Learning to eat gluten free is an adventure. The easiest way to get off to the right track is to understand what you can eat and what you can’t. We’ve come up with a free gluten free food list to get you started on your own customized list. We’ll discuss what foods are naturally gluten free, what kinds of gluten substitutes you can buy and how to keep your kids happy as well!
Gluten Free – Naturally
There are hundreds of foods that naturally do not contain gluten. Keep in mind though that when you eat these foods raw or prepare them yourself you can be assured that you will not be consuming gluten, but if you buy them processed in any way there is a risk. Some methods of preparation can contain hidden gluten. For example, ingredients like ‘modified food starch’ do not really say what kind of starch it is. Does it come from wheat or corn? If it’s corn, it is no problem but if it’s wheat then you’ve got a gluten-containing product. The problem is, you can’t really know without contacting the manufacturer.Of all foods, natural foods are what belong on a safe gluten free food list because they have not been processed in any way.
Some naturally gluten-free foods are:
- Fruits – Thank goodness you can enjoy apples, pears, oranges, bananas, grapes, cherries, melons and all other kinds of fruit without worry.
- Vegetables – All veggies are gluten free. Salad greens, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes – all fine as are all other vegetables.
- Meats -All meats are naturally gluten free. So enjoy that bacon with breakfast. When you eat out, you will always be safe ordering grilled chicken or steak – just specify that they add nothing else to it.
- Dairy – Eggs, milk and cream all are gluten free. Most cheeses are gluten free, depending on the manufacturing process.
Instead of wheat flours look for flours made from rice, amaranth, corn, tapioca, potato starch, teff flour and other wheat, rye and barley substitutes. You can also find a wide variety of pre-made gluten free mixes on the market. Don’t forget beer! You can enjoy gluten free alcohol as well, just be sure to check the ingredients.
Gluten Free & Kid Approved
Creating a gluten free food list for kids can be slightly more of a challenge. If your children are school-age, they may wonder why their friends can have macaroni and cheese and pizza and they cannot. The solution is to find a way to make all the popular “kid’s foods” in a gluten free way. Using gluten free flours, and even ready-made gluten free products from the store, you can create all your child’s favorites and be assured that they’re eating healthy too.
It is a good idea to stock up on kid-friendly products. Gluten free crackers, cookies and baking mixes are now all available in many grocery stores. Feeling different and deprived can be a challenge for some, so make living a gluten-free lifestyle easier by removing that feeling of deprivation by always having great foods available – whether you make them yourself or buy them ready-to-go.