May is celiac disease awareness month. There are many celebrations and activities going on nationwide, including several "making tracks for celiacs" walks in several states.
For a list of walks taking place this month click here.
There also are several simple things you can do to help increase awareness in your own neighborhood.
Bring a copy of your favorite general information book on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet to the nurse at your child's school, your child's pediatrician, and your general practitioner. This is something I have done and it has been very much appreciated.
There are a number of books to choose from. I am partial to my own books, The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Eating but several other good books are available, including Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic By Peter Green and Rory Jones, Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelley Case, and Celiac Disease: A Guide to Living with Gluten Intolerance by Sylvia Bower, Mary Kay Sharrett, and Steve Plogsted..
If you have books on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet that you don't use anymore, find a new home for them. A few years ago I heard a story about a woman who was purposely leaving copies of her favorite books on the subway, in waiting rooms, at laundromats, and in other places where people often read. She encouraged others to do the same. Why not do this type of thing with books on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet? Your book may very well find its way into the hands of someone who really needs it.
Many organizations and schools hold fundraising auctions this time of year. Why not volunteer to put together a gluten-free basket? Fill with your favorite gluten-free pasta, cookies, mixes, etc. Add your favorite gluten-free cookbook or Elisabeth Hasselbeck's eye-catching title The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. There is bound to be someone at the auction who either has celiac disease or knows someone who has celiac disease. Others at the auction will be intrigued by the basket and may decide to further investigate celiac disease.
If you have a creative way to spread the word about celiac disease this month and every month, please share your idea!
Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.
For a copy of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide click here.
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