At the Grocery Store

Gluten-free shopping suggestions:

After your child’s diagnosis of celiac disease and on your first trip to the grocery store, think about shopping  the perimeter of the store. This is where you will find naturally gluten-free foods. Start with the fresh produce section and stock up on nutrient-rich, low-fat, low-sodium fruits and vegetables.

Next, visit the fresh meat, poultry, and seafood section. Again, these are naturally gluten-free. Think about making a fresh turkey breast or lean roast for dinner and then using the leftovers as a filling for a corn tortilla for lunch. Use caution when choosing luncheon meat and other processed meats. The processed meats may contain gluten as fillers or flavor enhancers, so read the label carefully.

After the meat section, you can visit the egg and dairy section. These products are, for the most part, gluten-free. Calcium-rich desserts and snacks like ice cream, yogurt, and pudding may be good choices for a gluten-free diet, but always thoroughly check the list of ingredients.

If your child has lactose intolerance, try lactose- free milk, yogurt, and hard cheese as these are usually well tolerated in those patients. Lactaid tablets can also be taken with dairy products.

As the demand  for gluten-free products increases, many grocery stores now stock more products that are specifically gluten-free. Look in the Asian section for rice noodles and crackers. Check out the “organic” or “health food” section for gluten-free pastas, flours, and baking products.

Specialty health food stores typically have gluten-free foods in a designated section and in the frozen foods section of the store, offering shoppers many foods such as gluten-free bagels, bread, and pizza dough to defrost and bake at home.

Some frozen food sections also have gluten-free frozen meals as a convenient option.