Gluten Free Blog Posts
Erickson’s Ice Cream
For over 80 years Erickson’s Ice Cream stand has been serving excellent ice cream from its location in Stow, Massachusetts. They have a lot of flavors - some regular some seasonal.
Gluten Free Cones
Erickson’s ice cream now has gluten-free cones! Celiac kids can now enjoy their favorite ice cream in a cone just like other kids!
Four things We Learned
- They have sugar cones and regular cones.
- Make sure to tell the person at the window that it’s an allergy and they will make sure to get a clean scoop.
- In 2019, a child cone is $4.25, Regular is $5.25 and a Large is $6.
- The Kids size is pretty big. You may want to get a dish just in case they are not able to finish it before it melts all over them.
- Erickson’s ice cream closes for the season in October. lIn 2018, they closed on September 14th to update the kitchen.
Mels Commonwealth Cafe
Very few places in Metro-west have breakfast offerings for Gluten Free. We have found that most places have scrambled eggs and fruit as the gluten-free option. Usually, homefries are not safe since they are not cooked in a dedicated fryer.
Mels Commonwealth Cafe in Wayland is certainly an exception to the rule. They have a great Gluten Free menu with lots of good options.
Four Things We Learned Eating at Mels Commonwealth Cafe
- While they have Gluten Free options, they do have an important disclaimer on their menu. (See Below)
- Knowledge staff. One of the waiters we had had a daughter that has to eat gluten-free - she was very aware of what side options were safe to select from.
- Lots of good choices on the menu: French Toast, English Muffins, Potato Pancakes, Toast and Breakfast Sandwiches.
- Food was served with the regular meals but the server did mention it was the gluten-free meal.
GLUTEN FREE DISCLAIMER
Our gluten-free foods are prepared in a kitchen where foods containing wheat, milk, soy, tree nuts, and seed, etc are also prepared. Mel's is sensitive to the dietary needs and concerns of our customers and we provide gluten-free foods in response to customer request, but we cannot ensure that cross-contamination of ingredients does not occur in our kitchen. Please be aware that during kitchen operations, glutinous items are prepared during the day, although during our gluten-free preparation process we only use gluten-free items. Please be aware that there is a possibility that food items will come into contact with wheat and/or gluten. Accordingly, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND consumption of our gluten-free foods by those with celiac disease.
Safe to Eat
We didn't have any side effects from eating at Mel's Commonwealth Cafe. Usually, when my daughter gets gluten she gets into a mood - but that didn't happen in either of our visits to the diner. We'll certainly go back because of the options and the yummy food.
Mels Commonwealth Cafe is located on Route 30 in Wayland. It's located in a small shopping center near the Bright Horizons in Wayland. There's plenty of parking in the back.
We suggest arriving early since the place does get busy during normal breakfast and lunch times.
The Friendly Toast
The Friendly Toast is a local popular eating establishment. They have restaurants in Portsmouth, NH, Back Bay, Boston, Cambridge, MA, Burlington, MA, Burlington, VT, and Bedford, NH.
I have heard they have a good Gluten Free options, so a couple of months ago, I took my daughter to the Back Bay location for dinner.
Eight Things We Learned
- The place is very busy for breakfast and lunch. Many times when I walked by the restaurant I saw long lines of people waiting to be seated.
- When we went at 4 pm on a Friday, it was very quiet. It was a good time to go.
- The restaurant is decorated with a lot of retro images. Great place for kids to look around at all the different memorabilia.
- They didn't a have a dedicated Gluten-Free menu. The menu has a "Gluten-Friendly" label on items that can be made Gluten Free.
- Lots of good choices for my daughter to pick from - she "settled" for a hamburger with a side of bacon. I think she wanted the bacon because I told her it was a popular breakfast place - similar to J&M Diner in Framingham.
- The waiter was educated about Gluten-Friendly options and worked with us on side options that she could have. While the regular burger isn't listed as Gluten Free, she could have a grilled gluten-free toast as a bun.
