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027daisy

Daycare Meals That Wont Break The Bank!

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I run a home daycare with 7 kids and have just currently made my home and daycare gluten free because my 3 1/2 year old has been diagnosed with celiac. I need to provide a grain at breakfast, one snack, and lunch since I am a licensed provider that used the food program. I am finding that its super spendy buying grains and the flours I need to bake home made items. I could really use some advice and tips if you have any! My daughter also has a metabolic disorder and cant have more than 4 grams of fat per meal and cant have medium chain fats like butter, avocado, coconut. So we are pretty limited! Thank you!!!

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For breakfast could you use one of the gluten free cereals like Rice Chex or Corn chex?

They are mainstream enough that you may be able to find them in bulk at some place like SAM's Club. I have a BJ's Warehouse membership and I have seen Chex cereals there.

For snacks, depends on age of the kids: apple slices, baby carrots and dressing, jello, pudding, popsicles, corn chips, cheese cubes, ants on a log (celery with PB and raisins) or celery with cream cheese.

Lunches: Soups, stew and chili are the most economical. Look into meals you can make in the crock pot. Use rice, potatoes, and corn instead of pasta and bread. Fresh fruit and steamed veggies are always good. Quesadillas are fun. Make Peanut Butter and jelly or other types of sandwiches out of pancakes instead of bread (gltuen free pancakes are easier to make and cheaper than buying gluten free bread).


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

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lunch-broccoli cheese rice casserole with ham or chicken, inexpensive, easy, kid friendly, maybe use lowfat dairy products if tha fat content is a concern

this is a staple in Ds's lunch thermos, I often use leftover rice and roasted chicken

I posted a recipe for lasagne rice in the cooking forum, once upon a time.


Me: GLUTEN-FREE 7/06, multiple food allergies, T2 DIABETES DX 8/08, LADA-Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, Who knew food allergies could trigger an autoimmune attack on the pancreas?! 1/11 Re-DX T1 DM, pos. DQ2 Celiac gene test 9/11

Son: ADHD '06,

neg. CELIAC PANEL 5/07

ALLERGY: "positive" blood and skin tests to wheat, which triggers his eczema '08

ENTEROLAB testing: elevated Fecal Anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA Dec. '08

Gluten-free-Feb. '09

other food allergies

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I should clarify--I need to provide a grain for all 3 meals! Good ideas!!! I have been searching the web so much my eyes are going to go cross eyed!! haha!

Corn and rice are the cheapest gluten free grains and they are verstile as far as recipes go. Grits could be something else that would make a cheap breakfast. If snacks need to have grains too then you could do popcorn, puffed rice cereal, chex cereals, etc. Oats are probably the next cheapset grain, but they are heavily contaminated by wheat and for most celiacs are not considered safe unless certified gltuen free. Even if certified gluten free, oats can cause a reaction in some people. Bob's Red Mill seems to be the cheapest gluten-free oats on the market. Perhaps you could make oatmeal cookies with it if your daughter does not have a problem with oats. Other gluten-free grains are millet, teff and sorghum. They are not as easy to find and will cost you much more than buying corn and rice products. Quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat are all gluten free and very good for you, but they are not technically grains. You might want to check wehther they would be accepted as grains for your program, however they are more expensive as well. Making any kind of baked goods is going to be much more expensive than just serving the grains in their whole form; a bowl of brown rice with stir-fry over it or some corn thrown in a pot of chicken chili is more economical than a sandwich made from gluten free bread.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

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It's been about 14 years since I had a kid in the day care state or county meal program so I might be a bit off.

I remember they could have tortilla chips as a grain once a week. You could melt a little cheese on them and put a little chili or ground beef on. Rice with marinara and cheeses melted on top. Make some little meatballs to put in it. You can use some gluten-free bread to make bread crumbs. My mom used to put cooked rice in the meatball. Do rice cakes count?

You could advertise as a gluten-free day care. Even charge an extra $5 bucks to get bread and crackers.


 

 

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I run a home daycare with 7 kids and have just currently made my home and daycare gluten free because my 3 1/2 year old has been diagnosed with celiac. I need to provide a grain at breakfast, one snack, and lunch since I am a licensed provider that used the food program. I am finding that its super spendy buying grains and the flours I need to bake home made items. I could really use some advice and tips if you have any! My daughter also has a metabolic disorder and cant have more than 4 grams of fat per meal and cant have medium chain fats like butter, avocado, coconut. So we are pretty limited! Thank you!!!

Running a gluten-free daycare with 7 kids and not going broke will definitely take some creativity. I am sure as time goes on you will get more and more idea's.

Your options with the 4 gluten-free chex cereals are pretty versatile:

Use as cereal and since there are 4 flavors you should be able to please everyone

you can make a gluten-free trail mix with raisins and chopped dried fruits, marshmallow etc..

use the corn chex crushed as breading on chicken tenders( these are really good)

goto the chex website and check out all their recipes for snacks it's worth the eyestrain :)

rice cakes are also a good option, quakers are safe and available everywhere(not all flavors are safe, check first)

you can dress them up with cream cheese,p butter or sunbutter (allergies?) , jam

pancakes are not just for breakfast, they make fun sandwiches and can be a lunch with a protein and fruit as well.

pigs in a blanket can still be gluten-free , use Jones sausage links add a fruit

I make big batches and freeze the leftovers and microwave on defrost when needed. You could do that on Sun nights for the week!

