Gluten Free Special Diet Tips

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by Patrice on March 4, 2011 · 2 comments

in Special Diets

When someone in the family has to follow a special diet because of health reasons, the single mom will need to find time to not only research the risks involved with the reason for the diet, but also the added time spent in preparing the proper meals and shopping for special, often more expensive ingredients.  This especially holds true when someone needs to eliminate gluten from the diet.

The protein gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. Some patients are instructed to also avoid products containing oats. Unfortunately, gluten is a staple of our daily diets and is used in many products, including medications, that aren’t readily apparent. Reading labels on food will become second nature to the single mom who has to prepare meals that are gluten free.

An often overlooked aspect of completely eliminating gluten from the diet is the danger that may already be lurking in the kitchen. Even armed with complete diet specifications and resources for menus, gluten free product outlets and recipes, many moms inadvertently introduce dangerous wheat gluten into the diet. A little detective work can help you avoid the pitfalls.

When you first learn that you must provide gluten free meals, inspect the items in the kitchen. Check the toaster. Lift the lid on the butter, open the used jars of peanut butter and other sandwich spreads. Inspect the cutting board where you chop your vegetables.

You’ll often find that bread crumbs have accumulated. No, mom, this doesn’t reflect on your housekeeping abilities. You’ll find bread crumbs in the cleanest of homes. But these bread crumbs are easily introduced into the gluten free diet accidentally, and depending on the sensitivity to the wheat gluten, all of your hard work in preparing the special diet could be compromised.

To cut the risk of gluten contamination, the single mom should consider purchasing another toaster that will be dedicated to only gluten free products. Clearly mark the toaster and keep it in the same spot so that no one uses it because they’ve gotten it confused with the family toaster.

Clearly identify jars of peanut butter and other spreads for use only in the special diet. Educate other members of the family that when the special diet is being prepared, clean utensils must be used to keep crumbs of gluten containing foods from contaminating them.

Cooperation from the whole family is needed whenever a special diet is introduced into the home. It’s not an impossible situation. Stress to each member of the family how important special diets are and give age appropriate information so your children can be a proactive part of the challenge of the safety of the gluten free diet.


About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie March 6, 2011 at 8:56 am

My grocery store and drug store have a special part of the store for gluten free foods. The local newspaper also features recipes in it each week for a gluten free diet. And the hospital has gluten free groups that meet all the time.


kate March 7, 2011 at 6:37 am

Fortunately we can now buy gluten-free products like pasta and bread, they are available in some supermarkets. By eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also be a good idea because naturally it’s gluten-free.


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