Welcome to Gluten Free and the Australian Teenager
The pages and posts on this site is a resource guide for all those who have coeliac disease.
It is more specifically a resource for families looking for gluten free recipes and products approved and accepted by teenagers who must eat gluten free.
Browse our pages for kitchen set up, lunch box suggestions, gluten free shopping hints and recipe and eating out resources.
Read about some of the ups and downs for a teenager with coeliac disease and gain an insight into some of factors associated with the transition to gluten free.
Additionally, Help! My Teenager has Coeliac Disease … is for mothers supporting their teenager to provide teen specific information.
Written by a mother of a teenager diagnosed with coeliac disease, this site is full of practicalities and honesty.
Gluten Free and the Australian Teenager is about the new ‘normal’ and all that comes with a gluten free lifestyle.
Making school lunches easier
Spotted in the Woolworths supermarket last week.
This is one of those products that has been available in Australia for some time now, BUT took a while to make it north to tropical Townsville.
Pliable and soft, they are easier to work with and wrap than the other brands of wraps we have tried.
Once your child hits high school, you can no longer pack their lunch into a durable hard plastic lunch box and/or containers or have access to a fridge. In tropical north Queensland, my children would take a small esky (cooler box) to school packed with their lunch. Not only could you pack ice bricks and frozen drinks, it also was used as a seat.
The teenager’s school bag is packed full of textbooks and lunch is packed in a soft pack lunch bag. Once you put an ice brick inside, you learn to become a master puzzler in getting food inside to sustain a growing teenager. My son is going through a growth spurt and now I have to pack a second smaller lunch because he tells me he eats everything in the 11 am break.
Those first few months post diagnosis was a difficult time for KJ not only with the obvious changes to his diet but also in trying to find food that was durable, wasn’t affected too much by temperature and “looked” normal. You can only pack rice crackers in zip lock plastic bags so many days in a week. Fruit gets bruised, salsas and dips don’t keep cool enough and sitting down to a can of baked beans and a fork in front of your friends…. well!!!!
If you have just started your journey, then maybe some of these ideas will help you and while some people will say, “but this is not a healthy balanced diet”, all I can say is ‘you do the best you can in the circumstances’. And you make sure they get the double dose of healthy for breakfast and afternoon snacks.
Single Serve products
Zip Lock Bag Snacks
Fruit and Nut
Biscuits, Cakes, Brownies, Muffins (whatever has been baked for the week)
In the beginning, our son rejected gluten free bread for sandwiches. We had to think outside our comfort zone to find alternative ways to make sure he had a healthy and substantial school lunch.
Vietnamese Rice Wraps are a good alternative to the sandwich and they survive the battering and throwing of the school bag.
The key to making this is organisation. If you can have all you ingredients prepped and ready, then the making is not that difficult. Below are the ingredients that work for my son. Use the tastes and textures that work for your teenager.
Sliced cold meat (roast chicken or pork, soy chicken, tandoori chicken, sweet chilli beef: whatever left overs you happen to have)
Finely diced celery/sliced capsicum/sprouts
Rice Vermicelli (only takes a few minutes to soften, make sure you drain them well)
Sweet Chili Sauce
Rice Paper Wraps
Soak for 10 seconds each rice paper in warm water. Overlap slightly the papers so as to strengthen the wrap. I use four papers per wrap.
Roll tightly and cut in two.
I have sourced some take away containers to put them in or otherwise wrap them in foil.