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How to Talk to Your Friends about Celiac Disease

You know a lot about celiac disease, but your friends probably don’t.

Here are some ways to talk about celiac disease: (Use these tips when you talk to adults, too!)

  • "I have celiac disease, which means I can’t eat things like bread, spaghetti or other things made with something called gluten. But there are a lot of things I can eat, as long as they are made specifically for people like me.”
  • “Celiac disease is kind of like a food allergy - like when some kids can’t eat nuts - except you don’t always get sick right away. You might feel sick later, and it takes a long time to feel better.”
  • “People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten or they’ll get sick. Some people get a bad tummy ache and have to go to the bathroom a lot and some people throw up.  Different people with celiac feel different things when they have gluten.”
  • “You can’t catch celiac disease like you can catch a cold. So, it’s safe to play with me.”
  • “I’m a lot like other kids. I like going to sleepovers and riding my bike. I just eat differently to stay healthy.” (Tell kids about your favorite things to do!)

Super Tip: Read a book about celiac disease to your class. Then answer their questions so they can understand it better. See our Reading List for book ideas »

How to Talk To Your Friends about Gluten-Free Food

You and your parents do a lot of things to keep you safe and gluten-free. It’s also important for your friends, relatives and grown-ups to learn about gluten-free food so they can help you make good choices and stay healthy!

Here are some ways to talk to other kids and adults about gluten-free food:

  • “There’s something called gluten in things like the bread, pizza, pasta and cookies you eat because my body can’t handle them..  But I can eat the gluten-free versions of those same foods and so many other things!  ”
  • “I can eat fruits and vegetables because those don’t have gluten. Rice and potatoes are gluten-free, too.”
  • “Some companies make special kinds of bread and cookies that don’t have gluten. I can eat that, but the box has to say ‘gluten-free.’”
  • “Sometimes gluten can sneak into my food. If bread or something else that’s not gluten-free touches my food, it can make me sick. So I have to be really careful.”
  • “Gluten-free food tastes really good! Sometimes you can’t even tell which one’s the gluten-free kind.”

Super Tip: Invite your friends over for a gluten-free cupcake party. That way, they will know how yummy gluten-free food is! Sign up for a Cupcake Party Fundraiser »



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