Helpful information for the recently diagnosedApril 8, 2009
I have been getting several emails a week asking me about cooking for gluten and allergen dietary restrictions. While I am not a doctor or dietitian I have been doing a lot of research and am happy to share what I have learned. I encourage you to find a doctor and/or dietitian that you are comfortable with and work with them to determine your specific limitations. Below is my reply to an email I received earlier today from the grandmother of a recently diagnosed three year old. He has Celiac Disease as well as multiple allergies and intolerances. I thought this information might be helpful to others, so here it is!
There are some great websites with recipes. One that I subscribe to is the gluten free club. www.glutenfreeclub.com They send daily GF recipes by email. The only thing is that most of them are just gluten free, and still include other allergens. My best suggestion is to keep things very simple and avoid all processed foods as ingredients are often disguised. Soy and dairy have many names as additives. Here is a great article about finding soy in foods. http://www.thewholesoystory.com/WHERE_THE_SOYS_ARE.pdf Also The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America is headquartered right here in Washington. They have a great website www.gluten.net I’m not sure where you live but there are celiac groups on http://www.meetup.com if there isn’t one in your area you could always start one. I want to stress that I am not a doctor or dietitian, I’m just a Granny, but here are a few things that I have learned that may be helpful as you are trying things to see what he tolerates. Peanuts are legumes and so are soy, many people who have trouble with soy, also have difficulty with peanuts and vice versa. Some people who cannot tolerate dairy products do just fine with goat milk, other do not. Many people like to substitute with rice milk, be sure you read the labels very carefully because many rice milks have soy lecithin in them… in fact many products have soy lecithin in it, including most chocolate (and anything with chocolate in it.) There is one company that I have found that has an allergen free chocolate chip (that is quite yummy!) I use them in many of my recipes. www.enjoylifefoods.com. They also have many other gluten & allergen products and are very good at clearly marking their ingredients. As a special treat I really enjoy a scoop of Coconut Bliss (ice cream made from coconut milk). I have found it at most health food stores, but have also found it at Fred Meyer and QFC… In fact both Fred Meyer and QFC have pretty good Gluten free sections. Another thing to keep in mind is that gluten is found in Wheat, Rye and Barley. Oats are not naturally glutinous in their pure form, but they are often processed with wheat and therefore most oats on the market have been cross contaminated. Bob’s Red Mill has certified gluten free oats and many other great products (not all are gluten free though so read the label carefully) www.bobsredmill.com also many people who have trouble with wheat also have a hard time with spelt, so I would be very careful if you decide to introduce it to his diet. I wish I could tell you where you could get my muffins, cookies, brownies and cakes, but I am waiting for my food processing license from the state. Be sure to check back on my web site and as soon as I am in production all my retail outlets will be listed. My goal until then is to generate as much interest as possible I my products so if there is a store, restaurant or coffee shop, hospital or school cafeteria that you would like to see my products in, please be sure to tell them about me.