Having a child with food allergies can be quite frustrating. Especially when they are young and don't quite understand why they can't eat what everybody else is. My son is allergic to wheat, dairy, and corn products. The wheat is the easiest to avoid. There are many alternatives on the market. My boy loves gluten free tapioca flour bread. It is pricey, but worth every penny!
Now, as many people know, corn is the hardest allergen to avoid. It is in EVERYTHING!!! Corn syrup is added to cereal, lunchmeat, candy, soups, snacks, most processed food, and even many organic foods! It is even found in common OTC pain relievers! What's a Mom to do?
Well, for starters, make as much homemade food as possible. Glam up veggie and meat dishes with special seasonings such as cumin, garlic, chili pepper, or whatever your child might find tasty. There are also candy companies that make only allergen free treats! A favorite of mine is Surf Sweets Organic Candy. My boy loves the corn syrup/gluten free jelly beans and gummy worms. They are made with real sugar and fruit juice. A much healthier alternative to HFCS that plagues store bought candies.
As for dinner ideas, you just need to be creative. A favorite of everyone in my house is broccoli rice casserole that is gluten and dairy free. Mix 3 cups dry rice with 8 cups organic gluten free chicken broth. Add frozen broccoli and fresh onion. You can also add grated carrots, spinach, or chopped cooked chicken. I like to make mine a bit spicy, but you can add any seasoning your kids like. Cover and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Delicious and healthy! You can also substitute plain soymilk for half the broth to make it creamier!
Desserts are always a challenge when avoiding wheat, dairy, and corn(syrup) products. My boy likes gluten free chocolate brownies. It is made with rice or tapioca flour, cocoa powder, water, oil, and sugar. Simple and delicious!
Allergen Free Chocolate Brownie
2cups rice or tapioca flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c water
1 c canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Mix remaining ingredients separately and then add to flour mixture. Stir until well blended. Pour into 9x13 ungreased pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 16 brownies.
So have fun experimenting with ingredients, use fresh produce when possible, and ALWAYS read the labels! If you're lucky like me, your kids will enjoy a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Still picky? Try mixing up a simple fruit dip, such as plain soy yogurt with pureed strawberries. Or for veggie dip, mix up regular plain mayonaisse with chopped onion, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Kids love to dip their food!