Photos courtesy of Betsy Barron Photography
The holidays are right around the corner and that means family, friends, festivities, and plenty of food. But for those with food intolerances, such as celiac disease, the holidays can be quite a challenge.
It’s hard to imagine that something as seemingly harmless as a piece of bread at a holiday dinner or party could make someone sick. Yet for people with celiac disease, consuming foods containing a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley, can be very harmful, damaging the small intestine and interfering with the absorption of vital nutrients from food.
“The good news is for people with celiac disease, they can still safely enjoy many of their favorite holiday recipes and traditional holiday foods—it just takes some planning, creativity and communication,” says Nancy Falini, MA, RD, LDN, nationally recognized celiac nutrition specialist and consultant to the Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital.
To learn how to create your own gluten-free holiday celebration, the Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital is hosting “Gluten Free Holiday Entertaining” on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 from 6pm to 8:15pm in the Hospital’s Potter Room. The event features Nancy as a guest speaker and samples of gluten-free delicacies from local caterers. Guests are encouraged to bring their own gluten-free favorite holiday recipe to be posted on the Center’s website and for a chance to win a prize.
The Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital is Chester County’s first resource created to raise awareness, educate the community, and provide support for patients unable to digest gluten, a common ingredient found in many foods, including bread and pasta. The Center consists of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nutritionists, nurses, pharmacists, and community educators, who campaign to increase community and physician awareness, expand knowledge, and provide support and disease management for patients and their families. The Center has already inspired a variety of gluten-free items to be included on the hospital’s menu and in the cafeteria.
Dr. Keith Laskin is the medical director of the Celiac Center. He is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. He earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and completed a residency and fellowship at Temple University Hospital.
Attendees are welcome to bring a friend or relative along to the November 3rd event. Registration is required. Call 1-866-CALL-MLH or visit mainlinehealth.org/events. Seating is very limited so be sure to RSVP today.
For more information about celiac disease or the Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital, call 1-866-CELIAC-1 (866-235-4221).