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Ideas for Kid's Meals

I had a comment from Gabi wondering if I had any suggestions for easy meals for kids.  Yes!  In fact, my next post will feature my pickiest eater's (honest, he'd hardly eat anything beyond peanut butter) favorite casserole.  I know!  Most kids don't even like casseroles!  But this one was a favorite with the whole family and still is -- Enchilada Casserole.  Best of all, it uses ingredients you probably already have on hand, it's easy to do, it's yummy, and it's wheat free!

But back to Gabi's comment.  Breakfast:  cold cereal.  Right now I have in my pantry Kellogg's Corn Flakes, General Mills Cinnamon Chex, and General Mills Honey Nut Chex.  Plain Rice Chex and Corn Chex are good too.  All are guaranteed gluten free and say so on the box -- hooray for better labeling!  If you don't feel like cold cereal is very healthy and want to keep it to a minimum (and I agree), go for eggs and toast (with your wheat free bread), pancakes (some future posts will feature pancake recipes--stay tuned!), fresh fruit, or think outside the box and try soups, leftover rice heated up and topped with brown sugar, syrup, fresh fruit, yogurt or milk products they're not allergic to, smoothies, or anything left over from dinner that they like.  I think we tend to get pretty narrow in what we think we can eat for breakfast, when in reality we can eat anything we want!  I had some leftover soup the other morning when it was cold, it tasted fantastic, and I didn't get hungry until about 1:00!  This next suggestion only works if you're not allergic to milk or oats, but one of my personal favorites for breakfast is oatmeal with a scoop of ice cream on top -- chocolate chip ice cream in particular :).  I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal, but it's great with ice cream!  I figure it's about the same as topping it with milk and sugar, but way more fun.  If you can't do milk, sorbet works too.

Lunch:  sandwiches made with wheat free bread, or with romaine lettuce (see March 4 post), soups, leftovers that they like, fresh veggies dipped in a dressing they like (and can tolerate).  Kids love to dip -- if you can figure out something to dip in, they'll eat about anything!  Think about things you can spread in celery -- peanut butter, cream cheese, Cheese Whiz -- and then let them stud it with fun things like raisins or olives or dried fruit chunks. 

Dinner:  I don't believe in fixing separate things for kids for dinner -- they should learn to eat whatever you're fixing for the family.  I know from experience, though, that picky eaters can make you crazy, so when planning your meal, try to include at least one thing that you know they'll eat (and I don't mean dessert), let them eat as much of that thing as they want, and encourage (bribe, threaten, whatever works :) them to eat a little of the other parts of dinner.  If you're having a hard time planning meals, an easy way to plan a nutritious meal is to think 1 protein, 1 starch (potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.), and 1-2 vegetables.  I have a friend with five boys who always brings a big salad to the table before the rest of the meal -- a fantastic strategy!  Starving (aren't they always?) boys will eat quite a bit of whatever hits the table first, so she knew they'd at least get some veggies that way.  After the salad had been eaten she'd bring out the main course.  I thought this was brilliant and wished I'd thought of it!

Hope this helps Gabi!  Anybody with more ideas, please feel free to share!

1 comment:

  1. My son's staple is nachos. If I chop up some tomatoes he'll sometimes add them to the top, but not always. For awhile he ate quesodillas made with corn tortillas, too, but he's been 'off' that for awhile. Another thing we have once a week is homemade macaroni and cheese. The Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti is also good. I haven't had a lot of success with gf yeast bread, but we've made a lot of muffins, and they're hard to ruin (although I've done that, too).