This was a big deal, as he likes to be one of the guys, not the kid with celiac disease. Most of the other folks at the collective didn’t know he had it. He’s sat there and watched them all eat snacks he can’t have every week all year and not said anything. In fact, the night he decided to do this piece, there was even a surprise pizza party half way through the meeting. (The group facilitator went and found him some clementine oranges for him when she realized of course the pizza wouldn’t be ok.) We’re proud of him!
Here is the transcript, with some handy links added in:
This is Kid2 from the KBOO Youth Collective. Today my topic is Celiac Cross Contamination.
I have celiac disease. It does bad things! When I eat gluten my body attacks itself and I get joint pains, stomach aches, dyslexia, fatigue, anxiety, and sores in my mouth.
If you have celiac disease, it’s really important not to eat gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and some other grains. It’s also in oats that are not certified gluten-free. Gluten is also in a lot of processed foods. Even some “gluten-free” foods have a tiny bit of gluten in them. Gluten is also in a bunch of every day items, like glue, playdough, and shampoo.
Short contact with gluten can contaminate other foods. A couple weeks ago we brought some homemade gluten-free apple crisp to our friends’ house, but ate it out of their hand-washed bowls. I got sick from that.
To cook and serve gluten-free foods safely, you need to use pots, pans, utensils and appliances that have not touched gluten or that are completely clean. Some kinds of things can never really get clean, like wood, scratched teflon or plastic, and stoneware. Steel and glass are best, but you need to be careful not to wash them with a sponge that has gluten on it.
If you have celiac disease it’s a good idea to take all the gluten out of your house. That way, you won’t accidentally get your gluten-free stuff cross-contaminated. If you go to restaurants a lot of times the gluten-free food would be cooked in the same place as the other food, cross-contaminating it. You can call ahead or talk to the chef to make sure your food is safe. If you’ve been sharing toys with friends who eat gluten, you need to wash your hands really well before eating. Whenever you go someplace you are not sure will have safe food, you need to bring your own food.
Before I went gluten-free I felt bad a lot of the time. I actually went to the hospital because of it before we found out. Now I’ve been gluten-free for over a year and I feel almost completely better!
This is Kid2 signing off for the KBOO Youth Collective