It’s that time of year again! Graduation is around the corner for scores of high school and college seniors and you’re probably searching for the perfect gluten-free gift.
While it’s always safe to stick to traditional graduation gifts, wouldn’t your favorite graduating celiac find it especially meaningful to get a gift designed to help them transition into a healthy and easy gluten-free life at college or in the working world?
Here are some ideas for gifts for your favorite gluten-free graduates.
Gluten-Free Gifts For High School Grads
For high school graduates, focus on items that will ease an older teen’s transition from living at home to living in a dorm or shared apartment. Assume they will be too busy to cook much food from scratch but may also have trouble finding safe gluten-free food in the cafeteria or local restaurants.
- A toaster of their own. Using the shared dorm toaster is a sure recipe for gluten contamination. Toaster bags are another attractive option.
- A gluten-free gift basket. This should be made up of gluten-free convenience foods such as gluten-free energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, gluten-free rice or quinoa pilaf mixes, canned soup, etc.
- An inexpensive set of pots, pans and cooking utensils if they will have access to cooking facilities.
- The book “Gluten-Free for Dummies”. While teens may not realize it, they are likely to not yet be experts in understanding their own celiac disease or how to advocate for themselves and keep themselves safe from gluten contamination. This book is an easy read.
- Custom-made labels for cooking equipment or jars of jam or peanut butter that might be kept in a shared refrigerator. Have these printed with the student’s name on them and include a cautionary message such as “Gluten-Free Utensils Only” or “Keep Your Breadcrumbs Out!”
- A copy of the Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. We all know how much college students eat out.
(Also, have them read The Ultimate Gluten-Free Guide to College. It provides some helpful ideas on how to successfully transition from high school to college on a gluten-free diet.)
Gluten-Free Gifts For College Grads
College grads already know the basics of meeting their own food needs and advocating for themselves, but now they will be moving into the workplace and the world of fully independent living. These gifts help them ease into their more independent, mature lives in which cooking skills and tools will serve them well.
- The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide. As they make their transition from college student to living in their own apartments, college grads are likely to do more grocery shopping and cooking. Help them do so safely.
- Sturdier upgrades of their cooking utensils, pots and pans.
- For busy young adults who enjoy cooking and baking, a bread machine with a gluten-free bread setting is a must-have. Bready is a great bread machine that is very well-known in the gluten-free community.
- A set of gourmet spices and a spice rack. Spicely has a large variety of certified gluten-free spices and rubs.
- A gift certificate to a local restaurant that is known for its gluten-free menu. If there’s a P.F. Chang’s in their neighborhood, you can’t miss with that!
- A “grown-up looking”, eco-friendly lunch box and reusable container set for bringing lunch from home to work. Laptop Lunches makes fantastic, professional looking “adult” lunch boxes. A high-end reusable water bottle is always a thoughtful gift, too.
- Gluten-free cookbooks such as Bette Hagman’s “The Gluten-Free Gourmet” or other cookbooks that teach essential cooking skills, such as Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”
These gifts will be sure to make your gluten-free grad smile and will reassure you that you’re sending them off to the next phase of their life with tools for their gluten-free success!