Going Gluten Free

Recent reports have suggested that the immune system condition coeliac disease could be a reaction to eating gluten—so should we get our kids on a gluten free diet?

GOING GLUTEN FREE

Recent reports have suggested that the immune system condition coeliac disease could be a reaction to eating gluten—so should we get our kids on a gluten free diet?

Well, the truth is a bit more complicated. While this study draws connections between kids who eat more gluten being a bit more likely to get coeliac disease, there is no sure way to prove that it was a direct result of doing so. In fact, another factor or more than one factor entirely may be at play.

While some parents may worry about their child getting coeliac disease, it isn’t actually advisable to cut gluten out of your child’s diet unnecessarily, unless of course they are coeliac, or have a diagnosed issue with gluten.

Similarly, there isn’t’ any good evidence to back up claims that a gluten free diet makes healthy children feel any better.

In fact, many foods containing gluten are healthy, and your child may struggle to get enough key nutrients, like iron, calcium and zinc without it. Also, since many grains will be off limits in a gluten free diet, your child might struggle to get enough fibre. While it is advisable to keep an eye on how much gluten your child eats, in order to help them maintain a balanced diet, there is no reason why they should be on a gluten free diet, unless told to by health professionals.

Voice: Dr Ranj Singh