Don’t let gluten control your social life. Survive the college cafeteria years with ease!
Walking into the cafeteria with the faint aroma of cinnamon rolls and French toast in the morning does not evoke the same happiness for the gluten-intolerant or Celiac college student. Lunch and dinner also turn into an obstacle course as you twist your way around cafeteria lines, searching for something you can safely eat.
College life is only as idyllic as the food and company that surrounds it. With a slightly more difficult diet, it makes things a little bit more interesting to navigate. There is a way, however, to sustain the gluten-free lifestyle in college and still maintain a normal social and school life. Whether you are currently attending a college or have a child who is, heed the following tips for surviving the college cafeteria years with ease.
Although the main courses are usually a bready or pasta-filled substance, there is usually a way around it. In the stir-fry line, ask for no sauce. If there are burgers, request just the meat. You can enjoy the same food as everyone else without the stomachaches and lethargy that follow the gluten-induced coma.
Ask the cafeteria workers if they know anything about a gluten-free menu. Many schools will provide specialty meals if you ask!
There may be no comparison to the late night doughnut runs, but there are a many alternatives that can fill the stomach and remedy the day’s long study hours. Breakfast places always offer eggs and hashbrowns. Mexican restaurants supply tacos that will probably be up to your elbows in grease, but hit the spot. Grocery stores have options as well. Scan the isles for coconut ice cream or gluten-free cookies that will satisfy your cravings. Don’t say no to a community outing in fear of not being able to eat anything. Work the system and find something you can have!
When in doubt, pack a snack. If you are off to study with a couple of friends, but you're unsure of whether or not you will find food where you go, pack something for the road. It will curb your hunger and save you money. It probably will be healthier than anything a drive-through has to offer anyways! So long, "Freshman 15!"