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Gluten-Free Regina

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 2:39am
KinderBuzz

If you're health conscious, chances are you've heard about gluten-free diets.  Although a gluten-free diet is commonly prescribed for people with celiac disease, going "G-free" is one of the most popular trends out there.  Here in Regina, this is becoming more apparent with the growing number of places you can find gluten-free products.  We've listed a few that we've found, and that have been recommended to us by parents who are either celiacs themselves or have children with gluten sensitivity.  But as always, be sure to carefully read labels and/or ask for a list of ingredients when in doubt.

First, Some Educational Background

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, triticale and rye.  People who refrain from gluten are those with a gluten allergy or sensitivity, and especially those with celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder in which gluten causes damage to the small intestine).  According to Health Canada, celiac disease approximately affects 1% of the population.  That's one of the reasons why recent changes have been made to labelling regulations in Canada.  By August 4, 2012, most pre-packaged foods must list common allergens, sulphites and gluten sources (including oats).

There are no known health dangers to non-celiac people if they cut back on gluten, and some people even experience health benefits such as more energy and less muscle pain.  But it's important to note that going on a gluten-free diet also has its downsides.  It may prevent proper diagnosis of the disease, you may not be getting enough of certain vitamins such as B and D, and gluten-free specialty foods are more expensive.  It's best to see help from a health professional before eliminating gluten from your diet.

Local Places That Offer Gluten-Free Products

Please Note:  As with anything, we urge you to double check with each location regarding ingredients to ensure that the product is gluten-free, as KinderBuzz has no control over any changes that may be made by the businesses.


GROCERY STORES

Dad's Organic Market logoFinding gluten-free products is as easy as a trip to the grocery store.  Dad's Organic Market (www.dadsorganicmarket.com) is a great place to start.  Dad's offers a variety of gluten-free products including baked goods such as breads, baking products and mixes, frozen foods (ice cream, fish sticks, etc.), and pre-packaged foods (cookies, snacks, etc.)  With such friendly and knowledgeable staff, a play area for the kids, and great products, Dad's makes it easy to get your shopping done.

If you're looking for a big chain grocery store, check out Safeway (www.safeway.ca/glutenfree)- Southland Mall, Victoria Square Mall and Northgate Mall locations.  Throughout the store, you'll find gluten-free products in the bakery, freezer section, and even in a specific grocery aisle.  The Southland Mall location even has blue and white signs in the various departments to help make it easier to find the products.

You can also check out Old Fashion Foods and Superstore (in the gluten-free aisle) for more options.


COFFEE SHOPS

Brewed Awakening (view Facebook page), on Regina's east end, is a great spot to find a small selection of gluten-free baked goods and desserts.  Savour delicious breakfast crepes with organic fruit topping, cherry and Saskatoon berry pies, and cookies.  With their selection of products and a comfortable atmosphere (check out their enclosed patio), Brewed Awakening is sure to be a hit with both adults and kids alike.

Another coffe house to check out is 13th Avenue Food & Coffee House (www.13thavecoffee.com).  Many people think 13th Avenue is primarily a coffee house, but it also has a fantastic food menu that includes gluten-free items such as their House Salad (organic mixed greens with fresh vegetables and toasted sunflower seeds), Veggie Chili (served with corn bread, cheddar and sour cream), and their tasty Stone's Throw Coffee House - Highlander Brownies Quinoa Bowls.  13th Avenue is currently closed for holidays and renovations, but will open again on January 17, 2012.

Near the University of Regina, you can enjoy some allergen-free desserts at Stone's Throw Coffee House (view Facebook page).  Try their gluten-free Highlander Brownies (a regular favourite), and an assortment of desserts that change frequently.  You can expect such things like carrot cake, banana loaf, granola bars, macaroons, and more.  Stone's Throw is a popular spot for university students, but families are more than welcome!

BAKERIES

Unfortunately, there aren't many bakeries in Regina that offer gluten-free baking.  But Le Macaron (www.lemacaronregina.com) on the east side was recommended by a few parents for their French macarons.  The macarons are made with almond flour, and are therefore wheat flourless.  (Please note that the macarons are made in the same kitchen as other items made with wheat flour).  These French cookies have been a favourite of KinderBuzz in the past, and we love them even more now!

Psssst...stay tuned to KinderBuzz.com as we've recently learned about a gluten-free bakery opening in Regina soon.


RESTAURANTS

Luckily, there are a couple of restaurants that have a specific gluten-free menu.  One place is Luiggi's Pasta House (www.luiggis.ca).  Luiggi's is a family-run, Italian restaurant located in the north side of Regina.  Choose from a wide selection of soups, appetizers, salads, sides, rice dishes, pastas, burgers and entrees.  Wondering what their gluten-free pasta noodles are made out of?  It's rice noodle!  You can even view their Gluten Free Menu online.  Plus, they also have a kids' menu featuring regular food items.

Ricky's All Day Grill (www.gotorickys.com), located across from Toys "R" Us, features a Gluten-Sensitive Menu that features items that have been modified for a gluten-free diet.  You'll find omelettes, appetizers, salads, burgers, side dishes and entrees such as Roasted Turkey, Big Bronco Ribs, Cerfied Angus Beef Sirloin Steak.  What's even better is that they have a kids' menu where the lunch and dinner meals come complete with a drink and dessert.  And, kids under 2 can eat free when you choose from their Under 2 Menu!

We weren't able to check out all the restaurants recommended to us, but here is a list of restaurants where your gluten-free family members can eat:

When in doubt, just ask!
 

Do you know of a great place to find some tasty gluten-free products?  Share it with us at feedback@kinderbuzz.com!