Does Your Child Need A Gluten Free Diet?
Some experts suggest waiting until your baby is at least six months old before introducing grains and other solid foods into their diet. There is some evidence that giving your baby gluten before the age of three months old can increase the likelihood that they’ll develop celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
If celiac disease runs in your family, however, there is a higher chance that your child will have the same problems with gluten. If your child has a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you’ll likely notice it between the ages of nine and 18 months.
Signs Of Celiac And Gluten Intolerance In Young Children
Celiac disease is caused by an oversensitivity in the gut to products that contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. This causes inflammation in the intestine, and this inflammation can make it more difficult for babies and toddlers to absorb the nutrients needed to grow and thrive. Some of the common symptoms seen in young children include:
- Weight loss or failure to gain weight
- Reduced appetite
- Bloated tummy
Your doctor can test for a gluten intolerance and celiac disease with simple blood work, but don’t begin baby on a gluten-free diet before the testing. The presence of gluten in the system is the only way to discover the affliction. If the outcome shows that a child does indeed have celiac disease, or a more common gluten intolerance, adapting to a gluten-free diet might be easier at a young age than it is for those who make the change later in life.
Gluten Free Favourites
If your child suffers from troubles with gluten, there are many gluten-free foods that they can still enjoy without tummy troubles. There are gluten-free versions of favourite foods such as macaroni and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, and biscuits. Searching the labels for foods deemed gluten-free is essential.
Most meats, fish, dairy, beans, fruits, and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and high in nutrition.
Remember The Non-Food Items
It’s important to remember that there are many non-food products that contain gluten as well. Choose organic, gluten-free versions of wipes, lotion, toothpaste, and soap to ensure that gluten does not find its way into your child’s system inadvertently.
Nothing is as important as your child’s health, so take care of problems right from the start to ensure a healthy and happy childhood.