Let me preface this by saying that until recently, I had no idea what ‘gluten’ even was. I figured it had something to do with bread, but other than that, I was completely (and embarrassingly) clueless.
A few of my children’s friends have celiac disease (an intolerance t0 gluten). And while eating a gluten-free diet has become somewhat of a trend these days, celiac disease is not a lifestyle choice, and definitely not something to be taken lightly.
When one of my daughter’s friends came over for a play date the other day, I wanted to make sure that I only offered gluten-free snacks, but I didn’t know which foods to avoid. After a series of lengthy texts with her mother (and with a little help from ‘Dr. Google’) I did my research, and was surprised by some of my discoveries.
Some sneaky foods that actually aren’t always gluten-free (check the labels!):
- hot dogs
- soy sauce
- sushi (not just soy sauce, but imitation crab and wasabi)
- french fries
What to look out for:
With so many foods on the “not safe” list, I found it helpful to reference a list of ingredients to avoid when preparing food for my child’s gluten-free friend. Here’s a great resource for both ingredient-checking, and learning more about the impacts of celiac disease: Celiac Disease Foundation.
With all this new information in mind, I wanted to feed my daughter’s friend without making a big deal about her dietary restrictions. For snacks, I stuck with fresh fruit (strawberries and blueberries are definitely a safe option), and a bowl of Boom Chicka Pop sweet & salty kettle corn (it says “certified gluten-free right on the bag – easy peasy for moms like me!).
For dinner, I grilled some chicken on the BBQ (lightly seasoned – but no BBQ sauce, because upon reading the label I discovered that was out too!), served with broccoli and plain rice.
I was happy to have fed my daughter’s friend without slipping up on the gluten-free front, but I felt as though I could have done better. I’m sure the dinner was bland and thought I could definitely have done better to satisfy her palate. So to prepare myself for next time, I’ve pulled together a great list of gluten-free recipes from some of my favourite mom bloggers. I’m going to file them away, and hopefully this will give you all some new gluten-free snack ideas too!
4 delicious gluten-free recipes to bookmark for later:
(click on the images to link to the full recipes)