Hello gluten-free friends! I’m Alice Bast, President and CEO of Beyond Celiac
When I started Beyond Celiac back in 2003, there wasn’t as much gluten-free food to choose from as there is today. It was also a lot harder to go out to dinner with my family. Most restaurants didn’t know what gluten-free was!
I learned how important it is to speak up for myself. I ask questions and make sure I tell people that I need to eat gluten-free food. In fact, by talking to people about celiac, I’ve helped Beyond Celiac make a big difference in everyone’s lives!
Here are 5 Questions that are Always OK to Ask:
1. What’s in that?
If you’re not sure what’s in a food, ask someone. Even if it looks gluten-free, it could have gluten in it (like soy sauce or bread crumbs). It’s always best to ask before you eat it.
2. May I see the label?
If someone offers you food and they’re not sure if it’s gluten-free, ask if they still have the box that it came in. Look for the words “gluten-free” on the box, or read the label to see if there are any gluten ingredients. Ask a parent for help if you’re not sure.
3. How did you cook that?
Sometimes, gluten can sneak into food when it’s being cooked. For example, if someone makes wheat pasta and then makes your gluten-free pasta in the same pot, it could make you sick. Ask if they used clean pots and utensils for your gluten-free food.
4. Do you mind if I bring my own food?
If you’re going to a party and you’re not sure there will be gluten-free food, ask if you can bring some. That way, you’ll have something you can eat that you know is safe.
5. Can I ask my mom or dad first?
Remember: Your parents are always there to help. They can help you decide if a food is safe to eat. They can also help explain what gluten-free means to your friends and family. If you’re not sure, ask them before you eat a food.
Practice asking these questions with your family. The more you practice, the better you’ll feel when you ask them. Most people will be happy to answer any questions you have!