Find ways to prevent your kid from a gluten cross-contact in your kitchen and home with our easy tips!
It’s no doubt that kids are masters of getting into and touching things all of the time around the house. Those messy handprints on the glass door, fridge or door handles are signature tokens of a house full of active kids!
But when you have a kid with a gluten-intolerance or celiac disease it’s super important to make sure you wipe them away daily…and not just to keep the house looking clean.
You need to make it a priority because those commonly touched areas are a breeding ground for bacteria…and cross-contact or cross-contamination to occur with a gluten-free child.
Use our easy tips below to prevent a gluten cross-contact from occurring in your home to keep your child’s gut health in check!
Tips to Prevent Gluten Cross-Contamination
This is probably one of the best ways you can prevent cross-contamination in your home with little kids.
Anytime your child is about to eat, you must remind them to first wash their hands. The reason for this is that even as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon of flour (30-50 mg) can cause contamination and trigger symptoms.
As much as kids try to avoid it, it’s good practice to start a routine and get them to wash their hands frequently.
Make sure you have an anti-bacterial soap and clean towel ready to go (and double-check labels to make sure the soap is actually gluten-free – because yes, some soaps (think oat-containing brands) also have gluten)!
Wipe down surfaces
The next best tip to keep your home and especially kid, safe from gluten contact is to simply wipe down surfaces frequently.
Refrigerator handles, pantry door-knobs, drawers, tables and especially counters should be wiped down clean often. Again, these are the surfaces that are most-likely being cross-contaminated from others in the household who are eating or coming into contact with gluten daily.
And make sure you are using clean cloths or paper towels to do so…you don’t want all your efforts to be done in vain.
Handle and cook your gluten-free foods first
One of the biggest ways cross-contamination occurs in a house with gluten and gluten-free family members is during the cooking and cleaning process.
Our nutritionist recommended we handle and cook all the gluten-free foods first. While at first, it sounded like a lot of rules to follow, we saw how much easier this actually made life.
You prevent a lot of little errors that occur and contribute to gluten cross contamination when you just cook the gluten-free foods a few minutes before the rest of your meals.
Trust me, when we first transitioned our kid to gluten-free, I caught myself numerous times accidentally touching gluten bread or snacks and then touching the gluten-free foods! I felt terrible and knew that I had already spoiled the meals for my child!
Save yourself time in the long run and stress, by just preparing gluten-free items first and then moving to the next things.
If that’s not possible, simply go back to rule #1 and wash your hands well!
Lastly, some families even choose to have a separate pot and pan too. Although that’s not 100% necessary, a separate pasta strainer is indeed a smart idea since that will have come into contact with a heck of a lot of gluten in a mixed family.
Pay attention to how you wash dishes
Experts recommend running dishes and utensil through the dishwasher for a thorough wash, but sometimes hand-washing dishes is all you have. If this is the case for you, you just have to keep a few things in mind.
- Don’t let dishes sit in sink all-day (the longer they site the more chance for the build-up of bacteria)
- Wash and rinse dishes thoroughly to remove all traces of gluten
- Choose a clean sponge to wash dishes (better yet, use a separate sponge to clean your gluten-free kid’s dishes!)
Although it may seem contradictory to tell your gluten-free kid they can’t share with their siblings, when it comes to preventing gluten cross-contact this is actually very important to hone in when it comes to foods!
In addition to foods, don’t let your kids share the following items at home which can have traces of gluten and contamination:
- Foods (includes dips and condiments)
It may seem like a bit of a headache to deal with at first, but like everything, ease comes with time.
I hope these tips to prevent gluten contamination in your kitchen will help guide you in the right direction and remind you that it is possible with a little trial and error.