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Food allergies and intolerance – Wheat intolerance

Baby eating cookie

What about wheat? Gluten intolerance

Occasionally a child may have an intolerance to the gluten in wheat (which irritates the intestinal walls and can lead to tummy upsets, cramps, diarrhoea, reduced nutrient absorption, anaemia etc). Commonly referred to as coeliac disease, it can be diagnosed by a doctor (via a blood test). Don’t be tempted to place your child on a gluten-free diet if you haven’t had confirmation of a problem with gluten as it can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

A gluten-free diet means avoiding grains and foods containing wheat, oats, rye, barley and triticale. Obviously bread, breakfast cereals, cakes, cookies and pasta are out, as are foods that are less obvious such as those that contain stabilisers and thickeners. So as you can see, wheat represents a large food group making a gluten-free diet a tricky balancing act.

But don’t despair. Improved labelling laws and increased gluten-free options make things easier. Meat, produce, legumes and dairy are fine. Gluten-free grains and products, such as those made from rice, corn (maize), potato, tapioca (also known as arrowroot), buckwheat, millet, sago, soy, quinoa, amaranth and lupin are all acceptable. This provides a wide range of flours, breads and baking products.

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This information has been provided by Leanne Cooper from Sneakys baby and child nutrition. Leanne is a qualified nutritionist and mother of two very active boys.

For more information see Baby Allergy or Baby Care

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