If one of your children is gluten intolerant or has celiac disease, your grocery shopping list becomes more complicated. You find that you need to scan each package carefully, trying to make sure that it will meet their needs. You also discover that the cost of gluten-free foods is usually higher than their standard equivalents, due to the increased cost of processing to remove gluten. Here are some shopping tips if your child has a gluten allergy.
1.) Focus On Natural Gluten-Free Foods.
You can buy many gluten-free products now, like gluten-free pasta, which has to be specially made in order to deliver a gluten-free product. However, there are many foods in the world that never had gluten in the first place. When you buy meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and dairy items, you are buying something gluten-free. These foods never had gluten and never will, so you don't have to worry about it or pay extra.
2.) Buy Products In Bulk.
When you need to buy something like gluten-free flour, look for a health food store where you can purchase almond flour, tapioca flour, or brown rice flour in bulk. This is generally cheaper than buying it in a pre-packaged format. You can also purchase a small quantity to start with, and try out the alternatives before deciding which one you like best. Once you have a favorite, then you can purchase in larger quantities.
3.) Watch Out For Hidden Ingredients.
Sometimes when food is processed to remove the gluten, the manufacturers add something else to take its place. This often means that gluten-free foods have additional sugars, fats, or sodium compared to the standard version of the same food. Read the labels, and try to avoid buying gluten-free food that is less healthy due to added sugar or fat.
4.) Create Your Own Baking Mixes.
Rather than spending a bundle on expensive specialty baking mixes, you can make your own gluten-free mixes. You can put this together using various gluten-free flours such as rice flour. You then use this to make nutritious, gluten-free cakes, cookies, biscuits, or pancakes. Gluten-free baking does not need to be any more difficult than normal baking.
5.) Shop Online For More Variety.
Grocery stores now stock more gluten-free foods than they used to, but you may still have trouble finding everything you want at your local supermarket. Health food stores often provide more options, but at higher prices. One solution is to do more of your grocery shopping online, where you can find the largest selection of products, and often the best prices, too.
6.) Get A Gluten-Free Shopping App.
There are apps available for your smart phone that can make shopping for gluten-free foods easier. Is That Gluten Free? is an iPhone app which includes information on nearly 15,000 products, and lets you identify ingredients that are safe or unsafe. Gluten Free Groceries is another app that has information on about 30,000 grocery store products, and lets you search by brand name. Having one of these apps on your phone can make your gluten-free shopping much easier.