In The News

Gluten Free Halloween

Keep your Halloween happy and healthy for those living with Celiac disease.  We found these recipes in the pages of Delight Gluten Free magazine. 

Chocolate Spider Cupcakes

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup white chocolate morsels

1 container Betty Crocker Hershey's Special Dark frosting

9 gluten-free black licorice twists, for spider legs

12 mini marshmallows, halved

Decorating gels

Sprinkles, optional


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a mixing bowl, combine gluten-free all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  In a standing mixer bowl combine eggs, butter, milk and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until well combined.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the white chocolate morsels.

3.  Divide mixture evenly into 12 baking cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool.

4.  Take one licorice twist and cut into 4 equal pieces.  Then, slice these pieces lengthwise.  Place 6 dots of frosting on a cupcake where you plan to place the spider legs.  Press a licorice piece onto each dot and then top the entire cupcake with frosting.  Repeat process until all cupcakes are frosted.

5.  Press 2 mini marshmallow slices into each cupcake and dot with decorating gels for spider eyes.  Top with sprinkles.



Mummy Sugar Cookies

1 1/3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting

Decorating gels


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together gluten-free all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until mixed thoroughly and set aside.

3.  In a standing mixer bowl, combine egg, butter, vanilla and almond extracts.  Mix until foamy.  Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition, until a smooth dough forms.

4.  Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until set.  Remove from oven and let cool completely. 

5.  Insert frosting into a piping bag and create a crisscross pattern over cookies so that it looks like mummy bandages, leaving space for the eye area.  Draw on eyes with decorating gels.

Santa Cruz Now Open

Christine Nguyen, M.D. is available to see patients twice monthly in Santa Cruz, California.  The office is located just behind Dominican Hospital where Dr. Nguyen is privileged to perform routine colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures.  Our insurance contracts include Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz and Central California Alliance for Health.

Nutritional Consultation Available

Whether your child has special dietary needs, specific nutritional deficiencies, or you just have questions about best practices for feeding children at specific ages, our registered dietician can provide guidance.   Patients can have a nutritional consultation without a visit to a gastroenterologist.  If your child does need a gastroenterological evaluation, we will be able to schedule a timely consultation.

Contact our receptionist for further information.

Our Community

Connecting Families of Children With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

1/3 of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis cases start in childhood.  A support group can help children meet other children with their condition and can provide families with a valuable network to share experiences, challenges, and solutions.  To join, contact Viki Escobar, our office manager.

Welcome To Our Site

Pediatric Gastroenterology Associates provides children and their families with superb, accesible medical care.  Pediatricians, family practicioners, and other healthcare providers tap our expertise for help managing common and uncommon gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional problems.  We see patients in our offices as well as children who are hospitalized at our affiliated hospitals.

General Information

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment at (408) 358-3573, option 2.  For new patients, you may also fax the Appointment Request Form and our office will call you back to schedule a consultation appointment.


Please arrive on time for your appointment, as we may have to reschedule if you arrive late. For the initial visit, the patient must check in 15 minutes prior to the appointment time. Your Co-Pay or Deductible will be collected at check-in. Please inform the staff whenever there have been insurance, address, or other important changes.
Initial Visit

Sometimes there are delays in receiving information from your doctor, so if you have them, please bring with you or arrange to be faxed to us copies of:

  • All x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, procedure reports, laboratory reports, and growth charts.
  • Current Insurance Card.
  • HMO Referral form and your co-pay if applicable.
  • A completed Registration Form For A New Patient.

Cancellation Fees

For all cancellations, 1 full business day notification is required or a fee will be incurred. Our after-hours answering service will not accept any message regarding an appointment cancellation.
Payments and Fees
All co-pays and deductibles are due at the time of your appointment.
We accept major credit cards, cash and checks.
We accept most insurances. Please contact our office for insurance verification.
If your insurance is an HMO, you will need an authorization from your primary care doctor for the consultation.  Our staff will take care of authorizations for your follow-up visits.

Billing Question
If you have any questions with regards to billing, you may contact Metro Billing at
(408) 448-9213.

Prescription Refills
Please ask your pharmacist to fax us the prescription refill request during normal business hours. If your prescription requires insurance authorization, please be sure to request your refill at least 48 hours prior to running out.
Medical Record Copies
We will provide you with a copy of your child's medical records for a fee. Please submit a completed Request for Medical Records form available on our Forms & Materials page. The office staff will inform you of the total fees due after your written request has been reviewed.

This website should not be used for medical emergencies. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. For after-hours advice, please call (408) 358-3573 and the on-call doctor will be contacted. All other non-urgent messages, including prescription refills will be returned within 24 business hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about urgent appointments?
If your pediatrician feels your child needs to be seen right away, please have him or her call us to discuss the case. We might decide to start some tests in advance of the appointment, or schedule an earlier appointment.

What will happen at the first appointment?
We will ask a lot of questions to get to know your child. We will give your child a full physical exam that may include a rectal exam, and we may request blood or stool tests or an x-ray. Procedures such as endoscopies are not done at the first visit.  Please bring a current list of the medications your child is taking including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products.

Should my child fast for the first visit?
No, please feed your child normally. In fact, bringing a snack and entertainment is a good idea.

Can I talk to the doctor without bringing my child?
Your child must be present and examined at all visits for us to provide the best medical care. If you wish to speak to the doctor in private, before or after the visit, please let the doctor or our receptionist know, and we’ll be happy to arrange it.

Can a relative bring my child or can my child come on their own?
To comply with the law and to make sure we are able to give the best medical advice, we request that at least one parent or legal guardian bring your child.  Older teenagers under 18 can on occasion come on their own for follow-up visits, with parent permission, if they have a good understanding of their medical condition.

What if I'm running late?
In order to give all patients adequate time with their doctor, please let us know as soon as possible if you think you will be late.  Please see click on our "Policies" section on the upper right hand corner of our webpage.  A missed or late appointment prevents another child from being seen in on time.

What are your office hours?
The main office at 2577 Samaritan has appointments 9 AM - 5 PM.  Our receptionists are available to assist you between 9 AM - 12 PM and 2 PM - 5 PM.  We also have office hours in Tracy and Santa Cruz several days each month.  Salinas office hours are set by Natividad Medical Center.  Please see Locations for contact information.