Travelling By Air With Celiac, Part 1–RDU Terminal 1

RDU Airport

Travelling By Air--What is Gluten Free At RDU?

My oldest daughter and I recently flew to Pittsburgh from Raleigh for a marathon.  As we relaxed at the RDU Terminal 1, I began to wonder what food establishments served gluten free items, if any at all.  When we travel by car, we know we can get some fries at a Chick-Fil-A, a milkshake at McDonalds, even yogurt at Sheetz, but can we really put a meal together at an airline terminal?

Leaving Raleigh, we waited at Terminal 1.  The big blue shed, I like to call it.  Eventually, Terminal 2, where new construction continues, will house all planes, but for now, US Airway is housed at Terminal 1.  While Terminal 2 has a wide variety of establishments, you will find more limited choices in Terminal 1.  Looking at the website of restaurants in Terminal 1, I did not see any immediate options.  Cinnabon?  Nope.  Godfather’s Pizza?  Nope.  Popeye’s?  Nope?

RDU Terminal 1 Restaurants

Not Many Apparent GF Options in Terminal 1

Looking at the listing, I really did not see anything for Celiacs.  A closer look at some did reveal a few things.

A&W, the root beer with ‘American’ restaurants in the South does a nice job on their site (http://www.awrestaurants.com/pdf/A&W%20Allergens%20&%20Sensitivities%20Grid%202009.pdf) of showing a matrix for food allergies and sensitivities.  The only real thing to eat, though, would be some of their milkshakes and floats.  Most of their burgers and chicken are either breaded or they count the bun.  You could get a burger without the bun, but there may cross contamination.  They apparently also fry their fries with onion rings and chicken as well so that’s out.

The Corner is a small little convenience store where you can pick up some packaged snacks, fruit, and yogurt, many of which are gluten free.  And of course, there are many types of gf candy…just what you need!  But if pinched, you could find a few things here.

Fresh Attractions has a large number of prepared sandwiches (out!), salads (some may be ok, check carefully), and yogurts (some ok).  Here, you just need to check carefully, but you can probably find some things.  This was closed at the time of our early AM flight, but you can walk up and read labels as needed.

Freshens Smoothie

GF Smoothie From Freshens

Freshens provides some good opportunities.  They are a smoothie bar, similar to an Orange Julius.  With the exception of a few things, those with cookie/brownie pieces (the usual suspects), all of their smoothies are gluten free.  As usual, it is up to you as the parent to check things, but you can definitely find something here.

Great American Bagel–I will not bother to check…

Green Leaf’s–Another sandwich, salad, yogurt place.  Another one not open on our visit, but I think some of these things could be gluten free, minus common sense things like croutons, soup noodles, etc.

Finally, most of our children probably are not drinking coffee yet, so Starbucks would be more for us, but Starbucks has begun to carry some gluten free baked goods.  I did not see their Valencia Orange Cake at the time of our visit, but I asked the staff and they did say they carry it from time to time.  I can hope they will continue to carry more gf items in the future.

So, in review, you can definitely piece together a meal at RDU’s Terminal 1.  It may not be the most healthy meal, but when pressed, there are enough items that your child(ren) will not starve.  They may be bouncing of the ceiling of the plane afterward, but they will not starve!  On our return flight, I will review options at Pittsburgh’s Airport.  We’ll look to review RDU’s Terminal 2 this Fall when we fly to Disney World.

photo licensed under Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-07-30_RDU_welcome_sign.jpg



Another Support Group for All Food Allergies in the Triangle

We mentioned the food allergy awareness and safety group we met at the recent Gluten Free Fair at Whole Foods.  We wanted to share this information, as it definitely pertains to our Cel-Kids group, and all Celiac sufferers, especially those in North Carolina.  In a recent post, (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=588) we shared our frustration with labeling and how there continues to be much inconsistency among manufacturers.  NC FACES works to share information with the public through social events with the families.  Much similar to Raleigh Cel-Kids, although NC FACES works with all allergens.

