If you or someone in your family has celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity it is vital to create a safe gluten-free environment at home. This two part video series from Boston Children’s Hospital provides a lot of great tips on how to create a gluten-free home. Each of the videos features a different family explaining what they have done to adapt to this lifestyle.
The family in the first video explains how they have adapted their kitchen to accommodate both gluten-free and non gluten-free family members. They explain some of the more important points of living in a mixed household including educating everyone in the family, keeping the kitchen clean, having separate utensils or small appliances, and having separate food, for example 2 different jars of peanut butter — one that is gluten-free and one that isn’t. They also stress the importance of labeling what is gluten-free; you can use a simple sharpie or gluten-free stickers.
Keeping the kitchen clean is especially important in a home where some of the family members are following a gluten-free diet and some are not as spare crumbs can easily contaminate otherwise gluten-free foods. But no matter how clean your home may be it is also important to have a few separate utensils or small appliances (like a toaster) for gluten-free family members. If the utensil is porous or if it has spaces where gluten containing foods can get trapped (like a colander or whisk) you should have one that is strictly gluten-free and one that isn’t.
The family in the second video found it easier to make the whole household gluten-free. This way everyone eats the same things and there is no risk of cross contamination at home.
This video also goes into more detail about gluten-free non-food items you may need to think about in the household. Things like lip balm, lotion and shampoo or conditioner sometimes contain wheat. Some medicines contain wheat as well so it is important to determine which ones are safe to keep in your home. For prescription medications your doctor may need to note that there shouldn’t be any substitutions unless they are gluten-free.
Keep in mind every family is different. It is important to choose the approach that will work best for your family and lifestyle and then make sure everyone sticks to it.