Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Favorite Gluten Free Dinner

Since I've been cooking gluten free dinners for about 6 months now, I've tried a few new recipes. But I have to say, this is not only my all time favorite gluten free recipe, but quite possibly the best dinner I've ever made (aside from Thanksgiving, maybe!).

Gluten Free Chicken Picatta

This recipe comes from

I made it with Arugula Salad and squash. Yummy! Here's my photo. Oh, and don't forget the glass of wine. I recommend Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Top 5 Things I've Learned as a New Celiac Mom

1. Be prepared

Gone are the days of just winging it. I always have to think ahead and have food packed. Whether it's a day at the beach, a hockey tournament weekend, or a drive into the city for the day, I am always prepared.

2. There are more gluten free folks in my circle there than I realized

I was worried that my Celiac Son would have a hard time going to friend's houses and that they wouldn't understand that, even though he was showing up with his own foods, there was still the issue of cross contamination. Luckily, he has many friends who have at least one gluten free member of their family AND they get it.

3. We've had the chance to try so many new yummy recipes

I have really enjoyed researching gluten free recipes. It has given me a chance to find gluten free bloggers like A Girl DeFloured who have the yummiest ideas and recipes to share.

4. We already ate a lot of gluten free foods before the Celiac diagnosis

Most of our dinners were already gluten free. Meat and vegetables are naturally gluten free—it's mostly just the sauces, dressings, and gravies that I have to pay better attention to. But honestly, our dinner menu has not changed drastically.

5. I am still an overprotective 'Mama Bear'

I thought I had outgrown this once my children started getting a little bit older, but you mess with my child, gluten, you're gonna hear me roar!

Image Credit: Creative Commons |

Friday, April 25, 2014

Celiacs plan ahead for a day at the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon has always been a special event. Celiac Son and I decided to spend the day this year cheering on the runners. We were emotionally inspired all day long. It was such a special day. We chose to watch the marathon from Natick Center, at about mile marker 10. We chose this location specifically because we knew we could get some gluten free eats at Lola's Italian Restaurant. Thank you, Lola's! Celiac Son totally enjoyed his gluten free turkey sub and he especially enjoyed not having to pack a lunch box!

Here's a short clip of just some of what we experienced on Marathon Monday..

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to make a gluten free ice cream sundae

Recently, I wrote a post about how to take your Celiac child out for ice cream. It was a big hit!

Sometimes, though, we just want to stay in and made our ice cream sundae just the way we like it...whether that means with a cherry on top or 9 cherries on top! Check out our video about how to make a gluten free ice cream sundae:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gluten Free & Peanut Free Easter Basket 2014

As this is our first gluten free Easter, I needed some time do some research on what candies are gluten free and acceptable for the Easter Basket.

My added challenge?

I not only have a Celiac child, but I also have a Peanut Allergy child. So many candies that are gluten free and would be great for Celiac child like Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese's Pieces get immediately scratched off the list.

To top that off, we also have braces to deal with, so safe candies for both of them like Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Blow Pops, and Hubba Bubba are not an option either.

My mother called me last weekend while she was standing in the Easter candy aisle, rattling off candies to me asking me if they were safe. I had to be honest, I wasn't sure about many of them. It was frustrating for her, and she started looking things up online from her smart phone at the store. "But," I told her, "What websites are you looking at? You can't just Google "Are Hershey's Kisses Gluten Free?" and trust the first response that comes up (Hershey's kisses are gluten free by the way, check out my blog post about Hershey's awesome food allergy practices). You have to find a source that we can trust 100%."

It took me a couple of days, but then I came across this list on Twitter from

Reputable? Oh yeah. It's coming directly from the website of the Celiac Disease Foundation.

After I sent the list to Grandma, I printed it off and brought it with me to Target for my Easter shopping. I'm sure the other 20 moms shopping thought I had a little OCD, candy shopping with a 5 page list, oh well.

I found a great variety of candies and am putting together a great Easter Basket for both Celiac child and Peanut Allergy child this year.

Happy Easter too all!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celiac Son's List of Questions for Nutritionist at Boston Children's Hospital

My Celiac son had a 6-month check in appointment with a nutritionist today at Boston Children’s Hospital. They have an amazing program which includes an active Celiac support group.

Knowing that today’s appointment was upon us, Celiac Son and I have been keeping notes about random questions we wanted to ask the nutritionist. His list was at the top of the order for the appointment and what I will be sharing in this post.

So the following was Celiac son's list of questions for the nutritionist. Would your Celiac child's list be similar?

Can I eat the following?

-Hot dogs (at hockey rinks)

-Popcorn (at hockey rinks and movie theatres)


-McDonald's Milk Shakes (after hockey practice)

-Ice Cream (at ice cream parlors)

Nutritionists’ responses:

Hot dogs

Most of the time, yes. Be sure to ask to read the ingredient list on the package.
Remember, no bun (though you can bring your own. Try Udi’s!)

Yes, just make sure that the person scooping the popcorn is wearing gloves so you don’t have to worry about cross contamination.



McDonald’s milk shakes (after hockey practice)

Ice cream (at ice cream parlors)
Yes, but follow strict rules. See my previous blog post about Going Out For Ice Cream with a Celiac Child.

Celiac son was thrilled! There are so many things we've had to say "no" to. It was nice for him to have a day where he heard lots of "yes's." Celiac son is thrilled that he can still enjoy some of his favorite “fast foods.”

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing facility in Children's Hospital Boston with professionals who are dedicated to the research and care of children with Celiac Disease.

