The Celiac Disease Program at Children's National is currently in need of participants in a School Gluten Contamination Study. Please take a moment to review the Information below and please sign up to help with this very important project on Saturday June 22nd. They just need 1.5 hours of your time to potentially make a major difference for kids with celiac at school!
We need 30 siblings or family friends between the ages of 3-18 who do NOT have celiac disease to participate. Details are below:
Date: Saturday June 22nd
Time: 9-2:30 (We'll have participants sign up for individual shifts, so you will not have to stay the entire day)
Location: Diabetes Care Complex Kitchen at Children's National Medical Center (111 Michigan Ave, NW, Washington DC 20010)
Perks: a goody bag of yummy GF treats and local offers to GF businesses
Our Celiac Program is working on an exciting project to measure the potential for gluten contamination at school. We have set up a study to measure the amount of gluten found in everyday school supplies and determine how much gluten is transferred to hands of students and surfaces like tables. Additionally, we will measure different ways of washing gluten off of student's hands after touching these supplies.
Here's the catch...The participants can not have celiac disease. Since we have no data showing how much gluten is potentially involved in these supplies, we do not want to knowingly expose children with celiac disease to them. We are hoping we can find 30 siblings or friends who do not have celiac to help us with this very important project.
Interested parties can sign up for a shift below. Any questions please contact Joyana at JMcMahon@childrensnational.org.
Sign Up Here!
One of the questions I get asked often is how necessary is it to use gluten-free personal care products? One thing I want to make clear as I offer my answer is, gluten CANNOT be absorbed through your skin! The only way to be exposed to gluten is by ingesting it. That is where the stickiness of personal products comes in. No, you are hopefully not gnawing on your bar of soap, but is there the possibility you could have some shampoo dribble into your mouth while showering? Or the biggest reason why there might be a need is the potential from cross-contamination from your hands after using one of these products.
My general rule of thumb for determining the need for gluten-free personal products is age and likelihood of mouth exposure. So, for younger children who are more likely to put things in their mouth or keep their mouth open while playing in the bathtub- yes, by all means splurge for all gluten-free personal care products.
For adults, I'd say think about how the product will be used. Lip Balm or anything applied directly on your mouth- yes. Shampoo- Eh, depends how careful you are in the shower. Hand soap or lotion- well, think of it this way- After application, won't you be eating at some point after? Your hands with that lotion or hand soap applied will be handling that food. So, I'd say yes, you probably want to make sure that product is gluten-free.
Same goes with sunblock. As we all know from going to the beach- you usually end up eating a sandwich full of sand after your sticky, sunblock covered hands act like a magnet the rest of the day. You know residual sunblock is remaining for awhile. Unless you want that gluten-filled sunblock rubbed all over your carefully prepared sandwich, you probably want to make sure you're using a gluten-free product.
So, what sunblocks are gluten-free? I've prepared a list for you. All of these products have been researched and compared to the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep database which tests for the safety and efficacy of skincare products. You can review this yourself here- www.ewg.org/sunscreen/. As always though, I recommend you double-check all ingredient labels yourself before using because ingredients change.
Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
Alba Botanica Sunscreens (check package for gluten free statement, not all of their products meet the certification standards.)
