WIN-It-Wednesday: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers

Understanding celiac disease is tough enough for adults, never mind for children.

Coming to grips that you can’t ever again eat the bread, pizza and beer that you’ve known, and loved, all your life takes a lot for an adult to accept and embrace. But thankfully, most adults realize that the gluten-free lifestyle is not the end of the world. In fact I, and many others, have discovered living the celiac lifestyle is actually a way to look at the sunny side of life.

But how can you explain eating gluten-free and celiac disease to a child whose whole world is centered around pizza parties at school, a best-friends birthday party, or favorite foods that include chicken nuggets and onion rings? How can a child look at the sunny side of being gluten-free?

Enter the book: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers.

This one-of-a-kind book is gracefully & eloquently written by a Mom who has celiac disease. Both the author, Katie Chalmers and her daughter, Morgan, were diagnosed with celiac disease a little over 2 years ago. Since that time they have learned to embrace, and make the best, out of living gluten-free.

The book encompasses what celiac disease and the gluten free diet entail in language that children can understand, all the while encouraging dialogue for additional questions. A must-have for any child with celiac disease, this book is also a must-read for any elementary school story hour that has child with celiac disease in the classroom.

I like that  “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” empathizes the positive, rather than the negative, attributes of a gluten-free diet. However, in no way does this book sugar-coat this disease. Instead “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” puts a positive spin on a serious subject that many children may find difficult to understand and accept.

All these reasons are why I am so very excited that “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers is this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor on

Five (yes 5!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will receive a copy of the book.

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know how you look at the sunny side of being gluten-free. (Me? Reading labels because of my celiac diagnosis has made me more conscious & aware of the ingredients in the foods I eat, which has resulted in me and my family eating a lot healthier across the board!)

All entries must be received by Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 12 midnight EST.

Good luck, Keep the sunny side up… and as always,

Be Free!

P.S. Want to learn more? Follow Katie on Facebook and find out more, as well as purchase, her book on her website.

Tags: , , ,

54 Responses to “WIN-It-Wednesday: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers”

  1. Cindy Says:

    One of the ways I use my diagnosis of celiac in a positive way is while teaching my preschoolers. Each year we have several children with food allergies and it is my goal to have the other children learn to be empathic about their food limitations and to care about them. We teach them to ask at snack ” is this safe for Sara to eat – does it have eggs” for example. I am upfront about my need to be gluten free so I now get gluten free sand cakes. (:

  2. Melissa Brown Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed at age 2 and a half after tons of medical testing that went nowhere and was continually being monitored for failure to thrive (she weighed 16 lbs even though she was born at a perfectly healthy 7 lbs) and I felt terrible not knowing what was wrong with her. After several family members got a Celiac disease diagnosis we had her tested and it was positive. In the year since she’s gone from wearing a size 12 months to a size 4T, doubled her weight, and is now in the 19th percentile BMI instead of falling an inch below the chart. As far as looking at the sunny-side of gluten free….to me it’s all sunny-side to see how healthy my daughter finally is 🙂

  3. Dani Says:

    Because I’m cooking so much more from whole foods my whole family is eating much healthier, and I’ve lost almost 25 pounds since being diagnosed 2 months ago. It’s not all bad!

  4. Michelle Says:

    I like how celiac has opened my eyes to all the different kinds of foods I would have never even thought about trying before being diagnosed. And how much more health conscious it has made me!

  5. Trish Gareau Says:

    We eat a lot more fruits and veggies and are a lot more adventurous in our cooking!

  6. r Says:

    if i don’t tke charge of my health care, i will be allowing someone else to make important decisions about that and they aren’t always concerned for what is best for me

  7. Brenda Says:

    Being diagnosed was the best thing that happened to me. I have been 10 months now without antacids, that feels great. and the Udi’s bread is awsome for sandwiches so really don’t miss much.

  8. Hillary-Heidi Berndt Says:

    There can be so many sighs in life if you have Celiac’s that it is nice to look on the bright side. My bright side is watching my extended family rally behind me and try so hard to alter the meals we eat together. This means cooking for almost 20 people at least three nights week and no matter whose house we are at, everyone tries so hard to accommodate me. I know it is not easy and I was really surprised how close and bonded it has made our meals. Now, if I can just convince them all to be tested, instead of just relying on the IBS diagnosis that three of my four siblings have been given. That would be our greatest bond ever.

