Diet and Nutrition

Starting off on a Gluten-Free Lifestyle After a Celiac Diagnosis

Finding "Safe" Eateries

Although some sound advice when dealing with a diagnosis of celiac is to start cooking again, once in a while, a person might want to step out and enjoy a meal elsewhere. Just like with the grocery store, outings might require a bit of research beforehand. This can involve an online search for well-known franchises. Most places post their menus on their websites, but one detail to look out for is a disclaimer. For example, some pizza franchises post a note that their gluten free crusts might still come in contact with wheat flour in the kitchen even if they are packaged separately.

Other places, apply more caution. Chick-Fil-A, for instance, has added grilled chicken nuggets as a substitute for the breaded ones. They also offer a gluten free bun for sandwiches, but it’s kept in a separate wrapper, and the customer must assemble the sandwich themselves. Another example is Starbucks and their new gluten free breakfast sandwiches which are also packaged (and already assembled) separately. They are also warmed up separately in the same wrapper that it comes in.  For more information on restaurants, one can search on the internet for sites like Gluten Free Passport which has a list of different places and allergy charts.

For locally owned establishments, a conversation with a manager or owner would be a great option. Most restaurateurs would be very accommodating either by ordering gluten free substitutes to have in stock or by offering more food choices that are naturally gluten free. This could establish a situation that benefits both owners and customers by reaching out to a whole new clientele.