Image Credits:

McDonald's Milk Shake:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gluten Free Communion Host

If you partake in Communion at Church and have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you may be wondering what to do about accepting and sharing in Christ's blessed meal.

We asked about this at our Celiac School session at Children's Hospital in Boston, and another parent recommended that I look online at a company called Ener-G. Ener-G makes a gluten free host that can be ordered and shipped directly to your home.

I spoke with Celiac Son's Religious Education Director, and turns out, he is not the only Celiac Child in our Church. Our Religious Education Director ordered Christian lockets that are to be kept in the sacristy. The Celiac children can keep their lockets there, along with a sealed bag with their gluten free host with their names on them.

Each Sunday, before Mass, the children walk back to the sacristy, put their host in their locket, walk out and over to the alter and leave their locket on the altar for Father to bless when he blesses the bread and wine. When it is time for the Congregation to walk up for Communion, Celiac Son jumps out of line and retrieves his locket, which has his blessed communion.

Now, I will admit, Celiac Son was a little bit nervous about this whole process the first few times. It takes a lot of courage to walk out to the altar in front of the whole congregation before Mass starts. However, after a few weeks, he has become a pro.

I don't know if the logistics of the way we do it will work for you and your Church, but I wanted to share the information about the Gluten Free Communion. I hope that you are able to find a solution that you are comfortable with so that you can continue to share in Christ's meal.

God Bless all during this Easter season!

Image Credit:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shaw's Supermarkets is Taking Gluten Free Seriously

Part of being a "New Celiac Mom" means that I haven't had to have the experiences of some of my predecessors, that is….Celiac Moms and Dads who have been doing this for a while. From what I understand, up until about a year ago, shopping for a child with Celiac sometimes meant shopping at 4 or 5 different supermarketer and speciality shops, sometimes driving miles out of your way to find the one item you were looking for, and/or scouring the web for particular gluten free products.

Fast forward just one short year into this new gluten-sensitive world we are living in the US for gluten free items has become a breeze compared to what my peers were accustomed to. To those Celiac Moms and Dads, I salute you. And I hope you are finally finding some relief not that gluten free items are becoming more and more readily available.

Over the last month, I have noticed that my primary grocery store, Shaw's Supermarketers, has stepped their gluten free shopping experience up a notch. They are rolling out Gluten Free tags on their grocery aisles. Every item in the store that is gluten free now has a tag similar to this in front of it.

Wow, does this make things easy!

I still recommend reading labels in case items were moved from one shelf to another or in the case of human error.

I wanted to write this post to give a big, gigantic shout out to Shaw's Supermarkets for making this New Celiac Mom's just a little bit easier.

Thank you, Shaws!

Image Credit Shaw's Logo:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going out for ice cream with your Celiac child

This is our first ice cream season as a Celiac family. Celiac Son was diagnosed in September, so it was easy to avoid during the fall and winter months. But with the warmer weather finally upon us, all of the little ice cream shops in town are starting to open up and Celiac Son wants to "go out for ice cream, already!"

Luckily, we are a food allergy family and this is not our first time around the ice cream rodeo. Remember, Celiac Son has a Peanut Allergy Brother. So, we are familiar with and comfortable requesting some extra TLC at the ice cream counter.

You may feel a little bit reluctant the first few times, but ice cream is something your child should not miss out on. It's worth the embarrassment of holding up the line and asking for help for yummy, yummy ice cream!

So here are my recommendations when going out for ice cream with a Celiac child:

First and foremost, always be sure to tell your server ahead of time that you have a gluten allergy and ask them if they are willing to take the necessary precautions to keep you safe. If your server is not comfortable, ask to please speak to a manager.

Second, you have to find a gluten free ice cream (nothing with cookies or other add-ins that contain gluten). Ask to read ingredient labels. You'd be surprised at what is added into ice cream.

Third, you have to ask the ice cream shop to open up a brand new container of the ice cream that you know is safe. The reason that you want the brand new container is that even though the ice cream may be gluten free, if the person before you (or before them) ordered that same ice cream and the employee scooped the ice cream into a cone, and then dug back into the ice cream carton for a second scoop, that ice cream is now gluten contaminated.

Finally, ask your server to diligently wash the ice cream scoop before preparing your ice cream from the brand new container.

Soft serve: Soft serve ice cream typically doesn’t have cross contamination issues, though you should still ask to see the ingredient list.

Cones: Obviously you want to avoid cones at the ice cream parlor. If your child MUST have a cone, Joy makes a gluten free ice cream cone. I would suggest bringing your own cone and place it on top of your child's ice cream bowl.

Toppings: also largely a no-no. Even if you are asking for a topping that is gluten free, they are typically left in open containers and cross contamination is a big issue. You can, however, ask for whipped cream out of a brand new container. My son gets excited about adding whipped cream to just about anything. Also, consider bringing your own gluten free toppings.

This ice cream process may sound daunting, but we have found over the years that most ice cream parlors that we visit are familiar with food allergies. In fact, it was at an ice cream shop in Bar Harbor, Maine that I was first exposed to the washing of the scoop. The server recommended it to me!

Like most things food related for a Celiac, going out for ice cream will take some careful planning, but for a reaction like this, I think we Celiac parents would all agree it's worth it!

P.S. Okay, she's not mine, but I couldn't resist!

Ice cream image credit:
Nut Free Zone image credit:
Joy ice cream cone image credit:
Super Cute Girl Eating Ice Cream image credit:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Podcast: I interviewed my Celiac child and here's what he had to say

If your child has been recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my elementary aged son and I know what you are going through. In the following podcast, I asked my Celiac son about his experience with Celiac Disease (so far). Some of his responses may surprise you.