Surviving Your First Gluten-Free Summer


With summer finally here, people are eager for bonfires and get-togethers. Although you may look forward to spending time with family and friends, you can’t help but wonder how you will survive your first gluten-free summer with all those food-centric gatherings. Luckily, you can enjoy yourself and stay safe by keeping the following tips in mind.

Who says you can’t have a burger or hot dog?

Hot dogs and burgers are two of the most common summer go-to foods, and you can still indulge in them. However, some varieties of hot dogs contain wheat gluten. If you can’t confirm whether the frankfurter is gluten free, it’s best to steer clear. Also ask whether the burger has been mixed with any sauce or seasoning, which could contain gluten.

Note: Put tinfoil down on the grill while your burger is cooking to avoid any gluten cross-contamination.

Offer to Host the Get-Together.

If you’re hesitant about eating at someone else’s home, host your own shindig. You would be in complete control of making sure the food is safe. It’s possible to make a gluten-free version of almost any food, so you can create a whole summer feast of everyone’s favorite dishes.

  • BBQ chicken
  • Buffalo chicken
  • Chicken and veggie skewers
  • Hamburgers
  • Gluten-free hot dogs
  • Pulled pork
  • Baby back ribs
  • Corn on the cob
  • Grilled jalapeño poppers
  • Baked beans
  • Gluten-free macaroni and cheese
  • Gluten-free pasta salad
  • Potato salad

Bring your own dish.

If having the get-together at your home is out of the question, you have other options. Bringing a seasonal gluten-free dish would be ideal, so you won’t miss out. Ask the hostess or host ahead of time what will be on the menu so you can plan accordingly. Even if you don’t want to make large separate dishes for everyone at the party, you could bring just a plate for yourself to eat when everyone else sits down to feast.


Your beloved s’mores are not out of the question!

Most people enjoy sitting around a bonfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying a s’more. Because traditional graham crackers contain gluten, people think they have to go without. Fortunately, gluten-free graham crackers do exist, such as those made by Schär, Kinnikinnick or Pamela’s Products.

Heather Burdo is a health content writer from New York. Visit her at

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