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How Do U Handle Cooking For Your Family With Kids?
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,y blood test showed no celiac but my reactions are following the typical path. First the ups and downs with cc and hidden gluten. Then the reactions to other foods...soy, corn, dairy (dairy has been a problem for a long time) and now nightshades. If I were cooking for just myself all the time it would be easier. But I'm cooking for 4 year old twins who are typical eaters for their age. In other words, they LOVE starches.

At first it was OK to adapt our meals. I would first boil the brown rice pasta, then the regular pasta for everyone else. Spaghetti and meatballs is always a dinner hit here and a meal I would serve weekly. But now I can't even eat the red sauce. Well, unless I want stomach cramps for the next many hours. The Paleo recipes that I find online haven't appealed to my kids. I'm trying to avoid preparing two meals every night. Surely someone has been in this position before and can share some ideas with me?

The other difficulty is family outings. We like to go out and do things together and food is usually involved. I do not feel safe relying on random restaurant food and don't always have easy leftovers to bring with me. Do you have any suggestions for a " picnic style" lunch to pack with me on an outing? In the past I have brought salads (red wine vinegar dressing), chicken salad with homemade mayonnaise, and fruit with nuts. Any other suggestions?

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I'm gluten and mostly dairy free (I can have some goat dairy, but I don't like the flavor in most things), and I cook gluten and dairy free for my family. My husband doesn't like tomatoes, so we usually don't have those either. :)

We do a lot of stir-fries, soups, and stews, espeically this time of year.

What sort of meals are you trying to cook and how open to shifting what your family "normally" eats over time are you?

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I happen to LOVE soups, stir fries, and stews. But my kids want to eat their food -separate- right now. Meat separate from rice separate from veggies. My husband and I Insist that they try new foods but I don't want every meal to turn into a battle. When my restrictions were just gluten and dairy it was easier, to be honest. Include the corn and soy and nightshades and lots more adaptations are required.

Once a week I cook chicken soup and I'm going to until they start eating it, dang it! Right now they eat the chicken, then the noodles without broth, and they taste the required amount of broth that we insist upon. Sometimes a few pieces of cooked carrots are consumed. They will eat tortillas with meat, beans, cheese, avocados, etc., all separate. I used to have corn tortillas for myself but now those are out. But I can still adapt that meal by eating a salad with meat and veggies. Roast or grilled meats with veggies and a side starch are meals that work for all of us. I was eating potatoes, but now those are out. I just have rice and quinoa. I made a Paleo "quiche" with a walnut crust but something about it made me sick...hopefully I am not losing tree nuts but I am being cautious with them now. The kids didn't like the quiche anyway. Last night I made a cauliflower soup with curry that was delicious to hubby and I, but too spicy for the kids. Ooops. For desert I ate a pear with a few pecans. Tonight will be steak (kids LOVE steak!) with asparagus, artichoke, and maybe potatoes for them. Another meal is fish with veggies. So that's chicken soup, Mexican, steak, fish, and roast meats ... At least 5 meals right there. Mostly meat and veggies, with some kind of starch for the rest of the family. I could use a few more meal options.

For the kids I will buy gluten containing snack foods like cheese crackers, sandwich bread, animal crackers, milk, cereal, malted wheat, yogurt, mac n cheese, etc. In my mind they are too young to limit their access to grains and dairy, even if I have to be careful about cross contamination. When they get older or if they start showing symptoms then I will have them tested.

The portable picnic foods every Saturday are important. If I haven't had the time to prepare something ahead of time I'm kinda at a loss. In n Out is a good last resort for me (protein style, ask to avoid contamination) but it would be nice to have other options. I mean, a hard boiled egg and an apple aren't the most appetizing in the face of the warm meal others are eating at a cafe or restaurant, LOL!

Hopefully this was enough information about our eating habits to be helpful?

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There are rice tortillas out there ya know :)

My mom used to say eat it or do without. That was the only way i'd eat some things.

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I think you said you can have rice pasta and meatballs, but have lost tomato sauce.

