Crash Course in Gluten Free Food

When it comes to allergies, I’ve had it pretty easy with my kids. Except for an unfortunate nasal reaction to pine trees – which is only really noticeable around Christmas – they’re pretty much allergy free.

Knock on wood.

This weekend, however, a friend brought his son over to hang out with the kids. His little guy is allergic to gluten and has to limit his dairy intake. He assured me that he’d bring GF food, but wanting to be the hostess with the mostess, I set out to plan three gluten free meals.

Let’s just say it was an eye opener. From soy sauce to sweets, some of the most random things contain gluten. I stood in the grocery store in a fit of uncertainty. And some things that should have been no brainers left me slapping my forehead in “d’oh” moments. I spent $4 on GF veggie chips only to have my friend tell me potato or corn chips would have worked.

If I was cooking for an adult, I would have been able to stick to a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables and meats. But for kids, I wanted food that would be healthy and fun. My gluten-holics’ typical fun fare was out: mac and cheese, pizza, fish sticks, burritos, pastas, bread and cheese.

I ended up prepping meals with a big emphasis on rice. Rice Chex, stir fry and rice, and chili with homemade cornbread made with rice flour made starring appearances. And for snacks? The kids hated the veggie chips and chowed down on the Ruffles my friend kindly supplied.

After my crash course in GF dining, let’s just say I’m even more happy that my kids only have to deal with a few pine trees.

Knock on wood.

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