One of my biggest fears when eating somewhere else is do they know how to prepare my food. They may have all gluten free foods but do they know how to prepare it? Or has it been cross contaminated?
That’s happened to me before at the beginning of my journey. when someone said “Oh yea, we will check everything and make sure and prepare it all properly.” I know they meant that with all their hearts too but when we got there it was like a gluten fest, LOL. Bread, dressing, Mac and cheese, etc. etc. My heart sank, I couldn’t eat anything.
When I had to explain why I couldn’t eat it, they said ” We read the labels and none it had gluten on it so we thought that was fine.”
Label reading 101
What is gluten? Wheat, barley, rye, and oats.
“Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.” Celiac Disease Foundation
It may not say the word gluten specifically. There are other words that hide gluten.
- Breading, bread stuffing
- Brewer’s yeast
- Durum (type of wheat)
- Graham flour
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Kamut (type of wheat)
- Malt, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring
- Malt vinegar
- Malted milk
- Matzo, matzo meal
- Modified wheat starch
- Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, whole oats
- Rye bread and flour
- Spelt (type of wheat also known as farro, faro, or dinkel)
- Wheat bran
- Wheat flour
- Wheat germ
- Wheat starch
And there are more hidden names of “The Evil One” 🤣
So you gotta research, research, and research some more.
One thing you can do is look for the allergy warning on the products. That’s super helpful now but it’s not always there so you can’t depend on that.
Here are just a few tips for that Celiac or gluten allergy person in your life.
1. Always wash your hands, workspace, countertops before preparing anything gluten free.
2. Separate utensils when serving and preparing gluten free foods.
3. Use separate toasters when preparing bread.
Mine is labeled all over in red permanent marker “Gluten free” “Gluten free princess” and “No gluten allowed.”
4. Separate colanders when serving gluten free foods.
5. Use separate cutting boards and knives.
6. You can color code items to let others know if it’s gluten free or use labels for gluten free or gluten “filled”.
About 6 years ago at Christmas I got the flu and then my youngest got it as well. This is an example of our labeling 🤣🤣
7. Use squeeze bottles for condiments, that way you avoid people double dipping.
*Butter and mayonnaise are bigs ones that people don’t always think of.
8. If you cook gluten filled items as well, do the gluten free foods first.
Hope these tips help you and have a wonderful gluten free Christmas!