Planning for our little coeliac on our road trip round Europe.

Pip’s coeliac diagnosis was almost a year ago now, and our family has had to make a lot of adjustments since then. At home it’s been pretty straightforward, there’s such a great range of gluten free alternatives readily available in supermarkets. Eating out has a been a little bit harder. The majority of places have something suitable for him, but aren’t necessarily knowledgable on coeliac disease and the risk of cross contamination. Ordering food has sometimes been quite a lengthy affair! 

So what are we doing this summer? Travelling to 10 different European countries, with 9 different languages (none of which we speak), and differing awareness of coeliac disease! 

How are we going to manage?! 

We are staying in a mix of hotels and appartments, either self catered or B&B. In those with kitchenettes, I’m hoping it will be relatively easy to provide gluten free meals. If there’s no obvious gluten free alternatives in the shops where we are, we can easily do something that’s naturally gluten free like rice or potatoes. 

For everywhere else, fortunately coeliac.co.uk have a range of fantastic country guides for most of the countries we are visiting. They range from the very comprehensive one for Germany (of course!)…


…to countries like Croatia where coeliac disease is little known.

They provide info on brands to look for and grocery store chains, restaurants, and translations of most of the words and phrases we’ll need.

For those it doesn’t cover, I have downloaded an app called GF Card, which has a simple translation.

The only thing neither of these really specify is the risk from cross contamination. So I’ve had a go at translating that myself (well, with a translation app. For example, “Mein Sohn ist eine Zöliakie. Er muss eine strenge glutenfreie Diät zu folgen und Kreuzkontamination vermeiden.” Hopefully that makes sense in German! (My son is a coeliac.He must follow a strict gluten free diet, and avoid any cross contamination. I have some information here. Please show this to the chef.Thank you.)

 I’ve translated it into the other languages we need too, so hopefully that’s sorted.

I’ve also printed out the coeliac uk country guides so we can hand them over in restaurants for the chef to read. So I’ll probably add the cross contamination bit to them. Let’s just hope they take it it as seriously as needed – this lad loves dining out! 


Just for fun, here’s “coeliac” and “gluten free” in 9 different European languages (I think! Please correct me if I’m wrong!):

🇳🇱 Coeliakie, glutenvrij 

🇩🇪 Zöliakie, glutenfreie 

🇮🇹 Celiachia, senza glutine 

🇸🇮 Celiakijo, brezglutensko

🇭🇷 Glutenskom, bezglutenska 

🇭🇺 Lisztérzékeny, gluténmentes 

🇸🇰 Celiakia, bezlepkovú 

🇨🇿 Celiakie, bezlepkovou 

🇮🇩 Celiakii, bezglutenowej 

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