Your Kitchen

Your child may enjoy helping you unpack the groceries and prepare the meals so that they can learn by doing. If they can hold a spoon and help you mix, and as they learn how to do other things, your child can start helping with food prepping and cooking.

Here are some ways to get your child involved:

  • Plan meals together.
  • Go shopping as a team.
  • Get your child in the kitchen to prep and cook with you.

All of these skills will be important for your child to master so that when they are older and living on their own, they will be able to manage their celiac disease.

Storing and preparing foods

There are many ways to organize your kitchen and household to assist you with a gluten-free diet. Do you want the entire kitchen to be gluten free? Or do you want one area for preparing and storing gluten-free foods and another area for items that are not gluten free?

There is no perfect way to do this, but rather what works best for your child and family. When in doubt, ask your celiac disease care team for further guidance.

  • Designate separate cabinet and refrigerator shelves for gluten-free foods. Make sure your child can reach them.
  • Keep separate containers of gluten-free foods and condiments. Peanut butter, hummus, salsa, and other spreads and sauces are common sources of cross contact from “double dipping.” It is helpful to keep separate containers of these at home, or you can try using squeeze bottles.
  • Have separate appliances, utensils, and pans for strictly gluten-free food preparation. This includes toasters, colanders, nonstick pans, cast iron skillets, cutting boards, sponges, and anything else that could have grooves or surfaces that can trap gluten or can’t be fully cleaned.
  • You do not need to replace ovens, knives, or stainless-steel pots and pans.
  • Thoroughly clean shared tools before using. If you do use the same tools for cutting, mixing, serving, and cooking gluten-free and non-gluten-free foods, be sure to clean them before each use.
  • Consider using a color-coded label. This can easily indicate that a kitchen appliance or food is gluten free.

Encourage all eaters in the home to:

  • Wash hands before touching food.
  • Avoid drinking directly from beverage cartons.
  • Refrain from double-dipping.
  • Change any other practices that may introduce gluten to normally gluten-free foods.