Family Lives Gluten-Free While Coping with Celiac Disease

By: Jennifer Kliese Email
By: Jennifer Kliese Email

Tara Pasholk was 34 when she discovered she and her son Kadyn both have celiac disease.

"We got tested together actually when i was about 2 weeks pregnant with Kohin," says Tara.

And now, she suspects her 11 month old son Kohin has it too. Both boys are living with severe intestinal problems, leaving them unable to eat many foods, including those with gluten.

While Tara can understand why she must avoid gluten, she says it's been hard to tell her three-year-old son he can't have the same things as other kids.

"They'd have these fun little treats and he'd cry because he couldn't have them and that as a mom was very difficult," says Tara.

Dietitians say it can be tough for families to learn how to manage a gluten-free diet. But the challenge can seem less daunting, if you start simple, by looking at your current diet, to see what can be substituted.

But it can be extra difficult when shopping, because gluten is hidden in many processed foods.

"You're kind of at the mercy of the manufacturers in hoping that when they say gluten free that it in fact it is gluten free," says Aspirus dietitian Jennifer Mikulich.

Tara says it's gotten easier to shop and plan meals over the past couple years. She has learned to plan ahead, and she brings her own treats when they're on the go. But she says it's most important to stay positive with her children when talking about celiac disease.

"Kadyn will look at me and say we can't have that momma cuz it hurts our tummies, right? And I'll say yeah you know we can't have that but think of all the good things we can have," says Tara.

Tara says in the end, it was actually harder for her to go gluten-free than her son Kadyn. He's now a healthy little boy, thanks to his new diet.

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