Top Five Products for Gluten-Free Dorm Life
Written by Emily Wagener. Emily is an Udi’s Campus Ambassador at Clemson University. She is currently a senior studying food science with an emphasis in product development and has been an avid fan of Udi’s products for years.
College, in short, is amazing. The ratio of freedom to responsibilities is optimal, there are new friends to be had everywhere, and drinking a pot of coffee at 9:00pm in preparation for an all-nighter is completely acceptable. This grandiose adventure can present a variety of challenges for those with gluten intolerance, however, from the ubiquitous presence of pizza at campus events to dealing with the management at dining halls.
My own gluten-free challenge at Clemson University was more intense than I was expecting. I had the option of going to schools where the dining halls would have catered to my every need, but Clemson offered me great scholarships that were hard to pass up. I strode into my first meeting with the campus nutritionist thinking I could easily persuade him into accommodating me, but I was unfortunately wrong. Although he was polite, he told me that Celiac disease “didn’t really exist” and that there “just wasn’t ever going to be a demand” for gluten-free products. Ouch.
Of course I wasn’t going to let this setback upset me too much. Since a meal plan was required for all freshmen, I chowed down on countless salads without complaint and armed myself with plenty of goodies in my dorm room. Living in such small spaces can be difficult with the lack of a kitchen, but the following five items are essentials for college students on a gluten-free diet:
- Udi’s Gluten-Free Granola: Udi’s Granola is amazing, especially when you roll out of your lofted bed five minutes before class starts and need to pack a quick breakfast that can be eaten by the handful as you trod your way across campus to an 8:00am class. My personal favorite is the cranberry flavor!
- Thai Kitchen “Ramen” Noodles: There’s no denying it—ramen noodles are one of the staple items in any college kid’s diet. Luckily, Thai Kitchen makes an “instant rice noodle soup” that is an adequate substitute.
- Mixed Nuts: They’re shelf stable and essential sources of energy-providing nutrients. Mix ‘em up with Udi’s Granola for an even more flavorful snack for early mornings or late nights in the library!
- Glutenfreeda Frozen Burritos: Having a freezer the size of a shoebox in a dorm room can be difficult. Sharing it with a roommate who may not respect your need for space can be even more so! These burrito packets are relatively small and make delicious lunches in between classes.
- Udi’s Cookies: These are the perfect way to brighten your day after a long marathon of lectures, exams, lab, or some awful combination of all three. I also make sure to pack them in my bag when going to campus events laden with desserts like gluten-filled cookies and cupcakes.
How do/did you deal with eating gluten-free at college? What other foods are great to keep in a dorm room?