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General Mills Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper Debuts

General Mills is continuing to expand their gluten-free foods line by adding Gluten-free Bisquick and Hamburger Helper. These products will be debuted at the Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Education & Food Faire in Los Angeles on May 15, 2010.

The event starts at 8:00 AM and goes until 4:00PM. On the agenda:

FEATURING TOP NATIONAL SPEAKERS

Peter H.R. Green, MD Professor of Clinical Medicine, College of Physicians & Surgeons Columbia University, New York
Director, Celiac Disease Center Columbia University

Sheila Crowe, MD Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology/Hepatology and Researcher University of Virginia Health System

Daniel C. Adelman, MD Senior V.P. & Chief Medical Officer Alvine Pharmaceuticals

Shelley Case, BSc, RD Registered Dietitian, author, speaker, and leading international nutrition expert on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet

Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, CDN Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Nutritionist, Director of Nutritional Services for Schär USA food products

&
Back by popular demand
Frank Baldassare, “The Missing Ingredient”

Also featuring

Question and Answer

Peter H.R. Green, MD and Sheila Crowe, MD

Cooking for Kids with Celiac Disease and Food Allergies

Lunchbox options and enticing gluten-free family meals
Elizabeth Kaplan, Chef

Parents of Celiac Children

Marc & Melissa Riches

CDF Connections & Chapters

Meet local support group leaders and members

Young Adults & Teens Get Together

Presentation of the 2010 Champion of Celiac Disease Awareness Award

Meet the Authors – New Books Sales & Signing

Dr. Green – Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic Revised and Updated
Dr. Crowe – Celiac Disease for Dummies
Shelley Case BSc, RD – Gluten-Free Diet A Comprehensive Resource Guide – Revised and Expanded

Gluten-free Pancake Breakfast and Luncheon*
Gluten-free Goodie Bag with each registration
Raffle
Extensive vendor displays with gluten-free food samples and sales

* Please contact the CDF office for dairy free or vegetarian meals

Registration information can be found here. There is still a discount until April 30, 2010, so if you are interested in going, register soon!

It is important to know that the Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper will not be available in stores at this time. The Hamburger Helper, which will come in 3 different gluten-free varieties: Chicken Fried Rice, Cheesy Hashbrowns and Beef Fried Rice, will be available beginning at the end of May. The Gluten-free Bisquick will not be available until July. Due to lags in shipping times, there may be a delay until these items are commonly available in stores. Please visit Live Gluten Freely for the most recent information.

When I shared the General Mills news on my Facebook Fan Page, there was quite the discussion that blossomed. Anne Steib, my colleague at Celiac-Disease.com, wrote about the new products last week. There was a lot of mention of how the new products are highly processed and aren’t we, as a country, trying to get away from processed foods. The sodium levels were also mentioned as a concern. While these products may not be for everyone, they will certainly be filling a void in the market. There are specialty companies that make baking mixes and the helper type mixes, but no mainstream company, such as General Mills, has taken on such a task.

If you follow a gluten-free diet should you start eating the Cheesy Hashbrowns for every meal? No. Just as with everything else in a healthy diet, moderation is key.

What purpose do these mixes serve then? They provide safe options for those needing a fast meal. When I say “safe”, I mean gluten-free. I don’t necessarily mean low-fat, low-sodium or full of only healthy ingredients. I am strictly referring to the gluten-free status of this product.

Can you make the meals healthy? I think that the meals can be rounded out nicely by added some fresh steamed veggies, salad and maybe even some fruit for dessert. Again, maybe not something to have on a regular basis, but it will certainly be useful for many.

As far as the Gluten-free Bisquick goes, while I have not seen the ingredients, I can’t see this as being much different from something like Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.

What are your thoughts?

18 comments to General Mills Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper Debuts

  • Thanks for the post. I completely agree, these are safe, but not necessarily healthy..just like all the gluten-free breads and cookies are safe and delicious, but not health if eaten in excess. But I believe this is a great and easy option of many people and is exciting to know that such common products can now be found gluten-free.

  • Hi Kim,

    I think it's great that General Mills is introducing more GF products. For one thing, the Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix means I can quickly and easily make my family tradition of Pineapple Upside-Down Birthday Cake! However, everyone does need to remember that just because something is Gluten-Free does not mean it is a healthy food to eat regularly. The perspective you provide in your post is right-on and very valuable advice!

    All my best, Todd

  • Hi Kim!

