I started on a gluten-free diet when I was 12, so I’ve been gluten-free for all of my teenage years. It can be so hard to be gluten-free and there are \ many more challenges that come with being a gluten-free teen. We have to deal with a lot of different situations such as school, parties, or hangouts with friends where having a gluten allergy or celiac disease makes it hard. Luckily, I have 8 tips for gluten-free teens to make your life a bit easier!
- Figure out what foods you like
Chances are you have one food that you miss the most since you went gluten-free (mine is Velveeta Mac and Cheese or donuts). Look up recipes (I have some fantastic ones on my blog) and find substitutions for those foods, and that helps to satisfy your cravings.
2. Tell your friends
I know it can be hard to tell your friends that you can only eat certain gluten-free foods. Luckily, there are plenty of options where you and your friends can go eat. My friends and I have a blast making gluten-free cookies together when we spend the night together and they frequently eat all of my gluten-free pretzels.
3. Plan beforehand
If there was only one piece of advice that I could give you, it would be to plan. Planning is so important when you’re gluten-free, whether that is planning snacks to bring to a hangout ahead of time or packing a lunch for a school trip. You never want to be in the situation where you don’t have food and you don’t know how long it will take to get gluten-free food. I always recommend having protein bars or other fun little snacks in your purse or bag in case you get hungry.
4. Talk to your school
All schools are different. I recommend you talk to your cafeteria staff and principal to see what they can do in terms of your gluten allergy. My school is fantastic about providing gluten-free options for me and making sure the cross-contamination is minimal.You never know what resources they may have in place in case of a situation like this.
5. Know that it’s hard
Being gluten-free can be no fun sometimes. I’ve been in plenty of situations where after a long day, I just ask myself “why me?”. Being a teenager is hard enough, and on top of it when you have to worry about accidentally eating gluten or what other people are going to think about you it can get worse. Let yourself be sad occasionally but don’t get too down about it
6. Be positive
Be positive about being gluten-free. It gets a lot easier over time the more you live with it. In addition sometimes it’s just cool to say you were gluten-free before it was popular. Be positive about being gluten free. Also don’t forget you have a big community behind you and supporting you every single step of the way. Plus we don’t have to share any snacks on trips because no one else likes the gluten-free snacks.
7. Empower yourself, and have independence
Take steps to own your gluten allergy. Whether it’s helping your parents with groceries shopping Oo finding your favorite restaurants and snacks. It is empowering to be able to figure out what you can and can’t eat and also what you like and don’t like to eat.
8. Baby steps
No one goes completely gluten-free in one day. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when you’re just figuring out how to be gluten free. It’s okay in completely expected to take baby steps into this process. Make easy and small changes at first and build from there. As time goes on, the diet gets easier and easier to manage.
Thank you for reading this post! I want to help newly diagnosed teens, or just teens that needed some tips. Don’t hesitate to reach out to @flourlessfiesta on Instagram if you ever need more tips or just need to talk to another teen about being gluten free.