How to survive college with celiac disease

Celiacs at College

        Eating out

After deciding which college to attend and before going to visit, one of the first things I suggest you do is search for restaurants that offer gluten-free items nearby the school. Start with gluten-free sites like http://www.glutenfreeregistry.com/. Then search for gluten-free friendly cuisines like Thai, Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, and Vietnamese. When you visit the prospective college, approach the most popular restaurants in the area and try to find a few things on the menu that you can order. Speak to the chefs about your gluten free requirements. They may be receptive - after all, you may be at school for at least 4 years and that's a lot of dinners normally with friends & family in tow! Remember - there's usually something you can eat at most restaurants even if the restaurant doesn't identify itself as gluten-free friendly. Normally a short discussion with the chef will give you an inkling of whether you can trust their judgement of what is gluten free and know the importance of making/cooking it without contamination.

Depending on where you go to school you may have good access to GF favorites such as Outback Steakhouse, P.F. Changs and Bonefish Grill, all of which have extensive gluten free menus. With the virtual explosion in celiac diagnosis, gluten free menus and general knowledge of GF dining is growing quickly - all good news for us!

I found these methods extremely useful during the school year. After all, one of the most common things to do with friends is to go out to eat. If you already have a list of safe restaurants, you can give your friends numerous options of where to go. That way you never have to stay behind and, in my experience, new and old friends will try to accomodate you as best they can when it comes to finding places to eat out with gluten-free options.