Tip-A-Day for May: Celiac Awareness Month #8

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Tip-yellow postit # 8: Put a Label on it and Call it Safe

Ok, not quite as catchy as “Put a Bird on It…”  I tried. Everyone handles gluten free living differently. For some families, everyone goes gluten free. In others, only those who need to eat gluten-free foods. Andy, our son with Down syndrome, was diagnosed with Celiac disease around the time his older brother left for college. My husband and I decided it would be easier to simply be 90% gluten free. We have a few non-gluten free items in the house. They’re kept separate and typically aren’t things that Andy has any interest in.

This works well when it’s just the three of us. When someone comes to stay with us, it can get a little confusing. Suddenly I need to be aware of what’s happening at the toaster, whose eating what, and whether or not Andy might find it tempting. Thankfully these moments do not happen very often.

Many households, however, balance both gluten free and non-gluten free foods and cooking in their kitchen. It can be confusing and frustrating. There are many ways to organize a kitchen so that the gluten-free toaster, pots, pans, sponges, and cooking utensils are kept separately. Sharpies were made for labeling, so that can take care of the food items. Most of the time.

I ran across a fun way to help organize things. Kelly LeDonni is the founder of a company that sells gluten-free labels. Just imagine, a drawer full of stickers, gluten free toothpick flaglabels, and even toothpick signs to help keep things from becoming cross-contaminated, even when entertaining! 

These labels serve another purpose: vlsual tools for children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome and related disabilities. It’s a great way to say, “These are your foods. They will keep your stomach healthy. Let’s put these labels or stickers on them so your brother, sister, father, room-mate, won’t eat them. Even if they want them, they need to leave them alone. They are for you.” It also gives your child a clear idea of what they can put in their lunch, have for a snack, and so on with out having to ask. Independence!  It's a great teaching tool. 

So take a peek at her website, to get some ideas of how you can help everyone prevent cross-contamination while also putting the control of “what’s mine” in your child’s hands. 

Do you have a way to make it easy for your cihild to find safe foods? Share it on my  Facebook Page. (and like the page while you're there!) The more we share, the more we learn together!

Until Tomorrow!

joan sig

(Just in case you’re wondering, I receive nothing in return for sharing the products we use in our home. These are unsolicited recommendations. I love good tools!)



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