RD, LDN, CBS
Certified in Maternal and Infant Nutrition from Cornell, Angela’s mission is to help people reach their wellness goals. She also helps run a program that teaches pregnant women about how a healthy lifestyle optimizes prenatal and postnatal care.
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Celiac disease is a genetic condition that affects 1-2% of the population.1 It results in an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in certain grains including wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives.2
When these proteins are present in the diet of someone with celiac disease, they can damage the lining of the intestines and make it difficult for the body to absorb important nutrients.3
Celiac disease mostly develops due to genetics. In fact, gluten normally does not cause harm unless the person is allergic to it. Avoiding gluten if you do not have celiac disease is not likely to decrease or increase the risk of developing the disease.5, 6
If you suspect your child has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consult your child’s doctor for proper testing.
Should your little one be diagnosed with celiac disease, you can ask their doctor for a referral to a dietitian who specializes in celiac disease to help you get started with planning their diet.
If your child tests negative for a gluten allergy, your doctor may look for a different cause for your child’s symptoms.
If your child tests positive for celiac disease their doctor will likely recommend they follow a gluten-free diet.
A wide variety of foods should still be included in your little one’s eating pattern to ensure they are getting the nutrients needed for growth and development.
Grains that contain gluten include: Wheat, rye, and barley.
Grains that do NOT contain gluten include: Corn, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice, and teff.
It may seem like everything contains gluten and that there are limited options, but there are many foods that will fit into your child’s diet which are naturally gluten free. There are even substitutions for some of your favorites, such as gluten-free pastas, pizza dough, and breads.
It may take some time navigating these new dietary restrictions as you familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts of a gluten free diet.
Learn more: Everything You Need to Know About a Gluten Free Diet
If your little one is diagnosed with celiac disease, they must be gluten-free including less obvious sources of gluten. Not so obvious sources include lunch meats, broths, sauces, condiments, and marinades. Be sure to read all food labels. If there’s questionable ingredients, it’s best to skip it until you have confirmation that it is gluten free.
The below meal plan provides meal, snack, and recipe ideas to help get you started with a gluten-free diet for your infant or toddler. Be sure to modify and provide your baby food textures they can handle at their age and stage of eating.
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.
Our Happy Baby Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Monday – Friday 8am-8pm (EST), and Saturday – Sunday 8am-4pm (EST). Chat Now!
Read more about the experts that help write our content!
Gluten Free Meal Plan for Mom
Nutrients to Look for at 6-12 Months
Introducing Major Food Allergens
Our meal plans offer recipe and meal suggestions for your child. They are not designed to replace your doctor’s recommendations, nor do they take into account special nutritional needs, including allergies and intolerances. The meal plans suggest serving sizes that may or may not be appropriate for your child. Please consult your doctor to determine what is best for your child.
1. Sing P, Arora A, Strand T. Global Prevealence of Celiac Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2018; 16:823-836. https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(17)30783-8/fulltext
2. American Academy of Family Physicians. Celiac Disease. Accessed 13 September 2021. https://familydoctor.org/condition/celiac-disease/?adfree=true
3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Celiac Disease in Children and Teens. Accessed 13 September 2021. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Celiac-Disease.aspx
4. NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & Causes of Celiac Disease. Accessed 13 September 2021. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/symptoms-causes
5. Aronsson XA, Lee HS, Liu E, et al. Afge at gluten introduction and risk of celiac disease. Pediatrics. 105; 135(2):239-245. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306795/
6. Chmieleswka A, Piescik-Lech M, Szajewska H. Primary Prevention of Celiac Disease: Environmental Factors with a Focus on Early Nutrition. Ann Nutr Metab. 2015;67 Suppl 2:43-50 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26605913/
Supplementing | Nutrition
Recipes & Meal Plans | Mama
Recipes & Meal Plans | 7+ Months
Starting Solids | Little Ones
Our Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler is chock-full of yummy, easy-to-prepare meals your whole family will love.