One of the things I have been most nervous about with Pierce is travel. When we are home or he is in daycare, I have full control over all food provided to him. I do believe a gluten free lifestyle can be pretty painless inside the four walls of our comfort zone, but venturing out to someone else’s home or on a trip is when you lose control. We knew we’d make a trip to Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend to see family, my cousin and her kids would be in from St. Louis, and my parents would have opened the pool. As soon as we nailed the trip down, my mom sent me a text:
Mom: Can you provide me easy ideas on what to feed Pierce?
Because I’m in the thick of the lifestyle every day, the answer to this question seems so easy. But I’m sure, to everyone else it can seem daunting….you don’t want to risk the possibility of the child getting sick on your watch or in your home.
My #1 tip is to focus on the outside aisles of the grocery. You’ll hear this a lot from people with celiac, but its easier to cook a meal without gluten than it is to find tasty gluten alternatives. Meats, veggies, fruits are all game. Spices, like oregano or cumin, are fine…watch out for spice blends. Many spice blends include a non-caking agent which can be gluten so I always take the route of mixing my own. And because I tend to lots of Asian marinades, make sure your Soy sauce is gluten free or use Tamari sauce 🙂
Wheat is one of the top seven allergies in the nation so on USA nutritional panels, it is must be called out if contained within the product. You’ll be able to easily identify wheat, but barley and rye can be a little trickier so if you aren’t living a gluten free lifestyle every day, its best to just not risk it. If you question whether or not its in there, steer clear:) If you are dying for some good old pasta or bread, I like the corn/quinoa pasta, Udi’s hamburger buns and Kinnikinnick sandwich breads
There are several really helpful apps for iPhone and Androids to help lead to you gluten free products. I personally love the ShopWell app. Upon registration you enter what you are trying to avoid (gluten or sugars, fats, etc) and then you can scan the barcode of any product…you’ll immediately find out if the product is for you or not.
Lastly, just ask. I would rather someone call me 40 times asking if particular foods are ok for PIerce than feed him something questionable. No one wants to be around Pierce after he’s eaten gluten…you don’t sleep and the diapers are the most awful thing on the planet. If you get nervous about a particular product or particular meal, ask. Or google….lord knows I still google ” is XXXX gluten free?” about 10 times a day.
He did great in Lexington. He played, laughed and ate up a storm! We visited Gluten Free Miracles in Lexington….a fantastic gluten free bakery so if you live there, stop by and support them on Burt Road. And have a lemonade cookie. I dream about those things. Or visit their website for delivery to your home www.glutenfreemiracles.com
Next stop, Holden Beach NC for a week in July. I’m not as worried about the food since we are surrounded by fresh seafood and amazing produce stands, but cross contamination is the easiest way to get Pierce sick. Little things like making him a sandwich on gluten free bread after making a sandwich for my mom….just wash up and use a different knife and cutting board. I certainly don’t want to force everyone around me to go gluten free, just force everyone to be a little more aware. No one would want to make this face sick, right? 🙂