All Good Sunscreens
All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 (no gluten ingredients but not certified)
Australian Gold Kids SPF 50 Lotion Sunscreen, Hypoallergenic Formula,
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 30 plus Fragrance Free
Babyganics Mineral-based Sunscreen Spray – SPF 50
Babytime! by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, SPF 35
Bare Belly – Natural Sunscreen Body Stick, SPF 34
Bare Republic Clearscreen Products
Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen, SPF 34
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby, SPF 30+
BurnOut KIDS Sunscreen, SPF 35
Butterbean Organics Simple Formula Healthy Sunscreen, SPF 30
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Carefree Naturals, Zinc Blend SPF 40 Invisible Traditional Sunscreen Face & Body
Caribbean Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 30
CeraVe Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer, SPF 50
Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Water Babies Pure & Simple, SPF 50
Cleure Sunscreen: Natural Mineral, Sensitive Skin, Sunscreen, SPF 15
derma e Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
Elemental Herbs All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
Goddess Garden Organics Baby Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Grahams Natural – Sunclear, SPF 30 plus Sunscreen
Green Screen Organic
Headhunter Sunscreen Natural, SPF 30
Jersey Shore Cosmetics Anti-Aging Sunscreen, SPF 35 and Jersey Kids, SPF 30
Kabana Organic Skincare, Green Screen® Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
Keeki Pure & Simple UVA Protection Sunscreen Lotion – Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Keys Solar Rx Broad Spectrum, SPF 30 Sunblock 3.4oz lotion by Keys Care
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Sunscreen, SPF 30, Kids Defense Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion, Sun Spray Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30, Sunscreen Face (SPF 30 and SPF 50), Sunscreen Lip Balm, Cool Sport Spray Sunscreen
Loving Naturals 100% Natural Clear Body SPF 30+ Sunscreen
Majestic Pure 100% Natural, SPF 30+
Maui Sun Water Resistant Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum, SPF 30
Miami Gorgeous SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Nurture My Body Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
Om Botanicals, Skin Soft Organic Moisturizer with Natural Sun Screen
Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+,
Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, SPF 50 Sunscreen Mist, Face Stick SPF 60, 1.5-oz SPF 30 (and SPF 50) Broad Spectrum Sunscreen w/carabiner, 6 Ounce Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 and SPF 50
Rubber Ducky Traditional Sunscreen, SPF 44
Secret in-a-Tube Organic Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Moisturizer, SPF 32
Sonage Protect Plus Natural SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen
Sunblocz Baby & Kids Sunscreen Creme, SPF 50+
Sun Bum and Baby Bum Products
Sunology Natural Sunscreen Kids, SPF 50
Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Sunscreen For Body, SPF 30
Sunumbra Sunkids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 40
Tender Sprouts Organic Zinc-Oxide Baby Sunscreen, SPF 35
ThinkSport Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
True Natural, SPF 30
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
Waxhead Tinted Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
Waxhead Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, SPF 35
Zebs Organic Sunscreen, SPF 20 and SPF 30
Do you consider yourself a Gluten-Free Expert? Do you love a challenge? Take this Gluten-Free Trivia Quiz and see how you score! If you have questions about any of the answers after- feel free to reach out! Good Luck!
Gluten-Free Trivia Quiz
Share it online with your friends!
The Nima Sensor has been in the news a lot lately. There was the recent hubbub about the high percentage of restaurants with gluten-free food testing positive for gluten. But, what many of these reports failed to mention is it's actually ok to eat some gluten. In fact, no gluten-free product is entirely gluten-free.
A certified GF label means a product measures to the FDA standard of safety. Less than 20ppm. That means there IS, in fact, SOME gluten in that product. It's just less than what can cause a reaction.
And how much gluten does it take to cause a reaction? Researchers have determined that an individual can actually consume up to an 1/8 teaspoon of gluten before causing damage or for most individuals to have a reaction. Now, I again stress MOST here, because as we know each gluten-free individual is unique, as is their level of sensitivity. And I'm also not advocating for you to go out and start shoveling measured out 1/8 teaspoons here. But, what this information is meant to provide is, peace of mind.
Cross-contamination IS going to happen. It is impossible to get through life without coming into contact with gluten somewhere. And what reports of those NIMA findings failed to publicize was the downfall in the device. The device cannot measure the amount of gluten present. It just says gluten is present. So, the meal could be perfectly safe to eat with a presence of gluten far below the 20ppm threshold, however you now can't be sure.
What do you do now? Do you trust the questions you've asked and the restaurant's assurance of safe practices? Can you go against this knowledge of gluten present? Many feel they can't and are now boycotting restaurants they've felt perfectly safe eating at in the past. So, I ask, is that reading worth it?
Is the device really offering you peace of mind if it's further limiting your gluten-free world? Yes, you will feel safer dining where you get that zero reading. But, what about those places where you've never had a reaction in the past, but you're now getting a positive reading?
I don't know about you, but I find my world small enough. Yes, I want to be safe in my gluten-free lifestyle. But, I also want to enjoy life. I'll continue to ask my questions and read reviews in trusted places. And I probably will experience a bad reaction a time or two as a result. (Hopefully, far and few between!) But, I think I'd still prefer that to sitting there anxiously second-guessing myself over a plate of beautiful food I'd never have questioned before.
What about you? What are your thoughts on these devices? I'd love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.
Trader Joe's is probably one of my favorite places to shop. This is for a number of reasons. Yes, there's the fun "tropical", friendly atmosphere. But, what really pulls me in is the exciting feeling of the GF scavenger hunt. Each time I go I find a new delicious option! Here are a few of my favorite GF Trader Joe offerings.