- The order came out quick, and my daughter loved it. She especially loved being able to use
- We'll certainly go back. I think my daughter is excited to the Gluten-Free pancakes - but didn't want to have it for dinner after a long day in Boston.
Gluten Free Plain Burger
Juliana enjoying the "plain burger" at Friendly Toast. The burger was anything but plain. She really enjoyed it!
Finding the Friendly Toast
The Friendly Toast in Boston is located at 35 Stanhope Street in Boston Ma - near the Clarendon Street Garage. You can get here by public transportation - the Back Bay Station is less than a block away - near the Clarendon Street entrance.
Gluten Free at Lifetime Athletics
LifeTime Fitness has a Cafe, called LifeCafe, that offers members lots of healthy choices. In that selection are some Gluten-Free options that my eight-year-old daughter loves. We are members of the Lifetime Athletics in Framingham, Massachusetts
Not listed on the "official menu" but you can get a gluten-free grill cheese with a side snack. My daughter loves this sandwich. It's so good that she takes her time eating it.
You can find the grilled cheese listed in the Life Cafe store menu, it's not available as on option online or in the LifeTime App.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Pizza can be healthy if it's made with the right crust, and Cauliflower Crust pizza is all the rage right now. The Caulipower Pizza at LifeCafe is made without flour and is certified gluten-free.
The pizza is excellent - a great treat for a workout or, in my daughter's case, a few hours at the Kids Academy. She loves it! It's nice because you don't have to say "Gluten-Free" as Caulipower pizza is all they have - so everyone get's Gluten-Free Pizza.
We usually just order plane cheese. It always comes well cooked, much better than the Caulifower that we get at California Pizza kitchen.
Trader Joes Pancakes
Finding a good Gluten Free that an Eighth Year Old will eat is tricky. You can just pick out any cereal on the shelf.
Trader Joe’s has a great frozen pancakes that my daughter loves. Which is great because over the years we have tried various frozen pancakes and waffles. They are certainly worth the try if you have tried some of the popular Gluten Free brands.
Five Things We Learned about the HomeStyle Pancakes
- Available at Trader Joe’s. They are located with the regular frozen pancakes. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a separate freezer for Gluten Free goods.
- The pancakes comes individually wrapped in a pack of three. There are four packs. We have to buy 2 boxes for the week.
- Takes about 1:25 seconds to cook. I usually split the pancakes and spread them on a plate.
- Great with chocolate drizzle, cut up strawberries and whip cream topping. (Part of a complete breakfast)
- Pancakes are small dollar size - perfect for kids.
Gluten Free Cakes
Back in 2007, my wife got me this birthday cake fromThe Icing on the Cake in Newton, Massachusetts.
This cake was long before we found that our daughter needed to eat Gluten Free. While The Icing on The Cake doesn't make any Gluten-Free cakes, we did find a bakery that makes some of the best gluten-free cakes in New England:
Gerardo's European Bakery in Westborough, MA makes amazing Gluten Free cakes. We have had nothing but success with all types of Gluten-Free cakes. They have a great flavor selection and they help out to make sure that you get the best looking cake as possible.
Google Search of Gluten Free
Earlier this week, I was searching to see if there were any Gluten Free options at any of the Cafes at the Boston Public Library. IIt'sa fun place to go on a warm day since they have a nice courtyard to eat at.
When I put in my search for "Gluten Free Boston Public Library" in Google, I got back an interesting response:
Did you see it?
On the bottom of the first search is a filter - "Must include: gluten." Which obviously means the search query should include Gluten.
Funny thing is that I don't want it to include gluten.
Unfortunately there's no online information on the Boston Public Library on if any of their eating places have Gluten Free options. I'll have to inquire on another visit. We ended up going to Dirty Water Dough. It was very good pizza.
American Girl Birthday Party
This weekend we celebrated my daughter's 8th birthday party at American Girl in Natick, Massachusetts. This is her first party that we had at American Girl.
In previous years, we celebrated her birthday with her grandparents on her actual birthday in the restaurant. This year we invited a few friends to celebrate at a private dining room using the deluxe package.
