My Gluten Free Teen has not been feeling so well for the last several months. I try not to blame everything on Celiac Disease, but this down turn has me once again double checking everything.
She has had stomach aches, is very tired and is suffering from grumpiness. It has also been the cold and flu season. She also just turned 16 and seems to be going through a lot of emotional hormonal struggles.
One of the hardest challenges food-wise is that she is eating out so much. She has a boyfriend and, of course, they like to eat out. She orders gluten free food, but was not being assertive enough with the fact that she has Celiac Disease and so is strictly gluten free. It seems crazy to me - you should be able to order gluten free food at a restaurant with a gluten free menu and feel relatively safe. But she went out to eat at Maggianos in Bellevue with her boyfriend and she ordered gluten free spaghetti. While she was eating it, she noticed a whole-wheat noodle in it. At least she was brave enough to speak up at this point and the waiter told her that since she didn't state that she needed her meal to be GF (despite the fact that she ordered a GF pasta) they had cooked her pasta with the water they use to cook all of the regular wheat pasta! She was sick for days. (BTW - this is the second time she has been poisoned at Maggianos and we will never eat there again).
So we are working on being more assertive at restaurants, I am double-checking everything we eat again, and I have a doctors appointment scheduled with her gastrointerologist in two weeks.
In the meantime, thought I would pass along any information about the gluten free status of food she likes that is not readily available on the internet.
I am happy to post the following letter that I received from Wrigley. Not only are most of the products GF, but looks like they take a lot of care to ensure the GF status of their products:
Thank you for contacting us at The Wrigley Company. It is always a pleasure to hear from consumers, and we are happy to answer any queries you may have.
You will be pleased to know that all Wrigley products except for the Altoids Smalls Peppermint Mint are gluten free. They do not contain wheat, rye, oats or barley gluten. This includes all of our Gums, Mints, Skittles, Starburst, Starburst gummies, Lifesavers & Lifesaver Gummies.
Our products, from production through the distribution channel, do not contain, nor are they exposed to any of the above allergens. Further, to the best of our knowledge, our suppliers store our ingredients and materials separately. To date, there have been no reports or consumer complaints of allergen cross-contamination to any of our finished products or ingredients.
If your sensitivity extends to other types of gluten, several of our brands contain corn syrup, which may have trace amounts of corn gluten in it. The amount of gluten in one stick is less than 0.2 milligrams, but if you are extremely sensitive, you may want to consult with your physician before chewing our brands.
Additionally, no packaging material directly next to our product contains gluten sources. There may be instances when starches are used on the label around each individual stick of gum, but these starches are produced from corn or potatoes, not from wheat, rye, barley, oats, millet or buckwheat.
Just for fun, here is a photo of her Sweet Sixteen cake! I used Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix and my recipe for the frosting. I melted some Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free and swirled it across the top. No - it was definately not as perfect as a "store bought" cake but it tasted delicious and we all loved it!