My wife and I are big on food. How big you may ask? Well, for our honeymoon we decided to go to New Orleans. We planned our trip based on the places we were going to eat. If you haven’t gone to New Orleans, stop reading now and just go book your trip, and make your restaurant reservations, I will wait…
I’m petrified of the dentist. I haven’t been in years and if I wasn’t already scarred enough, the recent news stories about crazy dentists pulling out people’s teeth without their knowledge have not helped. Almost anything is better than the dentist, or at least so I thought.
Last week I finally sucked it up and went.
I did not want to, but I knew I had a cavity and let the responsible adult inside me make an appointment. I got a sitter and dragged myself there. After a battle to find parking I nearly gave up and left, but I’m glad I didn’t. It was the best dental experience I have ever had. Not only was my hygienist fantastic, the dentist nice and office staff helpful, but my gums were actually in good shape. It was the first time ever. In my past experience, no matter what I did, there were always problems. At first I could not figure out what was different, I was pretty sure not going to the dentist for 5 years or so doesn’t improve your teeth and gums, but then it hit me. I had gone gluten-free.
Could it be possible? Had going gluten-free really contributed to healthier gums and teeth?
I mentioned it to my hygienist and she said it was highly possible and it made sense, but she wasn’t sure. I decided to hit the trusty ole’ internet to see if their had been any studies done on Celiac and dental health. Low and behold there had been. There was even evidence of dentists being the first to see signs of Celiac disease and referring patients to Gastroenterologist. It makes sense. If your body does not absorb nutrients properly than your teeth are not getting the nutrients they need either.
According to the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign of the National Institutes of Health the first step for many who discover they have Celiac is a trip to the Dentist. Some problems that can be seen involve tooth discoloration and poor enamel formation.
Lunches are easy…
When it comes to lunches, it is easy to pack a lunch and know that your child is safe from any sources of cross-contamination of gluten or other food allergy, unfortunately it is much harder within the classroom situation. Often teachers hand out snacks or candies as rewards, as well as the common instance of classroom parties. No parent wants their child to feel left out, but gluten is very common in many snacks and party foods. While most teachers are awesome and more than willing to read ingredients before giving your child a snack, there is still a risk, especially if you child has Celiac disease or an allergy to gluten or wheat.
Making lunches can be stressful enough, making lunches for a child with food allergies even more so. When it comes to lunch, most children have two options:
Buy lunch from school
Bring lunch from homeMaking school lunches is stressful, and even more so if your child has food allergies! Click To Tweet
Lunch From School
For a child with food allergies the safest option is always going to bring lunch from home, but sometimes it isn’t always possible. Miami-Dade Public Schools has a new function in which you can look up the ingredients of a specific school lunch. While it can be time-consuming, it can also be helpful in determining if lunch that day is acceptable for your child.
For Miami-Dade County the website is HERE. There is also an app available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Other cities should have similar functions on their school websites.
Children who have diagnosed Celiac Disease should also file a 504 plan with their school. More information on what this is and how to file one visit the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Unfortunately, upon review of the daily lunches, unless you have prearranged something with your child’s school, a gluten-free lunch is a rarity.
Back to school is stressful enough, but if your child suffers from a food allergy or intolerance, such as gluten, than it can be even more so.
Parents worry about creating gluten-free lunches, preparing snacks, and how to make their child feel included in school parties and the endless stream of birthday parties. What is a parent to do? In this three part series we will give you practical advice on how to handle:
Snacks & School Parties
Join us of next week as we discuss each topic, give practical advice on how to handle these situations, and prepare your for this Back to School season. There will be a separate post on each topic, complete with downloadable printables! Don’t miss a single part!