As a parent, it can be difficult explaining to your child why they can't eat certain things. With Celiac disease, comes restrictions that can be difficult for any child to understand. Here are some words you can use to help explain!
Script for explaining
(This is a simple to use script that can help guide you in your conversation with your child. You do not have to use it word for word. )
Reassure your child - "There is nothing you did to cause you to have Celiac. Celiac is a genetic autoimmune disorder. This means that it's something your body was born with."
"Autoimmune disorders mean that our bodies decide certain things are bad for us and our bodies think that it’s helping us, when it’s actually causing some problems. "
"Celiac (Silly Yak) is a disease in which our bodies do not like a protein called gluten. Inside our intestines (big long tubes in our bellies that absorb nutrients to help our bodies grow and be healthy) there are these finger-like things (villi) that grab those nutrients and give them to our bodies to use. Celiac makes those villi wear down and our intestines can’t grab the nutrients anymore."
"Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. There are a lot of popular foods now made gluten free like pizza, bread, and even pancakes!"
"Removing gluten from your diet is how Celiac is usually treated. From now on you’ll need to stay gluten free to be as healthy as you can be!"
Here is a great video: What is celiac disease? Gluten-free resources for parents and children - YouTube
If you need further support in educating and supporting your child, please reach out to Kids Can Cope, LLC for your free consultation.