Children & Celiac Disease Part 3: Eating Gluten Free at School

Written by Linda Arnold - Edited by Daniel Saraga

Image: Dan
Parents will usually send appropriate food choices in lunches. Children might need to be reminded not to share lunches or touch others food which could cross contaminate his or her lunch. It is important that table tops are clear of crumbs or other residue.

In the school cafeteria, the food staff will need to be informed about the child’s Celiac disease to ensure that when possible appropriate food choices are available. Smaller schools may not have the cafeteria but children are frequently treated with snacks, or lunches on special occasions such as birthdays or for seasonal celebrations. It is important that the child with Celiac disease is not excluded from celebrations.

Tip: don't scrape the fillings from sandwiches, the crumbs off things such as fish sticks the skin off chicken such as KFC. These food items are still considered cross contaminated.


Parents should be informed of days when additional snacks or food is needed. Contact the parents for an appropriate snack list for the child so there aren't any surprises that may cause unnecessary stress. There are many popular gluten free snack items. During times when snacks are provided by outside sources, having a reserve of safe items on hand allows children with Celiac disease to fully participate in the festivities.

Older students attending drama classes should check ingredients to the make-up. Materials used in some make up products may contain gluten.

Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 1: Educating Teachers and Caregivers
Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 2: Helping Children Manage a Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Reference for this article:

The Canadian Celiac Association
The American Celiac Sprue Association
Moms with kids

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta


  1. The challenge for us was that our son wanted to take sandwiches, like the rest of the kids, but he didn't like the gluten-free bread we used. The problem is solved now, thankfully I finally perfected home-made gluten-free bread. I don't think my son will want to trade sandwiches anymore, but I'll remind him about cross-contamination. -John,


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