Bailey Koch RD has the following tips for you:
- Plan ahead!
- Call the restaurant or look them up on the internet to determine which foods are safe for you to eat. Be informative, not demanding.
- Identify yourself and your special dietary needs. Be dramatic and tell them you have a severe wheat allergy. Most people understand an allergy but may not be familiar with celiac disease or gluten.
- Carry a "restaurant card" with you.
This is a credit card-size allergy list stating what you can eat and what you can't--and how to avoid cross contamination (see our blogpost on hidden gluten)
- Be very specific when ordering.
- Order simple foods.
- Send un-safe foods back!
- Tip well if served well!
- At fast food restaurants, go inside to order.
- If attending a party, offer to bring a gluten-free dish. You can always eat at home so you won’t be tempted by gluten-containing or questionable foods.
- Avoid buffets
- Ensure that fried foods are cooked in dedicated fryers.
What about School?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
· Law states that patients with Celiac Disease have the right to safe, gluten free meals and snacks in educational programs that receive federal funds.
· Requires a letter from your physician. Letter must be very detailed and explain the following:
o What is Celiac Disease? Why does it require a gluten free diet?
o Not adhering to a gluten free diet WILL affect learning
o Foods to be omitted
o Foods to be served
· See additional handouts provided from the American Celiac Disease Alliance
We will keep you updated with our suggestions and recommendations --and we will add those from other parents and families as well.