Gluten is a protein that comes from grains like barley, rye, wheat, and some other similar grains. Some people have a gluten intolerance known as celiac disease in which gluten harms the small intestines lining when it is ingested. This can cause a number of health problems including abdominal cramping and bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, or vitamin and mineral deficiency. People that suffer from celiac disease have to adopt a completely gluten free diet in order to allow the lining to heal and avoid further damage and symptoms.
This disease has been proven to be passed down genetically. Therefore, if you have it, it is likely that you may pass it on to your kids. A strict, 100 percent gluten free lifestyle will take care of the problem, but it can be difficult, especially for children. Many foods are made with ingredients that contain gluten, but it is rarely specifically noted. Yogurt, peanut butter and jelly, string cheese, Three Musketeers candy bars, and Skittles are some good examples of fun, gluten free foods for kids. It is also important to find suitable foods to boost your fiber intake because high fiber foods frequently contain gluten. So, many with celiac disease often do not get enough fiber in their diet. A great source of information on safe foods and foods to avoid for those with celiac disease can be found at http://gicare.com/Diets/Gluten-Free.aspx.
Implementing a gluten free diet is becoming widely accepted as a means of therapy for kids with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). While not often medically recommended, success stories from parents who have tried this are increasingly popping up. Autism and ADHD share similar symptoms of impulsive behavioral characteristics and a general lack of focus. There is some evidence that a balanced and healthy G/F diet can help to reduce these symptoms in children.