Advice for Kids With Celiac Disease at Parties
By Lana Bandoim
From overindulging in chocolate cake to playing with balloons, kids love parties. However, attending a party can be more difficult for children with celiac disease. They have to avoid gluten, but most cakes and other treats tend to have it. Consider these tips the next time your kids have to attend a party filled with gluten.
Ask About the Menu
It is important to ask about the menu at the party before it starts. Try to find out if all the food will have gluten or if there will be anything gluten-free. Some people are willing to accommodate kids with celiac disease and offer gluten-free cakes or cupcakes.
Teach Your Kids to Say No
Although it is easy to control what is on the menu at home, parties can be more difficult. Another parent or child may offer a piece of cake or candy with gluten to your children. Teach them to say no and politely refuse food with gluten. Older kids often find this easier to do, but younger ones also have to learn to reject gluten.
Bring Your Own Food or Eat at Home
Some parties do not have any safe gluten-free food for children. Ask if it is possible to bring your own food to the party. Also, consider eating at home so the kids are not hungry or tempted by cake that they cannot eat.
Watch For Cross-Contamination at the Party
Although it is important to give kids some freedom, this has to be balanced with watching for cross-contamination at the party. Younger children may not think about using a utensil or plate that had gluten on it. However, this is a source of cross-contamination, and some kids can have reactions to crumbs. Pay attention to your kids and discuss cross-contamination with gluten at home. Make sure they understand that they cannot share plates, napkins, utensils or other things with people who are eating gluten.
Try to talk to the hosts of the party and explain the dangers of contaminating the gluten-free food. Ask them to keep gluten-free options separate from the other items. Politely offer to help them by bringing extra plates, cups, utensils and napkins.
Celiac diseases should not stop children from attending parties. However, it is important to take extra precautions to make sure they are not exposed to gluten. Try these tips the next time your kids are invited to a friend’s birthday party.
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