Can Scooped Ice Cream Every Be Truly Gluten Free?
So we probably took our girls safety in our hands last weekend, but we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery. Cold Stone is an ice cream shop where you pick a flavor of ice cream, then they put it on a cold slab, mix in your choice of toppings (M&Ms, Oreos, nuts, candy, etc), and mix it together. Obviously, you probably do not want to go with the mixing, as even in cleaning the slab each time, some residual gluten could still be on the slab. We just went with plain Chocolate and Cotton Candy ice cream. We asked that they wash the scoops first, which it seemed they did every time anyway. No contamination, but was this a risk? We thought so, but then it’s also a risk when something says it’s gluten free, but made in a factory where cross contamination is an issue. These decisions for parents will get more complicated with age, as children begin to go out on their own. Cold Stone, however, does post a pretty good FAQ on their website:
Do Cold Stone Creamery products contain gluten?
Cake Batter, Cinnamon Bun, Cookie Dough, and Oatmeal Cookie Batter ice creams contain gluten. In addition, any candies that have a flour component to them also contain gluten. Although we take precautions by cleaning the mixing stone often, we cannot guarantee that residual products containing gluten will not accidentally be mixed into your ice cream. A complete list of products containing gluten can be found here.
Shells And Cheese--Gluten Free Style
Yes, we were quite lucky at Kroger’s this week. Annie’s gluten free noodles are something our girls live on. You know the ones, the blue box with the bunny picture. Those and Hebrew National hot dogs–our girls could live on them.
Now This is HOW I Like Pretzels
Our most recent trip to the Wakefield Kroger rocked! We found many new gluten free offerings, including Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Glutino Pretzels. We have been buying Glutino Pretzels and Pretzel Sticks for a few years now. I see since at least December of 2009. Great, a pretzel that one of my girls eats, and we actually like the taste of.
We always said we would like to make some chocolate covered pretzels for them, using the Glutino pretzels. My mother always makes a variety of chocolate covered things at Christmas. Oreos, marshmellows, Peeps, and even GF cookies for the girls. Looks like now we do not need to worry about it with the newest offerings from Glutino. A nice option for special snacks, trail mix, and desserts. Great to continue to see more and more!
No Gluten Free Scouting This Year
Another year comes, and another year goes without a gluten free Girl Scout Cookie. This year, on their website, you see their answer:
The demand for specialty cookie formulations is simply not great enough to make it economically feasible to offer a variety of specialty types. Of all the different possible formulations, sugar-free seems to be the most popular, yet in the past, even the sugar-free Girl Scout cookies that have been offered have had to be discontinued due to lack of demand. (“Sugar free cookie” is not synonymous with a “diabetic cookie” labeling.) Our bakers continue to experiment and develop formulations that balance the best tasting cookies using the healthiest ingredients.
I do understand the fact that they would not return a profit on offering a gluten free cookie. So I should be ok with this, but then I think, what if my girls want to become Girl Scouts someday? They will have to sell a product they cannot eat? For all the values the Girl Scouts live up to, acceptance could easily be shown by sucking it up, accepting a small loss, and selling a gluten free cookie. With their two bakers making the gluten cookies, I would think a gluten free baker would jump to help out in making those. Anyway…maybe next year…
So with kids, parents struggle to get a balanced diet into them. With a Celiac child, the struggle takes on even more importance. We struggle to get our youngest to eat any kind of breakfast. Yes, there is the Chex cereals, and eggs, and Bisquick GF pancakes, and many other things, but we still struggle.
We thought we would give Carnation Breakfast Essentials a try. You’ve seen these–the powdered drink mixes you mix with milk, then serve. The label ‘appears’ gluten free, but I wanted to send off an email. Here’s my response:
In the powder form of CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST, Chocolate Malt flavor contains gluten. The source of gluten is not wheat, it is barley gluten which is found in the flavoring. The flavor is 4.2% malt syrup of which 2% is gluten. The other flavors are gluten-free.
So, yes, it looks like the Milk Chocolate flavor is safe. I can understand the chocolate malt flavor containing gluten, as malt is a form of barley, no surprise there. I just am quite happy that we can serve up the other flavors. When dealing with a picky eater, Celiac can make it exponentially more difficult, but at least we can find some things!
All Natural Means No Gluten!
Following up from the most recent post, Wal*Mart now labels their raisins gluten free. While I would hope manufacturers would not include gluten in fruit, it helps to see it on the label. Puts our minds at ease…
Smiles Abound For Gluten Free Fruit Smiles
We noticed Wal*Mart doing a better job labeling their gluten free products. A nice, simple ‘A Naturally Gluten Free Food’ on their labels. From their Equate brand of stomach relief (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=755), to their applesauce (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=362), we see these labels on a variety of products. Now, we finally see that their Great Value brand of fruit snacks are gluten free too. While you can find many gluten free fruit snacks out there (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?tag=fruit-snacks), we find it helpful to have a variety at each place we shop.
Yummy Gummy Fruit--Gluten Free
Gummy bears and other gummy candies are a staple of any child’s diet. Not necessarily a good thing, but a good special treat every once in awhile. Haribo Gummy Bears have long been a favorite of ours. Now you see all types of varieties, including the red raspberries and the blackberries. We recently found the berries at BJs, in a huge container, and wanted to check their gluten-freeness.
On their FAQ page (http://www.haribo.com/planet/us/info/faq.php), the top question is ‘Are your products gluten free?’ Their response:
Most Haribo products are gluten free. The following Haribo products are NOT gluten free: Black Licorice Wheels, Red Licorice Wheels, Sour S’ghetti, Fruity Pasta, Brixx, Konfekt and Pontefract Cakes.
So yes, most of the ones you find, including the berries, are gluten free. As always, check the labels!
Clearly Gluten Free!
I said it before, and I will repeat it here: I am so glad that our girls can participate in some of the traditional events of being kids. Like Pez dispensers. How many of us parents collected and traded Pez dispensers growing up? The candy was pretty much an afterthought in most cases!
Now with our own kids, seeing the Disney Princess Pez dispensers, the cat and dogs, the holiday ones, we are so glad for Pez’ gluten free status. They clearly label their collector kits as gluten free and on their website as well.
Thanks to responsible companies like Pez for doing this. We will review a company not as forthcoming with details soon, but in the meantime, go out and throw some Pez dispensers in your Celiac’s Christmas Stocking (or let Santa do it!), Easter basket, and Valentine’s treats.
Yup, Gluten Free!
Celiac Family--A Great Blog for Celiacs
The Celiac community is wonderful. So many blogs (many we reviewed here), so many support groups, just full of people wanting to help other people. I recently stumbled across another good blog, Celiac Family. They’ve been publishing tips on gluten-free living since January, 2009, so you can find LOTS of resources there.
By visiting http://celiacfamily.com/gluten-free-valentine-candy/, you can find their annual list of Valentine’s Candy. We’ve reviewed some ourselves, like Pez, Zachary’s Valentine Candy Hearts, Peeps, and Valentine Fruit by the Foot (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?s=valentine), but the Celiac Family provides a long listing of all the candy in the Valentine aisle. The separate the lists by totally free from gluten and may contain gluten. A great resource for your favorite sweethearts!