1. Establish your apartment as a gluten-free safe haven.
College life is loaded with gluten—late night cheesy bread and beer on tap at every tailgate, just to name a couple. Every student can have gluten in every space on campus. Why not have one small space be entirely dedicated gluten-free, for a complete sense of safety? I don’t let anyone bring gluten into my apartment, which keeps every nook and cranny of my place 100% safe, and also allows my friends to come in and use anything in my apartment to cook a fun, gluten-free dinner!
2. Always have a well-stocked freezer.
There’s nothing like the feeling after a long day of classes, meetings, and homework that there isn’t anything ready for dinner. A freezer stocked with gluten-free bread products, pre-cooked proteins, and microwave meals always ensures a meal is ready to go, even with little energy or time left in the day.
3. Consider a produce delivery service
Without a car on campus, getting fresh groceries every week is an extraordinarily difficult task. With a biweekly delivery of a box produce, however, ensures that there are gluten-free staples in the fridge, even without a trip to the grocery store!
4. Have safe snacks in several backpack pockets.
Unfortunately, the experience of going to a birthday party as a kid where everyone had pizza and cake doesn’t end in college. As a celiac child, my mom always packed gluten-free pizza and a cupcake for me to bring with. Never assume that there will be a gluten-free option at club meetings, campus events, etc. More often than not, there isn’t. With a little snack in several pockets, you’ll never be caught off guard. My personal favorites are gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and little squares of Dove chocolate!
5. Seek out the gluten-free options on campus early.
Though there are very few celiac-safe, gluten-free options on the University of Michigan campus, when I first arrived several years ago, I immediately sought out every potential place to sit with friends, have a meeting with a professor, or run a board meeting for an organization. For me, that meant Starbucks, several frozen yogurt shops, and a few other coffee places. Though the list is short, having go-to places, even for coffee, is crucial for integrating yourself into campus life. However, inviting people into your gluten-free safe haven for snacks is always an option!