Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gluten-free VBS: Preventative Care

Once you've decided to send a child with Celiac to an event with food sans adult, there are a few good tips to help ensure no issues.  There's no way to predict everything, but here are few safe bets:

Give them GlutenEase, GlutenFlam, or Glutenzynes

A child with Celiac should NEVER intentionally eat gluten.  Every possibility of cross-contamination should be eliminated to the best of your ability.  However, things happen.  Cross-contamination, in my head, is a much bigger threat than my child actually picking up a food she didn't bring and eating it.  With that in mind, I give her one of the support enzymes listed above when we eat out or when she goes to events like VBS, AWANAs, Sunday School.  These help a person who can't process gluten break it down so it won't do as much external harm.  Understand, this does not stop gluten from damaging the body of a Celiac.  The only for sure way to help that is to not eat gluten.  However, it does help manage external symptoms.  It's a good precautionary measure if non-stop vomit is not something you want to view if something goes wrong.

Pack food in easy-to-open containers

If possible, the only hands you want on your kids' food are theirs.  If a teacher who has just distributed animal crackers then helps your child open their fruit snacks, cross-contamination will take place.  You could ask the teacher to wash before touching your child's food, but my policy is this:  take as much of the responsibility as you can off the teacher or helper.  Ten kids to manage, with probably at least two or three having food allergies, is not easy.  I used these baggies to store Wren's food this week:

The high tab makes them easy for her, and we haven't had any opening issues so far.

Help Avoid Food Envy

I let the kids help me plan their VBS menu to ensure they wouldn't be looking around longing for food they couldn't have.  It has included a plethora of the following:  Larabars, Kindbars (the ones with the chocolate), peanut butter muffins, carrots and hummus, and fruit snacks as opposed to the real fruit they eat at home.  It's been snacky and a bit higher on the junky sugar side than we usually go, but it's still reasonable and I'm comfy with it.  No guts have suffered, and I fill them with tons of protein for breakfast and dinner.  Here's a picture of what the line up looked like Sunday night, back when I was actually organized:
Fruits and veggies? The twins tore them up and
the older kids sent them back like cast offs, even
though they live on them at home.  Whatever.

I'm going to go into more detail about what I packed tomorrow on menu listing.  I'll list brands, recipes, and what my kids managed to consume in a short four hours on a daily basis!

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