Anyone with celiac disease faces a unique set of circumstances at the grocery store and at the table, but gluten-free college students have a few additional challenges to handle when it comes to choosing foods. A gluten-free friend of mine shared a few of the compromises she’s devised to combat tricky situations and enjoy her dining experiences on and off campus.
The Challenge: Eating Out
The Solution: College students love socializing over food with friends, but many restaurants provide challenges for gluten-free eaters. Being the first to suggest a restaurant choice ensures that you can find something delicious on the menu without compromising your dietary needs. Asian and Mexican places are usually a safe bet, since many of the dishes include rice or corn options. If Asian cuisine is your pick, be sure to ask for gluten-free soy sauce.
The Challenge: Dining Halls on Campus
The Solution: Packing a lunch eliminates the unease that stems from all unknown ingredients in a dining hall. Some of her favorites to tote along include peanut butter and jelly on paleo bread (made from coconut flour), side salads with barbeque sauce and candy for dessert. Tupper ware options make your lunch easier to carry.
The Challenge: Adult Beverages
The Solution: For students of legal drinking age, consuming alcoholic beverages requires a bit more thought than an average college student might think. If you love beer, there are gluten-free options, but they’re often pricier than a standard beer. Her fancier favorites are mojitos and rum gimlets. As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of drinks with flavored liquors, since these are more likely to have traces of gluten in their syrups.