This time of year it is common to see Moms in Linens and Things with teenager in tow picking out bed linens and techno stuff for the college dorm room There are extra long sheets, Ipod docks, charging stations and lounge pillows to purchase. For the college freshman with celiac, there are even more things to consider. Hopefully, they have contacted the foodservice manager and met with him. Most college food services are aware of the needs of students with special dietary requirements. If your college of choice is not, this is the time to do some education! Celiac disease affects 2 million Americans. Many of them don’t know it yet.
After the manager has reviewed the gluten free options in the menu, it is time to think about a bread machine and microwave. Bread machines have become a no-brainer to use. Pop in a mix from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Breads by Anna and out comes a great loaf of bread. Foodtek ( www.foodtek.com ) has microwavable foods that are great to have on hand at the dorm. They can assuage a last minute craving for chocolate brownies -like when you pull an all nighter before exams.
Hopefully Joe College has also contacted local support groups - GIG or Meetup.com They can give guidance on local stores as well as hangouts that sell the all important gluten free beer.
Pack a box of favorite gluten free cereals and bars and you are good to go. If you are lucky, your college may be the one with a support group on campus. With just a little preparation that first year can be a really positive gluten free experience.