As a busy mom of three, I don't have time to play hide and seek while shopping for gluten-free items. I need to know where the gluten-free products are as soon as I enter the store. As I'm cruisin' the store wtih a sleeping baby in the cart and Jack hanging on the side, I don't want to be running from one end of the store ALLLLL the way over to the other end and still not find what I need.
It can be overwhelming at first, especially for those mammas starting out on their search for gluten-free items. I hope this post can help make your gluten-free grocery shopping more enjoyable!
HELPFUL TIPS TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE GROCERY SHOPPING EASY:
1) First and foremost, FOCUS ON WHAT YOUR CHILD CAN EAT, NOT WHAT THEY CAN'T.
2) Stick to the outskirts of the store - PRODUCE, DAIRY/CHEESE, MEATS and DELI - you'll find that almost ALL of these items are GLUTEN-FREE!
|Fruits, Veggies, Meats, Cheeses and Dairy are mostly|
GLUTEN-FREE and HEALTHY too!
3) ORGANIC/HEALTH FOOD Section is a MUST! Shop at a grocery store that has an established health food section. This is where you will find speciality gluten-free items.
4) Locate the Gluten-free FROZEN section. This may be located by the ORGANIC/HEALTH FOOD SECTION or it may be in two different locations. For example, I find Udi's Bread in a freezer in the bakery section, but Van's Waffles and other GF products at the opposite side of store in the ORGANIC/HEALTH FOOD SECTION.
|These items HAVE GLUTEN and you need to substitute by looking|
for GLUTEN-FREE options in the frozen section or the
ORGANIC/HEALTH FOOD SECTION.
5) Meal Plan - I have to say, I'm not very good at this, but it's a new year, so I hope I can do better! It makes grocery shopping easier knowing the meals you plan to prepare for the coming week.
Where to find some of our favorite GLUTEN-FREE ITEMS in the grocery store:
1) FOR bread, pizza crust, buns, and even pre-made cookies Jack prefers - Udi's - these can be found in the bakery section of the store. It will be either in the freezer where cakes are located as well as other bakery items or you can find it on a designated stand of just Udi's products in the bakery area.
2) FOR cupcake/cake, pancake, cornbread mixes and so much more, we use - Pamela's Products - I LOVE her products as they make GF baking so easy! You will find these products in the HEALTH/ORGANIC section of the store. They are easy to locate with their colorful packaging.
3) FOR a special treat - French Meadow Bakery - Individual Frozen Brownies. These are so convenient and taste awesome! We find these in the freezer of the HEALTH/ORGANIC section. These are great for birthday and special events at school. No need for your GF kid to feel left out when all the others are eating cake - try decorating the brownie with frosting and sprinkles.
4) FOR Pretzel Sticks and Yogurt Covered Pretzels - Glutino - these have been great for Jack! He loves dipping the pretzel sticks in peanut butter and he LOVES the yogurt covered pretzels! These items are located in the HEALTH/ORGANIC section.
5) FOR Graham Crackers, Oreo like cookies called KToos and other sweet cookie like treats, we look for Kinnincknick products. I can usually find the KToos at the local grocery store in the HEALTH/ORGANIC section...I usually have to go to a speciality store like Whole Foods or order on-line for the graham crackers.
6) For yummy Waffles - visit the HEALTH/ORGANIC Freezer section. There you will find Van's Waffles. Jack loves his w/ peanut butter, butter and syrup!
Our 2 Favorite Stores for Gluten-Free Shopping:
KROGER - This is the store I shop at the most, due to it's convenient location to our house. I'm happy with their Organic/Health Food section and I'm now familiar with the layout of the store so I can run in and run out as needed. I'm also very impressed with their gluten-free knowledge - click on the link and check it out!
WHOLE FOODS - This a fabulous store, but unfortunately it's not convenient to our house. If I'm in need of gluten-free items that I can't find at Kroger, I will take a trip to Whole Foods. They have more of selection of snack foods like graham crackers, cookies, sugar cones as well as a variety of pastas, asian meals, etc! They offer A LOT of gluten-free items!
Grocery stores are becoming more and more gluten-free friendly! I'm excited to see that the gluten-free market is growing faster than what I ever expected it to. I've seen an increase in gluten-free products available on the grocery store shelves just within the past 3 years! I only see it getting better for our children which makes me so happy to know that my son won't have to go from store to store to find what he needs to live a happy, healthy gluten-free lifestyle.