Teen. Teenage. Adolescence. These are words that strike fear into many parents’ hearts, perhaps especially those with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. Most teenagers want desperately to fit in with their peers, and many of them will “cheat” on their gluten-free diet, often making themselves ill, in order to feel they are part of the group. Educating your gluten-free teen and making sure they have food they really enjoy are two ways to help prevent this problem.
Another way to help prevent teens from eating their excluded foods is to make sure they have enough treats to share with their friends so they can still be part of the group. I found, a few months ago, that Braden just wanted to share some things with his friends at school since they often shared food. I try to remember every once in awhile to give him extra treats for his lunch: brownies, almond fudge, oatmeal cookies, etc.
I recently received (from the publisher) a cookbook entitled Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everday Foods the Whole Family Will Love. The best part of this book, in my opinion, is that it is co-authored by a teenage girl, Sarah Berghoff McClure. Her mother and co-author, Carlyn McClure, is a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, but her daughter is the star of the book. Sarah writes with that tell-it-like-it-is, sometimes annoyed attitude of a teenager, which many teenagers will more easily relate to than a cookbook authored by someone in their fifties. For instance, Sarah writes of the horrors of taking her lunch to school: ”I didn’t really feel bad about having to pack it, but I did get annoyed because I had to carry it.” I actually laughed out loud when I read about her breakfasts of “some gluten-free banana bread, maybe an egg, some gluten-free cereal – or one of my mom’s disgusting smoothies.” Don’t worry; there are no smoothie recipes in the cookbook, but I’d venture a guess that they contain things like flax and kale (perfect for adults, right?).
The book also contains some good kitchen organization and baking information, as well as important medical information from Sarah’s doctor, Dr. Suzanne P. Nelson.
While I haven’t had a chance to make many of the recipes yet, what I have made have been excellent. Who knew you could use cream cheese to make alfredo sauce with half the calories?
To celebrate National Celiac Awareness Month, if you buy the cookbook through theberghoff.com, they will donate 40% of the proceeds to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.