Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kid-Friendly GFCF Convenience Products

This is what my Little Prince likes, each child and each family is different, of course. Until you learn what your family likes to eat and come up with GFCF shopping and cooking methods that work for you, these items can give you some ideas for good replacements of beloved products your children may have enjoyed on the “Standard American Diet” which is high in both gluten and casein.

As you finish off the “no-no” things in your pantry in preparation for re-stocking and starting this diet, you can gradually replace some of your old items with these. Most are available from health food stores or online. Some regular grocery chains are even carrying certain brands like Envirokidz and Ian’s both of which have many GFCF products designed for kids. So you can see what the boxes look like, I have included some in the sidebar to the bottom right, when available.

Breaded meat/fish items:
Applegate Farms GF Chicken Nuggets (make sure it says "Gluten-free", they make plain ones too)
Ian’s Chicken Nuggets
Ian’s Fish Sticks
Bell and Evans air-chilled chicken tenders/breasts

Some Boar’s Head
Maverick Ranch
Applegate Farms
(Note: check all labels to make sure there are no nitrates)

Maverick Ranch
Applegate Farms

Breakfast items:
Van’s Waffles (like Eggo’s but better!)
Perky O’s Cereal (looks like Cheerios)
Envirokidz Gorilla Munch Cereal (looks like Kix)
Envirokidz Granola/Cereal Bars

Snacks, crackers, cookies:
Robert’s American Gourmet Tings (looks like Cheetos)
Robert’s American Gourmet Veggie Booty (popcorn coated in dehydrated veggies)
Ener-G crackers (looks like Saltines)
Envirokidz Animal Crackers
Kinnitoos crème-filled cookies (looks like Oreos)
MiDel Ginger snaps, animal crackers, and "Oreos")

Ice Cream:
Rice Dream Ice Cream
Soy Delicious Ice Cream
So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream
Sweet Nothings Non-Dairy Fudge Bars (made of fruit but look like Fudgsicles)
Philly Swirls (popsicles & Italian ice cups, GFCF but has artificial ingredients)

French Fries and tater tots:
Cascadian Farms (organic)
365 Whole Foods store brand
Some Ore Ida
Ian’s sweet potato fries
Ian’s alphabet fries

Heinz Ketchup

(photo of my adorable son taken by Carol Messer. See more of her work at Photography by Carol.)


Cyndi said...

When you say some Ore Ida and some Boar’s Head, how do you know hwich ones are ok? Do you get most of your gorceries at Whole Foods? (I've heard of some of ht eitems on your list but couldn't find them at our local Northern VA).

GFCF Mommy said...

Hi Cyndi,

I can't remember if I posted to your blog, but with the Ore Ida and Boar's Head, just read the ingredients. Some have "natural flavors" in which case you need to contact the company and ask them what are in the "natural" flavors, or just avoid them. Most Boar's Head and Ore Ida are gluten-free, but some have casein.

I actually stick my regular grocery--Publix--for most things and get the specialty things at Whole Foods and a little local health food store. You may find that the local guys will be willing to special order stuff for you. If you can get a group of parents with similar food needs, all the better. Go to the manager and request what you want. They are usually eager to please if they see a market for it.

I used to live in Charlottesville, where do you live?

Cyndi said...

Hi, we live in northern VA (outside DC). Thanks for the info!

Maggie said...

You are I are on the same wavelength!!! We are just started GFCF for our two ASD sons and I've been looking through every store for things that "look like cheerios", "look like saltines", and "look like kix"!!!! It's so hard to tell by the boxes so I really appreciate these notes! For my oldest looks will be far more important than taste, his bread has to be brown and his cereal has to be round :0) I am going to enjoy reading all your notes! Thanks so much!

GFCF Mommy said...

Hi Maggie,

Welcome and I am glad to be of help! How old are your children?


Anonymous said...

I am thinking about putting my autistic son on a GFCF diet. Should I have him tested first to see if he does indeed have an allergy? Other moms have told me that when these kids are tested it doesn't necessarily come out that they have an allergy but they should go on the diet anyway. Just wondering if it's worth putting my son through bloodwork or if I should just go ahead with the diet and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Should I test my autistic child before starting this diet?

GFCF Mommy said...

Dear Anonymous:

We didn't have our son tested before trying it. If your child has an intolerance (not an allergy) that will not show up on a test anyway. However, your child may respond from removing gluten or casein due to the intolerance.

