I have been resisting the inevitable of writing about going back to school because even though I am not going back to school this fall, I still feel that angst in my bones that I always used to get as summer turned from warm August nights to chilly September evenings in a flash before my eyes! Don’t get me wrong I always liked school but I always loved summer a little bit more. The past week I have been talking a lot about traveling and Gluten-free adventures, so I decided I would start my back-to-school post’s discussing the ultimate adventure…college!
College is a unique age because many kids are just beginning to figure out there bodies and are growing and changing their food habits, therefore if you are in or entering college and already know you are gluten-free you are a bit ahead of the curve! Way to go!
Looking back, my freshmen year of college I spent most of my meal time eating pbandj’s (see my post on When All Else Fails Smile about this!) salad and frozen yogurt! Now if I was gluten-free at this point, with the exception of gluten-free bread I would have probably taken to eating the same things. I would be careful however because from what I can remember in college the bread station was definitely not divided from gluten to non-gluten bread, it all was pretty much stuck together. The salad bar also was jammed packed with potential cross-contamination mishaps because of the rush of students that piled through the bar on a daily basis. And definitely no toppings on the non-gluten free frozen yogurt station!
I think once I was out of the dorms and into an actual apartment it was a lot easier to eat a wider variety of foods that I liked, but freshmen year can definitely be a struggle if you are not prepared! As always with gluten-free eating it is important to make sure you bring options. Stocking your dorm room with all of your favorite non-perishable foods and seeking out the gluten-free options in surrounding restaurants and dining halls should be your food-dining priority your first week in University. And as always, even as a lowly freshman never hesitate to ask! Here is a link to a great blog post about Gluten-free eating in college from CeliacsintheHouse that all incoming GF students should take a look at!
Depending on your University or College there can also be great support and resource groups where non-gluten eating students can converse, learn and taste foods around campus together! Not only will joining a gluten-free or celiac support group help you find all of those “hidden gem” gluten free spots on campus but it can also be a great way to make some new friends!
So rather it be your first year or fourth year in college, have fun, be SAFE and continue to forge forward maintaining a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle by being prepared, being educated and using your resources, friends and family for there support!
Happy Gluten-free eating college students!