Gluten Free and the Cinema: Top 5 tips

When you’re a person that avoids gluten at all costs sometimes even the simplest of things becomes a challenge. I’m talking about going out to eat, food shopping, BBQs, and more. Anything to do with food becomes something that causes a certain amount of anxiety. One activity I found frustrating to begin with was going to the cinema. I’m heading off to the cinema this even to see Deadpool 2 (and I’m super excited) and it got me thinking. Cinemas are the boss of snack foods. I find it impossible to go to the cinema and not want to eat something. So here are some tips I found helpful when going to see a movie:

Eat the popcorn, but be careful!

Most cinemas do conform to having gluten free popcorn, but not all of them. The only ones I know of for a fact definitely, 100% have gluten free popcorn is the Odeon. In Northern Ireland your nearest Odeon (that I know of is in Belfast). The Omniplex have stated that their popcorn is gluten free also and I’ve never had any problem with it. The flavourings used on popcorn can vary so do your research or just ask when you get there. It’s usually safe, but as I said, eat it, but just be careful.

Ben and Jerry’s counters state their allergens!

I found this out not too long ago. Normally when I go to the cinema I make a bee line straight for the Ben and Jerry’s counter. My favourite flavour is Chunky Monkey, which is gluten free. I was waiting to be served and that’s when I spotted the little allergen tips on the ice cream cards! I was so excited when I spotted them. Ben and Jerry’s website have a very useful page that lists all of their gluten free ice cream flavours, so if you’re not sure and you can’t see the allergens on the ice cream cards, check out their website!

Drink the fizz if you want

You need a drink to wash down that popcorn and ice cream so why not get a drink. I personally stay away from the fizzy drinks as they don’t agree with my stomach. If you’re fine taking fizzy drinks then you grab one, a vast majority of fizzy drinks are gluten free. Cinemas will also have bottled water and even coffee and tea to choose from, so help yourself. For me there is nothing better than watching a film with a hot coffee.

Brain freeze? Slushie please!

Great news! Slushies are also gluten free! So get your brain freeze on!

Sweets and crisps…yum!

This is an area where you need to take more care in what you purchase. You will know already the brands you can and can’t eat, but what happens when you get to the cinema and you can’t see anything?! First of all avoid the pick n mix, if there is one. Whilst the sweets you choose may be gluten free, you have to consider cross contamination. The risks with pick n mix are just too high! You are always going to find M&Ms in a cinema, so this can be you failsafe if you can’t see anything else. Stick to regular and peanut. Minstrels chocolates are always lurking around cinema snack counters too and they are also gluten free. Haribo is you friend as are Twirl bites! Check out this website for more: here!

What if you want crisps? This is a decision you need to make yourself. The usual crisps you find in a cinema are McCoy’s. Looking at the ingredients there are no highlighted gluten containing items within the crisps however there is a disclaimer that says the product may contain gluten and other products. Take these at your own risk. Only you know how they will potentially effect you. With crisps just read the labels carefully. Check out this website for more: here!

If you’re heading out to the cinema any time soon please have fun, but also don’t worry about what you’re going to snack on because there will be something behind that counter that is suitable for you. Keep it simple and you’ll be just fine!

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