We definitely will look forward to working with NC FACES in the future.  We encourage you to visit their website (below!) and look at their calendar of events.  In the future, we will try to schedule a dual-event with them somewhere in Raleigh.  We can never have too much information out there, so we welcome NC FACES!

NC FACES (http://www.ncfaces.org/)

Rosie’s Plate

Rosie's Plate

All the Yummy Food Categories at Rosie's Plate

Thank you Rosie’s!  We can again eat doughnuts in our house.  Recently, at the Whole Foods Gluten Free Fair, Rosie’s Plate brought samples of their cinnamon sugar doughnuts.  In our house, we LOVE doughnuts, but try not to get them, due to the girls not being able to eat them.  We began to hear rumors that Rosie’s would offer them, and sure enough–sugar and cinnamon bliss!

I cannot say enough how lucky us Raleigh Celiac supporters are to know a Rosie’s Plate is there for us.  They continue to offer a wide variety of items, cooking classes, and support to our events and organizations.  You definitely need to try out Rosie’s Plate, find them here: 919.833.0505 and http://www.rosiesplate.com

It’s Grillin’ Season–That Means Smores!

S'moreables Crackers

It's Smore Time!

After the recent Gluten Free Fair at Whole Foods, we stocked up on a variety of different gf items.  We picked up another box of S’moreables gf graham crackers.  S’morables, made by the bread mix company kinnikinnick, provide Celiacs with a good tasting, good textured graham cracker for smores or for any other reason.  As summer approaches, we do find ourselves grilling more, so I always make sure to keep some S’moreables, marshmellows, and Hershey’s on hand.

Besides just making smores, these crackers provide a great ‘holder’ for making peanut butter crackers to tuck into school lunches, or as our girls like, honey crackers.  A versatile snack that can be used in lunches and snacks.

Newman’s Own–Gluten Free Dressings

Newman's Own Allergy Matrix

A Detailed Allergen Matrix from Newman's Own

We’ll keep this theme going a little more.  As we have been watching the Food Revolution show on tv, we assume others have, so you’re looking at more opportunities for salad, so a variety of dressings will be needed.  I wanted to check on another large brand, Newman’s Own.  From their website (http://www.newmansown.com/foodQA.aspx) you will find a large matrix showing all their dressings and all the different possible allergies.  I really like when manufacturers do this.  It reminds me of the Spangler candy company who did their matrix on all their products (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=195).  This approach takes all the guesswork out of reading labels (although you still should, even if it is in the matrix, products do change ingredients regularly!), and it gives you something to take along when looking for products.

Thanks to Newman’s Own…and it looks like many of their products qualify as gluten free!

‘Milk Dud Headache’ or ‘The Trouble With Labels–Revisited…’

Milk Duds

Milk Duds--Apparently Gluten Free

Long time readers no doubt remember some of our early posts regarding the trouble we experience trying to read labels.  For the most part, manufacturers continue to improve their labels to list the allergens (the big 6 or the big 8 most common) right on the package.  Three or four years ago this was non-existent.  Even when we began this blog a year or so ago, many did not.  Things HAVE definitely improved, but certain companies still do not do what they could.

Hershey is one such company. No where on Milk Duds or even a Hershey Bar do we see anything about allergens.  Definitely unfortunate, as we will refuse to buy something without a clear allergen warning.  Sure, we can read (and decipher) the ingredients, but we like the two pronged approached–using at least two techniques to ensure a products ‘gluten-freeness.’  What are our techniques:

  1. checking the manufacturer’s website
  2. checking the ingredients
  3. checking for an allergen warning
  4. checking sites such as Celiac.com

We usually feel comfortable if we can find a product on at least two of those.  We never rely on only one.  So what to do when in the checkout line and your child asks for a product?  That happened recently with us and Milk Duds at Target.  We looked at the label, and found no allergen warning at all.  Looking at the product list, it *seemed* like the ingredients did not contain gluten, but then I am not a chemist and can never remember if corn syrup is good or not.

