16 Best Gluten Free Foods For Kids

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It is more important to know the nutrients, their benefits, and disadvantages as soon as your child starts eating solid food. Gluten is one among the protein family that you should know about.

It was mentioned in the gluten intolerance group that indigestion of gluten can cause many adverse effects which may damage the intestinal cells leading to the serious health problems. Gluten free food is especially important for individuals with the non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

This article discusses the relationship between the gluten free foods and the behavior. It presents the kids friendly gluten foods.

What is Gluten?

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It is the family of proteins found in the grains including wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. Glutenin and gliadin are the two proteins found in gluten. Gliaden may lead to many negative health effects. Other grains that contains Gluten are wheat berries, spelt, durum, emmer, semolina, ferina, farro, graham, einkorn etc. Oats naturally do not contain gluten they may get gluten through cross contamination when they grow near or processed the same way as the above listed grains.

A sticky network is formed by the gluten proteins when flour is mixed with water. It gives chewy and satisfying texture for the food.

Why to Avoid Gluten?

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Some children can tolerate the gluten. It can cause various health problem in the children with certain health problems.

It is beneficial to include gluten free food in the diet for several reasons:

1. Gluten Sensitivity:

A person who has sensitivity towards gluten may experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue after consuming the gluten. Eliminating the gluten from the food can help them to improve these symptoms.

2. Celiac Disease:

It is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. This is a form of autoimmune disorder and can damage the small intestine. It may lead to the poor nutrient absorption. Some people with celiac disease may not experience any symptoms.

3. Other Conditions:

Some people who do not have celiac disease might experience the symptoms that are similar to these conditions. This condition is regarded as non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). NCGS may have the symptoms that are associated with the mental disorders like depression, and anxiety.

Gluten free food is recommended for the kids who do not have the celiac disease, but might experience the other symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Benefits of Gluten Free Foods:

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Here are a few benefits of inclusion of gluten free foods in diet

1. Gluten Free Diet is Healthier:

When an individual eating pastas, breads, and cookies switches to the healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, their diet becomes healthier.

2. Helps to Lose Weight:

There is no solid evidence to prove that gluten helps to lose weight. But, eating gluten free food allows you to consume unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meat. This diet is healthier and low in calories.

3. Gluten Free Diet Child Behavior:

Switching to gluten free food can improve child’s behavior and the quality of life. Here are some behavioral problems that gluten free foods can treat.

A. Helps to Deal Autism:

Dietary intervention plays a prominent role in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Studies reported that there is insufficient evidence to support the gluten free diet as a remedy for the ASD. But the parents noticed some positive changes in their children with ASD.

B. Treats ADHD:

People with the celiac disease often experience the fogginess of the brain when they eat the gluten food. Studies concluded that gluten free diet reduces the ADHD symptoms in the people with celiac disease.

How can you recognize that your child need gluten free food?

Children with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity may have better health if they follow gluten free diet. If you notice the symptoms of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in your child, then your child requires gluten free food.

What are the symptoms of Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity?

The symptoms of both the celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are similar:

Some of them include:

• Abdominal pain
• Chronic diarrhea
• Constipation
• Numbness in hands and feet
• Chronic fatigue
• Joint pain
• Low bone density which leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis

Gluten Free Diet for your child:

It is a challenging task to start gluten free foods for toddlers. The first thing that you should do is to read the labels that every item that you choose to eat.

The best way to incorporate the gluten free foods is to make the tasty and different recipes. There are plenty of foods for your child that are gluten free. Here are few gluten free quick bites, and snack recipes that your kids will love:

Gluten Free Snack Ideas for Toddler:

Here are a few easy gluten free snacks for toddler.

• Cooked vegetables like broccoli, potato, spinach etc.
• Fruits like avocado, bananas, and kiwi
• Scrambled eggs
• Cucumber sticks

Gluten Free Snacks for School age children:

1. Peanut butter apple bites:

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Kids love to eat the foods that are more appealing to them. Consider apple just as the alternative to the bread slice and make it to look the same way.

Cut the apple into slices and decorate with peanut butter and jam and make this quick bite more interesting for your kid.

