A few month’s ago I mentioned that one of my nieces had to cut out dairy and gluten from her diet. You might remember me making gluten free Oreo Dirt Pie for us at Thanksgiving too.
Well today I want to talk about her situation a little bit. About how to build a support system for kids with allergies (gluten free in particular). Every family has a different situation, but the support is always needed!
R-A-E-N —> easy to remember, right?
Reassure– Reassure the parents/kids that there are great alternatives. I brought my sister in law all kinds of gluten/dairy free products to try. It took a lot of trial and error, but we kept note of what was working!
Assist- Offer to cook, to shop, to make a special dinner for the kids, etc. My sister in law is one amazing mama. With 4 kids and 2 with allergies, it’s hard to feed everyone and keep sanity. But my whole family is very supportive and often picks up things for them while they are grocery shopping.
Here’s an easy recipe to make for kids or with kids. It’s an oldie but goodie!
[print_this] Gluten Free Baked Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Honey Almond Custard (topping)
Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread (I use Udi’s bread)
1 egg or 1/3 cup egg whites
1/2 cup milk alternative (I used almond milk)
1 tbsp honey
cinnamon (to taste)
small handful or less of cashews (plain or honey roasted)
fresh fruit to garnish
almond butter and/or peanut flour to use for the topping.
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil a baking dish/cookie sheet and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, honey, and almond milk. Whisk together. Coat each piece of bread in your egg batter and then place on baking dish or cookie sheet. Spread your cashews on top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip over bread and broil for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful you don’t burn the cashews. While the French toast is baking, take your left over batter (eggs, milk, honey) and microwave for 30 seconds. This will make a nice custard like texture. Add in 1 spoonful of melted almond butter and stir until smooth. This will be your topping. Once the bread is baked, add your honey almond topping and fresh fruit. Drizzle with syrup or honey. [/print_this]
Educate– Send small articles or links to websites that may be useful. Like my Basics of GLUTEN FREE living post. Don’t overwhelm them. Keep it simple. And if the child is old enough, teach them about their food allergy and what it is. What foods to avoid and alternatives to make. My sister in law is very good at sharing this with my niece. She now understands what she can have and can’t have. I also try to show her ways to make her favorite foods gluten free. In fact, we made collard green wraps the other day and she is a pro at making delicious salads! She may have put a ton of pickles and mustard in her wrap.. but hey, whatever works, right? haha
Normalcy – Make it feel normal to them. Don’t make them feel restricted. I’m so glad I can provide Healthy Bites for my niece. It makes her feel like the rest of the kids. They don’t know the difference between which is dairy free and which one is only gluten free. All are tasty and good for them, yet they think it’s a cookie. WIN WIN! And when I’m out of healthy bites, I bring back ups; Peanut butter lara bars or Udis Gluten Free cookies or muffin tops!. Hey, kids need to be kids sometimes. Baked goods are sometimes needed, and are allowed.
Support system’s are so important. Wouldn’t you agree?