I recently stopped at the brand new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Louisburg, NC. Louisburg is north of Raleigh in Franklin County, just off US 401. As I walked through the aisles looking for postcards (boy, no one sells postcards!!!), a bright green sign caught my eye. This new store definitely was well laid out, you could find things anywhere, thanks to the wide open aisles, natural lighting, and these green signs in every aisle. The one that caught my eye (taken with my Blackberry, so for the lack of quality), said ‘Gluten Free.’ Could it be true? Could Wal-Mart finally have a dedicated GF section? Sure, in the past, they carried things at different stores, but never an entire section to which a sign would be necessary. But sure enough, under the sign, all types of GF items. The breadmixes, cake mixes, GF pretzels, GF rice krispy bars, and even the GF bunny noodles in the blue box. And good prices too! Hopefully we will see this expand to other Wal-Marts in the future!
Nothing says Halloween like those orange, white, and purple squishy Marshmellow Peeps. While some like to eat them soft, some poking a hole in the wrapper and letting them ‘harden’ for a few days, and others putting them in the microwave to joust (yes, check Youtube for Peep Fencing!), the Just Born company, makers of Peeps, usually does a great job identifying which of their products do not contain Gluten. You can also get their Mike N Ike brand candies, all of which are also gluten free. If you visit the link below, you will see a document that contains facts about Peeps, and they do a great job of listing Peeps as being gluten free.
Only a couple weeks until Christmas peeps!
- Peeps are Gluten Free!
One of the groups who attended the Whole Foods Gluten Free Fair represented Juno Nutrition. Juno Nutrition, (http://www.junonutrition.com/) runs the self-proclaimed largest database of gluten-free foods on the web. In visiting their website, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial to peruse the Juno database and see if this type of tool would benefit you and your family. The site uses reviews of products and also promotes an advisory board of doctors familiar with Celiac Disease.
I signed up for the 30 day free trial to see how the site stacks up. In looking at Juno, they charge $10.00 per month, which is really not too bad for a gluten-free database. We purchased the big blue binder shortly after our oldest was diagnosed a few years ago, and while the information helped, it was not updated, except if we would want to pay for updates. We like Juno from the standpoint that Juno updates daily. Unfortunately, I could not just complete a free 30 day trial without putting in my credit card number. Not a huge problem, but most sites allow you to get around this, so I did not like that feature. That helped slow down my progress, keeping me from accessing the database. I think they would see more, and still could, participation by removing that feature.
I plan to utilize Juno for my 30 day trial, then to report back here how it goes. I do not think this is a resource we would keep monthly, but in looking at samples, I can definitely see us purchasing it a few times a year. Look for our review in 30 days!
My Gluten Free Facts (http://www.theglutensolution.com/beta/events/gluten-free-halloween-candy-list-2009/) recently put up their 2009 Free List of Gluten Free Halloween Candy. This is actually a pretty well designed tool, as they break the list into three different sections. On the left side, you can navigate through the various categories. Of course there is a ‘Cough Drops’ category, mmm, yummy Halloween cough drops (/sarcasm!), but you can click on any of the categories to find some candy. In the middle you find the entire list, showing 1-20 of 900+. I do like this too, as you can scroll randomly through the candy and see all the types and small thumbnails of each. When you click on any of them, I clicked on 3 Muskeeteers, a fact sheet pops up with some really good information. Don’t over look the tabs on the left of the window, as they have the ingredients and nutritional facts.
But what I like most on the site, the search box to the right. You can search by keyword, or filter your search by brands and by ‘Gluten-Free Status.’ In clicking this drop down, you receive the choices of Cleaned production line, Dedication GF product line, and Dedicated GF facility. GREAT feature! While we all realize the amount of time that went into the preparation of this site, this site definitely ‘has it,’ in terms of what is needed for parents navigating the web in search of gluten free treats for their children. We will definitely keep tabs on this site and see if these features are duplicated among other holidays.