2. Banana bread recipe with applesauce:

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Replace oil with applesauce in the traditional banana bread recipe. Add brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, and honey to make the recipe healthier.

3. Baked apple slices:

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This is a great recipe that your kids will love to eat.

Slice the apple into thin pieces and sprinkle cinnamon powder over the apple slices. Bake the apple slices in the oven each side for about 400-degree Fahrenheit. Turn the apple slices in the midway and add the remaining cinnamon powder.

4. Dry fruit balls recipe:

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Most of the kids reject to eat the dry fruits. Little balls packed with the great nutritional values may be appealing for your little one.

How to prepare:

  1. Take the dates and figs that are soaked in the milk for one hour. Take out the pieces and grind it make puree.
  2. Roast the nuts including almonds, and cashew on a low flame along with the oats for the few minutes.
  3. Ground them to a fine powder in the mixer.
  4. Add this powder to the puree and mix them together to make a sticky dough.
  5. Make the small balls out of the dough and store them in the refrigerator.

5. Roasted chickpeas:

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A cup of chickpeas is packed with 7.7 grams of proteins. They help kids to deal with constipation. They are rich in iron and prevent the kids from getting tired easily. They digest slow thereby prevent the spikes or drops in blood sugar.

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pat the chickpeas dry with a towel.
  2. Arrange the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake them for about 30-35 minutes.
  3. They will turn golden brown when baked properly.
  4. Shift them to a bowl and combine salt, garlic powder, and cheese.

6. Baked sweet potato fries:

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They are the rich source of vitamin A and beta carotene. Being rich in fiber, they help to prevent constipation.

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit and line it with a lightly greased foil sheet.
  2. Cut a potato into thin sized wedges.
  3. Soak these potato wedges in the cold water that helps to wash off the starch and make it crispier.
  4. Pat the potato widget with a dry towel
  5. Roll the potato pieces in the bowl containing rice flour. Add salt and spice powders like ginger powder, and chili powder as per your preferences.
  6. Spread these pieces on the foil in the oven and allow them to bake for about 15 minutes and flip them to other side and bake for another 15 minutes.

7. Cauliflower muffins:

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Cauliflower is rich in vitamin B and fiber. It has antioxidant properties that make it to fight against the cancer. Cauliflower muffins are the perfect gluten free breakfast for the kids. These muffins are very easy to prepare:

How to prepare:

  1. Grate the cauliflower and press them to remove the excess moisture.
  2. Beat 2 eggs and add 1 cup cheese, ¼ cup almond flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  3. Add grated cauliflower to this mixture and mix it until it becomes smooth.
  4. Shift this into the muffin trays cups and sprinkle the grated cheese over it.
  5. Allow it to bake for about 20-25 minutes.

8. Fruit popsicles:

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Fruit popsicles purely contain fruit purees and they do not contain any added sugar. They are very easy to prepare at home very easily.

Take the fruits of your choice and puree them and transfer them to the popsicle mold one after the other with the gap of 10-15 minutes of freezing time so that the fruit mixtures do not combine with each other and finally you can make a rainbow popsicle.

9. Spinach poha balls recipe:

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Spinach is the excellent source of vitamin A, k, C, and folate. It promotes the bone health. It is the everyday rich nutritious food that is to be included in the diet. It helps to clean your skin from the inside out.

How to prepare:

1. Wash and soak the moongdal and allow it boil on medium flame for about 15 minutes.
2. Run some water through the poha and drain the water completely.
3. Add grated coriander and spinach to it.
4. Add dal, salt and other spices as per your taste and mix it well to form a dough.
5. Make out the small balls from the dough and fry them in oil.
6. Drop them onto the food tissues so that excess oil can be drained.

10. Maize flakes:

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Maize is rich in proteins that help kids to have healthy growth.

How to prepare:

  1. Soak the maize flakes in water and add pinch of salt to it. Squeeze them to remove the excess water.
  2. Steam the flakes in an idli maker for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Take warm milk in a separate bowl and add steamed flakes, honey well and mix well.
  4. You can top this with chopped fruits and nuts of your choice.
  5. Depending on the weather you can also substitute the hot milk with the cold milk.