    I agree completely completely with you, Anne and Todd! Moderation is key and there are an awful lot of folks out there who do not live even remotely close to a Whole Foods, etc. and some of the shipping costs alone for specialty GF foods are astronomical, not everyone can afford it. To be able to go into a neighborhood grocery store that carries GF Bisquick or a GF Hamburger Helper will be so exciting for a lot of people. Should one eat it everyday? No, of course not; but just knowing it is there if needed… that reassurance can do a world of good, emotionally.

    I will go further and pick on Todd… Crave's Cheesecake is made up of healthy ingredients but does that mean I should eat it everyday? Not unless I want to battle the bulge again! Maybe just little bites… :-)

    I am not an "all or none person." I am a 90%, okay maybe 75% healthy eater… but sometimes I am tired or am running short on time or failed to plan a meal in advance and these products could come in handy at times.

    Think of the GF college students who may have limited options and limited cooking facilities…

    The biggest thing for me is, 5 years ago, even 2 years ago, I never would have dreamed this day would come and I pinch myself everyday that I am living it! :-D

  • Julie Garmon

    Wow! Great news, Kim. Thanks so much.

  • I just wish there was more advertising spent on people eating "safe" gluten free foods that are real foods. I don't worry when I cook up fresh vegetables or the organic ground beef that it's not gluten free. I've also started making my own gf pasta and it takes less time to do that then to open the box and cook pasta from there. Oh, and it tastes a lot better. People always rave when they eat real food. I'm still confused why they are not cooking it themselves and relying on these helpers and mixes.

    I see my job as a gf blogger to help teach people the short cuts to real food that is already gluten free.

    I would love to hear from people who would rather open a box than make it themselves so I can begin to understand. I really do want to know. If that is you please feel free to reply or email me or stop over at my blog. Right now we're running 30 Days to a Food Revolution and almost everyone of the 30 guest bloggers is gluten free. Can't wait to learn more from them.

    Thank you Kim for keeping us up to date on what's new.

  • Mary Beth Brown

    I think it is important to add this to the safe aspect–these products are great to tell relatives, friends, etc. about who want to make you a meal or have something you can eat but don't understand why their pans need to be completely clean or why the same fork used in their meal can't be used in mine. The convenience factor is great, but it is so nice to be able to tell people in smaller areas with very little gf food available "Hey you can go to the normal grocery store and buy the gf Betty Crocker or the Hamburger Helper and I can eat that."

  • Renee

    Thank you for sharing this info with everyone. It will be great to have more choices so readily available. And, I appreciate Betty Crocker's efforts with the gluten intolerant community!

  • Since eliminating gluten, I have found that I actually enjoy cooking and have eliminated most processed foods from my diet. That said, it will be nice to have mainstream brands offer more gluten-free options, both from a price and an availability standpoint for those times when "from scratch" isn't practical.

  • mary b

    Just because a national brand name is producing a gluten free product does not mean it will automatically appear in stores where the "regular" item is sold. No store in my area has yet started to carry the Betty Crocker mixes. I don't care because they all contain soy, which I can't eat, but I do look for them, and haven't seen any.

  • Nicole

    I think this a great idea. I am looking forward to trying the Bisquick mix. Thank you for the information.

  • Patty Suedkamp

    I was beyond thrilled to hear of your introduction of your new gluten free pancake and baking mix. However, I was saddened that there was no receipe for dumplings on the box. Your product is very overpriced, I found Arrowhead Mills gluten free all purpose baking mix at the same price for almost twice the amount of product, 16oz. vs. 28 oz. Keep working General Mills!

  • Ruth B

    Does anyone know when we'll see the new Bisquick and Hamburger Helper in the stores?

  • Ruth…..the Hamburger Helper is in some stores already, as is the Bisquick.

  • LA

    I was just informed by a colleague Bisquick is on the shelves in the Seaford, DE Walmart. They keep me posted on new GF products they come across.

  • Ken

    I've been diagnosed with Celiac's disease. I would love to purchase some of these products but I've been unable to locate them in my area. Is there an online alternative to purchase these? General Foods, it would be awesome if you could provide an online site to purchase these products until they can be purchased in all areas.

  • Ken

    Sorry, my previous post should have said General Mills not General Foods. :(

  • thomas

    My family is very excited about the position of General Mills on Gluten Free products. We continued to enjoy many of their products YET we have some concerns about the most recent release of Bisquick and the size/volume in the box. It says it makes 11 pancakes, yet for a family of 5, we have to buy 2 boxes to provide 1 sitting for breakfast. I'm sure many of you would agree once you've purchased 1 box. I feel this is deceptive and should be revisited!

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