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College on the Gluten Free Diet

by Karen on February 9th, 2010

We are busy looking at colleges for our daughter and a big item on our list is which schools have gluten free food as part of the often mandatory food plan.  Some schools have made the leap and actually put the GF notation next to menu items that are gluten free.  The best programs even have an online menu that you can easily access to see what is planned for the week. 

With each campus we visit we research the other restaurants around town that offer gluten free food and try to eat there during our visit as well.  On our most recent trip we hit the jackpot with a lunch spot serving terrific gluten free Reuben’s and a selection of gluten free soups all within a few blocks of campus.

I recommend that you call the food service staff or dietitian on campus to talk about how they can accomodate your needs for any food sensitivity.  In one such phone call the dietitian talked about the gluten free marinara and Alfredo sauces they offered and then I asked her what brand of gluten free pasta they served with the sauces.  I was stunned when she said they didn’t serve any gluten free pasta at all.

To her credit though she was interested in my brand recommendations (Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta) and said that she would look into stocking those brands and offering pasta to go with the sauce!  She also mentioned that they now have a soup base that is completely gluten free and that they would be willing to use any premade frozen gluten free pizza crusts that we could provide so their cooks could make up gluten free pizza for our daughter.  I think I will also give them a copy of my digital book on cd-rom to give them more ideas and resources.

Each situation is different but overall with some phone calls and a proactive approach you should find most campuses willing to accomodate your gluten free student.

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