I replaced tomato sauce with thick carrot soup...stumbled on it as a sauce by accident.

Boil Carrots, Onion, Garlic and salt in Chicken Broth - puree in blender - I was making carrot cream soup for a while before I realized it made a darn good sauce - from then on I made it thicker by adding more carrots and went a bit heavier on the garlic. My family still uses tomato based pasta sauce, I keep a few jars of my carrot sauce in the freeze to pull out as needed for me. Of course then I lost rice pasta too - so now I prepare a spaghetti squash every few days to keep "noodles" in the frig for me.

Our house evolved from combined kitchen to completely gluten-free as my kids joined me gluten-free and my hubby decided to just eat gluten out of the house - so dinners the past few years have all been gluten-free and I just work around them with my list of other intolerances. I highly suggest making your family dinners gluten-free and then adapting a bit as needed for your other requirements.

Oh when we cook potato in whatever form - baked, mashed, fries, roasted - we just cook a sweet potato or yam along side for me.

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GottaSki - how old were your kids when they went gluten free with you?

I can see that happening at some point. Although right now I don't mind their breakfast cereal or snack food with gluten.

Your idea about having a vegetable soup as a pasta sauce is BRILLIANT! And I will try the spaghetti squash as noodles. I mean, the rice pasta is fine and all, but I'm leery of eating too much rice. The cauliflower soup I made would work like that (this morning I poured it over my broccoli-egg scramble). And I was going to make an asparagus soup that would do the same. (this is why I make chicken soup every week - for the broth to use in other meals, LOL!).

Tonight we made both sweet and baked potatoes to go with the steak. I made extra for me to eat for lunch tomorrow.

My thing right now is the homemade pecan pie someone baked for me to say thank you. I'm sure it's a delicious pie. Last year he gave us one and it was really good. He remembered and made another. Unfortunately between last year and this year a lot has changed, LOL! He had such good intentions, and it was one of those "actions speak louder than words" moment. I could NOT ruin it by sharing my intolerance sob story. My husband is not eating it fast enough, LOL!

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Do you like acorn squash? Its one of my favorites. Add a little olive oil and brown sugar and yum :3

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Regarding your question- Some of the portable "picnic" foods I keep on hand for when I don't have anything to premade to pack and take include:

Tuna in foil packets , I add dried cranberries

Sandwiches (paleo flat bread I make and freeze, (can't handle potato starch in Udis anymore) made with almond butter and pumpkin spread or fruit spread , Boars Head deli meat', veggies, etc. - love with sweet potato chips

Chiocolate Protein shake, make with water instead of dairy. I use a pea protein, add almond butter, banana , spinach, honey, etc depending on mood and time

Crackers, Boars Head salami, fruit or vegies

Paleo muffins (keep in freezer). Just made blueberry and banana coconut this weekend, yumm . Microwave Applegate Chicken apple sausage links to take with

Any other ideas? Please share, I too struggle finding easy, yummy pack and go items for when I don't have leftovers

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We use to have gluten and gluten free when someone else cooked. I started reacting to the smells of food which made it really hard. Now, we usually eat the same thing. I have children as old as 24 and young as 8. The youngest two pretty much like anything I make.

When I go out I now pack a foil meal. I have a "cooler" that will keep things warm. I plug it into the 12 volt in the car. I just put some leftovers in the foil and have plates, forks, and other eating untensils ready in a prepacked bag. When I go I grab all and we are off. Once I forgot the forks with spaghetti and we were eating like dogs. It is an adventure.

Diana

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I have five kids ranging from the ages of 3 to almost 14. It may sound cruel but at an early age we started the whole if you don't eat what is put in front of you, then you don't eat. Don't get me wrong, i would still give them some fruit or vegetables but i would not make a second meal just for them. My kids will eat almost anything now and I rarely have leftovers. We all eat gluten and dairy free at home. My husband can have his gluten containing foods outside of the house and he occasionally will take the kids to McDonalds.

