The ABCs of Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

Barley is used in very small quantities so can be told to leave your kitchen and oats is the new fashionable product that should be used only if naturally processed and certified gluten-free.

The first step in starting a gluten-free diet is to understand why you need it? Are you gluten intolerant? Do you have a wheat allergy or Celiac Disease? Or is it for the health benefits of being gluten-free.

Guide: What Does Gluten Intolerance Mean

The leading characters that play the main role in your life are no wheat, barley, oats and rye. In India wheat is your hero so that needs to be replaced completely with rice and millets. Barley is used in very small quantities so can be told to leave your kitchen and oats is the new fashionable product that should be used only if naturally processed and certified gluten-free. This sounds quite simple!

Signs And Symptoms To Diagnose Gluten Intolerance In Kids

Basically, a general gluten free might be ok if you have a gluten allergy, but cross contamination for anyone with Celiac can be fatal. For example, there are so many places you get gluten free cakes but these are not actually gluten-free facilities if they are made in a common facility. They are high-risk items for people with Celiac. If you don’t know the facility of your gluten free food then don’t eat from there.

These ‘hidden gluten’ as I call it, can be found in corn flour, baking powder, icing sugar, soy sauce, and ketchup and many other such items. I will be doing an article just based on these items in the future.

Very importantly, there is gluten which can remain hidden in kitchen appliances you use and it can cause havoc to those who have allergies. This hidden gluten is your biggest enemy and to fight it you will have to become a “Food Detective”

I am going to tell you what I did when Mannat got diagnosed with Celiac and that helped him increase his shoe size in three months – something that had not increased in one year.


I removed all old roti material such as the ‘belan’ (rolling pin), the ‘chakla’ (flat pan), flour sieve, wooden spoons, chopping boards, the cooking pans ( nonstick ones) the bread baking pans etc. At its essence, gluten has a glue

like characteristics, and it tends to sticks in trace quantities to kitchen equipment. For wooden equipment (such as spatulas, chopping boards etc.), this is an especially big problem. My first step was to remove all of the kitchen material mentioned above, and by buying new ones.

The above step is an imperative one. If you live in a joint family remove all equipment and create a pantry with new equipment for your child or for yourself.

Dry Storage:

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Remove all wheat-items like

  • Atta
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Besan

Packaged masalas like

  • Haldi
  • Red chilli powder

Pre-mix masalas like

  • Readymade butter chicken masala
  • Biryani masala etc.

This is because almost all of them have hing in them.

Also, I removed Bournvita (made with barley), traditional Indian namkeens, corn flour and baking powder, all of which have gluten. This can be troublesome at first, but there are plenty of alternatives. The best thing to do is to use all gluten-free certified products. I know they cost a lot and honestly, the financial burden for a family with Celiac exists. It just means that we need to work harder and earn more.


Next, I cleaned up my refrigerator. I removed Hershey Syrup; it has malt. I removed Worcestershire sauce; it has barley malt vinegar. Even maple syrup, processed cheese and milk-based processed products such as mayonnaise and anything that wasn’t certified gluten-free.

All frozen products like chicken nuggets, smileys, frozen meats, sausages. Anything that wasn’t made in a certified gluten-free facility went out of my refrigerator.

Starting a gluten-free diet is like going back to your childhood when everything was freshly done and packaged or processed food was non-existent. It will appear a bit tough at first right?

Let me share what’s my kid's normal diet is:

  • Our morning starts with milk, eggs, fruits, gluten-free toast (full of flax seeds), almonds and walnuts. No additives, no sugar.
  • A midday meal is a probiotic drink, fruits and a gluten-free cereal bar/cookie.
  • Lunch is fresh, homemade cottage cheese, vegetables, dal and gluten free roti or rice.
  • Mid-evening snack is milk without any additives and fruit.
  • Dinner is vegetable risotto with chicken/fish steak or an Indian meal with a meat.

I have been running a 100% Gluten Free Test kitchen for over 5 years and now blend roti, bread, cookie dough, pancake mixes, cake mixes from my own mill. Baking From My Heart is helping moms and kids make their life gluten-free and easy and they are assured it’s coming from a gluten-free kitchen.

Healthy, Tasty, Easy Gluten Free Alternatives To Boring Wheat Rotis

Shop Here: WheatBarleyOatsRyeAlmondsWalnuts

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