Nine Things We Learned about the Deluxe Party at American Girl
- We brought our own cake from Gerardo's European Bakery in Westborough. In the past, my daughter didn't like the gluten-free cake that we had at American Girl. American Girl was fine that we brought in an outside cake. We served the guest the cake that comes with the deluxe package. Only the adults and my daughter got the gluten-free cake.
- The gluten-free cake is what was she used to blow out the candles.
- The deluxe package includes a table activity and a craft. We only had time for a craft. My daughter got everyone involved by doing a sing-a-long to some of her favorite songs.
- The craft was creating a bracelet out of string. The hostess did a good job explaining the task and help people set up their craft. The activity did involve a fair amount of work, and only one person was able to complete it in time.
- The deluxe package is 90 minutes - but the hostess said that it didn't seem like a long enough time for 9 girls.
- There was another party in the room next door. We kept going back and forth with who could sing happy birthday the loudest. I think the other room won simply because there were more people in the room.
- Basically this felt more of a lunch party than a typical birthday party that we have gone to in the past. Usually, birthday parties involve activities away from the table for a while and the party concludes with some food. This party felt more of her inviting her friends to a private lunch.
- Everyone had a good time and enjoyed their meals. Which is the most important thing!
- We were happy that the package included a goody bag, as it was one less thing to worry about.
Google Trends is a great way to find out popular searches around the world. I thought it would be interesting to see the most popular countries that search for Gluten Free. Obviously, it would be more popular in English speaking countries. Some translation examples:
- German: Gluten-frei
- Spanish: sin gluten
- Portuguese: livre de glúten
- Russian: не содержит глютен
- Chinese (Simplified): 不含麸质
Australia and New Zealand are the countries with the highest interest in searching for gluten-free. The Tasmania region is the strongest region in New Zealand that put it ahead of all other countries.
Boston ranks 15th in 58 cities in the Google Trends report. Just short of Melbourne, Australia.
Nexvax2 now in Stage 2 Trials
Good news for Celiacs! On January 2nd, ImmusanT secured a fast-track for it's Nexvax2 as a vaccine for people with celiac disease. It's currently in Phase 2 of testing.
The FDA only grants fast track status to certain drugs when there is an unmet need for medicine with serious or life-threatening conditions.
"Nexvax2 will improve quality of life and prevent the serious complications of chronic gluten exposure in celiac disease patients. The development of Nexvax2 aligns with our strategic vision of transforming how patients with autoimmune diseases are treated.” - Leslie Williams CEO of ImmusanT in a recent press release
Fast Track to stage two testing does not increase the chances the drug will be approved, it's just a way that the FDA to move the drug along the process quicker.
About the Phase 2 of the Trial
A phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of Nexvax2. This study will evaluate efficacy of Nexvax2 administered subcutaneously. The study plan consists of 3 periods: a screening period of 6 weeks, an approximately 16 week treatment period, and a 4-week post-treatment observational follow-up.
Be Part of the Trial
To be considered for the trial you must be:
- Someone who has been diagnosed celiac disease,
- Must be over 18 and under 70.
- Must be gluten free for at least one year.
- HLA DQ 2.5 Positive
- Participants must be willing to consume some gluten.
Unfortunately my 8-year-old daughter is not eligible for the study. If the trial is successful, hopefully, they come up with a children's version.
If you meet the simple criteria, why not be part of the study? On the Clinical Trial page is the locations where the trials are occurring. Simply contact the person nearest to you.
Oddly enough there is no trial in Massachusetts, which is the location of ImmusanT.
Estimated Completion Date
The trial will end on September 2019.
Gluten Free Labels
We like to label boxes and Tupperware that the contents are gluten-free. This helps at school so they know the contents are safe for my daughter. It's also good at parties so that people can see that gluten-free foods look good.
We use the labels from Gluten Free Stickers because they are simple and stand out on anything that we put them on. They also last through many Tupperware washing - in some cases, longer than the Tupperware!
