Celiac Awareness Day is September 13th. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, about 1 in 100 individuals suffer the disease, which is not contagious, but genetic. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Gluten is a protein blend found in wheat and some other grains.
Some individuals suffer gluten allergies but don’t have celiac disease. These sensitivities produce a number of similar symptoms in varying degrees. Diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, respiratory issues, and congestion are a few common symptoms. However, some individuals have severe reactions. Although rare, fatal reactions to gluten are possible. Often a restricted diet helps alleviate discomfort.
Celiac Awareness Day helps inform others about the critical attention that should be paid to those in our lives with gluten intolerance. Remember and respect dietary restrictions at home, at work, and at school to prevent harm. Celiac Awareness Day happens to fall at the same time when schools are back in session. Children may not yet be aware that sharing a simple snack could hurt a classmate. Packing gluten-free school snacks can help cater to students with celiac.
In our small part in this national campaign, the Walkers team shares a few simple ways to provide for friends and family suffering celiac disease:
- Gluten-free recipes. Preparing a loved one’s favorite dessert is a special way to honor them. If they suffer a gluten sensitivity, food options don’t have to be limited. A number of alternative flour blends are sold in most grocery stores. Almond, coconut, garbanzo bean, and rice flour are a few different kinds that can be substituted with variations in recipes. Also, our team maintains a library of Walkers Shortbread gluten-free recipes, from cream cheese pound cake to salted caramel brownies. An important note to keep in mind: Some individuals with severe gluten intolerance must have their food prepared with entirely separate pots, pans, and utensils. If one is not confident about their preparation area, it may be best to follow our other options below.
- Gluten-free cookies. We understand how limiting it might feel for someone who suffers a food allergy. Our promise is: “All the pure-butter taste, aroma, and texture you love, but without the gluten.” We have not just one gluten-free shortbread cookie available by our bakers, but three different kinds! Our gluten-free shortbreads include the traditional rounds shortbread, chocolate-chip shortbread, and ginger and lemon shortbread.
- Gluten-free restaurants. Treat a loved one to a meal out. The Gluten-Free Food Services (GFFS) Training and Accreditation Program liaises with food establishments to meet strict standards; they maintain a list of GFFS Certified Restaurants. Also, more than a dozen smartphone applications help connect individuals with gluten-free restaurants in their area.