Helping Colorado kitchens go gluten-free

Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 21:45:52-04

About one-in-100 people live with celiac disease. It's an autoimmune disorder and people who have it can't tolerate eating gluten.

Denver 7's Kristen Skovira followed Denver restaurant owners and school food service professionals as they took a hospital tour to learn how to keep their kitchens gluten-free.

"I'm a pastry chef so it's definitely a challenge,” said Lauren Seibert, an Executive Pastry Chef for Denver restaurants “Linger” and “Root Down.”

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, ingredients which are commonly found in baking flours. Celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. 

"So many of our foods in America are made with those grains,” said Kyle Noble with Children's Hospital Colorado, “Schools offer gluten-free options but they don't offer options that are safe for people with celiac disease.”

So how much gluten is too much for a celiac patient?

“We're talking about smaller than a bread crumb,” said Noble.

Just a tiny amount of gluten can trigger big problems, even hospitalization.

“Headache or migraine, sore joints, nausea,” Noble added, are some of the problems experienced by people with celiac disease.

Children's Hospital Colorado feeds thousands of people every day. John Krause is executive chef for the hospital, where food prep means keeping more than 35 different diets straight. He says labeling and organization prevents cross-contamination.

Still, being your own advocate is critical.

"A lot of people are embarrassed to raise issues of their disease in public. But to stay healthy that's what you have to do," said Noble.

If you're not sure if you or your child have celiac disease, there's a simple blood test that you can take. And if you want to know more about how to keep your family gluten-free, Children's Hospital Colorado is holding a similar workshop you can be a part of. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9 am - 11 am
Children’s Hospital Colorado Conference Center
Mt. Princeton Room 13123 E 16th Ave Aurora, CO 80045
Free parking available.

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