11. Almond flour waffles:

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Almond flour is the best ideal alternative for the gluten free diet. It is rich in protein, manganese, and vitamin E. Almond flour is low in carbohydrates and contains fiber.

How to prepare:

  1. Warm up the waffle iron
  2. Place 1 cup of almond flour, salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add vanilla, 4 eggs, and honey to the dry mixture.
  4. Spread this batter over the waffle iron and close it with a lid.
  5. When the waffle is ready take it out and add the toppings.

12. Baryand millet flakes upma:

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It is very nutritious and filling breakfast. It can be made healthier by adding the vegetables of choice.

How to prepare:

1. Soak the Baryand millet flakes in water and add a pinch of salt. Squeeze out the excess water from the flakes.
2. Soak the split black gram in warm water.
3. Take oil in the saucepan and add mustard seeds to it. Add the cumin seeds followed by curry leaves, green chilies, and peanuts.
4. Add the soaked and drained urad dal followed by onions. Add carrots and beans to it after five minutes.
5. Cover and cook it for about 5 minutes.
6. Add salt, turmeric, and soaked baryand millet flakes and sugar as per your choice.
7. Allow it to boil on the low flame for about 5 minutes
8. Add some grated coconut and coriander leaves before you turn off the stove.
9. You can squeeze few drops of lemon before serving it to your baby.

13. Curd fritters:

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The curd fritters are made from the hung curd. This hung curd can be easily prepared at the home. Drain off the water from the curd by hanging the muslin cloth containing curd for about 2-3 hours.

How to prepare:

1. Take the hung curd in a bowl and add bell peppers and onion to it.
2. Add the seasonings and the ginger paste to it.
3. Add 1 teaspoon of rice flour to it and leave it aside.
4. Make the disc shaped structures with the mixture
5. Roll the discs in the rice flour and keep them aside
6. Deep fry these curd discs.
7. Serve it with a dip that your kid likes most.

14. Sorghum balls:

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It is a popular millet that is cultivated in the countries with warm temperature. It is rich in vitamins like Vitamin B and minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosporous, iron, and zinc. It is a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and protein.

How to prepare:

1. Soak the sorghum for about half an hour in the water.
2. Make it into a batter that look the similar way that of the iddli’s
3. Add chopped onions and coriander to the batter.
4. Grease the iddli plates and shift this mixture into each of the plate.
5. Once you notice small bubbles on the upper part and golden yellow on the lower part, turn them onto the other side and allow them till they turn golden yellow colour.

15. Cookie dough bites:

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Every child like the cookies which are unhealthy and source of unprocessed flour, sugar, and butter. Cookie dough bites are absolutely healthy and free from gluten.

Cookie dough bites can be given to the babies occasionally during the travel.

How to prepare:

1. In a large mixing bowl, melt the coconut oil and whisk w tablespoons of milk, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup maple syrup, ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder and ½ tablespoon vanilla extract.
2. Add the organic oat meal, and salt. Make it into a soft dough by adding flour and oil.
3. Add some choco chips to the dough and refrigerate them for some time.
4. To make them more appealing dip them in the melted chocolate.

16. Sesame balls:

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Sesame seeds are the good source of fiber. They help to lower the blood pressure. They aid the blood cell formation.

How to prepare:

1. Take 1 cup of sesame seeds and roast them in a pan. Allow them to roast till they produce cracky sound and nice aroma comes. Take off the seeds once they turn brown.
2. Grind the sesame seeds to fine powder, then add jaggery, and cardamom to the blender.
3. Transfer this powder into a bowl and add some broken cashews. Add some ghee and make them into the balls of desired choice.

The Downside of Gluten Free Foods:

Here are a few facts about the packed gluten free foods that you should be aware of:

• Gluten free foods are the one which are less fortified with folic acid, iron, and other nutrients than the foods that contain gluten.
• They will have less fiber and more sugar, fat.
• They are more expensive than conventional foods.

In conclusion, as long as your child does not have any digestive symptoms, don’t worry much about the gluten free diet. It is recommended to have the gluten free food only if your child has any allergic reactions to gluten or gluten sensitivity. Look for the gluten free foods and consult your doctor, if your child has any symptoms that are associated with the gluten.