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Minette

Super Picky Eater Who Eats Almost Nothing But Gluten

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My 6 year old daughter, who was just diagnosed celiac, eats almost exclusively:

grilled cheese

cheese quesadillas

plain pasta

plain egg noodles

mac & cheese

She also eats brown rice, yogurt, fruit, and a few raw veggies. She doesn't eat any meat, fish, nuts, or eggs (not allergic -- just doesn't like them), and she only eats cheese in the form of mac & cheese.

I've already told her that she's going to need to be willing to try new things, but I don't expect her to change her diet overnight. What are some good first steps towards getting gluten out of her diet? Do I just replace all her current foods with their gluten-free substitutes, and then start trying to work in some new things?

My husband and I figure that if worst comes to worst, she can live for a while on brown rice, yogurt, and fruit!

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I eat those things too! And your can still make her those things! Buy gluten free bread, brown rice tortillas, and gluten free mac and cheese and you're all set!

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My 6 year old daughter, who was just diagnosed celiac, eats almost exclusively:

grilled cheese

cheese quesadillas

plain pasta

plain egg noodles

mac & cheese

She also eats brown rice, yogurt, fruit, and a few raw veggies. She doesn't eat any meat, fish, nuts, or eggs (not allergic -- just doesn't like them), and she only eats cheese in the form of mac & cheese.

I've already told her that she's going to need to be willing to try new things, but I don't expect her to change her diet overnight. What are some good first steps towards getting gluten out of her diet? Do I just replace all her current foods with their gluten-free substitutes, and then start trying to work in some new things?

My husband and I figure that if worst comes to worst, she can live for a while on brown rice, yogurt, and fruit!

Hi , Because gluten-free foods do taste different ( not bad, just different ) you should keep her off those simple carbs for 3-4 weeks then introduce the gluten-free version. This way she can adjust her taste buds. It does make the transition a little easier.

Udi's rolls/bagels/bread/ pizza crust are simple gluten-free white bread products that taste pretty good

Schar has a comparable corn pasta

Annie's make a decent gluten-free Mac and Cheese

good luck

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My dd still eats grilled cheese. The last time I made it I just used some left over Pamela's bread (from a mix)-she ate it up just fine.

The best pasta so far is Tinkyada, just be sure to rise it well with cold water after cooking. We have not found a good mac n cheese in a box, but if you want to make it yourself I read that Velveeta cheese is gluten-free (can anyone back this up for me?)

As far as the quesadillas, we just use corn tortillas in place of the flour ones. I have seen premade ones that look more like flour tortillas, but they are quite expensive and I can't vouch for the taste as we have never eaten them.

Hope this helps :)

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Does she reject peanut butter, too? If you could get her to eat that it would be another source of protein for her.

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My 6 year old daughter, who was just diagnosed celiac, eats almost exclusively:

grilled cheese

cheese quesadillas

plain pasta

plain egg noodles

mac & cheese

She also eats brown rice, yogurt, fruit, and a few raw veggies. She doesn't eat any meat, fish, nuts, or eggs (not allergic -- just doesn't like them), and she only eats cheese in the form of mac & cheese.

I've already told her that she's going to need to be willing to try new things, but I don't expect her to change her diet overnight. What are some good first steps towards getting gluten out of her diet? Do I just replace all her current foods with their gluten-free substitutes, and then start trying to work in some new things?

My husband and I figure that if worst comes to worst, she can live for a while on brown rice, yogurt, and fruit!

You do need to get her off the gluten ASAP. She needs to be absorbing nutrition to grow well. :)

grilled cheese - make with Rudi's or Udi's bread

cheese quesadillas - see if she will eat them with corn tortillas

plain pasta - Tinkyada rice pasta, Thai rice noodles, plenty of other brands of gluten-free pasta to try

plain egg noodles - I haven't seen gluten-free egg noodles but you might be able to make them

mac & cheese - Amy's Gluten-free mac and cheese

Other gluten-free foods my picky nephews will eat with me when they visit are Tater Tots, Glutino pretzels, rice cakes with jam, Van's gluten-free frozen waffles, and the Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes made into frosted cupcakes.

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Alas, no peanut butter either. Her only source of protein (besides dairy products) is cubed tofu -- but only mixed with peanut noodles.

She actually only eats one brand/type of just about all those things (i.e., Annie's mac & cheese, Mission flour tortillas, peanut noodles have to be a certain shape, etc.). I think she understands that the new versions are not going to be the same, but understanding is not the same as eating! Maybe it would be good to try to keep her off all of them for at least a couple of weeks so the difference isn't so glaring.

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Alas, no peanut butter either. Her only source of protein (besides dairy products) is cubed tofu -- but only mixed with peanut noodles.

She actually only eats one brand/type of just about all those things (i.e., Annie's mac & cheese, Mission flour tortillas, peanut noodles have to be a certain shape, etc.). I think she understands that the new versions are not going to be the same, but understanding is not the same as eating! Maybe it would be good to try to keep her off all of them for at least a couple of weeks so the difference isn't so glaring.

I found it helpful to not eat certain gluten-free versions of things for a few weeks until I sort of forgot what they taste like. Annies makes a gluten-free mac & cheese.

