Gluten-Free Friday 3/8/13

by on March 8th, 2013
14 CommentsComments

I fell off the wagon, yep it’s true! Last week I totally missed Gluten-Free Friday! OOPS! Let’s just say that February was a very rough month for my family health wise and we are very happy to move in to March! May St. Patrick’s Day and the season of Spring bring us some fresh luck! All is not lost however, we are 3 weeks in to Evan’s gluten elimination diet and I am very happy to report that Evan’s constipation and constant shrieks from gas pains seem to be eliminated as well. It is almost too good to be true but it is! Evan has never been this regular in his entire 2 years of life! I am finding it hard to convince myself that after 6 weeks I should try to give him gluten again to see if the problems return. I just don’t want to take that risk! To that end I am working hard to implement gluten-free practices and subtle switches into our family life to make it a permanent change.

  • I have switched the entire family to a gluten-free pasta and a gluten-free pasta sauce. This way when cooking is complete I can separate a batch for Evan. He can eat what we eat. Any topping with gluten can be added to our plates after.
  • I have made my own gluten-free bread crumbs (see instructions below). Meatloaf, meatballs, potato puffs etc can now easily be made gluten-free for the whole family. No one noticed the change!
  • I am switching all my spices to ones marked gluten-free.
  • I make and freeze homemade gluten-free waffles which can be easily heated and served for breakfast.
  • I have found out that our favorite pizza delivery service makes a gluten-free pizza. Now when we order pizza in, Evan can still eat with us too! Thank goodness he loves pizza.
  • When packing lunches I pack Evan’s lunch first. This way I avoid potential cross contamination from knives, cutting boards etc.
  • I send in gluten-free snacks to the preschool on Mondays to last for the whole week. Snacks are generally provided by the preschool. Fresh fruits and veggies he can partake in but anything else they can substitute with something that I have sent in.
Next on my gluten-free to do list: Make a decent homemade chicken nugget. We have been unhappy thus far with the frozen varieties! I have made homemade regular nuggets in the past so surely I can figure this out!
Still discouraging: Many product labels just aren’t clear! Part of it is my lack of knowledge! I spend a lot of time searching the web on whether something is or isn’t gluten-free. If it is not marked GF and I am unsure I assume unsafe! I have learned so much and know it will continue to get easier! Also I am still learning to work in gluten-free grains to ensure his meals are balanced!

Gluten-Free Herbed Bread Crumbs

  • Toast 4 slices of GF bread (I used Udi’s, I toasted it since I am not using old bread)
  • Allow toast to cool completely
  • Grind the 4 slices in a food processor until crumb consistency
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of Badia Spices garlic & parsley mix and toss (Badia clearly marks gluten-free spices with the GF and are often found in the Mexican section of your grocer)
  • Lay breadcrumbs in a thin layer on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet
  • Toast in the oven on 300 degrees for a little under 5 minutes (the bread crumbs on the outside edges will start to look brown when done)
  • Allow to cool completely and store airtight (does not need refrigeration)
  • Use in recipes where regular breadcrumbs are indicated

Finally on to lunch. The collage pictured above shows some of Evan’s lunches from the past week or so. In order:

Top left – Leftover GF pizza from our favorite pizza delivery service chopped up into toddler chunks! Also included are cooked cooled green beans, blueberries and a sliced up cheese stick. I must confess, my two little boys both love cheese sticks and they make a regular appearance on this blog! Lunchbots Duo container.

Top right – This was made from leftovers of a super fast dinner I prepared when I had to feed my family and get out the door for a night time commitment. Fruit salad is a standby side dish in our house when food has to be on the table fast! Hot dogs (GF) I keep in the fridge for such an emergency as well since they keep for a long time! Believe me I know they are not the healthiest option so I don’t serve them often and try to balance them with healthy sides! Thawed frozen peas were also included in this lunch. No bun for Evan although there are gluten-free options available! Leaflet Tight container.

