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Aldi’s Rice Cakes

rice cakes

Gluten Free Rice Cakes

Aldi’s is quickly becoming one of our go to places for gluten free products.  With cereals, snacks, and even cake mixes (review coming soon!!!), we definitely appreciate the savings we get when shopping there.  On a recent trip we found their Fit&Active brand caramel corn rice cakes.  Like other gf items, they clearly label them as gluten free. Besides tasting just like the other named brands, these come cheaper as well.  Definitely a nice thing to gain access toward.  Our girls love these plain, with peanut butter and jelly, or melted cheese on them (not the caramel corn flavor, of course!).  Rice cakes are a definite flexible food, as we can use them in place of bread  (when we run out!), or in a car or lunchbox for travel and school lunches.

Lucy’s Cookies to Go

cookies

GF Cookies to Go

Who can say no to cookies?  Especially cookies in individually wrapped (3 in a pack) packs?  You had me at cookie!

So we found Lucy’s cookies awhile ago at Whole Foods, and while we like the cookies, we really did not purchase them too often.  While shopping at BJs recently, that changed, as we found a large box of snack packs of Lucy’s cookies.  Yes, 12 packs, each containing three cookies, of chocolate chip, chocolate cookie, and maple bliss.  Very huge find!  While we can often find lots of gf products at BJs, these marked the first gluten free baked goods, to our knowledge, that we purchased there.  We can also find chips and things that are gluten free, but never specifically made gf cookies.  Very exciting!  Very yummy in lunches, travelling, or just for snacks as well!

How Do Schools Handle Celiac?

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Allergy Free Table

It’s the start (for Traditional, Year Round has about a month or more in already) of school across the Triangle.  Homework, tests, and school lunches will begin.  With that, a parent of Celiac’s fear of prepared lunches at school.  Even if your school, whether public or private, provides gluten free options, what about cross contamination?  What about lunch swapping between students?  What about cupcake birthday parties (do they/can they even do that anymore)?

The best policy is to scope out your child’s school.

1.  Start with the teacher.  Make it clear that this is an autoimmune DISEASE and not an allergy or intolerance.  Give them the back-to-school letters for teachers, principals, and more here.  There is another floating around that lists a ton of common snacks that are gluten free…that would probably be a good one as well, but I cannot quite find it.

2. Check out the cafeteria.  See if they serve gluten free items and ask how they prepare them.  The school cafeteria should be more than willing to show you around.  Some schools even started providing ‘allergen’ zones like in the picture.

3. Send in a gluten free sack to keep with the teacher.  A variety of gluten free snacks and treats.  You cannot hope to know a party will occur, so send in a bag of fruit snacks, maybe a gluten free frozen cupcake, individually wrapped gf cookies, and give to the teacher.  When some special event does happen, your child can receive a treat as well.

Lots of good suggestions as the school year, and living with Celiac, continue for our Cel-Kids!

Nature’s Path Granola

granola

More GF Granola!

So many gluten free granola options these days, from Love Grown, to Kind, to Grawnola, and Udi’s.  Now we can throw Nature’s Path Organic into the mix.  We found their Honey Almond granola recently on a trip to Krogers.  Nature’s Path makes a large variety of organic cereals, granola, bars, and other products.  Not all are gluten free, but they do produce a large number of gluten free products available here.  Most of you will probably know them for their Envirokids line of gf cereals and bars.  You can find gf bread and other products as well.

We do love granola.  I think in our house we cannot physically eat yogurt anymore without putting fruit and granola in it.  We do sometimes just add milk to it as well, as a cereal.  Granola definitely goes fast in our house, so great to see lots of varieties and lots of places where we can buy it.

Walmart’s Frozen Fruit

Frozen Strawberries

Wal*Mart’s Frozen GF Strawberries

We would hope when you buy fruit, it would not come with gluten.  Always good to see a store, in this case Wal*Mart, clearly label something gluten free anyway.  You never can tell, so it is good to see it.  We picked up frozen strawberries recently, and you can see they label it ‘Naturally Gluten Free Food.’  Common sense, but good to see a company label their products.

