One of my kids has to eat gluten-free for health reasons, but when we started out on the journey, it was very hard to find options that he would eat. Fast forward several years and it’s gotten much easier to find gluten-free foods. Most doctors don’t recommend switching to a gluten-free diet unless you have to for your health. However, if you’ve decided to go gluten-free, knowing where to find foods that fit within your meal plan is important. Here’s where to shop.
1. Check Your Local Supermarket
Now that eating gluten-free has gotten more mainstream, you may be able to find everything you need at the grocery store. Many of them separate their gluten-free items into one central location so you can find it easily. You can often find things like crackers, cookies and cake mixes, but you may have trouble finding more specialized items like condiment or desserts.
2. Take Your List to the Health Food Store
Health food stores are a great place to find gluten-free foods! You can have your pick of more obscure things like pie crusts, ice cream sandwiches, bread, baking flour, soy sauce and much more. Granted, shopping in a health food store will cost more than going to the regular supermarket, but if you have to eat gluten-free, you’ll be much happier with the selection here than in many other places.
3. Shop at the Super Drugstore in Your Area
If you have a Super Target or Super Walmart in your area, you might be able to find gluten-free foods at bargain prices. While the selection might be limited, you can often save yourself some cash on the basics, like bread, cereal, crackers and baking mixes. Some of the larger chains may even sell some of the other things you can’t live without, like waffles, cookies and muffins.
4. Your Local Farmers Market Might Be a Great Place
In many parts of the country, farmers markets are set up year round. Many of them are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon with booths dedicated to selling gluten-free things that you can’t find in stores. You will probably have to pay a pretty penny, but it might be worth it if you have a craving for something you can’t find anywhere else.
5. Try a Specialty Bakery
There’s a bakery near my house that has a separate kitchen for their gluten-free baking and they house it in a separate cooler as well. It’s not cheap, but it’s a fabulous place to stop if my son is on his way to a birthday party and needs a single cupcake or when I host a party and need a dessert that my son can eat with everyone else. Some such bakeries also sell bread, granola and other tasty gluten-free delicacies.
6. Restaurants That Serve Gluten-Free Menu Items
Some restaurants that serve gluten-free food offer some of their ingredients for sale. For example, there’s a deli close to my house that sells their bread by the loaf. If you can find a great restaurant, talk to them about whether they’d be willing to sell their condiments or bread items to you.
7. Have You Checked Online?
When all else fails and you need something gluten-free, consider seeing what’s available online. You can find a much more varied range of foods here and you’re bound to find what suits your needs. There are even gluten-free meal delivery services out there if you want a prepared dish that you can simply heat and eat.
Where do you shop for gluten-free foods?