Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. A gluten-free diet is used for patients with celiac disease, but it may also help those who have sensitivity to gluten. Common sensitivities to gluten include:

  • Skin rash
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Headache and joint pain
  • Altered cognitive status

Ingredients to Avoid

When following a gluten-free diet, it’s important to pay close attention to nutritional labels and ALL ingredients—not JUST allergy labels. Often, wheat or other types of gluten are hidden within the nutrition list.

Avoid food and drinks containing: 

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat

Wheat products go by many names. Other ingredients to avoid include:

  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Foods to Avoid

In general, avoid the following foods UNLESS they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or another gluten-free grain:

  • Breads
  • Cakes
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Oats*
  • Pastas
  • Pies
  • Processed lunch meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

*Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend that people on a gluten-free diet avoid oats UNLESS they are specifically labeled gluten-free.

Other Products to Avoid

Also be alert that other products you eat—or that could come in contact with your mouth—might contain gluten. These include: 

  • Food additives such as malt flavoring and modified food starch
  • Medicines and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Play dough

Medical Care

Your child’s primary health care provider can help with recommendations for diet modifications. Ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist if you have more concerns. 

Resources

Websites: Twin Cities/Minnesota

Gluten-Free MSP
www.glutenfreemsp.com
Information about gluten-free restaurants, news and events, cookbooks, and retail options in the Twin Cities area

Celiac Center of Minnesota
www.celiaccenterofminnesota.org
 

Twin Cities R.O.C.K.
www.twincitiesrock.org
These websites provide information about support groups for kids and parents, summer camp programs, classes, and family social events

Websites and Apps: U.S.

Find Me Gluten Free
www.findmeglutenfree.com
 

Gluten Free Registry
www.glutenfreeregistry.com
These websites and their associated apps for Apple and Android devices help you find restaurants, retailers and other providers of gluten-free products throughout the U.S.

Retailers: Twin Cities

Find gluten-free products in these locations:

Grocery Stores

  • Whole Foods Market
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Fresh and Natural Foods
  • Tailor Made Nutrition
  • Local co-ops
  • Organic or health food areas of many grocery stores

Bakeries

  • BitterSweet Bakery
  • Muddy Paws Cheesecake

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.