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More and more families are being encouraged by their doctors to go “gluten-free” by avoiding foods that contain the protein gluten. Some people have a sensitivity to gluten, which can come in the form of gluten allergies, gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Others may just be looking for healthy adjustments they can make for their families.

Gluten is a protein found in common grains such as wheat, rye and barley. For someone with celiac disease, a gluten allergy or intolerance, consuming even small amounts of gluten can cause a wide range of health problems including intestinal issues, joint pain and weight loss. A lifelong gluten-free diet is the only way to prevent these conditions.

Following are easy tips to help the entire family go gluten-free:

  • Focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t. At first, eliminating foods containing wheat, rye, barley and other gluten-containing grains from your diet might make you feel like you are being deprived of your favorite foods, but there are many delicious gluten-free foods you can enjoy, so focus on what you can eat.
  • Enjoy gluten-free grains. You can still enjoy nutritious whole grains and remain gluten-free. Whole grains that do not naturally contain gluten include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, rice and more.
  • Focus meals on naturally gluten-free foods. Fruits vegetables, unprocessed meats, seafood and dairy products are naturally gluten-free.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Wheat flour can remain in the air for 24 to 36 hours, potentially contaminating cooking surfaces. Using the same cutting board to slice gluten containing bread and gluten-free bread can cause cross-contamination. Thoroughly scrub all cooking utensils and cooking surfaces before preparing gluten-free foods if you have gluten-containing foods in the same kitchen.
  • Shop for gluten-free at Meijer. To see what gluten-free products are available at Meijer, visit Meijer.com and use the search bar located at the top right of the page.

It’s always a good idea to meet with a dietitian in your area or your physician to discuss if a gluten-free diet is best for you and your family.

Curried Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. Meijer Classic Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • ½ tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup Meijer Frozen Peas, thawed

Cooking Instructions:

In a saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers and curry powder; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add quinoa and stir in broth; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in peas and serve.

Serves 6

Per serving: 175 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 5g protein

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