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College Students With Celiac

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Guest sru_gal_8504

do colleges provide this? i also have a sick parent. so just wondering where i can find one.

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do colleges provide this? i also have a sick parent. so just wondering where i can find one.

Yeah, definitely. You just need to talk to the person in charge of food services and they should be able to help you out. I go to Truman State and they are very accommodating for myself and two others who live in my building. All three of us need to follow a gluten free diet. The only problem I've found is the incredibly small amount of choices at meals. Otherwise, they are incredibly helpful.

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Do you mean food in the dining halls or like, groups/clubs? I suppose in both cases it really does depend.

I go to the University of Colorado and while the dorms supposedly provide special diets, at least when I was in the dorms, they did a really horrible job. The people I knew at the time who couldn't eat gluten were really only given special accommodations with a note form a doctor, and all that they really did was give them a menu each week with the gluten free items circled. I understand that it was pretty slim pickings, and that these were regular items that all students could eat- nothing was set aside or prepared separately- so there was a lot of cross contamination. Everyone I knew w/ gluten issues was always sick. I knew a girl that was so sick all the time that she transferred to a college in her home town so that she could live at home and cook her own food.

By the end of my sophomore year, when I finally realized gluten was making me sick, I didn't have a doctor's note. I *rarely* ate in the dorms for the last two months, because there was so little I could eat. Everything was breaded and fried, everything else had pasta, bread, or soy sauce. When I did eat in the dorms, I ate plain salad with oil and red wine vinegar and plain tofu or boiled eggs for protein. Even then, with the croutons and bread and everything else there, I managed to get sick. Mostly I lived off of Amy's gluten free frozen meals that I kept in my dorm and ate a couple of restaurants that I could really trust with the food. It was isolating, expensive, repetitive, and generally a pain in the butt. The weird thing is that this whole area is super aware of all kinds of restricted diets, and the dorms consistently had loads of veggie and vegan food available, and they had all kinds of signs up warning students of food with nuts, but even with all of that they didn't do much for kids with gluten problems. It was way easier to eat off campus because there are *many* restaurants in the area with gluten free menus and helpful staff.

As for clubs, I suppose it would really depend on the campus. Some areas are much more aware of these things than others, and I bet at a bigger school it would be easier to find other GFers. Usually there's a student life or organization/club office that can give you information on current clubs on campus. I'd call and check with them.

I'd also check with your housing and dining services about the food situation. Even though my school didn't do much for us, that's been a couple of years ago now and there's a lot more awareness now than there was back then. And I have heard of other schools being *way* more accommodating. Also, I've recently read that celiac is considered a disability by the ADA, so if worse comes to worse you may be able to contact your school's disability services and they might be able to advocate for you.

Good luck, I definitely understand how rough of a transition this all is with college getting in the way of things. Once you get past the major parts of it, you should do a lot better, though! It gets easier, emotionally and otherwise.

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We have made the choice for my college Student to live off campus and have her own kitchen. she goes to a smaller school and they would have trouble accommodating her. Look for a school that already caters to special diets.

Good luck!

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In my area SUNY Cortland, Syracuse University and now Ithaca College in NY cater! There are about a dozen other colleges in NY that have started catering as well. You need to ask for the resident dietician and see what the school does to cater to special diets. If you are paying for meal plan, they have to accomidate.

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