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Gluten-Free at the Neighborhood Barbeque

  • Editorial Staff
  • June 2014
  • 5 min read

Summer not only brings warm weather and the occasional sunburn but also outdoor get-togethers that involve a plethora of food. Whether you are attending or hosting a summertime bash, there are plenty of gluten-free and healthy alternatives when it comes to the menu and your plate. Don’t let feelings of stress keep you from having a good time. Below are some tips on how to safely attend these gatherings but still be mindful of what you are eating.


  • Ask the host what he/she will be serving ahead of time. Briefly explain your need for a gluten-free diet and see if the menu they plan on serving fits your gluten-free needs.
  • Eat something gluten free before the party if you are unsure of the food that will be served , that way you aren’t tempted by a growling stomach.
  • Bring an emergency snack! Create snack bags for your purse or pocket such as a handful of nuts. This healthy and filling snack will help you resist the snack table at your next summer gathering.
  • Load up on naturally gluten-free foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • Nominate yourself to bring a gluten-free dish. Not only is this a great alternative for you but others can join in on the gluten-free fun.
  • If you are hosting a get together this summer, invite your guests to be involved with your gluten-free menu planning. It could be a fun culinary challenge for all involved!


  • Hot dog buns and pasta salad are some obvious sources of gluten but be on the lookout for other foods and beverages that may contain gluten such as:
    • Processed meats
    • Processed cheese
    • Veggie burgers
    • Pre-prepared dips
    • Desserts such as cookies and cakes
    • Alcoholic beverages
  • Many condiments and sauces also can contain ingredients that have gluten in them, such as thickeners and vinegar. Vinegar made from wheat, barley or rye that has not been distilled is not gluten-free. Some common culprits include:
    • BBQ sauce
    • Ketchup
    • Mayonnaise
    • Mustard
    • Soy sauce
    • Salad dressing
    • Marinades

 Keep these tips in mind and be on the lookout for these foods at your next party. If you aren’t comfortable about asking the hostess for the menu beforehand, you can always bring your own gluten-free alternatives and check available labels to stay in control of what you eat.