Bottom left – Chicken Perdue Shortcuts (big hit with Evan) are completely cooked and great served cold! Fresh blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, cheese stick and Gorilla Much cereal by EnviroKidz complete this lunch. Nibble Tray by Zak Designs.

Bottom right – Scrambled eggs cooled, cooked cooled carrots, split green grapes, cheese stick and pieces of a Quaker’s Chocolate Rice Cake. Nibble Tray by Zak Designs.

That concludes this week’s gluten-free post. Please check out my friend Keeley McGuire’s Blog for more gluten-free lunch ideas and if looking for more gluten-free recipes go check out House-54 for inspiration!


Lunchbots products used in this post available here:

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  • Laura Bosak

    The shrieks from painful gas/heartburn from gluten – my very best tip is carrot juice. Carrots are low ph, so it works immediately. …and the refrigerated organic carrot juice from Trader Joes is actually very good (most are gross or contain apple juice).
    I also use lime-juice-aid, as well. Sinless Margarita Mix contains only juice, water, stevia – and I usually have it on hand. This also works in a pinch. I get bouts of the shrieks, too.

    • Deb

      Laura… thank you for reading and for the carrot juice tip! I will DEFINITELY try that! We loved the TJ Brownies by the way!

  • Gail

    If you can get Pamela’s Gluten Free pancake and baking mix that is what I use for reading my chicken for chicken nuggets. I soak the chicken in almond milk or regular milk the bread the chicken with the baking mix. I then sauté in a small amt of olive oil. My husband and son who are very picky never knew.

  • Kate

    What are the little containers called that are in the Lunchbot?? I’ve been looking for them everywhere but have no idea what they are called! Thanks.

    • Deb

      Hi Kate! The little containers are silicone baking cups. They can be purchased online at Amazon or you can find them in craft stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore’s etc generally near the cupcake/cake decorating section! Thanks for commenting! :)

  • I have a gluten free chicken nuggets recipe that we use in our house. We use almond meal spiced with our favorite herbs instead of bread crumbs or panko crumbs. We dredge the bite size chicken pieces in a whisked egg then through the herbed almond meal coating and we bake them at 375 until done, (I use a pizza stone so it takes me longer because the stone heats differently than a cookie sheet). Sometimes I have been known to fry them up in a little coconut oil. I hope your children like them as much as mine do if you try them.

    • Deb

      Thank you for sharing! I will definitely try them at some point and give you a shout out when I do! :) I appreciate the advice!


  • Abbe

    Found you on pinterest. I also have a GF toddler. He is in a VERY picky stage right now. :S For the binder in meatloaf and such, I have started using oatmeal. It works wonderfully and much less prep than making GF bread crumbs. Then just add seasonings besides it. Also, I have fallen in love with a GF chicken nugget/strip recipe, don’t remember where I found it, but I just mix up some quinoa flour (I make my own – grind quinoa in my coffee grinder purchased specially for GF flours) with seasonings (parsley, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika) and some grated parmesan. Bake till cooked (time depends on size of chicken pieces) and the kids LOVE them!

    • Deb

      Thank you so much for the suggestions! Which brand of oatmeal do you use? I’ve been nervous about oatmeal!!!


  • Thank you so much for your informative site/blog. I was told this morning to try gluten free food for my ten month old who has had tummy troubles and GERD since she was a month old. I had no idea where to start. I went to whole foods and got some baby food but i decided this might be easier if we all went gluten free since my 2 year shares everything with her little sister!

    • Deb

      Katie, thank you so much for reading and commenting. Gluten-free has really helped my Evan and I hope that it will help your little one! Please let me know if I can offer any advice. I usually write about gluten-free stuff every Friday on my blog!

  • Laura

    Use Trader Joe’s Gluten-free rolled oats or Arrowhead Mills Gluten-free steel cut oats. My 11 month old, also with DS had all sorts of protein intolerances and we struggled while I BF. The Trader Joe’s oats were the only grain she tolerated well in my diet and the only grain she has tolerated in her own, thus far. She has also recently done well with the Arrowhead Mills oats.

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