Corn chips and tortilla chips with salsa or guacomole , cheese, ground beef , whatever you can think of

If your celiac child can do gluten-free oats then you have another breakfast, and snack.

Don't forget you can make your own granola with them,

Nature valley has 2 gluten-free bars and my DD can handle the dark chocolate and oats and honey flavors

good luck

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another idea

Buy natures path gluten free cereal (like vanilla surprise) and Kix cereal, mix them together. This way you get a decent cereal at about $3.25 a box

Most gluten-free cereals are much higher in fiber and protein so you can do this and still have a better than most cereal

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Awesome, thank you!!!

another idea

Buy natures path gluten free cereal (like vanilla surprise) and Kix cereal, mix them together. This way you get a decent cereal at about $3.25 a box

Most gluten-free cereals are much higher in fiber and protein so you can do this and still have a better than most cereal

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I applaud your efforts but feeding a bunch of little ones on a gluten free MCADD diet WILL break the bank. I know you don't want your little one singled out but for your pocket book you may want to accept its only your little one thats on the special diet. Our kids eat almost non stop due to the high carb/low fat diet and in a kid with a normal metabolism feeding them like that can very quickly make them over weight so while the diet is fantastic for an FOD kid, its not so healthy for regular kids. Just something to think about from someone who has BTDT with kids with different diet needs.

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Well I start totally gluten free tomorrow, wish me luck! I have been doing gluten free lunches for a couple weeks now but have been giving normal breakfasts and snacks until I used up what I had! Its going to be an interesting transition!!

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Well I start totally gluten free tomorrow, wish me luck! I have been doing gluten free lunches for a couple weeks now but have been giving normal breakfasts and snacks until I used up what I had! Its going to be an interesting transition!!

good luck.

Also I wanted to share this :

Walmart sells the Envirokids cereals which also make good snacks for $3 a box, which is about $1 less than grocers. BTW Walmart has a small Gluten free section to shop in.

Target sells Annies mac and cheese for $1.89 which is also about $1 less a box than grocers. Some Targets have gluten-free grocer sections but not all.

Since you run a daycare you know how important it is to shop around. :-)

Market Basket has their own brand of gluten-free foods they put on sale once a month or so. The pumpkin muffins are very good.

My local health food store is a great place to get gluten-free foods at better than chain store prices.

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Oh great info! I will have to check walmart out!!

good luck.

Also I wanted to share this :

Walmart sells the Envirokids cereals which also make good snacks for $3 a box, which is about $1 less than grocers. BTW Walmart has a small Gluten free section to shop in.

Target sells Annies mac and cheese for $1.89 which is also about $1 less a box than grocers. Some Targets have gluten-free grocer sections but not all.

Since you run a daycare you know how important it is to shop around. :-)

Market Basket has their own brand of gluten-free foods they put on sale once a month or so. The pumpkin muffins are very good.

My local health food store is a great place to get gluten-free foods at better than chain store prices.

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I have a 2 1/2 year old with celiacs. I also have a 3 1/2 year old without. I try to provide cost friendly food for them.

Aside from normal gluten-free things like cheese sticks etc. these are some of our favorites.

-Rice cakes --- excellent snack

-Chex - Cheapest of all the cereals. You can even get coupons often for these online (just google it) Walmart has them the cheapest, unless they are on sale somewhere like Smiths. They have Rice, Honey nut, chocolate, cinnamon, corn.

-pirates booty -- gluten free.. good snack

-chips --- many many chips are gluten-free we love to have tuna fish with chips instead of bread or crackers.

-Ham rolls, (or any meat) spread cream cheese on them and roll it up

- gluten-free Waffles and pancakes are CHEAP and easy to make. the waffles freeze great

-corn tortillas are a great choice for kids. We use them a lot to make tacos or just take shredded chicken with pinto beans and cheese and eat them up. Kids love it. we also have used them to wrap hot dogs using melted cheese to hold it together.

Some tips:

Walmart has gluten-free pasta, cheaper than anyone else. Just remember it doesnt have to be mac and cheese.. we often take katalina dressing and put it on penne noodles. son loves it. (you can do this with any gluten-free dressing)

Rice Chex are excellent for breading chicken. We usually buy a huge pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts from costco or samsclub and spend an afternoon cutting the breasts into chunks, breading them with gluten-free flour (rice), egg then food processed chex. Buy a few boxes of the rice chex though as once you process it down it doesnt make as much as you'd think. We then freeze it on cookie sheets (laid out seperate) and once frozen throw them in gallon bags. Then we can cook them as we need them.

Go to your oriental store. Rice flour is like $1 a pound at mine. Thats so much cheaper then a regular store.

Make things like zucchini bread etc. for breakfast. These freeze well also.

Google "Gluten free kid recipes" or "gluten free mom" for more ideas it should provide you with more!

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