If, however, Celiac Disease runs in your family, or you suspect your child has Celiac Disease (and are not just trying it to see if it will help with autism symptoms) then you are better off doing the test before the diet. The reason for this is because to do the Celiac profile, you need to have gluten in your system. If you start the diet first, then decide to test later, your child may have a sort of relapse during the period they must eat gluten for the test. This unfortunately happened to us. My son showed some signs of Celiac and we decided to do the test after he had been GF for over a year. It was painful for all of us. In retrospect I had wished I had tested first.

I would go on your family history of food allergies. If others in your family have food allergies, or especially Celiac, I'd do the test first.

But if there is no history of food allergy problems or Celiac Disease and you are trying purely to see if it will ease autism symptoms, you may want to slowly try eliminating things to see if it helps without the testing.

Hope that helps you make your decision.


laura said...

Hi, I wanted to say I am also a mom of an ASD child. We did have him tested and it was nice because the test showed he was "reacting" to glutens, caseins, and peanuts. Intolerance is what some kids have so they say varying the gfcf diet is just as important as staying away from glutens, etc. After about 4 months we tested him first on milk items and then a few weeks later on glutens. He reacted to milk and glutens but he didn't react to peanuts so we were able to put that back in the diet. Testing is helpful but also expensive so it's not a must do. Also, if anyone is having trouble getting their children to eat the gfcf breads (they tend to be a little thick) we use gfcf pancakes. I've even used them for soy grilled cheese.
I was wondering if anyone had ideas for maple syrups. The organic kind is all right but very expensive. Are there any regular maple syrups that are okay?

GFCF Mommy said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for weighing in on the testing question and welcome!

We actually use the organic maple syrups ourselves. When you say "regular" what do you mean? I think pure maple syrup (even if it is not organic, but from a maple syrup "farm") is probably ok.

I am just suspect of commercial brands, less for GFCF than for high fructose corn syrup. I would have to read the label to be sure.

I like the pancake soy cheese sandwich idea. We use GFCF waffles in creative ways like that too!


Anonymous said...

Hi, GFCF Mommy
I wanted to say thankyou for all the info i've read thru your whole page we are starting my autistic 4yr old son on the gfcg diet tomorrow and I must say I found all my answers in your site.. all the insite you put on the food its great just one question whats good regarding drinks my son loves caprisuns but i dnt know if they are okay?
Lil Pauls MOM

GFCF Mommy said...

Dear Lil Paul's Mom,

I believe that Capri Sun drinks are GFCF, but do check the label. I think that now they have even removed the high fructose corn syrup,(which does not have gluten or casein, but our kids don't need the extra sugar or calories), so that is good too.

I think the Capri "roaring waters" drinks do have sucralose, or another artificial sugar, which again, does not have gluten or casein, but can sometimes hurt our kids tummies.

So to summarize, please check the labels, but I believe the Capri Sun drinks are ok.

That being said, we like the Honest Kids drinks. They are organic and come in pouches like Capri Sun. They have a few less calories than Capri Sun (except the "roaring waters") and I think they have less sugar too. But if Lil Paul loves his Capri Sun, I think you should let him keep it until you have eased into the diet. Slow and steady wins the race.

Good luck! I'll be sending positive energy your way tomorrow! said...

Hello GFCF Mommy,
My name is randi. I am a mom of 3 boys. My oldest is 10 and is ADD, my middle is 5 and ASD, and my youngest is 2 and is Type 1 Diabetic. We just found out that my middle child has celiac. He was diagnosed ASD about 2 years ago and we attempted to remove GFCF foods, but he was such a picky eater that we gave up as it was soo hard to go places and not be able to sub for what they were serving. Well when my youngest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetic I bought every book you could think of and read it front to back, i am a So when we were told that my middle child could NOT have gluten, and it was no longer a choice but we HAD to, i statred to buy books and try to get this started. He just got diagnosed 2 days ago and I have read 3 books. They all tell the same thing. I need a shopping list and recipes more then what gluten is and what it does. Do you know of a book that will give you a grocery store guide to help? We live in california, and there is alot of atores that have list for ther store, but there gluten free only. I am looking for Gluten free and casin free

GFCF Mommy said...

Hi Randi,

Although there are several GFCF cookbooks out now, I am not sure that any of them have product lists. However, the organization Talk About Curing Autism Now (TACA NOW) has a great resource on their website, including a list of GFCF products, here is the link:

They have lots of other good info on that site too. I'll be on the lookout and if I see anything, I'll post about it.