When you first find out you’re gluten intolerant, it can have a profound impact on your life. Suddenly, every food seems suspect.
You read every food label, call every company, and check every website just to be sure what you’re eating isn’t going to make you double over in stomach pain.
Once you get it down, you feel pretty safe. You’ve learned how to read food labels and know where your gluten free restaurants are. You’re safe in your own little world where everything is familiar, but what about when you get on the road?
The best way to make sure you’re staying gluten free when you travel is to pack your own food and snacks.
Travel with Gluten Free Food
With so many new restaurants now offering gluten free food, you’d think there’d be plenty of safe options. However, many restaurants new to offering gluten free food aren’t always knowledgeable about how to avoid cross-contamination. Just a little bit of gluten can send a fun trip downhill in a matter of hours.
The best way to stay gluten free on a trip is to pack plenty of portable gluten free food. This practice is especially beneficial if you’re traveling by car, bus or train. When you’re traveling by car, there’s no need to stop for long meals or add hours to your trip trying to find the nearest safe restaurant. On a bus or train, you won’t have to rely on bus stop food or train car fare that may (or may not) be gluten free.
Great, portable gluten free snacks to take on a trip include:
Sandwiches are the best gluten free travel foods. You can prepare several of them at home and pack them in a cooler for the trip. All you need is a loaf of gluten free bread (home-prepared or store-bought) some gluten free cold cuts, cheese, and gluten free condiments. Nut butter and jelly sandwiches also travel well and are protein-packed to keep you full for the ride.
- Chicken fingers
If you don’t mind a little prep-work, gluten free chicken fingers can be a fun travel food. Get some gluten free pancake mix (it fluffs better than regular flour), prepare the chicken strips, wait for them to cool, and pack them in a zippered storage bag. Include a small bottle of hot sauce or organic mayonnaise and you’re good to go!
Most gluten free frozen pizzas are small enough to be easy to handle on the road. Just bake it as you usually would and let it cool. Put the pieces in a zippered storage bag and you’ve got an instant snack for the road.
- Nuts and seeds
A pack full of mixed nuts and seeds is an ideal go-to gluten free travel snack. You can pop them in a purse or a carry-on bag to dip into anytime your tummy starts rumbling.
- Protein bars
Gluten free protein bars are good travel snacks too. Raw Revolution, Larabars, Luna Bars, and Good Greens are just a few of the many gluten free bars to take with you on a trip. They’re small and fit just about anywhere. You can eat them in a couple of bites. Perfect if you’re the one driving!
- Dried fruit
Dried fruit is a good alternative to whole fruit so you don’t end up with sticky juice all over your car or luggage. Mix it with nuts and seeds for your own personal trail mix.
- Greek yogurt
For those long car rides, train rides or bus trips, Greek yogurt is the way to go. It’s rich and protein-filled to keep your blood sugar stable and your belly full.
No Liquids on a Plane
All of the above-mentioned snacks should be plane-safe, except for the Greek yogurt. Even in clear plastic bags, nothing liquid is allowed on the plane.
Get into Backpack Coolers
If you’ve never tried backpack coolers before, they’re a lifesaver for the gluten free traveler. They’re easy to carry and fit nicely beside you on a train, bus or plane.
Gluten free travel doesn’t have to be painful. When you pack your own snacks, you save a lot of money, time, and hassle.
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