Stop Your Celiac Child from “Cheating” on His Gluten-Free Diet

    Studies have shown that one of the main reasons why some celiac patients can’t stay gluten-free is that they don’t have a support group to encourage and help them. Being a part of support group can provide emotional and practical advantages to help you and your child succeed in the gluten-free lifestyle. This especially applies to children, as they face many temptations to “cheat” on their gluten-free diet, especially around non-celiac friends. I highly recommend to parents that they get their children to connect to others in the celiac community through celiac support groups and celiac forums.

Tina Turbin

From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at)

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I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

8 thoughts on “Stop Your Celiac Child from “Cheating” on His Gluten-Free Diet

  1. You know, I have really been wanting to get my daughter in a local support group, but I just haven’t really looked into it seriously, as I’ve been celiac for 3 years and I don’t belong to any groups and I feel that I’m doing just fine. However, as a grown-up I fully understand my condition and am not tempted to change my diet because of peer pressure or anything like that. So I think now may be the time, especially with school starting, to finally get her involved in a group. Thanks once again, Tina, for the excellent advice.

  2. This is such an important issue that I don’t hear that many people talking about but it really was an issue for a while with my two celiac daughters! Our solution was to go totally gluten free in our home and to embrace gluten-free living–go to cooking classes, have gluten-free parties, etc., and get all their friends really interested in gluten free. We also educated them about gluten and found that they hadn’t quite fully understood celiac disease and the effect that gluten has on their bodies. It took about a year after their diagnosis, but now they’re very good with their diets!

  3. Well it’s just me in the fam that’s gluten free and I just wanted to say that I had a hard time at first sticking to my diet as I was daignosed right before entering college and I didn’t really understand how critical to my health it was to stay gluten-free. I ended up getting pretty sick once after going off my diet–way sicker than I used to get–and then I really understood how important being gluten free was. I think once you become aware of the health risks and you come up with lots of gluten free alternatives to stuff your friends eat (like beer and chips and other snack items, etc.) the urge to cheat is much weaker.

  4. Hello Tina thanks so much for this little advice here. I heard about it on the celiac listserv and I think you’re very right. @Abbie and @Ashley thanks for your input too. Very helpful!

  5. That book you recommended Celie Yack Is Under Attack is a good kids book and goes over that issue. I think it’s best to be open with your child at first about how they might be tempted to cheat and read them this book as an example of what can happen and how much fun it is to just embrace being gluten free and having fun in the kitchen making your own safe goodies to eat.

  6. There may actually be a cure for celiac disease (other than the gluten free diet) that actually works and treats the condition. Here’s the topic on the matter – Jason is answering any questions you may have…

  7. Pingback: Gluten-Free Help from the Experts | Blog

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