Everything Bagels- Not only does Trader Joe's have some of the best GF bread I've found, they also carry GF bagels! Their GF Everything bagels, in particular, are fantastic! Load them up with some cream cheese and you've got yourself a real treat!
Cauliflower Gnocchi- Ok, this is probably one of my favorite finds in the store! A. it's super healthy and B. you can prepare it so many different ways! Ignore the directions on the back of the bag though and try pan-frying it with some coconut oil and some other favorite sauces/seasonings. Add some veggies and you've got yourself a nutritious and delicious meal.
Tamales- These are a great easy lunch option. There's a range of offerings- cheese and pepper, beef, chicken and cheese etc. Grab a few, stick them in the freezer and then just heat in the microwave for a few minutes when you're ready to eat. Delicioso!
Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onions and Dolmas- These are amazing!! Not only are they super convenient, they taste great! I load up on these and eat them for lunch with some crackers. I love that they come with the pull tab for opening so I can even toss them in my bag to bring for lunch at work.
3 Seed Beet Crackers and 3 Seed Sweet Potato Crackers- I'm always looking for crackers that have a more nutritious punch rather than just empty calories. These are great because they have a full serving of vegetables as well as being made with filling ingredients like chia, flax and sesame seeds. The best part? They still taste great! My kids even eat them!
Joe-Joe's and the Crispy Crunchy Cookies- Omg!!! Amazing!! Even non-GF eaters will devour these cookies! I love that they also have a range of flavors. There's the classic chocolate chip, but also more unique options like Ginger Chunk. They also offer their holiday flavors like Candy Cane Joe-Joe's! The only danger is eating too many!
Overall, the best advice I can give is to have fun exploring. As I said, I still find something new to try each time I go. I've been happy with the quality of the everything Trader Joe's offers (by far some of the best GF tasting products on the market) as well as the price (definitely more reasonable than some other brands). Enjoy!
Are you looking to travel this summer but overwhelmed by the research required? Lucky for you, there are a number of gluten-free travel experts who can plan it all for you! Here's a list I've compiled below:
Gluten-Free Travel Agents:
•Ellen Morse GF Travel
•Bob and Ruth's GF Travel
Or Book an entirely GF Trip
–A GF Yoga Retreat? A GF Culinary Tour of Italy? Check out some of these specialty options where EVERYTHING is GF!
•Italy GF Culinary Experience
•GF Farm and Yoga Adventure in Umbria
Some of my additional favorite travel resources:
–Erin Smith at Gluten-Free Globetrotter
–Karen Broussard at Gluten-Free Travel Site
–Kim Koeller at Gluten-Free Passport
•Celiac Societies Around the World
•Top Gluten-Free Travel Apps
•Gluten-Free Magazines have travel articles and tips. Gluten-Free Living even has a Travel e-book!
–Gluten-Free Living Travel E-book
Enjoy- Happy Travels!
GF Dining in Restaurants. Keeping Your Family Safe.
Eating outside of the home, especially in restaurants, can be a difficult experience for people living a gluten-free lifestyle. Cross-contamination happens regularly and even at restaurants with gluten-free menus, busy kitchens and poor communication can sometimes lead to mistakes. This seminar will cover important questions to ask, common mistakes to watch for, and tools you can use to dine at restaurants safely with your family.
Sail the High Seas on the first-ever Celiac and Gluten-Free Cruise!
Sailing January 17-20, 2020
Join the gluten-free community aboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas!
On this Gluten Free Cruise, you will find:
For information check out https://www.celiaccruise.com/.
Save the Date!
Come one, come all on Sunday October 6th!
It's almost here! The GF favorite event of the year!
This event has become a staple in our community and serves as a way to bring people together across our region to learn from leading experts in the celiac and gluten-free field, as well as a chance to enjoy the best gluten-free products on the market. For more information and to buy tickets go to http://www.dcglutenfreeexpo.com/.
Be Gluten Free Family Camp 2019: July 12-14
Be Gluten Free Family Camp 2019 offers children with celiac disease the opportunity to attend a 3-day/2-night family camp to learn about their condition and have fun in the process.
In addition to fun, the goal of Be Gluten Free camp is to increase knowledge and understanding of celiac disease. The camp provides opportunities for youngsters and their families to work with professional staff and become more confident advocates and managers of their condition. The cost of Be Gluten Free Family Camp 2019 is $300/person. Need based scholarships are available and payment plans can be arranged. Please contact Brainy Camps at email@example.com for more information.
Check out the Be Gluten Free Family Camp webpage for more information and to enroll.
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