For parents of children who follow a gluten-free diet, grocery shopping is a little easier than it used to be. There's growing awareness about celiac disease and other conditions aggravated by gluten, a protein found in many common foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and other grains.
Nearly 30% of Americans try to avoid gluten for health reasons, and some stores have entire sections dedicated to gluten-free products. But making sure the foods you select don't contain gluten—and do contain the nutrients children following gluten-free diets need—can still be a challenge.
Here are some tips to make following a gluten-free diet a little easier:
Shop the perimeter of your grocery store first
- Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs, and legumes are always kept along the outer areas of the grocery store. These items are also 100% naturally gluten-free. When planning your meals, start with these items. Then all you should worry about are seasonings and snacks.
Noodle around with new staples
- Experiment with gluten-free pastas like the ones offered by Mom's Place Gluten Free. In addition to being high in protein and fiber, these grains contain micronutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc, iron, folate, thiamin, copper, and riboflavin.
Watch for added gluten in processed foods
Pre-packaged and "ready-made" items often contain additives to increase shelf life, and these additives can contain gluten. Flavoring, sauces (including soy sauce, which is generally made from wheat) and seasonings can all contain gluten. Gluten also may be added to some products such as breakfast bars to boost protein content. Even soups can have gluten from thickening ingredients. You just need to know the words to look for on the label. Video: Hidden Gluten & Brands You Can Trust
Fill the nutrient gap
- Since most gluten-free grains are unfortified—which means they are not modified or added to, they are more pure. But because those of us with Celiac often have vitamin and mineral deficiencies—make sure and work with your doctor on any potential deficiencies. These could include fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), calcium, vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, magnesium, iron.
Here's how to boost needed nutrients in your child's diet:
Consider multivitamins. A daily children's multivitamin can help, because it has calcium, vitamin D, and iron in it — nutrients not always prevalent in today's foods. Note also that gummy vitamins do not contain the iron, B1, or B2 that children may be missing. Check the labels! Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP.com
Stock up on nutrient-rich foods. Many vegetables and fruits, meats and seafood, dairy foods and nuts and seeds are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals to help ensure children on a gluten-free diet get the nutrients they need. See table below for ideas. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP.com
Choose certified gluten-free products
Mom’s Place Gluten Free has been with you along the way. We have Celiac Disease. We created Mom’s Place out of necessity because there isn’t another company like Mom’s Place that offers the breadth and depth of nutritional GF options like Mom’s Place. We offer over 100 Gluten Free Products. Mom's Place Product Brochure
- We aren’t just a me-too company that jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon because the market share increased. We eat like you. We struggle like you have. We’ve learned alongside you.
Manufacturers change ingredients and production methods frequently. This means a product that may have been gluten-free in the past, may no longer be gf. If you're ever in doubt, don't hesitate to contact the manufacturer with specific questions. As a consumer, you have every right to know exactly what's in your food. But be assured that Mom's Place Gluten Free products are certified gluten free - they are manufactured in a dedicated GF facility—always have been and always will be!