Back to School Part 1: 504 Plan & Students with Celiac

504 plan and students with celiac

Now that school’s back in session for some students and approaching near for others, it’s important to be prepared in order for your child to have a successful school year. For students with celiac disease, this can be an added stress when facing a new school year. Many parents prepare their gluten free children by packing their lunch, educating them on the importance of avoiding gluten and speaking with their teachers. However, sometimes this just isn’t enough.

Some of you may know that professionally I’m a Behavior Analyst and my primary area of focus is autism, however my background is education and I have a Master’s degree in School Counseling, so 504 Plans are something I personally have experience with.

Did you know getting a 504 Plan can can help ensure a gluten free environment at school for your child with celiac disease?

What’s a 504 Plan?

According to the US Department of Education: 

” Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to            protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .”


The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.”

What does this mean?

Basically to put this definition in simpler terms, a 504 Plan is a legally binding document detailing any and all accommodations that need to be made by the school in order to assure a student with a disability (pre-school through college) receives an appropriate education. Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination in all institutions receiving federal financial assistance (including schools) on the basis of disability, including certain diseases.

Does celiac qualify for a 504 Plan?

Yes! Celiac disease is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act was amended in 2008 to include eating as a major life activity.

Why would you want a 504 Plan for your student with celiac?

A 504 Plan will clearly state which accommodations will legally need to be made in order to safely attend school and participate in activities. Having this plan can help eliminate any confusion on what needs to happen.

What will a 504 Plan provide to students with celiac?

*These are just some samples, it could vary student to student. 

  • Gluten Free lunches at school
  • Unlimited bathroom privileges
  • Gluten Free classroom and art supplies
  • Safe access to field trips and school sponsored camps
  • Notification of holiday parties, birthdays and classroom activities involving food
  • Microwave access
  • Refrigerator/freezer use for storage of gluten free foods
  • Lunch monitoring for young students

Steps to getting a 504 Plan:

  1. Educate yourself on exactly what they are and how it will help your child. This will help you to advocate for your child.
  2. Request a letter from your child’s doctor about their celiac diagnosis and required gluten free diet.
  3. Find out who the 504 coordinator is at school (this could be various school personnel) and schedule a meeting.
  4. The first meeting may just be with the coordinator to discuss the process.
  5. At the second meeting when the plan is written, ask for all teachers that will interact with your child to be present so everyone is on the same page.
  6. Make copies of the plan!

Do all students with celiac need a 504 Plan?

This is completely up to families to decide what is best for their student. My biggest recommendation is to have open communication with your child’s teachers and other school staff from day one.

I hope you found this information helpful and hope your kiddos all have a wonderful time back at school!

*Make sure you head back over next week, because I’ll be posting Back to School Part 2: Tips for Navigating a Gluten Free School Year


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Friday Favorites!


Happy Friday! I haven’t done a Friday Favorites or shared much personal information lately, so I thought I would change things up a little today! I hope you all had a wonderful week and have an even better weekend!

1. Indian Healing Clay


OMG…we are obsessed with this stuff over here! And by “WE” I mean Erik too! Ha


If you follow me on Snapchat (username: Ms.Modify <- come find me!) then you’ve seen this pic! [side note: I’m not sure if Erik knows I posted this pic…well now he does! :)]

So basically you mix the clay (it’s a powder to start out with) with apple cider vinegar, plaster it all over your face and then wait for it to harden. Your face literally pulls when it’s on!

After I rinse it off, I apply my favorite coconut face cream (you can read about that here!) and then my face is soo soft!

If you have any bumps or blemishes, this mask literally gets rid of them immediately. Just an FYI: if you decide to try it, your face will be red right after you wash it off but that goes away shortly after.

I bought mine at WholeFoods (for less than $10!) but you can also get it here

2. Maya Kaimal Kashmiri Curry


Have you tried this stuff? If not, it’s a must! It’s vegan, gluten free and delicious! I saw it at HomeGoods of all places, so I decided I would buy it and throw it in my pantry.

The other night I found a recipe on Pinterest that I really wanted to try, but didn’t have over half of the ingredients (and didn’t want to go to the store) so I modified the recipe and used this sauce!


The recipe I found was this Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs from wholesomelicious (How amazing does that look?!) but instead of making the homemade sauce, I used my jar of Kashmiri Curry… and it was delicious (and really quick to whip up!). I forgot to take a picture of mine to show you… it was so good I couldn’t wait to eat it!

3. Our Wedding Pictures!

Can you believe last Saturday Erik and I were officially married 6 months!? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! With that being said, we just (yes just!) got our professional pictures. Island time is a real thing apparently!

Since many of you shared in our journey through my blog, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you!







For those of you new to my blog, we had a small destination in the Bahamas! We had a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony and then had the reception on the sand at The Sandals Resort.

