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More restaurants than ever are addressing the needs of special-diet customers with targeted training programs for staff, better awareness and greater availability of ingredient lists. Yet dining out remains one of the most challenging experiences for families with food-allergic and celiac children. Venturing out of the kitchen and into a restaurant can be nerve-wracking, if families do it at all. Even if parents can ensure that a particular menu item is safenot often an easySubscribers Only
Carol Chaisson learned that her second child, Krista, had Down syndrome shortly after the babys arrival into the world on July 24, 2001. The news came as a shock to the family from upstate New York. There had been nothing remarkable about Chaissons pregnancy. If anything, itd been easy. A special blood test confirmed the diagnosis. Individuals with Down syndrome have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in each cell. Not a disease, Down syndromeSubscribers Only
Here are some great safety tips to help your child when dining at restaurants. Practice restaurant skills at home. Its never too early to start. Use real menus to role-play with your child. Teach proper questioning and instruct about safe ingredients and problematic dishes. Make it comfortable and fun.Subscribers Only
A growing number of establishments handle food allergies particularly well. Many restaurant chains now post the ingredients of their menu items online and identify those that contain some of the most common allergens. Fast food chains, such as Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and many others, now make their full menus available on their websites. In a pinch, chains are an option because menu items across a region are generally identical and prepared in the same waybut you still always need to ask and watch for cross-contamination!
Brace yourself. Changing your childs diet is apt to feel daunting at firstbut hang in there! Let us help you transform the challenge and ease into a new way to feed your family. These changes are more unfamiliar than difficult and help is on the way. Once you learn your way around the grocery store and understand ingredient labels, this new way of cooking will become routinethe new normal.Subscribers Only
Kenneth A. Bock, MD, a leading expert on the biomedical approach to treating autism and author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies, talks with editor Alicia Woodward about the critical role of diet for children with autism spectrum disorder.Subscribers Only
Food can trigger a multitude of medical concerns, even in healthy individuals. When the body is compromised due to autism spectrum disorders, certain foods can aggravate an already stressed immune system and manifest new challenges, including food intolerances, pH imbalance, yeast overgrowth, bacteria and autoimmune disorders. In addition, gluten and casein may prompt an opioid effect, a condition that occurs when morphine-like peptides cross the blood/brain barrier. Symptoms can include hyperactivity, moodiness, inappropriate giggling, poor memory, sleep problems, constant hunger, lack of urine/stool control, craving for only gluten- and casein-containing foods and extreme picky eating.
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Laura Mills-Chier is preparing a prescription of liquid penicillin. Its a routine order for the 44-year-old registered pharmacist, one shes filled thousands of times at the pharmacy she manages in Cary, North Carolina. Yet Mills-Chier is markedly careful with the ingredients.
Everyone loves waffles. Square or round and adorned with dips to fill, theyre a food of possibilities. Gluten-Free Waffles lounge comfortably on the breakfast plate, piled high with favorite toppings. But have you ever considered inviting a waffle to lunch or dinner? These think-outside-the-box recipes require little more than a whisk and a hot waffle iron. Put these gluten-free, dairy-free (and egg-free) waffles on your menu and you may want to serve them at every meal.
Follow these suggestions for gluten-free waffle success.Subscribers Only
I am the queen of brownies, from the award-winning Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix I created for Gluten-Free Pantry to the decadent chocolaty bars Ive made over the years for catering clients and cooking classes. I would go to the ends of the earth and back for these sweet treats.Subscribers Only
Follow these suggestions for gluten-free brownie success.
Heres a gluten-free pasta salad thats as easy as it is yummy. Although it takes just minutes to prepare, everyone will think you spent hours in the kitchen. The secret? Good pasta (slightly undercooked) and a quality gluten-free commercial brand of pesto. These core ingredients, plus garden-fresh ripe tomatoes, make this summer salad fast and flavorful. Vary taste and texture by tossing in sliced jalapenos and a bit of shaved Parmesan, if tolerated.
Many people with celiac disease have been exposed to long-term inflammation in the gut. Chronic inflammation is a major risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD), the leading cause of death in the United States, and may help explain why researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Orebro University Hospital in Sweden recently found a 19 percent increased risk of IHD in individuals with biopsy-proven celiac disease. The highest risk of IHD was observed in the first year after diagnosis, which researchers think may be due to the presence of intense inflammation (and accompanying gastrointestinal symptoms) that prompted the patient to get tested for celiac disease.
