No gluten no problem


Photo by Sophia Babcock

Students may be gluten but it does not stop them from enjoying everyday snacks. "I think like more recently there's been a lot more [gluten free] options which is really nice," Sarah Richards, sophomore, said.

Food allergies are common among students. However, as people with allergies get older they learn the ins and outs of what to eat and what not to eat.

Sarah Richards, sophomore, found out she was allergic to gluten at three years old. It was at the time where she was being introduced to new foods that she started feeling sick, and her allergy was confirmed when she got blood work done, according to Richards.

“I just remember that my favorite food was Wheat Thins crackers. So right after I found out [about my allergy] I asked my mom if I could have some. She [explained] that I was allergic to them, and I just cried in my pantry because I couldn’t eat Wheat Thins,” Richards said.

Mia Witt, senior, is allergic to gluten, corn, and dairy. Her mom has celiac so when she began to have stomach issues her family assumed it was gluten. Due to her other allergies, she finds it difficult to eat out. 

“Since I have a corn allergy everything that’s gluten-free is made of corn. A lot of restaurants now are becoming more adaptable to people with gluten-free allergies, but sometimes they’re not as aware of the things that have corn or other [ingredients] in them.”

Witt also finds planned meals at events such as prom a challenge. One time they came with her dinner and “I looked at [the meal]  and by now I can tell what has gluten just by looking at it because it’s breaded. [I asked the waiter if they could fix it], and they came back with five different options (all containing gluten),” Witt said.

At home, both Richards and Witt have other family members that are gluten-free, so their parents usually cook separate meals. They usually eat before going to their friends’ houses.

Richards’ favorite gluten-free meal is the pancakes from Walker Brothers. If she could eat anything containing gluten for a day she would “probably [eat] something sweet. Because whenever I go to a birthday party, I can never eat the cake,” Richards said.

Witt likes to eat gluten-free pretzels, but if she were allergen-free she would eat “pizza, one hundred percent. No one can replicate good gluten, dairy, and corn-free pizza. If you find one let me know,” Witt said.

Even though allergies have their ups and downs, Witt has used her knowledge to her advantage.

“I actually work at a health food store, so I work around gluten-free foods all the time. I also get to pick what new gluten-free foods that we can carry in the store sometimes,” Witt said. “So that’s super nice because customers come in and they [do not always know what gluten-free options there are, and I am able to help them].”