Celebrate July 4th, Gluten (and Stress) Free!

Happy Birthday America! This Independence Day, celebrate America with your friends, family, and fireworks. However, approach this holiday with caution if you plan on attending any 4th of July events or parties. Read our tips below for a stress-free celebration.

Grill Safety

Did you know that the barbecue grill is a huge point of cross contact for gluten? Because not all marinades and BBQ sauces are safe, gluten can transfer from unsafe food to your safe food during your next grill session! You can deep clean a grill using soap and water before using, or simply bring aluminum foil with you and grill directly on the foil. Make sure any grill utensils are used only for your gluten-free food, or that clean utensils are available. Cross contact can occur using the same marinade brush or tongs!

Side Dishes to Watch

Does it seem like potato salad or veggie dishes would be safe? Think before you eat! While things like potatoes and vegetables may be naturally gluten free, people may add spices or sauces that contain wheat. Even if these items are not made with gluten, they may be prepared alongside gluten containing food in home kitchens, and might not be as strict as standards in your own home. If you’re looking for dairy-free too, watch out for hidden milk or butter that is common in party side dishes.

Say No to Beer

Say no to beer, unless it’s gluten free! If you have celiac disease, avoid gluten removed beer, and stick with beer made from gluten-free grains. Watch out for wine coolers that are made with barley, but enjoy gluten-free sparkling seltzer or hard cider. Distilled liquor is gluten-free, but always make sure that the product does not contain any flavorings or colorings that might contain gluten.

Practice Safe Dipping

While chips and dip may seem safe, watch out for other dippers! Think the guacamole and tortilla chips are safe? Think again – the guy before you was dipping the pita chips into the guac and leaving gluten crumbs behind. Prepare your own plate at the beginning of the party before others have had a chance to dip. Make sure to read all ingredients on the chips before eating. If the chips were purchased from a local restaurant, be cautious – they might have fried the chips in the same fryer as gluten containing products

Consider Bringing Pre-Made

If you get nervous about cookouts and parties, you’re not alone. Buffets and BYO events like July 4th get togethers can create anxiety for those on a specialty diet. Consider bringing your own safe food from home to ease anxiety, and prevent any cross contact. Here are some great ideas to bring for an upcoming summer party:

  • Fruit salad
  • Potato salad
  • Gluten-Free trail mix (pretzels, chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit)
  • Gluten-free pasta salad
  • Gluten-free cupcakes or cookies
  • Take a peek at our favorite July 4th recipes here.

If you plan on bringing safe dishes to share with others, make sure you dish up your own plate first to prevent cross contact!

Let freedom ring this Independence Day. Enjoy the festivities, and stay safe!

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