  9. Gina Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with celiacs disease at 2 and a half, and I find keeping it simple with fresh fruits vegetables and meats works great for her. She does have some gluten free bars and pretzels she enjoys, but mostly the fruits and vegetables she enjoys. This makes it easier for me and keeps it simple in my families life.

  10. Toby Says:

    Lots of fruit and vegies!! Which is definitelt not a bad thing! 😀

  11. Megan ringenberg Says:

    I feel there are a lot of positives to being celiac. The most important though – I know! There are so many people out ther that suffer needlessly due to an undiagnosed condition of celiac disease. I feel blessed to know, at the age of 29, how i can make myself well! This also gives me the power to help others get a diagnosis!

  12. Kate Says:

    Many sunny sides to being gluten-free! I personally am not Celiac, but I would absolutely accomodate to my family and friends that are! Taking the extra steps in making or buying food gluten-free would be a start, finding recipies.. I know one of my favorite parts of getting together with family or friends is the food! I would want anyone who has Celiac to feel just as comfortable and be able to enjoy meals with the family 🙂

  13. wendy muchow Says:

    I have friends with Celiacs and always try to accomodate them at parties and events. There is always an appetizer labeled for Gluten free and sometimes dessert too. I particiate in the Celiacs walk to support the cause too. I look up to those with Celiacs because it is not an easy disease to live with. And most people are not considerate of those with Celiacs, as they are to Peanut allergies.

  14. Pat Garlapo Says:

    This seems like such a healthier way to eat, back to the basics of more fruits, vegies and meats; none of the processed stuff which isn’t any good for us anyway.

  15. patricia Says:

    Since my husband, daughters and small granddaughter have all been diagnosed with celiac disease
    I have tried a lot more different whole grains that I never would have done before. I have found how nutritious so many of these grains are. I want my granddaughter to grow up in a healthy environment and am finding that it very possible to do that even with celiac desease.

  16. jeanette belbeck Says:

    I find that a celiac diet has given us the chance to be more creative in meal making. It also get us all working at coming at up with new ways to create a healther meal for myself and my husband. We also eat much healther which is a plus. I want to feel better so I guess this is what it is

  17. Jenny Grek Says:

    Eating fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers, that’s the sunny side of eating gluten free!
    And Pamela’s dessert products:)

  18. gregor Says:

    What katie (hi Katie!) has done with this subject is terrific. I can’t imagine the difficulty of living with the affliction undiagnosed. This book will help many people to come.

  19. Jennifer C Says:

    First, I am just so grateful to feel better. Second, I am really focusing on my health and making better choices.

  20. G Hoffman Says:

    As a mother of a young Celiac and the leader of a just-launched R.O.C.K.chapter, I am always looking for new resources. It is so important to teach our kids to be independent and help them understand Celiac. Moreover, maintaining a positive dialog with children about Celiac helps them embrace the diagnosis and ensuing “adventure,” rather than consider it a punishment.
    I look forward to reading this book with both of my children and sharing it with the R.O.C.K. group.

  21. Amy Says:

    Eating less gluten allows you to eat more healthy foods including fruit, veggies and nuts!

  22. Crystal Says:

    One positive side to my daughters diagnosis is that she has helped 4 other people find answers to all of their health issues. Her diagnosis brought to awareness to the disease and symptoms. Although all 4 were tested, two tested positive for celiac and the other 2 choose to go totally gluten free to see if it would help their issues and it did. Now they all feel so much better.

  23. kathielee Says:

    Even people who don’t have celiac disease probably need to eat more fruits and veggies and fewer carbs, and gluten-free options are improving all the time.

  24. Wendy G Says:

    I love reading all these comments on how everyone is staying positive, eating healthy and trying new foods. I couldn’t agree more! And I love how the preschool teacher is teaching her kids about differnet food allergies, which increases awareness.

  25. Kelli Says:

    Having celiacs forces you to really be aware of what is in your food…. and this is always a positive!