Fortunately, I can still have tomatoes but honestly, we don't eat them all that often. Right now with squash being in season we are eating a lot of it. Last night for dessert we had a Thai Coconut custard baked in a pie pumpkin. For dinner we had southwest spaghetti squash. I had no leftovers for my lunch today.

One thing that really helps in my house is variety. Lots and lots of variety. We cook anything from American fare to oriental foods to German food. My kids love homemade sushi but you said you try to limit rice.

As far as quick, easy things I have no real answer for that. I haven't been able to figure that one out. When I do have to take food out of the house, I usually end up cooking something the night before after my children are in bed, only because they will eat it and not leave me anything.

I'm sorry I can't be of any more help. I can send you great big {{{HUGS}}} because I know how difficult it can be.

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Mcy kids were older - 13, 15 and 25 when I was finally diagnosed. They all went gluten-free by choice as they all had different celiac symptoms with negative blood work. We were a mixed kitchen cooking completely gluten-free dinners for about a year. Kids still ate gluten cerals an had gluten bread in their lunches.

Of the two at home - the older one went completely gluten-free when I was 3 months gluten-free to see if his symptoms improved - they all did and he couldn't tolerate accidental nor intentional glutenings after the first few weeks so that was enough for him to remain gluten-free. Our youngest evolved into gluten-free - as he ate less and less gluten as we learned to replicate all our favorites - his health and unexplained weight gain corrected itself. At one point the only gluten item in our kitchen waws bread for the youungest and my hubby. Hubs suggested we switch that to gluten-free. The youngest doesn't worry about cc when he is out with friends (17 now), but does order gluten-free.

Have you been gene tested? I ask because my doc suggested I get tested when my kids were testing negative with symptoms - turned out I have a pair plus one which means all my children carry at least one gene - this knowledge helped in each of their decisions. I think you said your kids have no symptoms - it is still advised to have them tested now and every 3 - 5 years. I would in case your house evolves into gluten lite or gluten-free like mine did.

Oh - I had never used spaghetti squash until I was gluten-free - I did not care for it the first time. Now I bake one half every few days to keep in the frig and eat a some nearly everyday - I found that if I underbake it a touch it stands up to reheating much better. My new favorite is butternut squash fries - takes some time to slice them very thin, but well worth the effort.

I hope your kids don't join team celiac, but it won't hurt for them to eat gluten-free at dinner thus being firmly planted on team mom!

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Do you like acorn squash? Its one of my favorites. Add a little olive oil and brown sugar and yum :3

I DO like squash. I don't even add brown sugar and I like it, though I put sugar on my kids' portions.

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Regarding your question- Some of the portable "picnic" foods I keep on hand for when I don't have anything to premade to pack and take include:

Tuna in foil packets , I add dried cranberries

Sandwiches (paleo flat bread I make and freeze, (can't handle potato starch in Udis anymore) made with almond butter and pumpkin spread or fruit spread , Boars Head deli meat', veggies, etc. - love with sweet potato chips

Chiocolate Protein shake, make with water instead of dairy. I use a pea protein, add almond butter, banana , spinach, honey, etc depending on mood and time

Crackers, Boars Head salami, fruit or vegies

Paleo muffins (keep in freezer). Just made blueberry and banana coconut this weekend, yumm . Microwave Applegate Chicken apple sausage links to take with

Any other ideas? Please share, I too struggle finding easy, yummy pack and go items for when I don't have leftovers

You've got a good list for yourself!

I saw that Boars Head lunchmeat is gluten-free, but do you know if it's also soy and corn free? Their website gives me a number to call to ask, but I thought I would ask here first. And what kind of crackers do you eat? Are they paleo?

I just made some paleo muffins w pumpkin that are delicious! But I may be reacting to the corn in the baking powder. It was my first batch to make. Those would be good to go foods! (I may have to find a substitute for baking powder.)

How do you manage the protein shake on the run? I use my VitaMix at home, but it seems my shakes would go bad if I carried it with me somewhere to eat later.

