Living the gluten-free lifestyle isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging for families who have children that experience sensitivity to wheat gluten. Not only are children naturally picky eaters, a gluten sensitive child has an even smaller list of things they can eat on a daily basis. Take heart though, because it is possible to find easy, gluten free meal ideas that your kids will love (and they won’t know the difference!) Here are 3 easy, kid-friendly meal ideas to make in your own kitchen.
Gluten Free Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Kids love chicken nuggets, but the store bought kind can be a nightmare for gluten sensitive children. Make your own gluten free chicken nuggets by coating chicken breast chunks in a mixture of egg and milk, and then dipping them in a bowl of gluten free breadcrumbs. Place the coated chicken pieces on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until nuggets are crispy and golden. Serve with your child’s favorite gluten free dipping sauce!
Gluten Free Homemade Pizza
Pizza is the go-to meal for busy folks, however, ordering out isn’t possible for many gluten free families. Not only can making your own pizza at home keep your kids’ allergies in check, it can also cut down on your weekly costs for eating out. If you’re not looking forward to dousing your kitchen in almond or rice flour, take heart. Pre-made gluten free pizza crusts exist, and can make creating a delicious homemade pizza a snap. Simply spread your favorite sauce on the crust, and top with cheese, pepperoni, or veggies. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown around the edges. Slice and enjoy!
Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
The idea of tossing this oldie-but-goodie out the window when you go gluten free is terrifying. Spaghetti sauce counts as a vegetable, or at least it does for a picky toddler who won’t eat anything green, so keeping this one around is a must. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up spaghetti and meatballs when you adopt a gluten free lifestyle. Delicious meatballs can be made easily with ground hamburger or turkey, Italian seasoning, and gluten-free breadcrumbs. Cook the meatballs in a skillet or in the oven until cooked completely through, and serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce and a batch of gluten free spaghetti noodles. If your child enjoys some vegetables, try serving your gluten free meatballs with a helping of spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Not only is spaghetti squash naturally gluten free, it’s packed full of nutrients and is super low in carbohydrates.
Adopting a gluten free lifestyle for your family is challenging, and it takes time. There will be lots of trial and error when it comes to making meals that your family will love, and you might throw out more recipes than you keep if you have a family of picky eaters. However, these three tried and true meals have been approved by toddlers with even the most discerning palates, and they’ll never know that Mom’s chicken nuggets and spaghetti is actually good for them!