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Tips for Gluten Intolerant Children

Now that school is back again for another year here are a few tips from the Coeliac Society to help make it easier for gluten free children.

You can Download a copy of our Gluten Free Catering Guide from the Coeliac Society. This is the perfect resource for your school tuckshop/canteen. Teachers may also like to have a copy of it if they are planning any class cooking.

While offering gluten free options to your menu may appear ‘hard’ or ‘daunting’, with simple procedures in place, it will seem seamless and people with coeliac disease can enjoy a bought meal without having to worry about the consequences.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats and their derivatives

Changing some of your menu items to gluten free, is easier than you may think. To offer a couple of different gluten free items, you may simply have to change just one ingredient or the brand of the ingredient to some items that are already on your menu to make them gluten free.

Some of your menu items may already be gluten free! These products can be categorised into three broad groups:

  1. Naturally gluten free foods
  2. Foods labelled as gluten free
  3. Gluten free by ingredient

Identifying Gluten in unlikely products

While identifying gluten free products versus products that contain gluten, you need to be extremely careful. Alot of people are under the impression that gluten is only present in bread, pasta and cakes, where in actual fact some brands of the items in the following list can often contain gluten, although there are gluten free varieties available for most of these products.

  • Some cornflours contain wheat
  • Meats which have been processed, these can include sausages, smallgoods, bacon, rissoles, crumbed items, meats with marinades
  • Some sauces, such as barbecue, soy sauce, sweet chilli, Worcestershire
  • Some icing sugar mixtures contain wheaten cornflour
  • Mayonnaise - some contain wheat
  • Some hot chips contain wheat dextrin and some seasonings may also contain wheat.
  • Malt vinegar is not gluten free as it contains barley
  • Salad dressing
  • Ice cream - some brands may contain wheat
  • Mustards
  • Stocks and gravies
  • Flavoured milks may contain malt (barley)
  • Some brand of soy milk contain gluten
  • Barbecue chicken stuffing can contain gluten in the stuffing and coating.

Avoiding cross contamination during food preparation

Some as simple as a small crumb of bread left in the butter or on a bread board may make a person with celiac disease physically ill. There are some simple procedures for food preparation of gluten free food to help remove this risk:

  • Wrap gluten free sandwiches in baking paper when using the sandwich press, or  dedicate a sandwich press to gluten free products.
  • Use clean oil when frying gluten free food
  • Colour coding is a helpful way of separating utensils for gluten free food preparation. You can also designate a gluten free food preparation area.
  • When cleaning pots/strainers, use separate water and ensure all pots and strainers are thoroughly cleaned to remove any excess residue. e.g. pasta residue.
  • Pull out your trusty highlighter when ordering! Gluten free orders can be marked with a sticker or highlighter to ensure they are prepared first.
  • All grills trays and other surfaces should be cleaned or lined with baking paper before cooking gluten free food.

For more tips and recipe ideas, download the Coeliac Society Gluten Free Catering Guide.