We don't place the stickers on every single ziplock bag. For school, it's usually placed on food containers that are for food events such as snacks for Extended Day or when she brings in cookies for treats.
These labels are very helpful and the quality is great! You're not getting cheap paper labels!
Check out Gluten Free Stickers. We recommend getting the Gluten Free Label roll so that you'll never run out of stickers when you need it.
Gluten Free Freezer
Happy New Year 2019!
Finding Gluten Free in the Supermarket
Most supermarkets keep all the gluten-free alternative items together. This makes it easy to find all the bagels/breakfast goods available.
In Market Basket, you can find all the gluten free bread and pastries in the back freezer, near the Produce and Meat departments.
Wait a minute
Just make sure to double check the items, recently I spotted the following:
I was excited to see that there was a new item in the case. However, this isn’t gluten free - there is no Cinnabon Product that is gluten-free. Katz does make a gluten free cinnamon roll, which is probably the product that should be displayed in the case.
Some people may not really pay attention and just assume that it is since it’s with all the gluten free breakfast goods.
Just a simple reminder to always check the packaging - especially if it’s a new product.
Looking forward to finding all sorts of new products in 2019.
Top 8 Gluten Free Post of 2018
I didn’t post much gluten-free this year, basically didn’t post much between February and September.
Here are the top posts of 2018.
- AMC Theater Popcorn is not Gluten Free - Surprise of the year, it’s not safe to eat popcorn at AMC.
- Just Crack an Egg - My daughter’s favorite breakfast treat. She has one practically every morning.
- Fire & Grain - Great restaurant in Hershey, PA. We ate a lot of meals here and they were very knowledgable on gluten free eating.
- Cauliflower crust at California Pizza Kitchen - Definitely the go to choice when it comes to eating pizza.
- Ice Cream Cafe - We found a great ice cream shop on Cape Cod that offers different gluten free cones.
- The Lazy Turtle (Aruba) - The only place in Aruba where we found that offers gluten free pasta.
- Best Super Crispy Fries at Home - We used the frier a lot this year and enjoyed extra crispy french fries.
- Benevento - After being away from the North End for a while, we decide to go back and found a good gluten free restaurant.
Gluten Intolerance Group
In 2016, Kent State became the first school in the United States to offer a complete dining hall that only serves gluten-free foods. Since then other colleges and universities have followed by with changes to the various dining area.
Kent State received certification from the Gluten Intolerance Group's Gluten-Free Food Service Accreditation Program. The certification shows that Kent State is committed to serving great food for celiacs.
Two years later the Prentice Café is still serving gluten-free options. They promote all the various gluten-free options on the Prentice Hall website. According to various social media reports - the Prentice Cafe is just as popular as another campus cafe.
Gluten Intolerance Group
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GFCO) is one of the leading gluten-free certification programs in the world. They give out certifications to organizations that demonstrate the commitment to having gluten free options.
About the GFCO
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association funded by private donations, fundraising, sponsorship opportunities, and industry programs. It relies on tax-deductible contributions to support its many innovative industries, service, social and awareness programs. GIG has been a highly respected leader in the gluten-free community since it was founded in 1974.
Boston University is the only Boston-area organization to make the GFCO certification list. They have 3-Certified Dining locations on campus:
The Fresh Food Company at Marciano Commons, The Fresh Food Company at Warren Towers and The Fresh Food Company at West Campus.
They are the only local type organization in New England to receive the GFCO certification.
Other National Chains, which are based in New England has gotten certifications:
This Christmas season celiacs don’t have to feel left out when invited to a Gingerbread House party. You can buy a Gluten Free Gingerbread House making kit.
About Something Sweet Without Wheat
Something Sweet Without Wheat makes a Gluten Free Gingerbread kit that can be ordered online.
They had a booth at the Children's Hospital holiday party a couple of weekends ago. They had all sorts of goodies on display, but the Gingerbread kit was the big hit.
Visit SomethingSweetWithOutWheat.com today to order yours!
Sample Art Work
Here's a sample completed project using the Something Sweet Gingerbread House: