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Picky Toddler with Celiacs... HELP??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ds is an extremely finiky (sp) eater, I have to only put a few very colorful things on his plate at a time, and even then he barely eats anything at all... rather he snacks throughout the day.

And now he has been "diagnosed" with Celiacs we have decided against to intestinal biopsy for now, waiting to see if he does better on a gluten, dairy and wheat free diet.

So... do you have any kid friendly, Celiac friendly recipes that you would be willing to share with a VERY overwhelmed mom????
post #2 of 11
Just think of it this way...it's actually healthier for ANY human to eat small meals frequently throughout the day.

I know. It doesn't make it any easier! Dh and ds were both just found to have wheat/gluten allergies, and are both already allergic to milk, soy, eggs...*sigh* Dh is also allergic to rice, potatoes, all nuts (pea and tree)...you name it as a common replacer, and he can't have it.

BUT. Then we found some things they CAN have. Amaranth is one. A fava/chickpea flour is another. He also uses tapioca. With arrow root and gelatin, we can actually make stuff like "french bread," cookies, and pancakes. The recipes for all of these things are on the Bob's Red Mill site. Ds just woke up with a bad dream and needs to nurse, so I'll have to leave you to find them...but we often use rice milk and ener*g egg replacer rather than milk and egg.

Good luck.
post #3 of 11
The GF diet is quite restrictive. May I ask why you're also going dairy-free at the same time? I would try GF first. Also, how was he Dx'd?

Some ideas:

-GF cereal (there are lots @ health food stores) w/milk (dairy, soy, rice, etc)
-Nuts (my GF daughter loves salted almonds)
-Cottage cheese (or a non-dairy alternative) w/slivered almonds & fruit (frozen wild blueberries, bananas, apples)
-peanut butter & honey on rice crackers
-stir-fry (whatever kind of protein you like - chicken, tofu, etc)
-rice (my daughter loves rice, we bought a rice cooker)
-hard boiled eggs
post #4 of 11
I've gone gluten-free, not my kids, but I'm cutting down on it for them (partly because i just don't want to deal with it and partly because I have suspicions about my son having a problem). Honestly I'm surprised at how easy it's been. They're eating largely the same foods they ate before, just without bread and regular pasta. But my kids are pretty picky and don't like complicated recipes so my suggestions are all pretty boring, Oh, and we are not vegetarian or anything so they eat meat. Well, my son doesn't eat much but he does eat some.

My daughter and I are allergic to dairy but only slightly so we tend to cheat a lot, but I try not to.

Anyway, here are things we've eaten lately (not including the dairy stuff we shouldn't have eaten anyway).

Apple wedges

Apple circles with peanut butter (or other nut butter) and raisins or with fruit spread and raisins

Celery with peanut butter and raisins or fruit jelly and raisins

Orange slices

Hard boiled eggs


Rice noodles - my son likes the tinkyada brand but there are also corn/quinoa noodles. Just serve however he likes his noodles.

Chicken rice soup (to replace the chicken noodle I used to make).

Homemade chicken nuggets made with potato chips - um, not very healthy but it was a yummy treat along with home baked (frozen) french fries.

Veggies? Peas and corn mixed is big here, broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans (cooked or raw), whatever he likes. Carrots are a big hit with us.

Fruit - watermelon, cantaloupe, berries of any kind, bananas, grapes, etc.

Pancakes made with gluten free flour. I used Bob's Mill something or other and just used my old pancake recipe and it worked out great. The boy loves pancakes No dairy but it did use eggs.

Rice - both kids like onigiri which is sushi rice formed into balls. They like it plain though, nothing inside.

Honey rice puffins - gluten free cereal.


Mashed potatoes. I've been mashing mine with olive oil instead of butter. That's how my daughter is used to them. Oil and a little salt.

Yeah, my kids eat pretty simple stuff. Other than my chicken soup, I can't think of many "recipes" they like. Sorry!
post #5 of 11
My son with celiac is allergic to eggs and we're vegetarian. I let him have dairy, but not every day; when he was a baby he had bad reactions to it, but now it's okay as long as he doesn't have it often.

We eat a lot of beans. Lots of soup, beans and rice, veggies, fruit, tofu, tempeh. At first I was overwhelmed but we've been GF for over six months and it's much easier now. I always baked our bread products, it just takes a little more time now, with all the mixing of the flours.

Some fo the dinners we've eaten recently:

--homemade GF pizza
--lentil soup with GF biscuits
--baked pasta (Tinkyada brown rice pasta)
--black bean soup w/ brown rice
--red beans with cornbread baked on top (so easy to do in the crockpot)
--enchilada casserole (alternate beans and corn tortillas, cover w/ enchilada sauce)
--baked potatoes w/ pinto beans and salsa
--veggie potpie w/ GF biscuit crust

My problem meal is breakfast. I alternate cold cereal with Rice & Shine porridge, but neither has much protein. Sometimes I can get a spoonful of peanut butter in him in the morning, but my kids aren't big morning eaters.

I hope other people post more stuff, I'm always looking for new food ideas!
post #6 of 11
Not to answer for OP, but being the wife, mother, and granddaughter of celiacs, I have some basic knowledge...she's probably excluding dairy because most celiacs are also allergic to dairy. The proteins are almost exactly the same size and often cause the celiac's gut to react as if it were encountering wheat/wheat gluten. Most allergists and/or GI docs who know much about the disease will suggest that you eliminate both until the gut is less inflamed and then perhaps try dairy back in the diet...but also it could have tested positive, in which case she's probably avoiding it b/c of that!
post #7 of 11
Too, muckemom, you should check out Dr. sears' book on nutrition. It DOES talk a lot about how to get finnicky toddlers eat in general. Once you get used to cooking whole foods from scratch using replacements for the allergens, you'll be able to follow the advice of the book a lot better.

also, have you seen the book called "The Food Allergy Field Guide?" It has a lot of great help for moms new to this kind of stuff and is especially geared toward celiac issues.
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by JaneyHD View Post
The GF diet is quite restrictive. May I ask why you're also going dairy-free at the same time? I would try GF first. Also, how was he Dx'd?

Why do people always assume that its restrictive? I've been GFCF for 6 years and we don't miss out on much and besides dairy is BAD FOR YOU anyway! Its much easier to cut out both and see results faster rather then cut one and think its not working when you actually needed to cut both.
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
most celiacs are also allergic to dairy. The proteins are almost exactly the same size and often cause the celiac's gut to react as if it were encountering wheat/wheat gluten.
Really? I only discovered a year or so ago that I'm mildly allergic to dairy and only in the past month or so have I gone GF (with great results!). How does soy play in there? I can't digest that either and I've run across a lot of people who have those three issues - gluten/soy/dairy.

I've actually found GF much easier than going dairy free. I just love cheese : My allergy is mild enough that I can play with it but I really feel better if I don't eat the stuff. And soy free - oy, that's a tough one. That crap is everywhere
post #10 of 11
Here are some very simple, reasonably healthy, child-friendly GF/CF meals, which don't require a lot of "specialty" ingredients:

Two sweet potato ideas:

1) Baked sweet potatoes, topped with flaked canned salmon (or tuna) and a little olive oil.

2) Hamburger patties served with sweet potato "oven fries" (peel, cut in fry shapes, toss with paprika, salt, & oil, bake ~30 min at 350).

Meatballs and rice:

Put rice on to cook. Meanwhile, mix together 1 lb. ground meat, an egg, 1 - 2 tbsp. of GF breadcrumbs (or 1 rice cake, finely ground in a blender or food processor), and your choice of seasonings.

Shape mixture into meatballs and cook in a pan on medium heat, adding a little oil if you're using lean meat. You can also add some chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, or chopped leafy greens to the pan, if you like. Reduce the heat if the food starts to brown too much.

When meatballs are cooked through, add about 3/4 cup stock; scrape pan to loosen stuck-on bits. Thicken the sauce with a teaspoon of arrowroot flour mixed with a little cold water. Serve over rice.

Fish and chips:

Arrange plain white fish fillets, such as cod or sole, on a baking pan. Sprinkle with seasonings, a little oil, and some breadcrumbs (see above). Bake at about 400 degrees, along with a pan of oven fries. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fish. For thin fillets, you might have to start the fries a bit earlier than the fish.

Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables. Peas and carrots will add a dash of color.

(BTW, we've tried the "Ian's allergen-free fish sticks," but they're expensive and, IMO, revolting. Same goes for their chicken nuggets. )

Beef or lamb stew:

Dredge beef or lamb cubes in a mixture of sweet rice flour (e.g. Mochiko or Trader Joe's brand), salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a medium saucepan, and saute a chopped onion and a whole garlic clove. Add the meat and cook until lightly browned. Add stock or tomato juice to almost cover the meat. Simmer for about an hour.

Add chunks of vegetables of your choice (carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.), and some chopped fresh parsley or other herbs. Simmer until vegetables are done.
post #11 of 11
Just wanted to add a few breakfast ideas -- some plain, some fancy:

Nut butter & honey on GF toaster waffles (Trader Joe's are good).

Scrambled eggs with GF toast or home fries.

Frittata with sweet onion, spinach or chard, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, ham, leftover potatoes, or whatever else strikes your fancy. (If your children, like mine, have a horror of green vegetables, just keep those items on one side of the pan. That can be the "grown-ups' half.")

Homemade sausage: Grind fatty meat (e.g. chicken thighs with skin, or pork butt) in food processor or meat grinder. Add salt, a little minced garlic, and your choice of herbs and spices, and grind again. You can test the seasoning by frying a little bit of the mixture and tasting it. When it's ready to your liking, form into patties and fry in a pan.

As far as store-bought GF/CF breads go, I like Ener-G tapioca rice bread the best. It's very refined, and thus low in nutritional value... but it's sturdy and inoffensive-tasting, with a long shelf-life, which makes it a good "vehicle" for serving more nutritious foods like egg salad or hummus.

(The other main type available in California stores is Food For Life, which is crumbly, gummy, and more strongly flavored, and has a habit of going moldy while you're looking at it. I'm sure it has its fans, but, if that were my only choice, I'd just stick with rice cakes.)
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