Healthy Mama: Guide to Getting Started Gluten Free

You will find all kinds of advice on gluten free living out there in the world. And, as I said in Healthy Mama: Gluten Free Living, I am not a dietician. I am simply thrilled with the freedom I’ve found living and eating gluten free. So, today I share with you the resources I turned to early on in the journey. And our loose, family-style approach to it.

It is encouragement from friends and a nudge from the Lord that got me going. I did it in stages though. Starting with ready made and easy. Then stepping down in one area and then another as I felt comfortable and ready. Celebratory steps along the way…
Getting Started Gluten Free List

Remember, first I maintained a low sugar diet. When I cut out gluten, I turned to the friends I knew who were already living gluten free. They helped so much! For the first three months we pretty much replaced our regular pantry items with gluten free versions. Gluten free brown rice pasta, gluten free mixes, gluten free waffles. This made the transition easier while feeding a large family. It also helped me to see almost immediate results in how I felt.

After those three months my husband and I were more purposeful to work towards whole foods rather than gluten free replacements. It was the end of the summer and fresh produce was still plentiful. But this list is a very good starting place and where I found the road to the freedom I keep referring to.

(The information I share here is by no means medical advice. Just simple, practical encouragement and sharing of how thrilled I am to find what works for me. Some links are affiliate links to products we have grown to love and truly depend on. See our disclosure policy. )

The Gluten Free List I Started With

I am so thankful for this list my friend Jenny sent me of her family’s favorite gluten free foods. (On the Trim Healthy Mama diet, I am pretty much grain free now but this list is a great starting place plus a healthy and easy way to feed growing children):

    • Udi’s Pizza Crust (frozen, 2 in pkg)
    • King Arthur Cake Mix and other King Arthur products
    • Amy’s Mac and Cheese
    • Ian’s Chicken Nuggets (family pack, cheapest at Target)

Gluten free chicken nuggets

{insert a find on my list} These gluten free chicken nuggets are wonderful! Nana gets them for us at Cosco. We ALL love them. And the children don’t care that they are gluten free. It’s nice to have something easy to pull out on ‘those’ nights or to have handy for date nights. Though even four pounds worth doesn’t last very long around here!

  • Target Mid-west Style Barbeque Sauce
  • San-J Asian Orange Sauce or Terriyaki Sauce (bottled marinade)
  • Chex Honey Cereal
  • Bob’s Red Mill Pancake Mix
  • Tinkyada Pasta (follow directions!) <– I agree this is the best tasting gluten free pasta. And they have lasagna noodles for my Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna!
  • Bakery on Main Instant Oatmeal Packets (strawberry and maple)
  • Van’s Totally Natural Frozen Waffles
  • Applegate Farms Chicken and Sage Sausage
  • Snyder’s or Glutino’s Pretzels

Chickfila with gluten free nuggets

We are not really a drive through family. Remember my Fast Food for Slow Sundays series and the resulting Sunday Savings cookbook? Yes, we just can’t eat out a whole lot not only because of allergies but because of the expense. However, we have found a good place to splurge now and then – Chickfila! Because they have grilled (gluten free) nuggets. (Now the soup pictured is not gluten free because of the noodles. But someone was on the mend and needed some chicken noodle soup. The children do eat gluten but not as much as they used to).

  • Enjoy Life Not Nuts! See and Fruit – Mountain Mambo
  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins or Nut Chips
  • Kinnikinnick Choc Dipped, Cinnamon, or Maple Donuts (Freezer)
  • Sesmark Rice Thins
  • Lundberg Rice Chips –Santa Fe BBQ flavor
  • Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain or Mountain White Sandwich Bread (freezer)

Jenny’s Recent additions: Paleo Wraps, O’Dough’s Orignal Bagel Thins, Crunchmaster Original crackers, anything King Arthur, Van’s Say Cheese crackers, Bakery on Main Instant Oatmeal, Enjoy Life Trail Mix kind GF bars.

Gluten Free Snacks

Jenny’s suggested go to snacks are: pretzels, popcorn, yogurt, applesauce, and cheese and crackers (from the list above). We love cheese sticks, Gogurts, apples and an ice cream treat! Sharla has an amazing list of 100 Gluten Free Snack ideas.

The Healthy Gluten-Free Life

Gluten Free Cookbook

Jenny also suggested this cookbook, which I bought and have been sticking to the recipes with just a few ingredients:  The Healthy Gluten Free Life by Tammy Credicott

And speaking of cookbooks, my friend Alea of Premeditated Leftovers has a site full of gluten free resources and recipes in her Gluten Free Flavor Full section. Plus, don’t miss her Pinterest board!

What I Have Learned

  • Replacing flours with gluten free substitutions is not too hard. Bisquick even has a gluten free mix. There are simply so many gluten free products available now.
  • Many gluten free recipes call for egg and several of them. So that can be a challenge still when trying to keep Lil’ Buddy safe. But I still stick to egg substitutes.
  • Batch cooking meats in the slow cooker is still the super supper saver for me. It still makes weeknights doable. And I can pull that main ingredient out to have with a salad before I make something for the rest of the family – if I need to. (My free ebook: Slow Cooker Batch Cooking)
  • Adapting recipes I am already familiar with does not take much brain power. Here’s several two ingredient slow cooker recipes I recently shared. I’ve been dumping BBQ sauce on lots of things!
  • This lifestyle is simple practice. And leaning heavily into how much better I feel and that freedom I keep referring to.

Gluten Free Chebe Mix

More Resources from friends living gluten free:

Gluten Free Pinterest Board

And, of course, I have a collection of recipes on my Gluten Free Pinterest board. Hooray for Pinterest!

Coming up in the Healthy Mama series (links will be live as I share over the next several weeks)…

**If you’d like to print all or a portion of these resources, simply click the print friendly in the sharing buttons below.

Friends, if this lifestyle is one you are considering, research it. Read, read, read. Ask questions. There are so very many resources on the subject. Find what works best for you.

Let’s help each other. What’s your favorite gluten free resource or recipe?

It’s coming this week! A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels!


  1. 3

    Kim B. says

    Our entire family has gone gluten free, (we are also dairy free and two of us eat no red meat or tomatoes). We have sone bad food allergies here too, this has also helped blood sugars. Two of us are type 1 diabetics and one is a type 2.As well as pain levels in our family, (lupus and RA/Arthritis). I have createc an entire binder with a wealth of information on gluten free living. To include recipes, shopping lists, resturants, websites and SO MUCH MORE!!! It is exciting… Aldi, wal-mart, amazon and even the dollar general have all gegan carrying many gluten free options. I would be happy to share any other information ifyou or anyone else that is interested. :-) I was so excited to see this article this morning..

    • 5


      Mary – I have not personally been to ALDI looking for gluten free but Kim B. commented above says they do! I do know they have good prices on whole foods and meats – which is what I am more of what I am eating on Trim Healthy Mama (buying less ready-made gluten free products now though it is great to have those waffles and pizzas in the freezer :) ). Kroger and Walmart have many gluten free products. But my friend Amy told me about our local Ingle’s. It has many, many gluten free items – and they are mixed in with everything else. So you don’t have to go to a special section. They have Tinkyada brand – which I think is the best tasting gf pasta.

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