When you have food allergies or intolerances, eating on campus can prove challenging. But, eating only food you prepare in your dorm isn’t an every-day option either. Udi’s, a top manufacturer of gluten-free products, puts out a list of the top 10 gluten-free accommodating campuses every year. University of Connecticut, SUNY Geneseo, and University of Michigan top their list in the most recent report. http://udisglutenfree.com/2015/07/24/top-10-gluten-free-accommodating-colleges/
Here are some tips to make your everyday life easier on and outside the campus:
- Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free
There are many choices that you can make with regards to food can be naturally gluten-free such as fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. You can easily find these in the grocery stores or look for them on the cafeteria menus.
- Read food labels and don’t be afraid to ask if you are not sure
Get used to reading food labels for ingredients and look for items in the grocery stores or online that specialize in gluten-free labeling and products. More and more companies are recognizing the need for this and are incorporating facts into the product labels and ingredients.Familiarize yourself with different ingredients to avoid such as wheat, barley, rye, oats or any other ingredient that has been made through breeding these together.
- Consider naturally gluten-free grains and food
There are plenty of grains and cereals that you can incorporate into your diet. Quinoa, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet. Just check the labels to make sure you are using uncontaminated versions. Try using rice, gluten-free pasta and cereal or look for baked goods that use some of the grains listed here such as quinoa and buckwheat.
- Avoid certain types of alcohol
Remember that certain types of alcohol such as beer, lager and stout have gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet unless they are labeled as such. Wine, cider, port and spirits are ordinarily gluten-free but again check that there is no cross-contamination and if you are not sure ask.
- Inquire about sauces as they can frequently have ingredients that are not gluten-free
A common ingredient in many of pasta and food sauces, stock and gravies is wheat flour. So ensure that you know the ingredients and exclude it from the menu if it is not suitable for you. You can try making these yourself when you have time and stock on these items for school.So with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can easily get used to food options and items in your diet that can keep you healthy and gluten-free. And remember, just because you have to have a gluten-free diet, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy delicious and tasty food.