While touring colleges and universities, you will be enticed with the description of hot cookies and pizza
delivered to dorms for late night study. All the snack bars, coffee shops and extra goodies offered on campus will be noted.
As that thrills many, those of us with food allergies may just feel left out. The good news is that many colleges and universities are becoming more aware of this relevant, growing issue in today’s society. Universities now have practices in place to send students off to college where they can safely live with food allergies.
As you tour the colleges and universities of choice, there are many relevant questions to ask to find your perfect fit. Do your best to speak to a cafeteria manager or someone in the food department while on tour. They will be happy to show you around and explain how their kitchens work to keep all students safe while eating on campus.
Here are some important questions to ask
to help find your safe gluten-free college:
**Do you offer gluten-free foods to your students?
**Do you offer safe foods for students with allergies?
Those with multiple allergies?
**Where can the students find gluten-free food
**How many cafeterias are on campus?
Do they all offer gluten-free food?
**How do you find the menu for the cafeteria?
One school noted that they serve different gluten-free food at different locations. Other schools may only serve gluten-free food in a certain cafeteria on campus.
**When are the gluten-free foods offered?
(Only at meals or throughout the day?)
Some schools have cafeterias opened all day where students can pop in to grab a snack. Others are only opened at certain meal times.
**Are the foods for those with food allergies separated?
What system do they follow?
One school had everything color coded, just like we have at home – genius!
**What protocol do they have in place to cover
cross-contact or cross-contamination?
**What extra snacks do they offer to fit the needs
of those with food allergies?
**Does my child need to know the Cafeteria Manager
to safely eat on campus?
**Is there a kitchen or special area where students
with food allergies can prepare
their own snack or meal safely?
Boston University had such a place in one of their cafeterias. They had a room filled with ingredients that were safe for those with food allergies. Students could go in and prepare something safely on their own.
**Are there any safe gluten-free pizza places on
or near campus?
**Does the school offer housing grouped
by gluten-free roommates?
This can be a relevant question if you find that the school cafeteria will not fit your gluten-free needs. Colleges and universities typically offer different types of housing- from dorms, townhouses and apartments. Some schools offer certain housing during certain years, meaning possibly that only freshman live in dorms while the seniors have townhouses. (Check with the different schools per their policy.) That being said, if the cafeteria will not work, you may possibly find an apartment or townhouse with a kitchen. Of course, you would then be in charge of cooking all of your own meals, but if this is your dream school that may be a step you are willing to take.
Do your research by asking the questions. Take time to ponder the answers and you will find your BEST fit for your safe gluten-free college!
Wishing you all the best in taking
this next step into your future!
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