Heading to the grocery store for your first gluten-free shopping excursion can be a bit intimidating. Here are some practical suggestions to help reduce your anxiety.
- Give yourself a little extra time during your first month or so of gluten-free grocery shopping.
- Be sure to refresh your memory about the label reading guidelines – bring notes with you to the store if you think that would be helpful.
- Choose one or two items during each shopping outing that you would like to try. For example, if you enjoy crackers, spend some extra time in the cracker aisle carefully reading product labels. Sometimes gluten-free foods are in their own section, not necessarily integrated with gluten-containing foods. The next time you go shopping, pick a couple more favorite items to get familiar with. Don’t forget to include products that commonly contain hidden gluten like salad dressings or sauces.
- Not all gluten-free foods are created equal! Be open to buying a couple of different brands to see if you like one better than another. Some stores will allow you to open boxes or packages and try the product before you buy – ask a store manager or employee if they would be willing to do that.
- Last but not least, don’t forget to take a deep breath and relax about this process. If you are someone who tends to get overwhelmed easily, set yourself up for success by setting smaller goals. We all make mistakes and have our own learning process. Keeping a sense of humor is the most valuable tool!