly recipes. A few you might want to check out include:

You may note that many of these recipes still contain rice or rice flour, however, I have found that sorghum flour makes a wonderful substitution for rice flour and both quinoa and millet make great substitutions for rice. 

Finally, you may also want to check out the GFree Connect Gluten-Free Care Packages that allow you to try new gluten-free products via samples and coupons for a minimal fee every three months. Although not all of the gluten-free samples will be appropriate for your daughter, you will find many that are, and you will be able to sample new gluten-free products without spending a lot of money for an entire package.

You may also wish to schedule a consultation with a dietitian knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet.  She/he will be able to provide you will healthy and delicious recipes appropriate for your daughter, along with many more ideas for eating economically on a gluten-free diet.

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD

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