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Children and Coeliac Disease

Children and Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is not exclusively an adult condition. If your child is experiencing any unusual symptoms, please ask your GP for a coeliac test today. Children with coeliac disease won't "grow out of it" and they can't get better unless they receive the proper treatment.  

Common Symptoms Include:

  • A bloated stomach
  • Diarrhoea and/or constipation
  • General tummy upsets and/or vomiting
  • Tiredness or lack of stamina
  • Anaemia
  • Poor growth or physical development
  • Failure to thrive
  • Difficulty in concentrating at home or at school
  • Poorly calcified teeth

Could my child have Coeliac Disease?

If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, or is simply out of sorts and you don't know why, the first step is to ask your GP for a coeliac test. It is usually easy to diagnose and the treatment is highly successful. You can also take our online assessment on their behalf to see if their symptoms are indicative of CD and to help any discussions with your doctor.

How do I explain CD to children?

  • Children can adapt very quickly to a new diet. After feeling unwell for some time, they will soon realise that they feel better on their new diet. Explain to young children that they have a special tummy and what gluten does to their bodies (tailored to your child’s age and understanding).
  • It's also important to explain coeliac disease to the whole family. You might like to go through your cupboards and label all gluten free products with a smiley face sticker and products that are not gluten free with a warning sticker to ensure everyone gets the message.
  • In terms of cooking for the family, many dishes can be made suitable for a gluten free diet by simply substituting certain ingredients (such as stock cubes). It is essential to take sensible steps to prevent contamination with gluten-containing foods in the kitchen.
  • If you are ever unsure about what food is gluten free, we have a range of resources to help you identify gluten free products.

Do not remove gluten from your child's diet until they have received a diagnosis by a healthcare professional.


Kids Can Become Members Too! 

  • They will receive advice, support, recipes and more throughout their coeliac journey
  • Become part of a lively and supportive community
  • Receive updates from medical professionals, manufacturers, and researchers
  • Gain access to our member only resources, support groups, kids’ clubs, special offers, and the Coeliac Link magazine
Member Plans

Further Information and Related Topics


For further diagnosis information, Starship Children’s Health and Coeliac New Zealand have created a unique partnership to provide better community support and care for children with coeliac disease. This has included the development of a new regional clinical pathway, for children who live in the Auckland, Waitamata and Counties Manakau District Health Board regions.

blank          View details of the new Clinical Pathway here.

                     Children and Coeliac Disease


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About Coeliac New Zealand


Your partner in
healthy living

Coeliac New Zealand is available throughout your journey. As part of our community, you’ll get support, advice, and assistance. We work with health professionals, manufacturers, and researchers to raise awareness of coeliac disease in NZ.

Together, we can reach a day when every person with coeliac disease gets diagnosed quickly, lives a healthy life, and has the prospect of a cure.


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