So my son cannot have dairy, soy, gluten, egg … what on earth do I feed him!? This is a question faced by many parents who have infant and toddler ‘refluxers’, as food can often be the culprit for a reflux flare and cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and/or egg from their diet can sometimes help (AND there may be other foods that need to be avoided too!). Food allergies show on allergy tests but there are no skin or blood tests for food intolerance and both can cause symptoms of reflux in susceptible children 1, 2. It is usually through a process of elimination that you can work out what food is causing a reflux flare and it is very helpful to see a dietician while you are trying to work it out. (For more information on food allergies/intolerance please see RISA Article https://www.reflux.org.au/food-intolerance-and-reflux/)
You can often use your normal recipes and substitute products for the allergen you are trying to avoid, so by using alternatives to dairy, gluten, eggs, soy. Coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut yogurt can be substituted for cow’s milk and cream in cooking (so pasta bakes etc) and soy or rice milk & nuttelex (instead of butter) in baking (pikelets & muffins) for dairy intolerance. Here is a helpful article which has different suggestions for substituting dairy in recipes (www.gfreefoodie.com). Also you can substitute gluten free flour for normal wheat flour in recipes. The pre-mix White Wings Self Raising gluten free flour behaves “almost” like real flour!
Below are some suggestions from our RISA members for meal, dessert and snack ideas:
- Veggie patties but using sweet potato. Throw all sorts of veggies into it.
- Potato pancakes.
- Dairy free gluten free lasagne. Use tortillas and THAT cheese sauce from Quirky Cooking.
- Mini pizzas on corn flour tortilla bases (Mission brand) just minus the cheese. Steam thin slices of sweet potato and then pop chicken or bacon on top.
- Sushi (chicken, avocado & cucumber is a favourite).
- Risotto cakes.
- Chicken nuggets – cover small pieces of chicken breast in rice flour/gluten free flour, then coat in rice milk & then coat in rice/corn crumbs (Orgran brand are great!), then fry.
- Tuna or chicken patties with corn or rice crumbs.
- Veggie hash browns.
- Orgran buckwheat pancake mix (with rice milk), premade & frozen as breakfast.
- Risotto with chicken (use all natural stock or Massel brand stock cubes).
- Gluten free pasta (Orgran pasta is gluten, dairy, soy, egg free) with coconut cream and bacon.
- Plain popcorn or popcorn with grated apple, cinnamon & sugar (Cut Out The Crap for Kids recipe).
- Puffed corn.
- Pikelets (substitute with gluten free flour, rice milk & minus the egg!).
- Plain corn chips (Mission brand white ones or plain Doritoes) with a mushed avocado to “dip”.
- Pilpel brand hummous with rice cakes (instead of cheese for the fat/protein, throw in some Chia seeds for the minerals/nutrients).
- Orgran corn cruskits with a nut butter, avocado & ham or avocado & grated carrot.
- Fruit skewers (or fruit on a stick as my son calls it!!), use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of watermelon/rockmelon, and thread various fruit pieces onto wooden skewers. Watermelon stars & blueberries is a favourite in our household!
- Rice pudding with rice milk (I use a bit of maple syrup, vanilla bean paste instead of sugar when cooking and/or mix in apple puree once cooked to sweeten).
- Moo Free chocolate (gluten, dairy, soy, egg and nut free!!!). Can purchase individual bars and also choc chips for baking! AND some stores should have Easter Eggs available soon!! (For a list of stockists in Australia go to this link).
- Other gluten free/dairy free chocolates include Loving Earth Mylk Chocolate (can be purchased here), Rawsome Foods (more info can be found here), Pana Chocolate (can be purchased here), and Alter Eco Chocolate (more info can be found here).
- Shepherds Works lollies (gluten, dairy, soy, egg free & also says suitable for FODMAP diets), can purchase online here.
- RISA’s Recipes page has other suggestions too, including Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding and Strawberry Friands! Both of which I can highly recommend!! They are favourites at our place.
A few good cookbooks with recipe ideas are One Bowl Allergy Free Baking (snacks and treats), Cut Out The Crap for Kids (snacks, meals, desserts), Yum (info about allergy, some recipe basics) and also there is 4 Ingredients Allergy (meal ideas). Also a free e-Book to download called From Confusion to Confidence, about parenting a child with food allergy is a good read. The organisation is based in Pennsylvania so has references to US shops/products, but still helpful.
Allergy cookbooks available for Australian RISA members to loan from the RISA library include One Bowl Allergy Free Baking by Linda Bosnic, Yum by Barbara Dennison, Fiona Wedding & Preeti Josh, Cut Out The Crap for Kids by Collette White (NEW Library Addition!!), 4 Ingredients Allergy by Kim McCosker (NEW Library Addition!!), Learning to Bake Allergen-free: Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts by Colette Martin, and The Failsafe Cookbook: Reducing Food Chemicals For Calm, Happy Families by Sue Dengate.
Websites with different recipes to try:
www.ausee.org/allergyfriendlyrecipes.htm (Very comprehensive list of other websites with allergy friendly recipes)
Author: Bianca Willis, BScience (Biomedical & Psychology), RISA Inc Secretary.
Last reviewed: March 2014
Additional information on gastro-oesophageal reflux is provided in RISA’s book “Reflux Reality: A Guide for Families” by Glenda Blanch.