Pay close attention to that asterisk in the new advertising for Hardees. We received a heads-up that Hardees now has some GF offerings, and even on their website below you will find some offerings, but you also notice that rather prominent asterisk that points down to the fine print.
They have a few offerings, like the breakfast bowl with eggs, sausage, and cheese. You can get a thickburger in a ‘lettuce’ bun. And then a yummy side salad (ok, just a little sarcasm there!). Then mention to stay away from chicken and onion rings, but then mention their fries are safe. I have yet to determine if they fry the fries alone.
Glad to see their effort, just wish it was of more substance.
Find the menu here:
Whole Foods sponsored another great Gluten Free Fair in Raleigh this weekend. We really appreciate Whole Foods allowing us the space to meet up with new families and also to allow other groups to share information about Celiac Disease and gluten-free lifestyles. We are really excited about the different folks we talked with and look forward to sharing some information from them on this site soon!
To all those new families we met–welcome! You will be getting some information soon about upcoming events via email (if you left it with us!). For anyone interested in being on our email list, find our email at raleigh.celkids(at)gmail.com and email us anytime!
On Saturday from 11am to 3pm at the Wade Avenue Whole Foods plan to come out and meet the Raleigh Cel-Kids Board members, as well as other support groups in the area. Also you will have the opportunity to sample some yummy gluten-free items and ask questions about the gluten-free lifestyle and Celiac Disease. Hope to see you there!
Ok, so Doritoes are my one downfall. I do like pretty much any and all flavors. Each time I go down the aisle, I am presented with a new flavor. Fine for me, but what about the girls? We know many varieties of Frito Lays are indeed, gluten free. Fritos, Tostitos, and Cheetos are all gluten free. So we definitely have our toes covered! Most Doritos, except for the original Nacho Cheese and Sweet Chili appear to be according to the labels. Our girls do eat the other varieties, with no apparent reactions. Frito Lay uses clear labels, indicating Milk, Soy, and Wheat when in a product on the label. Nice, clear, and bold!
You can see their entire listing here:
On this site, they do a good job listing all the various special dietary needs, including foods without gluten. As many products, they do indicate that while some snacks do not contain gluten, they are not made on dedicated lines, increasing the chance of cross-contamination. In fact, the only gluten free snack on a dedicated line are their Lay’s STAX Crisps, which are similar to Pringles. While our girls have tried all the ones listed as gluten-free, with no reactions, the possibility is still always there. As always, if you or someone appears highly sensitive to gluten, you should probably not try the possibly contaminated snacks.
So we went to BJs today for our monthly stocking up. Purchased another box of gluten-free Scooby Doo fruit snacks from Betty Crocker (see post below). As we went through the seasonal aisle, we found Halloween Fruit Snacks from Betty Crocker, also gluten-free. How we love for the girls to be included in seasonal treats!
In a typical pouch, we find the usual flavors, not enough blue of course (mystery flavor!), but in fun Halloween shapes. Blue cats, purple witch heads, orange pumpkins, and yellow ghosts. Nice variety and nice touch by Betty Crocker. We were also excited to see the Gluten Free tag clearly displayed on our box. If we can save ’em, we’ll use them for Trick or Treats, but no promises, as it is the beginning of the month!
On Saturday, October 17th, make plans to visit the Whole Foods Raleigh (Wade Avenue) for what is becoming a seasonal Gluten Free Fair. All the various Celiac support groups will man booths, including Raleigh Cel Kids, Raleigh Celiac Support Group, and Raleigh Blogger Zach of the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog. Whole Foods will also feature a variety of demos from vendors. In the March Fair, Lee Tobin of the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse, Bella Monica (featured previously in our blog), Namaste foods, and others attended to share samples, recipes, and more. We will share more specifics as we receive them.
You can find directions using our Raleigh Cel-Kids Google Map or using the link below. Raleigh Cel-Kids members will be on hand to answer questions, share information, and discuss situations with you from 11am-3pm. Hope to see you all there!