I've just been tweeting with a young girl in the US who was bemoaning the fact she has to drive 40 minutes to get a gluten free meal, and has to order most of her food online (mail order shopping is much more a part of life in the US than in Australia though). It has made me feel very grateful for what is available in Canberra and in Australia!! but I thought that any gluten free visitors, especially those from overseas, might like to read about where we buy all our gluten free supplies and food.
Gluten Free Supplies:
- Aldi (we buy these things). I shop here probably once a fortnight.
- Coles and Woolies - they tend to have different stock so I do shop at both, though Woolies more often as they are more local. I can use my Coeliac Society discount card at Coles though. They both have a selection of gluten free products in the health food section & frozen section, as well as a lot of products that just happen to be gluten free. I get Rora's bread (Country Life) when i haven't baked any, Diego's corn tortillas (Coles) and San Remo pasta from there. I usually shop in one or the other at least once a fortnight or more.
- Occasionally I shop at IGA (national chain) or Supabarn (a local chain) - both of them have quite a good choice of GF products that the larger chains doesn't stock, and IGA actually marks the GF products on the shelf.
- I manage to find a lot of GF products in the discount stores such as GoLo, the Reject Shop or the $2 shop. This is the easiest place to buy lollies of all kinds in my experience. I can also often buy GF snacks such as Rice Rounds, Mamee Snacks and Rice Wheels for less than in the supermarkets.
- Toys R Us is another good place to buy lollies and marshmallows
- I get most of my health food store ingredients such as GF flour in bulk and nuts in bulk from the health food store at the Belconnen Markets (Natural Living) or the Organic Store (As Nature Intended)
- Indian ingredients and products I can find elsewhere - such as jowar or sorghum flour i get from Bharat International Shop in belconnen. (it's a great place to eat too!)
- All of the places above are within 10-15 minutes of home. If i want to go a bit further afield and see what different products I can find I have occasionally been to Mountain Creek Wholefoods
- I can also get some GF supplies at our fruit & vegie shop Choku Bai Jo (which we don't get to as often now that neither of us work in the area :()
- Other shops that we don't use include Brumby's Bakery (am lol at them having a GF FAQ with no answer) and Deeks Bakery (though my saviour when Rora was first diagnosed)
As for eating out, we are very lucky here in Canberra, there are lots of places we can eat out. For a morning or afternoon tea the choice might not huge but most cafes in Canberra will have GF options such as a cookie (most likely) or a cake. Cafes that we know will always have something include:
- Gloria Jeans almost always has 1-2 cookies (Chocolate Mud & White Chocolate Macadamia) and now has the Jaffa Cake too - well they've had that cake for a while but we didn't know! We do have to be careful now though as some stores have started putting marshmallows in teh babycinos - though the one time rora ate one by accident she wasn't sick so we suspect they're gluten free (but so far our local store hasn't had the packaging available to double check). also while our local store gets you to put your chocolate / sprinkles etc on yourself, some stores do it for you so we sometimes get caught that way...
- Michels Patisserie usually has a pre-packaged orange cake, though rora is not so keen...
- Muffin Break always has gluten free sweet and savoury muffins and usually another product as well. We don't go to MB often at home as they will only accept cash and are quite pricey, but it's great to know they are around if we are travelling.
- If we are in the Dickson area we know we can always go to Deeks or to My Rainbow Dreams for a yummy vegetarian meal
- Ricardos at Jamison strangely has only a couple of options for morning / afternoon tea, but its entire menu for breakfast / lunch is available gluten free!!! (that's about 30+ options, which i plan to post on here one day)
- The Coffee Club is a bit unreliable because sometimes they will have a cookie or two, but other times they will have nothing, only "low gluten" things