Social Life

What should I say to other kids? Would they understand what my limitations are? Do they get what Celiac Disease is? What should I do at a party?

All of this is up to you and your comfort zone. You can share as much or as little information about your new life as you want. On this page, we have put together some tips and suggestions to help you live your life to the fullest!

What Do I Say to People?

What you say to other people is completely your choice. However, here are some suggestions that we have come up with in case you do not want to go into an in-depth explanation of all that Celiac Disease entails.

"I have Celiac Disease" (for those who have it and not just a sensitivity)

"I eat gluten-free"

"I have an allergy" (even though Celiac Disease is not, sometimes that is simpler)

"I am not in the mood/I don't really like it {treat}"

"No thank you"

Always feel free to share your conditions or feelings or you can just keep it private! 

*Although you don't have to tell all of the kids, make sure the adult in charge is aware of your Celiac Disease/condition. 

Here is an example of when Sara needed her own special GF treat (the separate waffle plate containing GF waffles made on a separate iron).

How to Plan for A Party/Event

Birthday parties. School celebrations. Graduations. These can all be really tricky and stressful when you are first going gluten free. Kids often worry about trusting other people, or just the social aspect of introducing your body. That is why we have put in some tips together to help you balance your Celiac Disease and your life:

  • ​It is easiest to be honest and let people know ahead of time.

  • If people offer to find/make a gluten free substitute, while it is nice, it is okay to decline. Usually, we feel more comfortable just providing our own treats.

  • For school parties, contact your teacher at the beginning of the year. Our teachers and many others allow us to keep a stash of gluten free treats in their desk for impromptu events.

  • For FACS/Home Economics, make sure your teacher knows all the aspects of eating gluten free, as well as the risks of cross-contamination. Then, you can establish a plan with your teacher based on your needs. It may be that you make but not eat the food, as it is all gluten. However, some teachers create a whole gluten free class, where everyone makes GF foods. Others allow you to bring in your own GF products to bake with.

  • It is helpful to know what will be served at a party ahead of time. That way, you can know what is GF and what is not. For the foods that are not GF, you can bring a yummy substitute, which can make you feel more connected. (ex. We like to bring GF cupcakes if the hostess is serving gluten cake)

  • Be careful of cross-contamination and know how to spot it. This will prevent accidents, as cross-contamination happens at parties all the time. For instance, if there is a gluten free dip but the chips are gluten, people will most likely cross-contaminate the dip. We like to set aside a little dip at the beginning before it gets gluten crumbs!

  • If you are ever uncomfortable or unsure, just say "no thanks"!

What About Halloween?

Halloween can be an uneasy and stressful holiday, as it is centered around food. However, you can enjoy this day as much as anyone with these simple tips.

  • Research ahead of time what candies are gluten free. This may entail calling companies, looking on websites, investigating wrappers, and more.

  • On the day, it is easiest to accept any candy you are given, as long as it is wrapped.

  • Once you are home, you can investigate the candies, sort them into piles, GF and not GF.

  • For the candies that are not gluten free, feel free to trade them with friends or siblings, give them away, or put them in your house's bowl to give out to other trick-or-treaters. We like to have a big auction, trading the GF and gluten foods.

  • Always be careful, because sometimes different sizes or variations of candies have different ingredients. Just because a king-sized bar is GF, don't assume that the special Halloween bar is too.

  • If you attend a party that is hanging donuts from a string, or bobbing for apples, make sure that you know ahead of time. That way, you can bring your own treat and still participate in the fun!

  • Make sure you are safe but also have fun.

Birthday Treats

Birthdays are hard. Whether it is your birthday or someone else's, it is often difficult to find yummy GF baked goods. Here are some of our favorite treats:

  • Ice cream sundaes (using the brands listed above)

  • Trader Joe's GF Cupcakes

  • Wegmans GF Brownies

  • Wegmans Brownie Mix

  • Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (in blog)

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (in blog)

  • Immaculate Gluten Free Cookies (all flavors)