Gluten-Free Summer Camp

     Summer camp is a cherished summertime tradition for children. Just because your child eats gluten free doesn’t mean he has to suffer without summer camp this year. There are actually some camps that specialize in the gluten-free diet, which you can find online; other camps specialize in other restricted diets, such as for diabetic children. You don’t have to choose a special camp for your child, though, as he may want to go to the same summer camps as his friends.

     Just as you had to meet with your child’s teachers and school administrators regarding his diet, talk with counselors and cooks in advance regarding your child’s gluten-free diet. Find out who’s in charge of meals and talk to them, in person if possible, about the details he’ll need to know. I recommend giving them a copy of a gluten-free cookbook and some articles about celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle, so that they’ll be able to refer themselves to these resources when they need it. Make sure to allow plenty of time before camp starts to let the camp staff prepare for the diet specifications. Don’t forget to discuss food preparation and serving techniques so they can avoid cross-contamination. Additionally, I recommend sending food along, if the camp’s regulations allow it, so your child has his favorite gluten-free snacks and also some gluten-free flour mixes, for example, which the whole camp can enjoy in gluten-free brownies, cookies, and cakes.

     It’s essential, as much as the camp’s personnel have been enlightened about gluten-free living, that your child understands his own dietary needs as much as possible. This will give him ultimate control in his gluten-free diet. Tell him the questions to ask about food preparation to prevent cross-contamination, make sure he knows how to read food labels, and teach him the synonyms for gluten.

Tina Turbin

From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at)

About Us

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

6 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Summer Camp

  1. Hello Tina,

    Thank you for pointing out the fact that summer camp is an option for kids on a gluten-free diet. They definitely do not have to go to a special diet camp, at the end of the day they want to feel normal and be with their friends.

    A great camp that does exactly that is Camp Kanata in North Carolina, They offer a gluten-free week every year in cooperation with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the GIG. As you said, the best part is that “regular” campers are there at the same time, so gluten-free children can go to camp with their friends.

  2. Communication really is key here, just as with going to school and going out to eat. GF kids can enjoy being normal kids because that’s what they are!

  3. I agree with Karen about communication, but I also think the key is when our kids get old enough, we need to make sure they’re as informed as possible themselves! Thanks for bringing up this vital point, Tina.

  4. Thanks, I’m going to look into summer camp now. It actually never really occurred to me before, but it certainly seems like it can be done!

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