Since we are usually places where there isn't a microwave, my go to meals have been chicken with homemade mayo and veggies, salads. As we head into cooler weather these aren't very satisfying, so I'm looking for more ideas. Thanks for your contributions!

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I have five kids ranging from the ages of 3 to almost 14. It may sound cruel but at an early age we started the whole if you don't eat what is put in front of you, then you don't eat. Don't get me wrong, i would still give them some fruit or vegetables but i would not make a second meal just for them. My kids will eat almost anything now and I rarely have leftovers. We all eat gluten and dairy free at home. My husband can have his gluten containing foods outside of the house and he occasionally will take the kids to McDonalds.

This is not cruel at all and more parents today should be doing just that. Let them go hungry if they refuse to eat what you cook for dinner....that won't last long. ;) It amazes me that some people let their kids dictate what they will eat!

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We use to have gluten and gluten free when someone else cooked. I started reacting to the smells of food which made it really hard. Now, we usually eat the same thing. I have children as old as 24 and young as 8. The youngest two pretty much like anything I make.

When I go out I now pack a foil meal. I have a "cooler" that will keep things warm. I plug it into the 12 volt in the car. I just put some leftovers in the foil and have plates, forks, and other eating untensils ready in a prepacked bag. When I go I grab all and we are off. Once I forgot the forks with spaghetti and we were eating like dogs. It is an adventure.

Diana

OMG, Diana, that is HILARIOUS!

It is adventures like these that keep a family laughing together!

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I deal with some pretty picky eaters! When my son was about 3, a play date offered him some cotton candy, he turned it down! Candy! He's been refusing foods since he was old enough for solids.

I highly recommend the books by Ellen Satter. You can find them on Amazon. "How to get your kids to eat but not too much," is I believe one of the titles. It's a slight variation of "this is what's for dinner, eat or go hungry". Make one meal and put it all on the table at one time. Make sure there is something on the table they will eat, even if it's just a slice of bread (gluten-free possibly?). You don't get up and get them anything else, there should be enough choices on the table for them. And that's pretty much her main point, it's got to be their choice. You can't force them to try a certain food, that will just make it worse. It will take time but if they know it's their choice they are more apt to try (hopefully).

I also discovered my son prefers his veggies crunchy and not cooked. Fine, saves me time and less pans to clean. We do a lot of carrot sticks, sliced red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, green beans, all raw. Not to say I don't serve cooked veggies as well but it's one or the other, I'm not serving both at the same time to accommodate him.

We also deal with multiple food allergies. I have another child allergic to eggs, milk and soy. We don't stray for the core set of meals very often either. It does get a little boring. Shopping is mostly the outside of the grocery store, fruit, veggies, meat. Very little processed foods. Every now and then if I want something fancy I know the kids won't eat, I'll simply put out some safe hot dogs at the same time and ask them if they want any of the other dish. They usually will try a little.

My son is now seven and is starting to get better and try new foods a little bit more and not put up such a fuss over dinner, however my 5 year old is starting to put up blockers on some foods that she previously would eat.

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This is not cruel at all and more parents today should be doing just that. Let them go hungry if they refuse to eat what you cook for dinner....that won't last long. ;) It amazes me that some people let their kids dictate what they will eat!

I have friends that allow their kids to do that and they seem to eat the same foods day in and day out. I would never be able to live like that. One friend in particular seems to live on cereal, Mac and cheese, and Ramen noodles. Why, oh why? I just don't get it.

I get the whole, eat to live, don't live to eat but honestly, I love food. I'm trying to teach my kids that variety is the spice of life.

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AnnJay,

If it were me, I'd transition to one meal for the family, naturally gluten-free as you have too many intolerances to combine gluten-free and picky eaters. Plus, some day you may start getting cross-contaminated from your kids' cereals or from their gluteny hands and kisses.

Gluten free goddess has a good number of food intolerances so check out her site for recipies. She also gives good substitution ideas. http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2012/10/gluten-free-pumpkin-donuts.html

When your kids grow out of the "don't mix my food" stage you could look at this gluten-free slow cooker site - she has great family ideas. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Good luck!

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