Gluten is a protein found in Wheat, Barley and Rye. Some individuals have a reaction to this protein in the small bowels.
Celiac Disease is a chronic autoimmune intestinal disorder found in individuals who are genetically susceptible. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, the individual’s immune system responds by attacking the small intestine, which then inhibits the absorption of important nutrients into the body.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is generally accepted among healthcare professionals as a distinct clinical condition. This group reacts with some of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease (gastrointestinal pain or bloating, diarrhea, fatigue) but gluten-sensitive individuals typically test negative for celiac disease in diagnostic blood tests and show no signs of the damage to the small intestine that defines celiac disease.
Alternative Sources of Key Nutrients For Children on Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets
If you decide to put your child on the gluten-free/casein-free diet, it’s important to pay attention to certain nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber, which may be lacking in this eating plan. The following chart offers other options for getting these important nutrients:
Nutrient Needs Alternative Sources
Vitamin D Fortified rice, soy, and almond milk; cod liver oil; tofu, eggs; short-term exposure to sunlight; supplements
Calcium Fortified rice, soy, and almond milk; fortified orange juice; beans, broccoli, spinach, kale, tofu, tempeh; supplements
Iron Red meats, pork, chicken (mainly in dark meat), shellfish, egg yolks, spinach, soybean nuts, prunes, raisins; supplements
Protein Eggs, nuts and seeds, lean meats, beans, peanut butter
Fiber Legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds; supplements