Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What Nessa Eats (Gluten Free menus for a PICKY 3 year old)

OK, I'm going to put this here (and hence FB) for future reference. I'm writing it because I've had more than one friend ask me about this recently, and many more than that request gluten free info. So, there will likely be some additional posts after this as well.

First for your entertainment, I asked Nessa what her favorite foods are:
"Tacos and peach-strawberry smoothies"

She was eating Tacos at the time and I have no idea about the Peach Strawberry smoothies except that I have NEVER made her own ... but I will be Thursday as I told her we could have them when Shawn is gone on Thursday.

So, Shawn said, "what about Pizza and hamburgers?"
Nessa: "OK, I like tacos, pepperoni pizza, peach-strawberry smoothies ... AND THAT IS IT"

Well, we know that she eats other things but she really does LOVE tacos lately -- and that would be the wonderful hard shell corn tortillas like I grew up with (memories!) or soft corn tortilla wraps (recently discovered the sprouted ones by Food for Life and we all LOVE those because they simply taste wonderful, yes even I eat them).

I then asked Nessa about Breakfast, and she said "cereal." Well, that has been her favorite lately. Mostly Enviro Kids ones, but also Erwhon rice krispie like cereal (be careful both companies have both gluten free and non gluten free cereals). There are also a number of other GF cereals available at all of the grocery stores around here, but those are the main kinds we get. And we're kind of happy Nessa is finally eating all the cereal we bought awhile ago as otherwise she was on a GF waffle a day kick (Van's all natural). She also eats her toast w/ peanut butter (or sunflower butter as is the case currently) and/or jelly (usually simple Kinnikinnick bread straight from freezer to toaster). And sometimes I get her to drink a green smoothie (gasp).

Her favorite packaged snacks right now are the following:
  • Smoreables from Kinniknnick We only found these recently and boy are we happy to have found a gluten free graham cracker!
  • Glutino pretzels
  • Jennies Macaroons
  • Fruit Leathers (the organic ones at the co-op can't think of the name ... need to make more of these homemade)
  • Edy's frozen fruit bars
  • Enviro Kids "granola bars" really cereal bars ... and really any GF of these types of bars but the EnviroKids is what we get the most of and she is usually only allowed to have them when we're "on the road."

Remember Nessa is also Dairy/Casein free right now too ... so no more yummy cheese crackers (at least not until Enjoy Life food comes out with some like I've heard rumours of), but for those of you that do not have that worry, you may get addicted to the Cheddar Cheese Almond Nut Thins!!

Snack cracker I most like Nessa to have (other than those I make in the dehydrator with flax and other seeds and veggies): Mary's Gone Crackers (and yes she likes them as do most people that try them).

Favorite non-packaged snacks:
  • bananas
  • smoothies
  • ham! (that kid will eat Beeler's ham almost any time we will let her)
  • my homemade granola (this is new so we'll see if it lasts)
  • grapes
  • raisins (could be considered packaged I guess, but naturally GF)
  • applesauce
MENU for the WEEK (compliments of daycare)
Breakfast-- Kinninnick English Muffins, apples, Vanilla Rice Milk
Lunch -- Pizza on GF crust, broccoli, pineapple, Vanilla Rice Milk (I'm not saying she eats all of it)
Snack -- GF crackers, juice

Breakfast -- Toast (Kinninick), pineapple, vanilla milk
Lunch -- Tator Tots and hamburger, green beans, applesauce, vanilla milk
Snack -- GF bread sticks (glutino ?) w/ dipping sauce, juice

Breakfast -- GF waffles, mixed fruit, vanilla milk
Lunch -- Peanut Butter sandwich, french fries (few different GF brands, including specific ore-ida ones such as Ore-Ida Golden (Crinkle, Fries), peas, pears, vanilla milk (note, if PB and fries seems odd it's because most of the other kids were having chicken patties, we told them it was OK to substitute PB sometimes like that ... she likes it better anyway I bet)
Snack -- GF graham crackers (Smoreables by Kinninnick)

Breakfast -- GF cereal, bananas, vanilla milk
Lunch -- GF noodles (rice pasta) and sauce, mixed veggies, peaches, vanilla milk
Snack -- rice cakes, juice

Breakfast -- GF muffins (?? there are a variety of mixes this my have been another kinninnick one as most of the special daycare items are), peaches, and vanilla milk
Lunch -- Tacos, Mexican rice, corn, mixed fruit, vanilla milk
Snack -- jello, bananas, and juice

Favorite Suppers and other
Well, you've already heard she loves tacos and pizza. We do tacos at least once a week now, and pizza not quite that often (she uses the only GFCF cheese we can find here -- Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet). We also do A LOT of "Hamburgers and Fries" (often actually buffalo meat) and we do it with our own potatoes cut in wedges in the oven mostly. Sometimes if I'm cooking I'll do meatloaf (Shawn doesn't like it but Megan requests it) and I love that because then I can hid veggies in it!. We also do chicken in a number of ways but mostly Nessa only wants to eat the PLAIN chicken breast so if there are any "green things" or fancy sauces we cook hers separately or pick them off (I told her that her uncle Scott had to pick his own green things off when he was a kid!). And we do all sorts of potatoes from scratch with the chicken as well as rice or other GF grain dishes like quinoa. Recently I made a dish that Megan and Shawn loved so we'll do it again -- just chop chicken breasts into cubes, potatoes into cubes, (and sweet potatoes into cubes), and put some garlic, rosemary and olive oil to coat them and put in baking dish and bake all together ... I think that will become a standard one). We also do A LOT of spaghetti but most of the time Nessa just wants naked noodles anyway which makes no sense since she loves pizza sauce to dip things in otherwise. She also loves ketchup (Annies' Organics but Heinz is GF if you don't mind High Fructose Corn Syrup). GF pasta is more expensive than regular pasta but we still do it at least once a week. And there is always the Beeler's ham when it's just the two of us and I have a salad (might get her to eat some carrot sticks and applesauce with her ham). :-)

On weekends Nessa eats a lot of eggs and hash browns (homemade). We used to make a lot of Buckwheat pancakes back when I was eating pancakes but I can't remember the last time we made pancakes or waffles homemade since I stopped eating them.

I'm sure I'll think of more later .... I do have a few recipes I need to post in the next few days too ... like the Millet squares that everyone likes so much.


P.S. I'm trying to gather a good list of resources to pass on to others so if you're gluten free and reading this, please comment with your favorite one or two resources (sites, blogs, etc.) as well as any of your own favorite foods!

Also, I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since we last posted ... that is what happens when deadlines hit at work! I hope to make up for it this weekend!