9 Ways to Prepare to Eat Safely Gluten-Free When You’re Sick or Recovering from Surgery

One thing we don’t think about until we’re in the thick of things is how to stay gluten-free when we’re sick or recovering from surgery. You may not have the energy—or even the ability—to cook for yourself.

Here are some things you can do now to have food on standby for when you find you’re not able to cook for yourself.


  • Prep ingredients for some slow cooker meals, put them in freezer bags or reusable silicone bags with instructions on the labels, and freeze them until you’re ready to dump in the slow cooker.
  • Make soup now and freeze some servings. I love using Souper Cubes, because they store easily, and you can pull out one serving at a time
  • Keep some frozen foods on hand that are easy to prep. I love having Trader Joe’s Chicken Tacos in my freezer. I can dump some into an air fryer and be eating in less than 10 minutes. I also love keeping Feel Good Foods Pot stickers. They take a little work to prep, but they’re so worth it, and it’s still faster than making them myself.


  • Keep some gluten free cans/boxes of soup handy. I like Pacific Foods brand, but be aware: some of their soups do contain gluten, but they do label them clearly.
  • Keep some protein or cereal bars on hand. They’re good for snacks, but if you’re in dire straights, you can also use one or two as a quick meal replacement. Our family prefers Pamela’s Whenever Brand.
  • Gluten Free ramen exists. Keep some handy. I like Lotus brand ramen noodles and I use Edwards & Sons bouillon cubes for the broth. It’s quick, easy, and will get you by. If you want to get extra fancy, you can chop up some veggies and/or protein, and freeze them in individual servings for use in the soup.


  • Create a list of friends, family, and community members who know how to safely cook for you, and ask them for help. If you don’t want to ask individuals, you can let people know you’ll be out of commission and offer them a chance to help you out. You may be surprised at who wants to—and is able to—help.
  • Create a list of restaurants near you that offer gluten free dishes. You may be able to use Doordash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub. (PST! You can also share this list with your friends and family, and let them know all the places that can safely feed you.)
  • If you’re able to plan ahead, like for a surgery, you can even create a food train to share with your community. Use a site like SignupGenius.com to give people a chance to help you out.


  • Be sure any medications, either over-the-counter or by prescription, are gluten free. Ask your pharmacist, check the container, check on GlutenFreeDrugs.com, or call the manufacturer.

Remember, these are all ways to prepare for a time when you might not be able to easily prepare safe food. These are all things you should be doing now, to be ready in case you have either an emergency or planned time down later.

Take care of yourself! And keep reading those labels.

P.S. This post does contain some affiliate links. They do not affect the cost to you at all, but may throw me a couple of pennies.