When you’re getting ready to make big changes, you need to think about the gluten-free diet and your family. Should everyone go gluten free? Or is it too much? It’s important to understand how to feed your family in a healthy way.
Eliminating gluten means eliminating any products that contain rye, barley, or wheat. That usually includes breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, and other bakery treats. But many people are now turning to gluten-free diets so there are several available substitutes.
It’s actually much easier to transition the whole family than it would be to try to just have one or two people in the household give up gluten. When everyone’s on the same diet it can be easier to shop and plan meals.
You may wonder if it’s harmful for your children to eliminate gluten from their diet. In general, it’s not harmful at all. In fact, what it will do is eliminate a lot of the processed foods from their diet that aren’t good for them in the first place.
Foods that tend to be high in gluten are also usually high in sugar, fat, and artificial colors and preservatives. When you eliminate gluten you often eliminate mostly these types of foods. And there’s still plenty of variety for you and your family to get a healthy diet.
Instead of processed foods, you’ll do more cooking from scratch and eat more fruits and vegetables. Today you can find gluten-free breads and other treats available to substitute for the wheat varieties allowing you to continue to enjoy sandwiches, toast, cakes and cookies.
You’ll also need to look out for gluten in places you might not expect it to be found. For example, it can be in salad dressings, condiments, and even in lunch meat. When you’re transitioning your family to gluten-free you’ll need to carefully check labels.
If you have an allergy to gluten, it’s important to completely eliminate it. You don’t want any trace of it to get into your system and wreak havoc on your health. But if you don’t have an allergy, you can gradually transition your family so it’s not such a rude awakening.
Begin by eliminating one product at a time and replacing it with a substitution. You also need to be aware that even if your home is gluten-free, other homes aren’t. If your child attends birthday parties or other events there may not be gluten-free options.
You’ll have to decide if you’ll allow your child to have gluten on occasion or if you want to completely eliminate it. It can make social gatherings difficult, but if you’re prepared the gluten free diet and your family can go together well.