Wondering how you can make eating gluten-free easier while improving the variety in your meals? I’ve been cooking without gluten for almost four years now and one key piece of advice I have for you is to find (or make) yourself a good gluten-free product list. The top three reasons a list will help you:
- Do you feel limited with your menu? It’s easy to get stuck in a rut eating the same old foods made with the same products over and over again. I know because I’ve been there. Having a portable gluten-free product list helps by opening up your menu and grocery list to new products you can trust are okay to eat.
- Use it when you travel. I travel some for work and so I pass through airports and cities I’m unfamiliar with. When I’m on the road, it is handy to get some snacks at the local grocery store so I’m not left hungry when my co-workers order in pizza at the office. Having a list along on my trip helps me find what I need in a grocery store I’ve never been too.
- Create your own mini gluten-free product lists to share with family and friends. I’ve found it especially useful to share mini lists for my daughter. I have a list of candies we give to her classmates around Halloween and Easter and we also have a snack list we share with her soccer team.
We all have different ways of keeping a list. I prefer having something printed that I can take with me. Some prefer having it on a portable device like their phone. Others make the list at home on a scrap piece of paper and still others prefer a spreadsheet. I recommend creating your list in a spreadsheet or document on a computer. This way, you can edit it, add to it, and print it any time!
The content of your list is more important than where or how you keep your list! Finding what products are gluten-free can be done a couple of ways. The best method is to go straight to the product manufacturer. A statement about what products are gluten-free can usually be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If you don’t see it in the FAQ, it is usually fastest to call or email the company.
A second method for finding products is to go online and search the product name plus the words “gluten-free”. You’ll usually get results from a multitude of blogs and websites. I find the information is often outdated or not an exact match with what I was looking for. However, it is a good way to find products and searching this way can provide good supplementary information such as experiences others have had with the product.
When you choose recipes or have ideas for meals, make a note of the ingredients you will need. Consolidate your ingredient list and then do your research. In just a few months, you’ll be surprised at how big your list has grown!
Take the time to make yourself a gluten-free product list. It will help you shop with confidence and maintain a diet that is filled with variety. Having a list will also make it easier to eat well while traveling. Finally, keeping and sharing a gluten-free product list will make your family, friends, and community aware of all the wonderful things you can eat.