  26. Christine Says:

    I do not have celiac’s disease, but 2 of my family members do. It is very important to understand the disease, so you can keep your loved one who have celiac’s disease healthy. Remember to have something special they can eat at family get-to-gethers, and when you see new gluten-free products in the store mention it to them, or better yet buy if for them!:)

  27. Shirley Bond Says:

    My 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 6. It was hard to be positive back then when CD was not that well known. White rice flour was the main ingredient in GF foods and I even had a hard time locating that. What a long way we have come. For the past few years I have been a volunteer with new members of our local chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association. Staying positive and not letting CD overwhelm the parent and child are one of my main messages. With a little knowledge and patience, and a few great dessert recipes, it is becoming easier to adapt to a gluten-free lifestyle. Katie’s book will be a real asset in the knowledge department, helping children accept their diagnosis and adapt to a gluten-free lifestyle, and in helping educate primary classmates, teachers and friends. To help parents look at the sunny side of the diagnosis, I let them know that within 6 months of the diagnosis they will be very comfortable with the new baking and lifestyle, their child will become used to the new taste and textures, and they will be so thankful as their child’s health is restored.

  28. Melissa Laro Says:

    I am the mom of 5 kids and my 9 year old daughter is in the process of being diagnosed with this disease. She is in an awful lot of pain and can’t wait until the endoscopy confirms it so we can start her diet. We found out 6 months ago her mother in law has it and most likely mu husband does too with all his other medical issues. I know I have a lot to learn about it and with so many in the family I know I will have to be extra careful about contamination from what I have been reading so far. I also lead 3 Girl Scout Troops and look forward to educating them as well as myself about this disease.

  29. Marny Says:

    My husband is actually the one with Celiac Disease in our family. However, we have an 11 month old daughter who is too young to be tested. Since I am breastfeeding her (11 months and going strong!), I have become gluten free as well. I always prepared gluten free meals for my husband, but since I tested negative for the disease (both blood test and biopsy), I knew I didn’t have to worry about what I ate. From the first day in the hospital when I saw her smiling up at me, I knew that having to become gluten free was only a tiny sacrifice in order to ensure her being healthy. I spent 3 days in the hospital after she was born 3 weeks early via a breech-imposed c-section. The nutritional staff were great about making sure all of my food was gluten free and that I always had snacks to keep me from wanting items I was no longer able to have. She is my “sunny side” of being gluten free, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

  30. Jenn P. Says:

    Speaking as a mom and a wife (my 2yr. old and my husband were both diagnosed with Celiac disease), the sunny side of being gluten free is that I get think about them every minute of the day in everything I do and everything I say. It puts a smile on my face all day long to think of the 2 most precious things in my life. A mom/wife’s job is hard but to know that I am helping them stay happy and healthy is all I need to keep me going.

  31. Lisa Says:

    I think there are so many foods that you can eat that are gluten free or ways to create things GF, most of the time I don’t miss things. Also, I don’t have some “disease” or illness that forces me to take medicine to feel better.

  32. C.L. Wright Says:

    The “sunny” side of GF is learning the ability to be in touch with your body and recognize what, not only makes you healthy, but what also makes you feel good.

  33. Ken Says:

    Eating gluten free has made my body feel more energized.

  34. Jan Says:

    Every public library, every school library and every pediatrician should have a copy of this book.

  35. Elisa Murphy Says:

    I do not have celiac’s disease but knowing people who do have it has made me more aware of food sensitivities in general. I think it’s great that there is a book geared towards young kids with celiacs to help them understand their diagnosis and positive ways to cope with it.

  36. jill Says:

    Since we have Celiacs in our family and also peanut and nut allergies, I am addicted to reading every label to search out problems.I have discovered a lot of unhealthy additives and colorings which are also unhealthy.

  37. Candy Says:

    I purchase this book because I have several friends who have celiac disease both adult and children. It has been a learning experience for me as for my children to be more aware about children with celiac disease. Thank you so much!!!

  38. Diane Says:

    My Grand-daughter is a Celiac and I have learned so much on foods she can and can’t have. It is so easy to adjust recipes and try new ones too. It is a very healthy lifestyle with plenty of fruits and vegetables that makes it the Sunny Side of Gluten Free! Can’t wait to read the book!

  39. Lori R Says:

    I think the biggest sunny side is that if you are eating gluten-free, you are generally eating better and healthier…and everyone should be doing that.

  40. Doreen Borschel Says:

    It’s great that you took a “problem” and turned it into a way to help others with the same. Truly using your God-given gift.

  41. becca Says:

    This book is very enlightening and written in a very positive tone and it will really make a positive impact in many peoples lives. Thanks for all the hard work to shed light on a little known disease and help children and families learn to cope with it.

