By Khushboo Verma
Being intolerant to gluten is not simple. Adults have the maturity to understand the issue but with kids, it isn’t easy. One of the most challenging things for kids and their parents to endure is gluten intolerance. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are autoimmune disorders that can cause inflammation of the small intestine.
Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance may experience diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, failure to gain weight, and poor nutrient absorption when consuming food that contains gluten. Therefore, its early diagnosis in growing children is very critical.
So, what are the food items that contain gluten?
If you look around, a lot of food that we eat contains gluten. For example, wheat, maida, barley, rye, packaged food, processed meats, sauces, etc. A lot of food items are also affected by cross contamination. Sometimes, they share a mill or a factory where gluten items are processed too, so whenever you buy any food item for a child who is gluten intolerant make sure you read the label properly. The food has to be gluten free, made in a facility that has not handled gluten at all. Even a tiny bit of gluten can make a child fall ill.
Dealing with kids and their diet can be tricky. They attend friends’ birthday parties, picnics, school outings, see burger joints and pizza places at malls and it is difficult for parents to explain why they can’t eat all these things.
On my part, when creating dishes, I ask myself, ‘Would a kid like to eat this dish?’ If the answer is yes, then I know I am on the right track. I try to focus on things that kids miss the most, for example cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, pizza, pancakes, etc.
Here are some gluten-free recipe ideas that your child will love:
Sugar coated almonds
Cook some almonds in sugar with cinnamon powder. The kids will love this snack and the almonds will give them the necessary supply of nutrients.
Jaggery caramalised makhane
Cook the makhane with jiggery. This is an awesome and easy to make snack.
Gluten free banana pancakes
A combination of all the goodness, bananas, honey, egg and create magic and again it doesn’t take long to cook and the kids love this. Needless to say that the pancakes are super healthy too.
I strongly suggest parents start packing some dry fruits, fruits and energy bars. Whenever the kid is hungry he/she can have a bite of these little things, which are loaded with nutrients and flavours. Being gluten free is not bad at all. This is in fact a healthier way of living; we just have to get used to it. Gluten-free doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves of good food.
(The writer is Founder, Gluten Free Indian.)