I’m the mother of two kids with celiac, one 15 and one 12. The older one, my daughter, has always been very hesitant to share her celiac information with other people, and would rather not eat than even speak up at a restaurant. I’ve mostly been able to handle it in the five years since diagnosis, but it’s getting tougher.
Here’s a new one for me — school field trip of 55 high schoolers for 4 days/3 nights. I told the teachers and organizers well in advance, and she has a 504 plan at school (so everything that could be done ahead of time was). First, the hotel that is providing the bulk of the meals cannot guarantee her anything gluten-free, and will try to get her fruit for breakfast while the other kids get their pastries (if the fruit is taken by the other kids, however, they can’t/won’t do anything). Lunches are mostly on her own. Pizza party one night is a no-go. And the whole bus is stopping at Old Country Buffet for dinner tonight, where there is literally no option.
What I am finding is that celiac is about control, and she has little to none in this situation. I have even less. I packed a sandwich for tonight, some gluten free muffins for breakfasts, some protein bars for the rest of the trip. But she is mortified, as she is a freshman surrounded by mostly upperclassmen, and just wants to fit in. My husband says that she won’t starve, and she can figure out/make it up during lunches (hopefully), but I’m not so sure.
Any advice on either how best to feed her, or how to deal with this avoidance issue? She’s not a child anymore, and I can’t continue to control this, but the transition here is brutal.
My son has celiac and the best way to feed her is to inform her of the strict diet she needs to follow. Let her know how serious and important it is to follow a gluten free diet. She’s not a child, so she should definitely mature and listen to you.