Pediatric Nutrition

Wheat-Free Diet

If your child is allergic to wheat and foods containing wheat:

  • Avoid foods that contain wheat, including baked products such as breads and desserts; crackers; gravy, pancake and waffle mixes; and cereals. Avoid foods that use wheat as a filler, such as bologna and other luncheon meats. Salad dressings may also be thickened with wheat flour, and breaded products may contain wheat. Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, may also contain wheat.
  • Check food labels and grain products for the following ingredients that contain wheat protein:
    • Wheat
    • Wheat germ
    • Semolina
    • Graham
    • Bran
    • Many types of flour: all-purpose, pastry, cake, graham, and gluten
    • Farina
    • Modified food starch
    • Cereal extract
  • Alternatives for wheat foods include:
    • Potatoes
    • Rice
    • Rice flour bread
    • Rice and corn cakes
    • Corn or rice noodles and mung beans (Chinese bean threads)
    • Rice cereals and flaked corn, corn cereals or cornmeal can be used for breading foods. Some packaged cold-cereal products are specifically designed for the wheat-allergic and gluten-intolerant person.
  • Flour substitutions for cooking and baking include barley, buckwheat, oat, rye, rice, potato starch, and soy flour. Substitutions for wheat flour may result in altered product flavor or texture. Experiment with alternate flours for acceptable products, and don't be discouraged if a new product does not meet your standards. Try these substitutions for wheat:
    • Use any of the following as thickening substitutes for 1 tablespoon of wheat flour:
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons (tsp) cornstarch
      • 1 1/2 tsp potato starch
      • 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch
      • 1 1/2 tsp white, brown, or sweet rice flour
      • 2 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
    • Use any of the following as a baking substitute for 1 cup of wheat flour:
      • 1 cup barley flour
      • 1 cup corn flour
      • 3/4 cup plain cornmeal, coarse
      • 1 scant cup plain cornmeal, fine
      • 5/8 cup potato starch flour
      • 3/4 cup rice flour
      • 1 1/4 cup rye flour
      • 1 cup rye meal
      • 1 1/3 cups ground rolled oats

Check the health food section of the grocery store or health food stores for other food products which are wheat free.

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