To read more about our wedding journey, check out these posts!:

I’m Getting Married!

Wedding Planning

Save the Dates

Engagement Pictures

Bridal Shower

One more thing… If you’re gluten free and are wondering about taking a vacation at The Sandals Resort, make sure you read my review about how they accommodated my dietary needs!

I’m so happy to be back sharing some of my personal life with you!


Now it’s your turn… 

  • Have you ever tried a face mask?
  • What’s your favorite easy go-to jar sauce?
  • Do you have any fun plans this weekend?

Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

Today I’m linking up with Erika!

*Ms.Modify is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to




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Tips for Making Mornings Easier + Simple Recipes

tips for making mornings easier

When your alarm goes off in the morning are you someone who runs around frantically to get out of the house… hoping not to forget anything, having everyone fed and get to school/work on time? Whether you have kiddos to get ready and get to school in the morning, or just need to get yourself to the office in time, I’ve got you covered!

Here are some simple tips to make morning routines easier:

Pack Lunches the Night Before: This goes along with meal planning. Whether you’re planning on packing leftovers or even a sandwich for lunch, don’t wait until the morning… chances are if you do you won’t take a lunch! Pack lunches the night before, pop them in the fridge and then just grab them in the morning!

Pick Clothes the Night Before: Take a few minutes the night before and plan out everyone’s outfit for the next day. If something needs to be ironed, do it then too! Either put the outfit in the front of the closet or lay it out on the dresser.

Do Grocery Shopping Over the Weekend and Meal Plan: People often plan out dinners for the week, but you rarely hear someone talk about breakfast/lunch meal plans. This is so important in order to ensure everyone eats breakfast. You can’t expect to make a homemade gourmet breakfast during the week, however you can plan to whip something simple up within 5-10 mins.

Set Out your Gym Clothes: If working out is part of your morning routine (or if you wish it was!) put your gym clothes on top of your dresser and even set out your shoes. Chances are if you see them staring at you in the morning… you’ll wear them and work out!

Set Important Belongings by the Front Door: Make sure homework, your laptop, the bag of clothes that needs to be returned during the day, etc is all put together and placed by the front door the night before.

If you’re prepared the night before, your morning routine will go smoothly and that sets the tone for your whole day!

It’s true what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Taking 5-10 mins to make something healthy to eat will hold you and/or the kiddos over until lunch and help everyone focus on their day!

I’ve teamed up with Van’s Foods in honor of TODAY being NATIONAL WAFFLE DAY to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes using their gluten free waffles!

Gluten Free Berry Waffle Kabobs

With little prep time, these berry waffle kabobs are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast for kiddos and adults! Who doesn’t think food is better on a stick?! These are so easy to make and you can modify them by switching out the fruit. 

waffle kabobs


(makes 4 mini skewers)

4 small skewers
2 frozen Vans gluten free blueberry waffles
4 strawberries, cut in half
12 blueberries
Maple syrup


1. Toast the waffles until golden brown.
2. Cut into small pieces.
3. Skewer the waffles, strawberries and blueberries (alternating ingredients).
4. Optional to serve with maple syrup.

waffle kabobs

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Waffle Sandwich

This creamy, yet crunchy peanut butter waffle sandwich puts a twist on a classic favorite. This is the perfect simple breakfast sandwich with lots of flavor, and a boost of protein!

peanut butter waffle sandwich


(makes one sandwich)

2 frozen Vans gluten free waffles
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, cut into slices
1 tsp honey
1 tsp butter/margarine


1. Toast the waffles until golden brown.
2. Spread 1 Tbsp of peanut butter on each waffle.
3. Layer on the banana slices, drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon.
4. Heat butter in pan.
5. Put sandwich together and cook in pan for a couple minutes, until peanut butter melts.
6. Remove from pan, cut in half and top with more cinnamon.

peanut butter waffle sandwich



Now I’d love to hear from you…

  • Are mornings easy for you?
  • What tricks help you get out of the house on time and not frazzled?
  • What’s your go-to healthy, yet quick breakfast?
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Round-Up: Gluten Free School/Work Lunch Ideas

gluten free school/work lunch ideas

With the school back in session for many and approaching for others, lunch ideas are often something I get asked about. As if figuring out what to pack each day so your kiddo doesn’t get bored isn’t hard enough, add in to the mix the lunch needing to be gluten free and you’re really up for a challenge, right?! Not the case!

Although I don’t have kids of my own yet, I do have a husband that I pack a lunch each day for work. Since our house is gluten free I’m always trying to come up with new lunch ideas for him.

We are big leftover eaters in our house, so I’d say 3 days out of the week that’s what he is eating for lunch. The other days I try to be creative!

I’ve searched Pinterest for some of my favorite gluten free lunch ideas that are simple, yet healthy and of course easy to pack the night before!

