Should You Introduce Gluten To Kids Early? A Pediatric RD Answers

Eating gluten-free can certainly be healthy when the bulk of your meals come from whole, naturally gluten-free foods such as fruits, veggies, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, and dairy. However, there are some typical misconceptions to consider when transitioning your child to a gluten-free diet.

While there is always a place for “fun” foods, such as cookies and chips, remember that just because a product is labeled gluten-free, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s nutritious.

Because gluten is responsible for the elasticity and spongy texture in most baked goods, extra fat and sugar are often added to mimic the texture of gluten-containing goods. These additions mean they’re more heavily processed and less nutrient-dense.

Many gluten-free products are also not fortified in specific micronutrients compared to some of their gluten-containing counterparts, so they may be lower in iron, folic acid, and other B vitamins.

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