  42. Heather Says:

    I use my experience as a person with Celiac to help my newly diagnosed patients. I am a registered nurse who happens to work in a Gastroenterology office. I started working there is 2002 and was diagnosed with Celiac in May 2006. I realized that I really didn’t have a good understanding of Celiac disease before my diagnosis and that I couldn’t have been that much help to the newly diagnosed patient. Now, I am love speaking with my patients and trying to help them on the new journey that lies ahead of them. I try to provide them with the many resources that are available locally where we live and the internet- what would we do without it! I love sharing information that I have found helpful and pas it on as often as I can.

  43. Hillary Snow Says:

    I have learned to appreciate all the wonderful and healthy produce! I have also come more aware about vitamins and minerals…and what food sources have them.

  44. Suzette Reagan Says:

    I think the greatest part of eating gluten free is watching the huge improvements it has had for my daughter and my mom’s health. They have both improved leaps and bounds over the last year. Additionally, living a year into our diagnosis, I have shared my story over and over again, and because of that, my friend had her 1 year old tested and she came back positive for Celiac. To think that because of my big mouth, I helped another mom get some answers, and prevented years of discomfort and pain for another child fills me with a sense of relief.

  45. Leah Hayton Says:

    I was diagnosed with celiac 1 1/2 years ago at the age of 35.
    After suffering many years of my life with depression and mood swings that were unexplainable, I can now look at the sunny side of life!
    After going gluten free my mood swings and depression have virtually disappeared!
    …I might not be able to order pizza delivery anymore but I can wake up smiling (not crying!) now!!! 🙂

  46. Laura Scarantine Says:

    I have a friend with Celiac and I really admire her for the positive choices she has made for not only her but for her family. Eating gluten free shouldn’t be seen as a negative but instead it should be seen as positive life style change. I try to have gluten free options available anytime we get together. My favorite which everyone always enjoys are the PB cookies, 1 cup PB, 1 cup sugar and an egg, soooo yummy they taste like PB fudge!

  47. Ashley D Says:

    Teaching children to eat healthy at a young age is a difficult task to do… teaching a child with an allergy is even more difficult! Katie’s book makes this a much easier task. The worst thing about Celiac Disease that is hard for a lot of people to understand is that it is hidden in a lot of different, unsuspecting, foods like condiments.

  48. Jeanie Says:

    For my 7 year old daughter and myself, our celiac diagnosis has really made a difference for the better! First of all, we feel so much better! So yes, we do have to read labels and explain our condition to everyone who ever watches us eat or offers us food, but it’s been a real blessing to encourage each other in this together. I am amazed everyday at just how easy it has been for my daughter to accept, understand and inform others as to her food allergies. Go baby, you’ve made mommy very proud!!!!

  49. Kathy Says:

    The SunnySide of being gluten free….is a wonderful positive way to eat more healthy. Having friends that are Celiac, has made me become more aware of reading lables and being more sensitive to others food choices and needs. This book looks like it can teach that valuable lesson to both kids and adults~ to celebrate our differences. What a great addition to any library.

  50. Barb T. Says:

    My granddaughter was diagnosed at 18 months, after severe weight loss and developemental delays…She is now a normal healthy 4 year old who eats just about any vegetable, fruit, fish or gluten free grains. The Sunny Side of being gluten free is that it has exposed me to so many food selections that I never would have tried! It has taught me to not fear the unknown of different foods, but to try them willingly..

  51. Lori Niver Says:

    My daughters are feeling so much better. It makes me smile and feel relieved that we have found the answer to good health. I get so excited when we discover more recipes and gluten free labeled foods that make this transition easier. It gives me so much hope for their future to be bright, sunny and healthy.

  52. Monica Says:

    Wow this would be a great tool to explain my celiac disease to younger family members.

  53. Heather Says:

    Our daughter was diagnosed at the age of 22 months after a month long hospital stay and multiple surgeries. We stay positive about the Celiac Disease by remembering that it is just a ‘special diet’ and everyone is special in their own ways. Being a gluten free family has also helped us on our road to eating more nutritional food than before. We LOVE gluten-free!

  54. Mike Says:

    Celiac or not, anyone who eats a gluten-free diet will live a healthier, longer, happier life.

Leave a Reply

Be Free For Me Blog is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).