Refried Beans & Cheese Quesadillas Avocado & Lime Strawberries via Vicky Baronegluten free school/work lunch ideas

Gluten Free Mac & Cheese with Berries and Broccoli via Life Made Full gluten free school/work lunch ideas

Gluten Free Noodles with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Salami, and mixed with Italian Dressing via Keeley McGuiregluten free school/work lunch ideas

Taco Salad in a Jar via Pocket Change Gourmet gluten free school/work lunch ideas

Fiesta Chopped Salad with Berries and Nuts via Family Fresh Meals gluten free school/work lunch ideas

Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls via Sweet Peas and Saffrongluten free school/work lunch ideas

 Ham Rolls with Gluten-Free Pretzel Rings, Veggies and Fruit via Chaos and Confectionsgluten free school/work lunch ideas
California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo via Iowa Girl Eats
gluten free school/work lunch ideas
There you have it, some of my favorite simple, yet healthy gluten free lunch ideas for school or work!
What is your go-to lunch?
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Watermelon Lime Popsicles

These refreshing watermelon lime popsicles are the perfect combination of sweet and tangy! They take less than 5 minutes of prep time and are a healthier frozen choice this summer!

watermelon lime popsicles

When I think of summer watermelon is always one of the first things that comes to mind. If you ask my husband what comes to his mind, he will say ice cream! Since we try to eat healthy in our house, I always try to have these watermelon lime popsicles in our freezer. They are the perfect combination of a sweet treat and a healthy choice!

Next time you’re craving a cold treat, go for a healthier option and make these watermelon lime popsicles!


4-5 cups seedless watermelon, diced
6-8 mint leaves (or your desired amount)
1 lime, juice of


Popsicle molds should be room temperature before using them.

Puree watermelon and mint leaves in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add in lime juice.

Pour into popsicle mold, add in sticks and freeze. Freeze overnight or for about 7 hours.

Run bottom of popsicle molds under hot water for about 30 seconds to remove popsicles. If they don’t remove run them under hot water for a few more seconds.

watermelon lime popsicles


If you like this recipe you will also like:


3 Ingredient Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

If you’d you rather buy popsicles, then you’ll find this helpful:


2016 Gluten Free Popsicles List

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2016 Gluten Free Condiments List

Gluten free condiments list

Condiments are something people often don’t think about having gluten in them, but let me tell you… that is not the case! Don’t put your guard down next time you’re at a bbq or making yourself a sandwich. Take the time to learn which condiments are gluten free and safe to eat… there are so many!

Here is a list of gluten free condiments:


Organic Ketchup
Balsamic Ketchup
One-Carb Ketchup
No-Sodium Added Ketchup
Hot and Spicy Kick’rs
Easy Squeeze Ketchup
Chilli Ketchup
Hot Ketchup
Curry Ketchup
Tomato Ketchup
Organic Tomato Ketchup
Ketchup Kickers Hot & Spicey
Reduced Sugar Ketchup
Salt Tomato Ketchup
Tomato Ketchup with a Twist of Garlic
Tomato Ketchup with a Twist of Sweet Onion
Tomato Ketchup with a Twist of Chilli
Mexican Ketchup
Ketchup in Sachets

Original Ketchup
No Salt Added Ketchup

Del Monte:
Original Ketchup
Quick Squeeze Ketchup

Classic Ketchup

Great Value (Wal-Mart):
Tomato Ketchup

Annie’s Natural:
Organic Ketchup


Grey Poupon: 
Harvest Coarse Ground
Hearty Spicy Brown
Savory Honey
Spicy Brown
Country Dijon

Classic Yellow
Dijon with Chardonnay
Honey Dijon
Spicy Brown

Jack Daniel’s:
Hickory Smoke
Honey Dijon
Old No. 7
Spicy Southwest
Stone Ground Dijon

Chicago Fire
Mild Yellow
Sweet n’ Yellow Honey Mustard

Kicked Up Horseradish
New York Deli Style
Smoooth Honey

Boar’s Head:
Delicatessen Style

Annie’s Naturals:


Great Value (Wal-Mart):
Yellow Mustard

Mustard (All Varieties)


Mt. Olive:
Hot Dog
No Sugar Added, Sweet
Reduced Sodium Sweet
Sweet India

Relish (All Varieties)

Great Value (Wal-Mart):
Sweet Pickle Relish

Relish Sandwich Spread

Sweet Pickle Relish

Homestyle Dill


Light Mayonnaise
Deli Mayonnaise Moroccan
Deli Mayonnaise Caramelised Onion
Deli Mayonnaise Roast Garlic
Deli Mayonnaise Sun Dried Tomato
Heinz Mayonnaise in Sachets

Fat Free
Mayo with Olive Oil
Sandwich Shop Mayo:
Garlic & Herb
Hot & Spicy


Low Fat
Mayonesa con Jugo de Limon (with Lime Juice)

Best Foods:
Low Fat
Mayonesa con Jugo de Limon (with Lime Juice)

Miracle Whip: 

Fat Free

Boar’s Head:
Pepperhouse Gourmaise
Savory Remoulade (Cajun Style)

Smart Balance:

Omega Light Mayonnaise Dressing

Happy eating! 🙂



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Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Mango Salsa

This Sweet & Spicy Salmon is the perfect pan-cooked fish topped with sweet mango salsa that is ready in less than 20 minutes!

sweet-spicy-salmonThis is my go-to recipe for making salmon in our house. I decided to mix it up a little and topped it with a homemade mango salsa. It’s the perfect combination of sweet with a kick of spicy to it.

