I have been eating gluten free since I was diagnosed with celiac when I was 2 years old. I have spent a lot of time in the 11 years since trying new products and coming up with helpful strategies for living gluten free. Here are some of the strategies that have worked for me.
Starting middle school presented new challenges for me food-wise. I needed to be out of the house much earlier, so I had to come up with quicker, easier breakfast options. On mornings when I’m in a rush to leave, I’ll grab Van’s Gluten Free Waffles when they pop up out of the toaster as I run out the door. Other mornings, when I have a little more time, I might have a quick bowl of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal or Glutino Gluten Free Premium English Muffins. These products make the start to my day yummy and quick.
I typically don’t buy school lunches; I bring my own. Most days, I’ll make a sandwich with my favorite bread, Three Bakers gluten-free white bread. I have made many attempts at finding the perfect bread, and Three Bakers has been the best for me.
And, of course, you need sides with your sandwich. Some gluten-free items I choose are Light & Fit Greek Yogurt and a Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar (my favorite is the peanut butter dark chocolate, but there are many kinds to try).
When I’m hungry after school, my go-to snack is Snikiddy Grilled Cheese Baked Puffs, which taste like Pirate’s Booty but lighter and creamier. They are very filling and a great way to hold you over until dinner.
Kids with a gluten intolerance need to take charge of their eating lifestyles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and look into things yourself. I used to never want to ask what items were gluten free or if I could eat something. I was too nervous. But I eventually realized that the more I asked, the more comfortable I’ve become with my gluten-free diet. Others are there to help, but no one knows more about your eating habits than you do.
Grace Lacerda is a 13-year-old middle school student in Massachusetts.
Find more information on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet in our Kids section!