While many strip their cupboard off of pasta, cookies, and crackers in hopes of improving their gut health (or losing a few pounds), parents with coeliac kids know that there’s nothing easy or fun about going gluten-free. From those morning bagels to last night’s pizza, the protein is everywhere, threatening to mess with your kid’s small intestine every chance it gets.
That said, in Greece, a country where bread and pies are an everyday treat and doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, we’re here to tell you that you have NOTHING to worry about. Why? Simply because the Greek cuisine is naturally rich in gluten-free treats that not only nourish your kid from the inside out, but they can also make his/her taste buds swoon from that very first bite. So, here’s what you need to know before traveling with your coeliac kid to Greece.
Stock Up On GF Goodies
One of the easiest ways to make sure your kid steers clear of gluten is to pack lots of GF snacks with you. So, as soon as you land, head to the nearest supermarket and load up on treats like nuts, and fresh or dried fruits. For a taste of the local cuisine, opt for a bag of pitted olives stuffed with red pepper or Feta. You can find these at most stores.
Make Salads Your Trusted Confidant
If you’ve been doing the whole gluten-free thing for quite some time, you know that salads are the safest choice in the book. Of course, when you’re in Greece, the side dish takes on a whole new meaning and can readily sub as a stand-alone meal.
That said, think outside the Greek salad box and let your kid feast on other delicious combos such as beetroot and feta, broccoli and lemon, horta, and most importantly, pikantiki (that’s a yummy cabbage/carrot/celery/red pepper mix served with lemon juice or vinegar).
Swap French Fries for Oven-Baked Potatoes
So, Greeks are huge fans of hand-cut, freshly-fried potatoes which is why they often cook the veggie in a separate pot using a specific type of oil (that’s sunflower oil, if you’re curious). As a result, their French fries are rarely contaminated with gluten which makes them a somewhat safe choice for your coeliac kid.
However, you can never be too safe which is why we recommend you head straight for the baked version. Patates Fournou taste just as good as French fries (sometimes better, thanks to all the herbs) and are much healthier since they’re not drenched in oil for that matter.
Embrace Mezedes (Some of Them)
Another genius way to dodge the gluten bullet is to munch on mezedes. Although they’re usually served as appetizers, the bite-sized treats can sure hit the spot thanks to their wide variety of ingredients and intense flavor.
Of course, not all of them are created equal (as in free of gluten) which is why you need to know in advance which ones are worth the shot. Tzatziki, roasted tomato and feta, grilled veggies, roasted aubergine, and sauteed mushrooms are some of the safest and most common options.
Chow on Grilled Seafood & Meat
Grilled seafood and meat is another easy way to shun gluten from your kid’s plate without sacrificing on flavor. And the best part? The Greek cuisine covers a wide variety of options (octopus, squid, beef sirloin, you name it!), so you’ll definitely find something to appeal to your munchkin’s palate.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to embark on your GF trip to Greece? Let us know in the comments down below!