By contributing writer Janelle.
Friendships are so vitally important to every child. Friends are the people we giggle with, share our secrets with, and cry with. For our gluten-free kids, those relationships can sometimes be a bit different but equally special, and sometimes even more important!
My daughter Kayla is an outgoing, extremely social person. Every friend is her “best friend,” and a sharply spoken word from a friend (or even just an acquaintance) can hurt her deeply. Therefore, jabs about her glasses, her clothes, and yes, her diet, can bring her home in tears. All kids have these issues with their playmates, but those with dietary issues can sometimes struggle even more.
That is why friendships are so important in our household. Kayla has a few very special friends, and surprisingly, none of them are gluten-free. She has friends that can eat pretty much anything and then other friends who have different allergies than she does.
The picture above is of Kayla and her friend Jadyn. Jadyn does not have a problem with gluten, but is allergic to milk. In this picture, they had just finished making a batch of gluten-free AND dairy-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies! They had a blast in the kitchen together, and the cookies were delicious! It was also good for Kayla to see that she is not the only one with dietary issues and to be able to serve her friend by making them dairy-free as well.
We are so thankful for the friendships our girls are forming. If you are feeling like your child is the “only one” in your circle of friends with dietary issues, you may want to check out the R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) support group in your area. R.O.C.K. was founded by Danna Korn, and has groups in many cities throughout the U.S. where kids get to make new gluten-free friends. They do various activities, such as parties, get togethers, day trips, etc. If your gluten-free child is feeling lonely, you may want to get connected!
Janelle is wife to her hubby, who is celiac, and mom to 2 sweet girls, one of whom is celiac, and the other showing signs of gluten intolerance.