Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gluten in the Veggies?

We were recently at a homeschool convention in Cincinnati, Oh.  I packed a lot of food since Andrew has to eat gluten free along with his diabetes.  Gluten free food is definitely NOT easy to get when you're in a foreign place.

When I explained to the waitress that our son must adhere to a gluten free/wheat free diet, she said that the manager there has celiac as well.  She calmed my fears since he was working that evening.

My son ordered a cheeseburger without a bun.  I sent my husband up to the room to measure out 1-1/3 cups of rice chex since they didn't offer baked potatoes.  OK....I had a protein, starch and now the vegetable.  The waitress said that they could make some steamed broccoli for him.  "GREAT!", I thought.

As I sat there, I forgot to ask the waitress to bring his food out on a separate tray.  I walked over to where she was and she introduced me to the manager with celiac.  He informed me that he "killed" the broccoli since they blanch it in the pasta water and substituted a fruit cup.  I thanked him immensely and told him that unfortunately Andrew can't eat the fruit cup because he's diabetic.  "I'm diabetic too", he said.  WOW!  This manager really does know exactly what Andrew goes through with menu planning at a restaurant.  Unfortunately, Andrew had already used up his 2 starch maximum per meal with his rice chex so that was why he couldn't have the fruit.  Fortunately, they did have some cold carrot sticks that fit the bill.

It's scary to think that if that manager would not have been there, Andrew would have been glutened from a vegetable!  You always worry about wheat getting into your food from crumbs and utensil cross contamination, but I never would have thought steamed broccoli would be a culprit.

I wanted to share this story with all of you that have celiac disease so that you make sure to ask restaurants how they steam their vegetables.

I would like to extend my appreciation to the HYATT CHAMPS RESTAURANT for helping my son eat a gluten free meal!

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