Help Your Kids Understand That It Is Okay To Be Different

I think we can all admit that it is difficult to be different. No one wants to be the person that everyone looks to as being odd or unusual, especially a child.

I know there are much worst things than eating gluten free, but to a child that is continually faced with challenges and questions about they way they eat, it can often times be overwhelming.

And as a parent it is hard to sit back and watch our children struggle with it. It is also hard to help them overcome that feeling, when we often struggle with it ourselves.

Yes, I will admit that I have struggled with the being different issue when it comes to gluten free eating, so I know my kids struggle with it on a much greater level.

So, how do we help them overcome and deal with this issue? Here are a few of my tips.

  • Let them know that is it okay to be different. The world is filled with all kinds of people, with all kinds of needs, and we are all different in our own way. It would be a boring world if we were all the same.
  • Try to help them understand that there are much worse things to deal with in life than having to eat gluten free. This is harder with really young children, but I have found that pointing out examples of people struggling with much worse difficulties often helps here.
  • Help them understand that their health comes first and they have to remember that. It is just not worth eating that cookie or sandwich that someone is offering you if it means getting sick. It is okay to eat different than everyone else because it keeps them safe.
  • Focus on the positive. Remind them of all the things that they can still have.

What tips do you have for helping our kids to understand that it is okay to be different when it comes to eating gluten free? 

For more great gluten free information and giveaways please visit the other bloggers joining in on the 10 Days of Gluten Free.

Getting Started – Linda @ The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Resources – Wendy @ Celiacs in the House

Traveling – Karen @ Gluten-Free Travel Blog

Eating Out – Heather @ Gluten-Free Cat

Frugal Tips – Janelle @ Gluten Freely Frugal

Cooking – Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl

Baking – Jules @ Jules Gluten Free

Lunch Boxes – Tessa @ Tessa the Domestic Diva

Shopping – Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry

I hope you will join us for 10 Days of Gluten Free! GIVEAWAY OVER EMMA’S COMMENT ON THE PLAGHDOUGH POST WON. Winner chosen by

And here are the details for my giveaway.

I am giving away one $25 Bob’s Red Mill gift card that is good for their online store and one copy of my Cooking 101 For Kids ebook to one reader. 

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • You are allowed one entry per “10 Days of Gluten Free” blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts)
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012.
  • No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I like to take a page from the movie What about Bob?…”I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.” :)

  2. Bonnie B says:

    I hope my oldest daughter going to college can soon admit more easily she needs to eat gf.

  3. Reminding children that everyone is unique and special is very important. No one is perfect.

  4. I have never had to deal with young children being gluten free, but I know it must be difficult. This is an important topic and I’m glad you’re covering it. Great job!

  5. My friend has a book that is so good at explaining this to kids…”Barrett’s Unusual Ice Cream Party”

  6. I don’t have to deal with my child being gf, but I do need someone to help me understand every once in a while! It’s frustrating sometimes!

  7. My husband has no problem dealing with the GF issue. But, just on a seldon occurance my granddaughter fells bad about it. We try to remind her that most everyone has something that is not perfect in their lives too.

  8. Melanie Casey says:

    I agree that instilling in our children that being and individual and unique is a good thing, regardless of whether or not they are GF. I think I am blessed in that my children are being raised in a time that embraces differences and they teach them to do so in school from the beginning. Not that all children do not still feel pressure to conform, but I’m thankful my boys aren’t growing up in my time where people were made to feel these health problems were all in their heads or only progressive hippies made dietary changes for their health.

  9. I just figured out that me and my son need to be gluten-free. On top of our other family food issues…. It will be a long road.

  10. Natalie says:

    I, too, grew up when there was great disdain for anything that made one different, but I thought I had reared my two boys to be more tolerant of others, and they are of others outside of our home. While at least one of my two grown up (but living at home) sons probably has celiac disease (if not both of them), neither of them understands my celiac disease and is embarrassed by it and makes fun of it. (I was only diagnosed about 2 months ago, although I have probably had it all my life.) I so wish that I had been diagnosed earlier so that I could have sensitized my sons to it. I fear that they will always be cavalier about their diets and will never embrace a gluten free diet even if they are diagnosed!

  11. I agree it’s hard to feel different about anything as a child, but At least with all the food sensitivities and allergies being diagnosed, most kids probably know another child that can’t eat something too. It doesn’t necessarily make every day life easier, but I think it helps them not feel so alone and different when the realize that so many kids are having food issues also.

  12. Sarah Lewis says:

    I think with how common food allergies have become, every child will at least know of someone that has them. Hopefully in the schools there is a “strength in numbers” mentality and no one feels alienated when they have certain restrictions…especially if the child in the next row can’t eat some sort of food, too.

  13. ashley c says:

    thanks for all the great information. I’m learning that it is ok to be different and it’s helping me lose weight with saying to to office food and cake alone.

  14. This is a great topic to cover. It’s so hard with kids because they want to eat the same treats that everyone else gets to eat. I think providing always making sure they get to have the occassional treat that is at least comparable to what their friends are getting to eat is key too. That way they are different but not so very different either.

  15. Angel R. says:

    Thankfully our son was diagnosed young (age 3) and has adjusted very easily to the GF lifestyle. He starts kindergarten this year. This will be the first true test of his understanding/acceptance. Lots of prayers!

  16. The world would be a boring place without all these differences. Differences are the spice of life.

  17. Cindy W. says:

    It is important to teach children to be tolerant of others that are different – in any way.

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