How to survive college with celiac disease

Celiacs at College

       What to bring

 

1. Microfridge: The most useful tool in a celiacs dorm room is a large fridge-freezer combo. The regular model of mini-refrigerators has a puny freezer compartment and with many gluten-free items needing to be kept frozen, a large freezer is important to have. If you're planning on cooking in your dorm room, the microwave is also an essential tool. Most colleges provide links to an approved vendor that rents by the semester. Check out the model & capacity available before you make your purchase decision.

 

 2. Toaster: As you know, celiacs can't use the same toaster as non-celiacs because of the risk of cross-contamination. Therefore, after confirming with the Head Chef that they could keep it in the kitchen, I bought a unique bright red toaster to school. Don't forget to label it GLUTEN FREE ONLY. I wasn't allowed this equipment in my dorm kitchen, so I stored it in the main dining hall. Bringing the toaster enabled me to make toast and waffles for breakfast.

 

 

3. Plastic tubs: Also kept in the dining hall were two plastic tubs I brought to school. One was for dry goods and another for frozen. In the dry goods tub, I kept some gluten-free sauces, like soy sauce, and gluten-free ingredients in case I decided to cook. In the frozen tub, I kept bread, waffles, and wraps. Again, don't forget to label the tubs with your name & GLUTEN FREE. The frozen tub was especially useful since my dorm freezer wasn't large enough to keep my stock of these staple foods. The only issue you may run into is access to the walk-in freezers from a safety standpoint. Normally you will have to request access.

 

 

4. Gluten-free snacks: There is a wide variety of gluten-free snacks available. For organization's sake, I dedicated one of the drawers in my desk to snacks, like cookies and crackers, which I would stock up on during holidays and before coming to school.

 

 

5. Gluten Free Foods: These were a lifesaver for me. The tricky part is, of course, transportation but I was able to get a wonderful selection through a combination of holidays, parent visits and quick trips into town. The GF foods from home were a combination of staples from Whole Foods, local health food stores and occasionally my dad's GF cooking (he's celiac too). Most of my food though came from "Gluten Free Gloriously" http://www.cdeis.com/GFbyKathie/index.html

Kathie was a fantastic find for my family as she is a great cook and divine baker. Her sandwich wraps are unmatched in the industry, her basic pepperoni pizza tastes like it's from local pizzerias and her cherry pie is out of this world. I've recently become extremely fond of her Italian bread too. It's so good we can't get my gluten eating mother to stop eating the GF food! Kathie has moved into a store location & will be offering delivered pricing for staples like her wraps. Another find for us that I'll be leaning on this year is Joan's GF Great Bakes - her frozen bagels are the BEST! And she ships frozen too http://gfgreatbakes.com/