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Gluten Free Friday – Brand Names Gone GF June 24, 2011

Welcome to our second installment of Gluten Free Friday!  If you missed our post from last week (where we went through lots of the first questions that people ask about Celiac Disease and being Gluten Free)  Please feel free to take a moment and read it *here*

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Once the initial shock of learning you or your child has Celiac Disease wears off, you are probably going to want to head right out to the store.  I recommend doing this part with a partner, and some smelling salts.  Because once there, and once you locate the Gluten Free section of the store (or in my case, visit the all gluten free store), and once you see those prices, you are probably going to faint.  Not to worry!  Pick yourself off the floor, take a few deep breaths into a paper bag, and keep reading…

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Yes, the prices for some of these GF items can be outrageous.  I thought paying more that $2 for a loaf of bread seemed excessive, but now I’m looking at mini half loaves of GF bread that run well over $5 each.  Whoa.  A little box of cheese crackers for $7.99?  Are you CRAZY?!?!  If you are anything like me, your first post-diagnosis shopping trip will probably be mostly unsuccessful and send you home with watery eyes and a wobbly lip.  It’s natural.  And don’t forget about all the emotions you are already dealing with.  It’s OK!!!

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So what’s the good news here?  How can I get out of the store without dumping my entire paycheck into the register? Well, the first thing you should do is shop in your own kitchen.  Ten bucks says you were already eating things that are gluten free without knowing it.  Do you have Heinz Ketchup?  Hellman’s Mayo?  M & M’s?  Country Time Lemonade Powder? (We all know I have tons of that around here)  Well, check those labels and you might find a nice surprise.

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One of the many ways to shop without breaking the bank is to start looking for name brand items that you already use that offer a gluten free option.  You will be surprised at how much you can find when you start to pay attention.  How about some cereal?

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Yes!  Name brand Fruity Pebbles and Rice Krispies, with those magical words stamped right across the front of the box…Gluten Free!  The second most amazing part of these cereals is that they cost the same as their regular counterparts.  This not only means that they go on sale at the same time, but you can also use coupons when you have them (Yay!!)  The cereal in the middle is by a company called Natures’s Path.  The Envirokids line of cereals has quickly become a favorite around here. Leapin’ Lemurs are peanut butter and chocolate flavored puffs.  Yum!  We also like Panda Puffs (just peanut butter puffs), and Gorilla Munch (similar to Kix)

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Do your kids (or you) like fruit snacks?

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Oh yes.  That is a giant 80 count box of Welch’s fruit snacks.  And guess where we got it?  (well, the 80 count should be a dead giveaway)  Yeah, Costco!!

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I also found a few boxes of Hamburger Helper that I wanted to share with you, but those pictures seemed to have magically disappeared.  Hmm.  Well, anyway I promise I found some.  And just like the cereal, it’s the same price as the regular products, meaning sales and coupons are possible.

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Another good option to start your food hunting on a budget is to hit up stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  I must be honest here and admit that I have never shopped at Whole Foods before.  I am relaying information from several sources that the GF options there are both wide and tasty.  Trader Joe’s, however, I have lots of experience with.  When you go in to a Trader Joe’s you can ask for a list of all of the GF items they carry in the store.  Very helpful!  They also have a lovely symbol that they put on their GF foods that makes them easy to identify.  Trader Joe’s is not an expensive place to shop, and you will be able to find tons of options there.  I have found rice noodle bowls, mango ice cream, brown rice pasta, potato chips, taco seasoning and shells, and dried fruits to name a few.  None of these things cost me any more than other similar items.

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Now that your cart is nice and full, don’t forget to stop and get some fresh fruits and veggies too!  Those are not only always okay, but highly recommended.  And that’s not just GF advise my friends.

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As time goes on, and we all get better at this Gluten Free thing, we will very likely start to try some of those more expensive GF items.  There’s nothing wrong with them at all, and chances are you will find things there that you just can’t find in a name brand.  Just take it slow and don’t overwhelm yourself.  Do you know someone who is also GF?  Ask their opinion on foods they like.  Once you spread the word to family and friends, you will be surprised at how much they will help you find.

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Boy, I think I could go on forever with this topic, but I will leave it here for now.  Be sure to check back next Friday for more information about Celiac Disease and living life Gluten Free.

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Until then, have a wonderful GF weekend!!

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Lizz

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(Something Noteworthy:  I am not a doctor, or a dietician.  I am simply a mom of a child with Celiac Disease.  Her need of a Gluten Free Diet required a lot of research on my part.  I am sharing this information with you in the hopes that it might help answer your questions too, but I in no way claim to be the absolute authority.  I will happily answer any questions I can, but my advise in no way should replace that of a doctor, nurse, dietician, or other medical professional.)

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I am sharing this information at these other fabulous sites:

Sensational Sunday @ What’s for Dinner?
 

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4 Responses to “Gluten Free Friday – Brand Names Gone GF”

  1. It is wonderful to see more and more gluten free foods available. JDaniel has several friends in playgroup that are gluten free.

  2. megan Says:

    Lizz,I don’t know if you remember me but we met at Katie and Dustin’s and Katie gave me your blog. I am new to Celiac too. You should also check out Walmart. For an evil corporate giant that are actually really good at labeling their GF stuff. Good luck with everything.

    • Lizz Says:

      I haven’t been to Walmart in a while, but am planning to go in the next few days. I will definitely check it out! Thanks for the tip, and thanks for stopping by. Say hi the next time we’re at Dustin and Katie’s!


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