Coeliac Disease and Children

Coeliac Disease and Children

Here, you and your family can find out more about adapting to a gluten free lifestyle.

If your child has just been diagnosed with coeliac disease and you’re not sure what to expect, you may find the following sections useful

As well as the many naturally gluten free foods, there are lots of gluten free products that have been specially manufactured for people with coeliac disease, such as the Glutafin product range. Find out more about the Glutafin product range here.

If your child has been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you may be able to obtain gluten free food on prescription. You can find out more about obtaining gluten free foods on prescription here.

Making the Change


Instead of toast and toppings…

  1. Toast made with gluten free bread. Butter, marmalades and jams are naturally gluten free (make sure you don’t contaminate with toast crumbs from gluten containing bread!)
  2. Try scrambled eggs or baked beans for a more filling option.

Instead of wheat based cereals…

  1. Rice or corn-based cereals (check ingredients list for gluten-containing ingredients or Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory for suitable options)
  2. Porridge made with gluten free oats
  3. Cereals labelled specifically as ‘gluten free’

Instead of breakfast muffins, croissants and pancakes…

  1. Gluten free pancakes – substitute wheat flour for gluten free flour mix. Add some fruit and plain yoghurt for extra vitamins


Instead of sandwiches or toasties…

  1. Sandwiches or toasties made with gluten free bread or rolls
  2. Try making your own gluten free wraps
  3. Ensure you use plain meat fillings (no breaded hams), fish, cheese, egg, salad and veg
  4. Gluten free crackers with cheese
  5. Gluten free pizza slices – have fun by adding your own favourite toppings!
  6. Jacket potatoes with cheese, tuna or beans

Instead of macaroni cheese…

  1. Gluten free pasta with melted soft cheese spread or cheese sauce thickened with cornflour or gluten free flour mix instead of wheat flour


Instead of spaghetti bolognese and pasta bake…

  1. Spaghetti and pasta make using gluten free pasta. Ensure all added sauces are gluten free or make a simple tomato-based sauce using plain passata, garlic, dried herbs, onion and finely chopped/grated veg.
  2. Thicken white sauces with cornflour or gluten free flour mix.

Instead of chicken nuggets / fish fingers / and potato waffles / oven chips…

  1. Plain chicken breast pieces or cod chunks coated in gluten free breadcrumbs (made from leftover gluten free bread) and oven baked or shallow fried.
  2. Check labels of processed potato products for gluten containing ingredients or serve with homemade mashed potato or jacket potato wedges

Instead of roast dinner, casseroles and stews…

  1. Use plain/unprocessed meat or poultry.
  2. Check sauce jars, spice mixes, stocks and gravies for gluten containing ingredients.
  3. Use meat juices to make gravy, thicken with cornflour or gluten free flour.


  1. Fresh or dried fruit
  2. Vegetable sticks
  3. Fruit smoothies and milkshakes
  4. Rice cakes
  5. Gluten free breadsticks
  6. Gluten free oat cakes or crackers
  7. Pop-corn
  8. Plain fruit yogurts or fromage-frais (avoid those with added biscuit pieces)
  9. Chunks of cheese

Eating Out

  1. If you are planning to eat out, always ring ahead to check what gluten free dishes are available and don’t be afraid to ask for more information when you arrive. Remember – food outlets must be able to provide this information by law.
  2. Always keep a supply of gluten free snacks in your bag or car so there’s always something available if you find there is nothing suitable whilst you are out.
Going Away

Many hotels and airlines are happy to provide a gluten free menu if you let them know in advance, remember to mention this when you book your holidays.


If your child is invited to a party or a play-date, offer to send some gluten free snacks, sandwiches or cakes – talk to your child about which foods might be best to avoid whilst they are out and encourage them to check with a responsible adult if they are unsure.


It’s important to discuss your child’s diagnosis with his/her school, nursery or childminder, and particularly anyone who will be responsible for preparing food for your child.

More Information And Support

Our ‘Coeliac Disease and Me’ booklet provides lots of information for children and their parents following a diagnosis of coeliac disease, download a copy here.

Coeliac UK produce a range of useful resources to help support children with coeliac disease and their parents, including free information packs to share with your child’s school. Visit them here.


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