I have Celiac Disease. It means my body cannot digest Wheat and Gluten, if I do, I do not grow because my body does not get the nutrients it needs. I was diagnosed when I was 3 years old. Having Celiac Disease means that I have to be careful with what I eat. As long as I keep to my gluten-free diet, I will be perfectly healthy. I have learned a lot about how to read ingredients so that I can be responsible for my health.
Things I cannot have are things like french fries at most restaurants, pizza on pizza on pizza day at school and hot dog days at school, birthday cakes, ice cream cones at Baskin Robbins, chicken fingers and nuggets, dessert at most restaurants, donuts, muffins and bagels, cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, egg rolls, tempura, noodles, pasta, onion rings and a lot more!
The good news is that there are lots of foods and treats and snacks that are gluten free and lots of companies are making more gluten free products so that I can have most of the list above because there are substitutions that are good for me.
Because I have Celiac I take a lot of care to be prepared for everything. Even though I’m not able to have things what other people are having, It doesn’t mean that I can’t participate I just have to bring my own dessert for a birthday or pizza for pizza day at school. Packing lunch for school is sometimes hard because my Mom and I have so many things to think about. There are a lot of kids in my school with different allergies like peanuts and sesame seeds. My lunches have to be nut-free, sesame-free and gluten-free. A lot of the gluten-free foods are made with either nuts or sesame seeds. It takes some extra time when we grocery shopping, but we do ok. We want everyone to be safe and healthy.
It bothers me when some other people are having something I can’t have and I feel left out. I deal with this by having a different treat and still participating. It’s not a big deal even though it is hard. My health’s more important and I always remember that. It’s sometimes frustrating when we’re out for the day and there aren’t a lot of things that I can eat for a meal. Places that are especially hard are Canada’s Wonderland, The Zoo, Baseball games and the EX. My parents always ask about the ingredients and sometimes the people working there don’t know if there is gluten in it or not. So I don’t have it just in case there is gluten in the food.
In the 6 years since the doctors told my parents and me that I have Celiac disease, there are more products at the grocery store and more restaurants that have gluten free food choices. My favourite restaurants to go are Swiss Chalet, Boston Pizza, The Olde Spaghetti Factory, Il Fornello, Pizza Pizza and PF Changs.
Here are some of my favourite Gluten-Free foods that we always have:
From the top left: Lundberg Risotto, Corn Pasta, Blue Diamond Crackers, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix, Kernels Popcorn, Chapman’s Ice Cream, Cinnamon Chex, Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, Nature’s Path Waffles, Schneider’s Country Naturals Hot Dogs, Gluten Free Cafe by Health Valley Chicken Noodle Soup, Rice Crackers, Nature’s Path Gluten Free Crunchy Maple Cereal, Annie’s Gluten Mac & Cheese and Popcorn.