Hershey's Allergen Statement

Hershey's Less Than Helpful Statement

So we checked Hershey’s website when we went home.  I remembered reviewing it in the past, and sure enough, it was as unhelpful now as it was then.  The gist was check the label.  Again, I understand the stance that ingredients change, but make your ingredients clear.  Argh!

So we checked the web, and found lots of instances that stated Milk Duds were gluten free.  None official, but we do use the Gluten Free Snack List (http://www.celiaccentral.org/SiteData/docs/Gluten-Free-Candy-List/370e802df5a4b099ad419d940cf8fe22/Gluten-Free-Candy-List.pdf) and trust it to show accurate information.  Again, we really only used 1 of the 4 criteria, and the one is a less than official one.  What to do…

So with a few little words on a label, Hershey could help out many allergen sufferers.  I will definitely contact them and ask for more clear labeling.  I would encourage all of you to do the same.  Manufacturers are listening and are making changes.  Take a look at all the Wal*Mart brand products.  ‘A Naturally Gluten Free Food’ will be found on even a box of orange juice at Wal*Mart.  If some can do it, all can!

Whole Foods Gluten Free Fair

Whole Foods Gluten Free Fair

Our Booth at the Gluten Free Fair

Raleigh Cel-Kids participated in the season Gluten Free Fair at Whole Foods last weekend.  First of all, thanks to Whole Foods for hosting this event again!  Like last year, we saw a lot of participation and interest.  Welcome to all the new parents we talked to, and we hope you will check back in with us ofter.

We discovered a new group in North Carolina who works with all allergies.  We will share more about them in an upcoming post.  Also, many new products were sampled, and we will review them coming up as well.

Raleigh Cel-Kids Picnic–May 15th

Baileywick Park

Baileywick Park--Upcoming Cel-Kids Event

SAVE THE DATE! Our next Raleigh Cel-Kids event will be Saturday, May 15th from 4-6pm at Baileywick Park in Raleigh. Baileywick is in North Raleigh, off of Strickland between Creedmoor and Six Forks. Use the Cel-Kids Google Map for directions here: http://tinyurl.com/ydwsyoc.  We have the main pavilion near the playground reserved for our group.

More information to come regarding topics and food sampling, including a possible dinner for all.

More Gluten Free Salad Dressings

After looking into it a little more, I discovered more gluten free salad dressings.  Definitely helpful to provide a large selection of salad dressings, those you can commonly purchase in the store.

Marzetti Logo

Marzetti Dressings--Many Gluten Free

We always use Marzetti for their veggie dips.  When I explored their site, I was quite surprised to see the wide variety of salad dressings, including those for cole slaw, and dips they produce.  And best of all–they post a great Gluten Free Product .pdf document.  It includes a VERY EXTENSIVE listing of gluten free dressings of theirs and those falling under other brand names.  Definitely a great resource!


EZ Gluten Test Kits–Group Order

EZ Gluten Test Kits

EZ Gluten Test Kits

Have you ever wanted the piece of mind about a particular product at a restaurant or even something you buy even with its gluten free label?  Just want to be sure something labeled gluten free is indeed, gluten free?  Well now you can join a group order for EZ Gluten Test Kits with Zach from the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog.  He passed on the following:

I am putting together a group order of EZ Gluten test kits.  These are at home test kits which in about 10 minutes can tell you if something is > 10 PPM Gluten.  All the details are in the post below.


The kits are normally $12.50 per test.  We have enough orders at this point to bring the price down to $9.50 (about 25% discount).

Definitely a good thing to consider when travelling or when trying new products.  Click on the link above for more information.  I also like his plan to begin a ‘Raleigh-wide’ testing, which could be the first of its kind for all the restaurants around.