The high prevalence of celiac disease in children requires adjustment of the menu and the purchase of certified gluten-free foods
Although usually mild, allergic reactions to food reach 50% of patients treated in the emergency room, according to the Spanish Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC). Its prevalence does not increase at Christmas, but undiagnosed cases increase. “At the moment, we must not reduce our vigilance,” warns Carolina Pérez Iglesias, a nutritionist at Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital. He points out that cases of allergic reactions tend to increase during Christmas due to the introduction of highly allergenic products typical of this time into our diet and because children begin to consume these foods. In addition, family meals and corporate dinners are very common today, and according to the SEAIC, seven out of ten serious allergic reactions occur when eating out.
Specialist Quirónsalud points out that in the vast majority of patients, the effects appear within 30 minutes of eating, and the symptoms vary between itching of the mouth and anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal if not reversed. The severity varies depending on the amount of allergen ingested, the person’s sensitivity and external factors such as asthma, exercise or consumption of painkillers or alcohol. “The only proven treatment is to eliminate the disease-causing food from the food,” adds Iglesias. In case of severe reactions, it is recommended to have autoinjector adrenaline, oral corticosteroids and an oral antihistamine in the kit.
Dr. Sergio Negre, a specialist in pediatric gastroenterology at Quirónsalud Hospital in Valencia, points out that at Christmas, the foods that usually cause the most allergic reactions are nuts, less common fruit at other times of the year, crustaceans and crustaceans in general. “Children are dominated by cow’s milk, eggs, fish, legumes, fruits and nuts in order of frequency.” Above all, you have to be careful with typical Christmas sweets, such as nougat or marzipan, because they have hidden ingredients in their ingredients, “warns Dr. Black.
In general, meat usually does not cause allergic reactions; however, special attention should be paid to fish and in particular molluscs, in particular Norway lobster and shrimps. Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, pipes and hazelnuts also cause allergies, albeit to a lesser extent. If you have a food allergy at home, we must be careful when buying and read the labels carefully.
Celiac disease is a food condition that also shows a high prevalence in the pediatric population. With good planning, these children can enjoy the usual Christmas meals and can prepare delicious and healthy meals with restrictions. A good rule of thumb is to customize the entire menu at home so that there is no division and everyone tastes the same food.
At Christmas, first meals usually contain soups or creams, and for celiacs, avoid adding flour to thickeners or croutons. The main problem is found in appetizers based on toasts, canapés and pinchos. Although there are many certified gluten-free products today, you can also opt for recipes that do not contain it, such as skewers on spoons, pumpkin cheese, etc. Finally, there are recipes suitable for celiacs when preparing cakes with special flour or without using fruit-based flour. (mangoes with blueberries, etc.), which are light and fresh variants that children generally appreciate, recommended by Carolina Pérez Iglesias.
At dinner, it is good to work with the host to create a safe menu. “It is necessary to label everything, to avoid contact between foods, to separate the silver and to wash your hands properly before eating and handling food.” Depending on the child’s age, separate dangerous foods at a suitable distance so that they cannot happen by accident, “advises Dr. Black.