Even if you are the only gluten-free pioneer in the household, the gluten-free lifestyle becomes a family adventure. Unlike medical or health conditions that require medications or other lifestyle adjustments, celiac disease and nonceliac gluten intolerance revolve around one common thing, food, which affects everyone you live with.
Living the gluten-free lifestyle is unavoidably high maintenance, particularly at first, and in order to live safely as well as efficiently, the whole family needs to become just as knowledgeable about the foods you can and cannot eat as if they had to follow the diet themselves. All family members old enough to grocery shop need to learn what gluten is, where it is found, and how to avoid it (Chapter Three). Shopping, cooking, and cleaning are often shared responsibilities, and your family will inevitably become involved in buying gluten-free foods for you, avoiding foods with gluten, reading ingredient labels, and being aware of and avoiding cross-contamination issues at home. This shared knowledge among the family will be particularly helpful for times when you are sick and need help with the shopping and cooking, or when taking family vacations, throwing surprise birthday parties, entertaining, looking after you if you’re in the hospital, and so forth.
By educating everyone in the house about the gluten-free lifestyle, you will feel supported and not so alone. In fact, the whole family can share in the joy of helping you live the lifestyle as well as experience the pleasures of eating gluten-free with you. Living gluten-free is a family affair and does not need to be undertaken alone.