My brother is allergic to bees. Does this mean I have a higher risk of having this allergy? Should I be tested? Dr. Leo For most people, the sting of a hornet, yellow jacket, wasp, honeybee or fire ant causes an uncomfortable, self-limited, local reaction. But for those allergic to it, an insect sting can be life threatening. Anaphylactic episodes, which can include throat swelling, wheezing and cardiovascular symptoms, happen quickly and truly without warning. They can be the most fatal of allergic reactions, which is why your brother should always have EpiPens and other medications readily available during insect season.
Do you miss soft pretzelswarm, luscious, pillowy? Surprise! Theyre available here, now and better than ever. Baked from scratch and shaped by hand in a nut-free facility thats allergy aware, Kim & Scotts Gourmet Bavarian Pretzels have a slightly sweet flavor, a yeasty aroma, a dense, satisfying texture and a just-right chew.
It doesnt have to be the same old thing for breakfast. Thanks to Custom Choice Cereals, you can design a nutritious dry cereal blend precisely to your taste and your special dietary needs. Log onto the easy-to-use website and choose your ingredients, all organic and free of gluten and the Big 8 food allergens. Start with, for instance, crispy Good Morning Flakes (corn flakes enriched with flax, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth). Then select from an assortment
If your healthcare professional recommends probiotics, ask him or her about Probiotic CD, a proprietary blend of ten naturally derived strains from American Health. Free of gluten, milk products, eggs, sugar, soy, corn, sodium, yeast and artificial flavors, this supplement is suitable for most individuals with celiac disease and food sensitivities.
Traveling gluten free can be a hassle unless you plan ahead. GoPicnic can help. These little meals are ready when you are. At about 400 calories a box, heres a super-handy way to stash emergency nutrition in your suitcase, backpack, car or desk. No muss, no fuss. A gluten-free example: The Hummus & Crackers Snack Pack contains a small pouch of hummus, multi-seed crackers, a fruit and nut mix, dry roasted edamame and a bit of dark chocolate to finish it off.
Times are tough and gluten-free prepared products are expensive. Bravo to Nicole Hunn for giving us Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap (DaCapo Lifelong Books). Blogger-turned-cookbook author Hunn successfully tackles a chief complaint voiced by special-diet newbies: sticker shock.
Think about the earth, the sun, the seasons. Think about your body, your health and the produce you eat, fresh and local. Balanced eating for vibrant wellness is within reach, thanks to Cookin Up Good Vibrations (Inspired Wisdom Press) by Miriam Katz. Formerly the chief nutritionist at New York University Medical Center, Katz collaborates with nonprofit Jwaian Muktika School for Illumination in Whitefish, Montana, to promote a self-awareness that includes cleaning up mealtime.
Mom-on-a-mission Danna Korn, well-known author of books about gluten-free living and cooking, offers updated advice on raising a child with special dietary needs in Gluten-Free Kids, Raising Happy, Healthy Children with Celiac Disease, Autism, and Other Conditions (Woodbine House). This new edition expands on Korns original Kids with Celiac Disease to embrace all families with youngsters who could benefit from an adjusted diet, including children with Down syndrome and those with autism spectrum disorders.
Want to dazzle your family and guests with your special-diet cooking? Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food (Alain Braux International Publishing) is your recipe for success. Traditionally trained chef Alain Braux proves that eating gluten free and dairy free can be a culinary adventure full of sensuous good taste. A nutri-therapist who is gluten intolerant himself, Braux is adept at customizing nutritionally dense meals for those with special dietary needs.
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Our bodies have millions of sweat glands. When the temperature heats up, we perspire to cool down. Composed of water, salt and electrolytes, fresh perspiration doesnt have a scent. Its only when sweat remains on our skin that bacteria begins to break it down, causing it to smell. Keeping the skin clean, dry and healthy goes a long way to controlling body odor. The rest is done with deodorant and antiperspirant products.
Food for Thought
My daughter Maya and I were diagnosed with celiac disease at the same time. It came about a year after my sister and her daughter received their diagnosis. It was a gift but thats not how my daughter saw it. I announced the good news: Hooray! We have celiac disease just like Aunt Lisa and Cousin Ella. We get to eat gluten-free food just like them!