Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Help for Those Switching the Diet of Their Little Ones

So where do you begin changing your diet? Especially for finicky little eaters?  My friend is going gluten, dairy and egg free for 3 weeks as an elmination to see if it helps her daughter. Her little ones aren't fans of veggies and eat what sounds like typical kid friendly foods. Your kids may be like mine, and are more adventurous eaters. However,  if you are starting and want some ideas, especially if they have a tough time choking down veggies, this is for you.  I like to have a fruit or vegetable (or two) at every meal and snack. I have included suggestions of ways to do that after the meal ideas. If you have picky little eaters or adventurous eaters I hope this gives you some ideas. It's not easy switching the diet of a child. I think it's best to start with things they are familiar with. Later, when they are more adventurous, you can try other things.  

My first tip is to have 5 or so meal ideas for each breakfast, lunch and dinner and just repeat the five in cycles for 3 weeks. So every five days you start over. It's probably the simplest way to go and limits groceries. So you would do 5 things for breakfast (one each day) and then repeat the next five days. Do the same for lunch and the same for dinner. If you are just doing an elimination diet you are in survival mode and this will get you through! If you are doing this for the long haul, you can add a variety after you get the hang of it. I like to add a new dish two times a week, because I go a little crazy eating the same thing. But everyone is different! Another idea is to try to go naturally gluten, dairy, etc free first. For example, eating salmon, broccoli and rice for dinner (with no gluten free baked items) Then later try making a recipe for muffins, or other baking. I double a batch, freeze it and try baking one thing a week. That way you aren't baking constantly and get your freezer stocked. My last suggestion is to get a menu plan and shop before you begin. If your cupboards are packed with things you CAN eat,  and you have a plan, you won't feel like you are starving to death. Keep in mind that to start it may cost a lot of money. You may have to try products, or buy things instead of making everything from scratch. But eventually you can cut cost by making something from scratch here or something from scratch there. Also, keep in mind it will get easier! If you do this for the long term this will become the new normal.  It's hard to believe when you start, but I promise it will! It may not be "easy", but it will be doable!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietician, but am just suggesting things based on my experience going gluten,dairy,soy and egg free. Please don't take my word for it, but feel free to check out for yourself if these items are free of allergens.

Below is a sample menu plan for the little picky eater. Click on the colored words for links to recipes.

Muffins and smoothies
Cereal (GF) (I'd suggest rice chex, Erewhon rice crispies, or Nature's path's GF cereal)
Breakfast cookies here or here
Granola and raisins
French toast
Yogurt parfaits

Hot dogs (Oscar Meyer all beef classic, or Applegate Farms)
Mac and cheese: Amy's Kitchen Ready Made or Cheese Sauce on Brown Rice Pasta
Chicken nuggets (Applegate Farms or Ians), and sweet potato fries (Alexia) or make your own by putting Gluten Free flour patted on Chicken pieces with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil
Veggies and hummus w/nut thins CORRECTION: I'm sorry, I didn't realize nut thins have dairy!

Baked potato, Stagg's classic chili and bacon (I use farmland brand)
Hamburgers w/ lettuce or gluten free bread for a bun
Fish sticks and oven fries
Pb and Js on English muffins or Sunbutter!
Amy's dairy free burritos, or Food for Life tortillas with refried beans, and Pace Picante Sauce

To these meals can be added grilled broccoli or cauliflower (I put either in the oven at 400F for 15-10 min, rolled in extra virgin olive oil and salt. Delish!), fruit, veggies and cheese sauce, veggies and Heinz ketchup, veggies and hummus to round it out. Or a smoothie with some spinach or kale snuck in :0)

Veggies and dip (Kraft Italian or Annie's Roasted Red Pepper)
Fritos and fruit
GF pretzels and raisins
Ruffles with Ridges and hummus
Enjoy Life granola bars
Chips (Que Pasa or Tostitos restaurant style natural yellow corn) and salsa (like Pace Picante or a fresh Pico de gallo)

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