Monday, February 13, 2012

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Menus

One of my daughter's best friends has a number of food allergies, which include Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Red Food Dye. We don't mind accommodating these allergies at all when we have their family over for dinner, or invite their daughter to have playdates or sleepovers. We'll even pick them up a few groceries when we can, every couple of months. Once you start shopping, it's not actually too terribly difficult to make adjustments. The biggest difficulty, I find, is that most of the dairy-free options opt for soy, so finding dairy-free AND soy-free isn't always a cinch. But there is still a ton of things available, and, an ever-growing market of labels boasting "gluten-free". I have a few friends whose children have food allergies, but more so, I have friends who hear the menus I'll plan for my daughter's friend and seem to think this is some "above-and-beyond" thing I am doing. It's really not. Thought I would share some simple examples of the menu items, hopefully in an effort to raise awareness that it's not as difficult as people think.

Dinner: Venison meatloaf made with gluten-free bread crumbs, mashed potatoes made with almond milk & gluten-free gravy, mixed veggies and gluten-free toast. (Also, Earth Balance now makes a dairy-free soy-free butter spread)

All-natural fruit Popsicles (Edy's Fruit Bars) and dairy-free/soy-free chocolate chips.

Hot Cocoa: I melted dairy-free soy-free chocolate chips in a saucepan and mixed it with warm almond milk. :)

Breakfast: Eggs, sausage, fruit, American fried potatoes, gluten-free toast.

Fruit Smoothies!

Other snacks: gluten-free chips & Chex cereal.
Really any meat, fruits, vegetables... she's not allergic to eggs, it opens it up quite a bit. Not many cereals, (but some!) not traditional pizza or pasta--but specialty ones. Pot roast is a go, chicken & potatoes are a go, the list goes on and on! Once you find the right substitutes (ex: almond milk), it's easier then you think to make it work. And, I'm excited to learn that Daiya has a new dairy-free soy-free shredded cheese in cheddar and mozzarella flavors that melts, which will make the treat of pizza all the easier! Hope this post is a blessing to you or someone you know!

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