GF Bagel Chips

GF Bagel Chips

Bagel Chips–Gluten Free!

I remember eating bagel chips growing up.  Great on a salad, with a dip, or right out of the box.  Now Celiacs can rejoice, as we found Glutino bagel chips in a variety of flavors recently at Kroger.  Definitely a big deal, as you really do not see gluten free croutons or other such crunchy things.  These definitely are crunchy too, almost to the point of breaking a tooth, but overall not too bad.  I can definitely see them in salads, crushed up in other recipes, or even maybe as a bruschetta.  They also come in cinnamon and sugar, Parmesan and garlic, and the original.

BJs Crunchmaster Crackers

Crunchmaster

Lots of GF Crunching!

Hmm…I thought I already did a review on Crunchmaster’s Multi-Grain Crackers.  I searched the blog for it, and did find their other varieties (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?s=crunchmaster), but none for the original.  So here goes!  We found these last year at BJs, and you can now pretty much find them anywhere.  A decent cracker that you can eat plain, pack in lunch, use with a dip, or make mini-pb sandwiches with.  They since have come out with many other flavors, including cheese and cinnamon, but we definitely like to still pick up these when we have a party to serve up with cheese or for summer travel.

Uber Bars

uber barsMy wife loves her Larabars.  Any kind of fruity, nut bar actually, but Larabars are definitely her favorite.  You can find them pretty much anywhere, as well.  We found this large assorted box at BJs, but we regularly find them at Kroger individually wrapped as well.  More flavor choices at Kroger, but probably cheaper to buy the large boxes.  You can also find all the varieties at http://www.larabarstore.com/.

Again, a good snack for school, after-school, travelling, or at the beach.  Probably healthier than fruit snacks, so we do not mind giving these to our daughters too much.  Glad to see lots of bar varieties for Celiacs, as we mentioned Kind bars in the past, Just Great Stuff bars, Udi’s Granola Bars, and many others.

Sugarbuzz? Yes, Please!

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SugarBuzz Bakery in Cary

How can you go wrong with a bakery called Sugar Buzz?  Isn’t that the whole point of sweets?  We recently heard about this Cary bakery (click here for Raleigh Cel-Kids Google Map) from my wife’s cousin (yes, Tara–giving you a shout out on the blog!).  You can visit their website at http://www.sugarbuzzbakerycafe.com/.  Besides a wide variety of gluten products, you can visit them on gluten-free Fridays when they offer a large assortment of products, although they do offer some GF products daily.  You can also special order pastries and other products.  As with many bakeries and restaurants, Sugar Buzz provides a pretty good note about their facility:

Please be aware that we are not considered a ‘clean’ facility. Even though we make great efforts to segregate utensils, baking pans, ingredients and areas of production, there may be some cross contamination in the air with items having gluten. If you are highly sensitive to airborne or other minute particles of gluten, we advise you to exercise caution when consuming our products.

So yet again, another call you will need to make.  I would definitely recommend you to think about this before partaking, but many Celiacs can find success with this, dependent on their level of gluten sensitivity.  Your mileage may very!  Just so good to see so many products and facilities out there!

Cupcakes–Simply Small Sweets

cupcakes

Yum! More gluten free cupcakes!

You cannot go wrong with gluten free cupcakes, especially the ones you get someone else makes!  We recently went to a baby shower (I know, my wife dragged me along!).  Lots of gluten free eaters at it, whether by choice or Celiac, so lots of gluten free items as well.

Of course, I would like to focus on the yummy gluten free cupcakes there.  The hostess purchased these from a local baker (Amy at simplysmallsweets.com) who makes a variety of small treats and other goodies.  This year she started making gluten free products as well.  She does make it very clear that while no gluten ingredients go into her gluten free sweets, they are not made in a gluten free kitchen.  Another one of those decisions as a parent you will need to make.  We did allow our daughters to each eat one, and they showed no adverse effects.  Obviously we eat them in small quantities and our girls do not seem to be overly-sensitive Celiacs, but we caution you with your children.