• Gluten Free Queen

Top Ten Tips for a Coeliac Student

With the new term just around the corner students will be planning and packing for their academic year.

But what about those who have coeliac disease and need to eat gluten free to stay healthy but face the prospect of sharing a kitchen with some, perhaps, not so tidy students.

Listed below are some tips to avoid contamination from gluten while at University.

1. Make sure that everyone in the house understands that eating gluten will make you ill, it isn't a choice for you as you have coeliac disease.

2. Buy a toaster and write all over it in big letters GLUTEN FREE ONLY.

3. Always use a clean chopping board. Consider buying the industry colour purple so your friends know it is yours.

4. You will need an antibacterial spray and paper towel to clean the work tops before you prepare food. Just because you've asked them not to spread breadcrumbs all over the work tops doesn't mean to say they won't.

5. Lots of students like to eat pizza. They also like to heat it directly onto the oven racks. Buy a pizza dish and always put your food on the top shelf.

6. In the fridge try and claim the top shelf and keep your food wrapped. This will avoid cross contamination. Likewise with kitchen cupboards chose one higher up so people won't spill flour or cereal in your food. Remember tin lids may need a wipe if they have flour on top this can happen in a shop too. I usually wipe mine.

7. Learn to cook a few dishes. have a range called elevate which brings the utensil off the work surface which can be useful if breadcrumbs have been spilled.

8. Look out for vouchers at the freshers fair. Gluten free food can be expensive so take what you can. Pizza companies offer gluten free these days so don't forget to ask.

9. Register with a local doctor. You may qualify for free prescriptions. Ask for a form at your chemist who will also be able to help with your query. You probably won't get free doughnuts as suggested in certain sections of the media but bread, flour and pizza bases are often included. Contact some gluten free companies such as Glutafin or Juvela who may offer samples if their products are on the prescribed list.

10. Now for some good news! Most alcohol is gluten free, just make sure you keep off the beer unless it's a gluten free product there are some good ones out there available in many supermarkets and bars.

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