If your aging relative has been advised to follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons, such as celiac disease, you might think their diet is severely limited. However, there are many alternatives to foods that contain gluten. The trick is knowing which ones.
Following a Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is a kind of protein that is found in certain types of grains. Grains that contain gluten include:
- Oats (unless specified as gluten-free).
Grains are used to make many common foods, including:
- Baked goods
- Breakfast foods, like pancakes and waffles
- Communion wafers
To follow a gluten-free diet, it’s important to carefully read the labels of foods. Gluten can be present in unexpected places, like soups and processed lunch meats. You can quickly eliminate a food by looking at the ingredients list and allergen warnings for grains that have gluten. Another quick way to identify if a food is appropriate for your aging relative’s diet is to look for the label to state the food is gluten-free. However, not all foods that don’t contain gluten have the gluten-free label, so don’t rely solely on that or you may be unnecessarily limiting the senior’s diet.
Fortunately, food manufacturers have started making gluten-free versions of many foods. You can find them in the health food aisle of the grocery store. You can also shop online specialty stores that specialize in offering gluten-free foods. But there are also lots of substitutions you can make to keep the older adult’s diet varied and nutritious.
Some alternatives you can choose are:
-Pasta: Instead of regular pasta, choose those made with rice or buckwheat. There are also pasta’s made with vegetables. Or, you can shave fresh vegetables to create “spaghetti noodles.” Zucchini and carrots are commonly used this way.
-Bread: Instead of making sandwiches with bread, make a wrap using lettuce leaves.
-Oatmeal: Use rolled quinoa as a substitute for regular oatmeal. Prepare it in the same manner you would oatmeal.
-Flour: There are many gluten-free flours on the market. Look for flour made from tapioca, soy, almond, quinoa, or rice, as well as several other alternatives.
Senior care can assist your older family member to follow a gluten-free diet. Senior care providers can drive them to the grocery store and help them shop. They can read the small print on food labels to look for ingredients that contain gluten. Senior care providers can also prepare meals using gluten-free alternatives.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Elderly Care in Elk Grove, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties. Call Today 877-916-9111