Eating away from home on a gluten-free diet
Is a Registered Dietitian, board certified as a Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition. She founded Atlanta Pediatric Nutrition and joined the GI Care for Kids team, providing nutrition counseling to patients and families.
Tips for eating out at restaurants:
- Plan ahead!
- Call the restaurant or look them up on the internet to determine which foods are safe for you to eat. Be informative, not demanding.
- Identify yourself and your special dietary needs. Be dramatic and tell them you have a severe wheat allergy. Most people understand an allergy but may not be familiar with celiac disease or gluten.
- Carry a "restaurant card" with you. This is a credit card-size allergy list stating what you can eat and what you can't–and how to avoid cross contamination (see our blogpost on hidden gluten)
- Be very specific when ordering.
- Order simple foods.
- Send un-safe foods back!
- At fast food restaurants, go inside to order.
- If attending a party, offer to bring a gluten-free dish. You can always eat at home beforehand so you won't be tempted by gluten-containing or questionable foods.
- Avoid buffets
- Ensure that fried foods are cooked in dedicated fryers.
What about School?
- Law states that patients with Celiac Disease have the right to safe, gluten free meals and snacks in educational programs that receive federal funds. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Requires a letter from your physician. Letter must be very detailed and explain the following:
- What is Celiac Disease? Why does it require a gluten free diet?
- Not adhering to a gluten free diet WILL affect learning
- Foods to be omitted
- Foods to be served
- See additional handouts provided from the American Celiac Disease Alliance
We will keep you updated with our suggestions and recommendations –and we will add those from other parents and families as well.
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