Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It is present in the following:
- Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, cereals, pastas and flour.
- Manufactured foods - including foods with sauces, foods with thickening agents, sausages, foods coated in flour batter or crumbs.
- Unexpected sources -such as medications, Playdough, beer, baking powder
Gluten damages the lining of the small bowel in people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. The treatment for these conditions is lifelong exclusion of gluten from the diet. All foods and medications need to be gluten free. Foods and medications which are ‘low gluten’ should not be included in your diet.
Common foods which people may mistake for "gluten free" (and which actually contain hidden sources of gluten) include:
- Sauces, marinades and canned goods (check ingredients)
- Teething rusks
- Pie fillings
- Hot chips and potato wedges coated with flour
- Sausages, burgers and rissoles
- Processed meats
- Canned legumes (check ingredients)
- Malted milk
- Artificial cream
- Custard powder and ready-made custard (check ingredients)
- Fruit flavoured yoghurt may contain thickener (check ingredients)
- Cheese pastes/spreads (check ingredients)
- Drinking chocolate
- Commercial soups, stock cubes and gravy mixes
- Lollies and filled chocolates
Please note the above-mentioned list is only a few examples. It is important to READ THE INGREDIENTS LIST of all foods your daughter consumes to identify possible gluten sources.
It is also important to be aware of the possibility of cross-contamination of your daughter's foods with gluten. Ensure all food preparation for her meals is done separately (using separate chopping boards, knives etc) to everyone elses to ensure her meal is not cross-contaminated with gluten. Furthermore, any shared spreads or condiments will need to ensure the knife is not scraped back into the container with the possibility of spreading crumbs.
If you have any further questions, please seek advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
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