By Francie Kelley, Executive Director, Celiac Kids Connection
Fifty of our members gathered on March 4th to talk about eating away from home. We had a panel of teens that shared their real life experiences and how they stayed gluten free (GF). Our teens were all very informative and they made us laugh
Here are some of the tips they shared.
- Go First - If there is a buffet type food spread or sundae bar, be sure to go through the food line first; before anyone mistakenly contaminates the GF items.
- When it is your turn to bring snacks to school or sports etc., make a special GF treat and show people how good GF can be.
- Advocate for yourself – This message was repeated over and over. The teens talked about advocating in restaurants, at school and with family.
- Leave a snack (or snacks) with your teacher so you always have something available when there is food at school.
- Talk to your teacher or teachers at the start of school year. This will allow them to make accommodations for you in advance when the lesson will contain a food component.
- Always have a snack or bar with you. No matter where you go or what you do, you want to have food with you. Then no matter what happens, you will have something to eat.
- Eat before you go places.
- Remember it is your health. Do not let someone force you or guilt you into eating something that you do not believe is GF.
- It’s Just Food - There is no reason to stress. Keep in mind, “It’s just food. There is so much more to life.
We want to thank our panelists who shared their wisdom with us. Thank you to Nate Couture, Jessica Delli Carpini, Emma Frank, Sonia Mulgund, Sam Orelowitz, Jessica Bargamian, Andrew Sears, Alexandra Weinsten and Brendan Weissel.
We want to thank the vendors who joined us from Veggie Fries and Eastern Marketing. Thank you to Canyon Bakehouse, Walkers Shortbread, Smart Flour, Kinnikinnick, Enjoy Life, San-J and Edward and Sons who sent delicious samples.
None of our events would be possible without the hard work of our volunteers. Thank you to our board members Debbie Ferguson, Nate Couture and Alexandra Weinsten. Also thank you to Nomi and Kayla Munroe, Evan Ferguson, Quentin Fennessy, Ilana Orelowitz, Amelia Wilson and April Sears.
Thanks to this group for sharing their experiences! Next phase – college – is also a topic I’d like you to explore.
Great idea for one of our future programs. In the meantime, check out the College section under our “Living Gluten Free” tab.