If you’re not big fish eaters, this would also be great with chicken! Feel free to adjust the Sriracha and honey measurements as needed based on your liking of sweet vs. spicy!



4 salmon fillets
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lime, zest and juice of
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp honey

Mango Salsa:

2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 Avocado, diced
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp cilantro
1/4 tsp salt


Combine mangoes, avocado, onion, cilantro and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle salmon with salt, pepper and lime zest. In a small bowl combine lime juice, Sriracha sauce and honey. Brush mixture on top of fish.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook salmon until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa.




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Sad Day…

yia yia quote

Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t blogged all week. My YiaYia (grandma) passed away and I have been spending time with my family. As many of you know from reading my post “Reliving my Wedding Day”  I was very close to her so this has been a difficult time for us all. 

I will be back to blogging next week, so see you all then.

xo, Kristina

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Friday Favorites- Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas- some healthy, some not, some good to grab on the go and others that are good for a weekend morning where I have time!

I’ve searched Pinterest and have come up with some of my favorites that I want to share with you!

Granola Parfaits with Peaches & Blueberries from Home & Plate

yogurt parfaits

Almond Joy Overnight Oats  from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth


Chunky Money Greek Yogurt Pancakes from Running with Spoons


Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal from A Few Shortcuts


Bacon, Spaghetti Squash, and Parmesan Fritters from Julia’s Album 

bacon fritters

Breakfast Egg Muffins with Bacon and Spinach from Julia’s Album

And of course one of my favorites from me! 🙂

{Gluten Free} Baked French Toast Casserole

overnight baked french toast casserole

What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

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How to Avoid Gluten when Staying at Someone’s House

Avoid Gluten at someone's house
Traveling is often stressful when you’re on a gluten free diet. The thought of staying at someone’s house can cause anxiety just thinking of all the opportunities of cross-contamination. In the past I’ve gotten sick from gluten when staying at others’ houses, so I’ve learned to modify my stay and now I never get sick!

Tips on Avoiding Gluten when Staying at Someone’s House:

Call Ahead and Let Them Know: Just in case your host doesn’t know you’re gluten free, call and let them know and briefly tell them about cross-contamination. This is helpful so they don’t go out and buy gluten containing food or prepare food before you come. If they offer to buy some gluten free food, (so nice of them!) let them know some things to look for.

Bring your Own Food: If you’re driving there, pack some of your favorite gluten free food that won’t spoil in the car (bread, pasta, sauces, etc). Once you arrive at your location you should stop at a grocery store and pick up more food to bring.

Use a Different Cup: This is especially helpful if many people are staying at the house. In order to prevent cross-contamination, always ask to use a different type of cup from everyone else so there is no confusion.

Pots and Pans: If you are driving there and can pack your car full of stuff, I recommend bringing your own pot and pan from home. If your hostess has stainless steal pots and pans, you’re good to cook your own food in them; but if they have non-stick pans it’s better to avoid them (gluten can forever stay on them). If you fly there, you can always go to a local store and buy a cheap pan to use while you’re there.

Grilling: You can read my tips on avoiding gluten on the grill here.

 Make Leftovers: When you cook at the house, make enough to have leftovers for the next day. This is especially helpful to have lunch the next day to bring with you if you leave the house and aren’t aware of where you can eat. If you don’t want to pack a lunch with you, make sure you use my favorite app to find gluten free options to eat out at!

Label Everything: Take a marker and write “GF” on everything that is gluten free. This way everyone knows. You don’t want someone who has their hands all over gluten containing food to put their hands in your bag of gluten free chips!

Keep Gluten Free Items Together: Keep all your food together in order to prevent cross-contamination. Ask if you can use one shelf of the fridge and pantry for your food.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Be aware of your food, but as long as you follow these tips you don’t need to stress and can have a great time!

Don’t forget to read my other gluten free travel tips!

Gluten Free Travel Tips

Gluten Free Road Trip Tips

What’s in my Gluten Free Carry On

Gluten Free Dining Out Cards

The Best Gluten Free Dining in Austin & San Antonio

Gluten Free Dining in Phoenix

Sandals Resort- Royal Bahamian: Gluten Free Review

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