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Go Team . . . Go Gluten Free!

September 17, 2014

By Beth Hillson

The kids have been in school for nearly a month. By now, you and your gluten free child have probably mastered the school lunch routine.  Tryouts for team sports are over and hopefully your child is playing his favorite sport with his or her favorite team.   Congratulations!

Your child is officially an athlete and, no matter what the sport, you are now a proverbial “soccer parent.”  More importantly, you are now a gluten free soccer parent.

You’ll be running to practice, sitting on the sidelines for every game, even traveling to away games. These are exciting times… and a bit stressful, too.  Say good-bye to being in control of the gf diet, however.  It’s one thing when your kid is seated at the kitchen table and you can feed him or her nutritious, safe food.  It’s another when you are providing filling and healthy snacks on the fly.  You’ll need to frame every practice, team picnic, party and dinner in a gluten-free way.

Start by stocking the car with snacks: Glutino Breakfast Bars;  bags of nuts; Glutino Tortilla Dippers or Glutino Pretzel Chips with serving size packets of humus or peanut butter; shelf-stable juice or milk boxes (check ingredients to be sure they are gluten free as well as high in good ingredients and low in sugar and additives).

And the kids will be traveling to play other teams. Before each trip, remind the coaches that your child will not be able to eat the standard fare if the team stops for pizza or a burger and fries on the way back from the game.  Assure the coach that your child will be as hungry as the rest of the team and help the coach locate places where gluten free options are available on the route home.  Talk to your child and review what will be safe to order (check the menu on the web site) and do some role playing so he or she will feel comfortable ordering a gluten free option.  If you get to be a chaperone, this is ideal.  You can transform from soccer parent to helicopter parent and no one will notice!

There’s more control during team parties as you can provide a gluten free pizza. Glutino frozen pizzas are great for that.  And make a batch of Glutino Gluten Free Pantry Double Chocolate Brownie Mix that your child can share with teammates.

A little advance planning will minimize the stress of this exciting time and give you a chance to relax in the bleachers so you can cheer for the home team. “Go team…Go Gluten Free.”