It's one thing to decide if need to. Equally as important is considering if this lifestyle makes sense for your whole family.
Gwyneth Paltrow has been scrutinized in the media for her family's mostly gluten-free diet, but part of her motivation is her son Moses's physical reaction to eating gluten and cow dairy products. She cites his improvement in comfort as the main motivation to cook gluten-free at home.
Do you notice your children reacting to gluten or other common food allergens? Some common symptoms to look out for include diarrhea, irritability, fatigue, and even eczema. Some research has shown that eczema tends to be more common in children and adults allergic to gluten and wheat, and could be a potential indicator when deciding if a gluten-free diet may be necessary in your home.
If the choice to avoid wheat and gluten products is made voluntarily, the next step is to evaluate whether it will be healthy for you and your family. If done in a nutritious and careful manner, it absolutely can be.
There are many gluten-free (GF) whole grains that are excellent sources of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins (B & E), and minerals (iron & magnesium), all which work to keep your digestive tract in tact and your body functioning to its full potential. Adopting a GF diet can open your eyes to the world of naturally gluten-free nutrition powerhouses like quinoa, tempeh, and amaranth.
As you explore new GF food options, don’t forget the more familiar oldies (but goodies) like brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, and beans. The healthy and satiating compounds listed above can also be found in gluten-free fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as GF baking flours, energy bars, and even the occasional sweet treat. Thanks to the abundance of GF options, saying adios to gluten is now a fairly simple task.
Like Paltrow says, it is all about balance. Sometimes her children eat Oreos, but much of the time they eat "what they were meant to be eating." It comes down to what is right for your family and your lifestyle.
Whatever the decision is, arm yourself with resources to make the best choices possible. Savorfull offers allergen-friendly products and places to purchase, plus delicious recipes on our website and blog; Paltrow has a new cookbook out; and lots of experienced bloggers have helpful tips and tricks for thriving on a gluten-free diet.The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is also a good resource.
Before embarking on any dietary change, please consult your medical professional.