Preparing a Gluten Free Area in a Mixed Household
Having a mixed household makes things a little trickier.
If your household will be mixed, with those not going gluten
free continuing to eat wheat,barley or rye containing products,
you will have to make a “gluten free zone”. Clear a shelf in
the pantry or a cabinet for holding only gluten free items. Be
sure that it is cleaned of any crumbs or flour dust. It will
need to be located where flour dust will not fall onto those
Ideally cupboard space for separate sets of glasses, dishes, and
silverware will also need to be set up. Clear one shelf in the
refrigerator for gluten free items. You will need to wash
dishes separately from the dishes that had gluten-containing
foods on them.
The dishwasher can not eliminate gluten well enough to
prevent cross contamination from occurring. Either run a
separate load or hand wash the gluten free dishes with a special
sponge kept for washing these items only. Be sure to use gluten
free dish soap. (I use Palmolive.)
If this is not possible, at least wash the wooden utensils and
An area of the kitchen counter will need to be set up with a
new toaster or toaster oven and an area around it where items
containing gluten are not allowed. The rest of the family will
need to understand that it is very important that they not use
that part of the counter.
If there are children in the house still eating gluten, making
a sign to remind them not to use the new toaster or cleaned
toaster oven may help.
A shelf in the refrigerator should be cleaned thoroughly and
used for gluten free foods and condiments. Try to keep the
condiments separate from those used by the rest of the
household. A crumb covered knife in the peanut butter,
margarine, or jelly can make the gluten free person ill.
For that matter, so can a kiss from someone that just ate
toast or a sandwich. They need to brush their teeth first.
New soaps and shampoo will be necessary also. Dove soaps and
shampoo are gluten free.
All gluten free condiments and leftovers should be labeled or
marked in some way so that it is easy to tell when it's in
the refrigerator or freezer, even if it's not on the right shelf
because someone moved it. This goes for anything else that is
being kept separate, like pasta. An easy way is to keep
a Sharpie handy, or use colored dots that stick to the
It might be worthwhile to invest in a rubbermaid type of tub for
dishwashing that holds the sponge, the dish soap, and dish
towels. It is all too easy to forget and use the regular
sponge before you realize it, so keeping a separate
tub for doing gluten free dishes might be very helpful. Also,
you wouldn’t have to scrub the sink to do the dishes if you use
the tub each time.
Some families decide to make the house totally gluten free. If
there are any members not on the diet, they are free to eat it
outside the home only. Others use the designated areas as free
zones, and continue with their regular practices except for the
ones on the diet. Each family has to decide what works best
From Mixed Household back to Gluten Free Diet Help Home Page
From Mixed Household back to Gluten Free Foods