May is Celiac Awareness month. Celiac disease is a disorder in which eating gluten triggers an immune response in the body that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestines (www.healthline.com/nutrition/celiac-disease-symptoms). Gluten is a type of protein found in grains including wheat, barley, spelt and rye. It is estimated that nearly 3 million Americans are affected by Celiac’s disease, with 1 in 100 children having the condition. The best way to manage the disease is through restrictions to a gluten-free diet. This can be challenging with young children and it’s easy to make mistakes until the system of “gluten-free eating” is set up in the household. Nevertheless, awareness of the disease is on the rise, which means many restaurant and grocery store items are labeled now as gluten-free.
“As awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet have increased in recent years, restaurants have sought to offer selections that are compatible with [these] restrictions,” said study author Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl. However, as there is no federal oversight of gluten-free claims in restaurants it is always advisable to double-check before consuming these foods out. Call ahead and speak directly with the manager or chef about your child’s dietary concerns. Beware of sauces, gravies or soups that traditionally contain multiple ingredients. You can also search online to help locate suitable dining out experiences in the area.
Augusta has several restaurants that advertise gluten-free options on their menus. Here are a few in the area:
1204 Broad Street, downtown
466 Flowing Wells Rd., Martinez
1167 Broad Street, downtown
2820 Washington Rd.
3450 Washington Rd.
2111 Kings Way
2949 Washington Rd.