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You do need to get her off the gluten ASAP. She needs to be absorbing nutrition to grow well. :)

grilled cheese - make with Rudi's or Udi's bread

cheese quesadillas - see if she will eat them with corn tortillas

plain pasta - Tinkyada rice pasta, Thai rice noodles, plenty of other brands of gluten-free pasta to try

plain egg noodles - I haven't seen gluten-free egg noodles but you might be able to make them

mac & cheese - Amy's Gluten-free mac and cheese

Other gluten-free foods my picky nephews will eat with me when they visit are Tater Tots, Glutino pretzels, rice cakes with jam, Van's gluten-free frozen waffles, and the Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes made into frosted cupcakes.

Good suggestions, thanks!

I didn't mean I was going to keep her eating gluten any longer than necessary (though she does need to stay on it till the endoscopy). By "change her diet" I just meant I don't expect her to immediately start eating meat, fish, veggies, and all the other things she currently won't touch.

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My DD doesn't like boxed gluten-free mac and cheese, I make Alton Brown's stovetop mac & cheese with tinkyada elbows. only takes a little longer than boxed and it is so so good, we all love it! When I ate a gluten-free diet I gave it all up for a month and then added in some substitutes too. Have you checked with a dietician? Our childrens hospital (an hour away) has a special celiec group that has docs, nurses, dietician and support groups. They even have a family fun day this weekend, I hope to get a lot of new food ideas! Hang in there!

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Good suggestions, thanks!

I didn't mean I was going to keep her eating gluten any longer than necessary (though she does need to stay on it till the endoscopy). By "change her diet" I just meant I don't expect her to immediately start eating meat, fish, veggies, and all the other things she currently won't touch.

Gotcha. I misunderstood. I was afraid you meant she was so picky that you might have to take time to transition her onto gluten-free substitutes.

Having seen my nephew turn down ham because it was the wrong brand and tasted subtly different (he hadn't even seen the package to know!), I know how challenging it can be.

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I have a picky eater too! The only meat that my son will eat is Applegate Farms hotdogs. For my son, I strongly suspect it's the texture of meat that is the problem. He likes softer foods. If this is the case with your daughter, maybe she'll be open to beans? We do bean patties a lot - mashed great northern beans mixed with gluten-free bread crumbs, an egg, and seasoning then pan fried in some olive oil. Also Amy's makes a great gluten-free mac and cheese that we keep in the freezer for last minute dinners. Will she do muffins? I sneak pureed veggies (baby food veggies are super convenient for this) and beans into mine. We also do grilled cheese on Udi's. If you're trying to cut back on dairy at all then you can use the Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese in it. Another thought I have is smoothies - you can easily sneak veggies in there as well as gluten-free protein powder. I saw that she will do tofu but only one way. You might be able to experiment with that. There are also mac and cheese recipes that use pureed, soaked nuts as the "cheese" which adds protein. My favorite is the 5 minute mac and cheese recipe from the Spunky Coconut website and my ridiculously picky son eats it.

You're right - she'll totally be ok with rice, yogurt and fruit while you figure out other options!

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she may not be happy st first, but be assured she won't starve. My 3 yr old would only eat rice the first few days gluten free, then decided she was hungry, and now we can't keep her full. We've worked with a dietician due yo other health issues, and she made the suggestion of not putting food on her plate, but the food in the middle often table and let her serve herself, giving her control over what she chooses to eat and how muc h will help her adjust, it worked really well forus as my in-laws are Chinese and that is how dinner is anyway. And if she didn't want anything or said she didn't like anything we just said okay and left it at that. If you make a big deal out of meal times she will, so be relaxed, and let her have a little control, and soon she'll be eating you out of house andhome!

also I know gluten can have an opiate like effect on people, so when she goes gluten free she may get withdrawal, my little one did, once it passed she wasn't fussy anymore, in fact we just came from dinner an she ate green things!

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I "tricked" :) my picky DD1 who also was addicted (in my opinion) to glutenous products last week: I served open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches (read: udi's bread covered with melted cheese). She loved it and was surprised when I told her it was gluten-free!

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I tested Annie's microwaveable rice mac & cheese on myself last night (the kids were at a birthday party). I figured if it was revolting, at least I'd know not to try that one on her. I'm pleased to report that it was no better and no worse than regular microwaveable mac & cheese. :-) It tasted almost exactly the same -- probably because all the flavor is in the cheese and not in the noodles anyhow. The rice noodles were a little more al dente than the regular kind (maybe because I was soooo careful not to overcook), which I actually preferred.

Hopefully we'll get a similar result from the shells & cheddar in a box (which she likes better than the microwave kind anyway).

I'm also checking out flour tortilla recipes ("Gluten Free on a Shoestring" has one too) because at least as of today, she has never willingly eaten a corn tortilla!

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I think if I were in your situation, I would take all the things out of the house that she can't have. Replace them with what she can have. If she protests, put your foot down and say, "This is what we have. You can choose from these things." She may be stubborn at first, but eventually she should open up to new ideas.

Also, my daughter who was naturally picky about everything, slowly started eating new foods as she saw me eating them. Even if I hated it, I pretended that it was great just so she would try it. If she didn't like it after trying it, I never made it again. But if she ended up liking it, SCORE!

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