Monday, 14 April 2014

Free From Favourites Link Up

This is our second Recipe Resource Blog Link Up! The first was here.

Do you have a favourite "free from" recipe? Something which is easy, fail safe, popular with the kids? Your go-to meal when pushed for time, or something quick and healthy which freezes well? There are many "free from" Bloggers out there - recipes don't have to be MEWS free or few ingredients recipes, they can be gluten free, dairy free etc.


Code for the badge:-

<a href="http://thereciperesource.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/free-from-favourites-share-your-recipes.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/kate29thompson/ScreenShot2014-01-12at104418.png" style="border:0"/></a>


To enter, click on the Link up button below and follow the instructions. Please take care to follow the three simple rules below. Happy linking!

Rules

1) You must specify which foods your recipe EXCLUDES
2) Make your reason for entering your chosen recipe clear - i.e. why it is a favourite. If you are entering an "old" post maybe add a line to explain why it's a favourite.
and lastly:-
3) The Recipe Resource takes no responsibility for anyone testing a recipe listed within this link-up, it is your responsibility to check ingredients carefully. (i.e. not everyone is always clear about gluten containing foods so if a recipe says it is "gluten free" please CHECK when following it with your own ingredients.

Friday, 11 April 2014

"Free from" Sausage Rolls

With a boy who would live on sausage meat if he could, who detests sandwiches and would happily avoid eating lunch I have had to become inventive. This recipe has been the most successful by far for us, it's portable, freezable and so quick and easy to make.

I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way to make it easier too! If you cannot get Juvela Harvest Whits mix (we get it on prescription, it's soya free but requires and egg or egg replacer) then Genius have just brought out their own pastry range which would make these even quicker and easier to make!


These contain pork sausagement from a local butcher which is gluten free. I order in bulk as they prefer to sell it that way. Alternatively you could use gluten free sausages uncooked end-to-end.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Main Meals for Kids

I find my biggest challenge is providing a balanced week day menu for my children after school. Their school will not provide them with a hot lunch, so I make up a cold lunch daily for them both. Their older brother is "only" gluten free which is slightly easier, and his High School provide him with a nutritious hot meal every day which is a MASSIVE help to me.


Like many other children with food allergies, my twins have some swallowing issues. Reflux alone usually means "sticky" food is harder to swallow, and really dry food can stick at the back of the throat. This is because reflux often desensitises that area making the swallow reflex slightly delayed - usually not much of an issue but in persistent reflux it can become a problem.

Our daughter suffers particularly with this and has to sit upright, pace herself and is very good now (at age 8) in knowing what she can and cannot manage to eat without risking choking.

And, like almost ALL children, those with allergies will still have likes and dislikes, favourites and food they wouldn't touch with the proverbial bargepole. Lastly, children with food related disorders and health conditions almost always have an overly strong emotional relationship with food. It *really* matters to them, it is often a bigger focus than maybe it should be, and they care deeply about what they can and will eat. (And what they can't!) So catering for this group can be akin to stumbling blindly through a minefield!


It's therefore even less acceptable to fob them off with the same meal several days a week (unless there are other reasons for doing so, we did it when weaning our son from tube feeds so I would never condemn anyone!) and given their dietary restrictions, nutritional content is absolutely KEY. I recently wrote about the Free From Food industry and whilst it is fine to use ready meals occasionally, most are high in salt and sugar to add flavour. You simply cannot beat cooking from scratch -and it really isn't difficult.

So here is a sample week-day meal planner for primary aged children, which you can rotate as necessary. It relies on several staples which you can easily keep in your freezer and a couple of half days (or evenings) of batch cooking. I've tried to exclude recipes which have the main allergens in, and the majority are meals you can cook in advance and freeze if desired.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Easter!

With school out for the holidays, I'm finally turning my attention to Easter! 


There seem to be more opportunities than ever this year to find free from treats for our children, finally manufacturers are catching on!

Here is a selection of suggestions from our Facebook Support Group. The Lindt dark bunnies have soya lecithin in (the highly purified oil, not ok for everyone but many tolerate it) but are otherwise soya, dairy and gluten free. This is pretty much true of all the other treats pictured below, most are available from supermarkets or high street stores like Holland and Barrett.



Personally, my vote would go for the Choices "Celtic" egg which is 60% cocoa solids, and unlike many others has few additives. This is the one my youngest two have for Easter! Holland and Barrett have a fabulous selection of treats here.


Although time is running out one of the best online supplier for children's Easter treats is "Free From For Kids" which has a lovely selection of pre-wrapped gifts and treats.




My children are getting something slightly different this year though - real bunnies!!! We are adopting some rabbits that a friend is unable to care for since she has arthritis. I have to say, that whilst it is important that our children don't feel they miss out due to allergies and health conditions, I am acutely aware that a restricted diet is often too high in simple sugars and usually attempt to find non-food alternatives anyway. I often buy little craft gifts, or inexpensive (small) Easter toys instead of chocolate -for my non-allergic children as well. This year it seems I have managed to come up trumps, you can't beat real life rabbits!



 photo letkidsbekidslogobadge_zps424b7d61.jpg

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mews free chocolate cake shapes

"These are a new favourite for my two boys" says Katrina Jansa from our Facebook support group. "The size and shapes seem to appeal to their little fingers and little appetites (although they manage to eat loads in one go!)."



Ingredients

  • 150g pure sunflower spread
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g doves self raising flour
  • 3 eggs worth of egg replacer
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp chocolate oat milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 packets moo free chocolate drops

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a magi mix.
  • Pour the mixture into a silicon cake pop assorted mould (fill them to the brim and then pop the top   mould on).
  • I put the cake moulds on an oven tray.
  • Pour remaining mixture into cup cake cases, I made 7 with the remaining mixture
  • Bake at 180 fan for 20mins
  • Wait until completely cooled to turn them out
  • Enjoy!

Cookies

This is a MEWS free and common allergen free recipe for cookies from our Facebook group. I would imagine you can easily halve the quantity if you wanted to make fewer cookies.


Dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, corn free, egg free

Ingredients

  • 1lb 2 oz gf flour
  • 8oz stork dairy free
  • 8oz maple syrup
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2tsp baking powder


Method

Mix with hands or dough hook need until it comes together without being madly sticky so I usually add more flour if it feels like it needs it. It was adapted from a normal recipe.

You can add 4 oz df chocolate chips or chocolate chips if you fancy. And if you want to make them it chocolate cookies take out two tsp of flour and add two tsp of coco.

Tip:- Rest dough for couple of hours in fridge. You don't have to do this but I have found they taste nicer.

You can serve them in two ways, roll them into squash ball size spheres and place on baking sheet. I always uses that plastic baking sheet stuff too to stop them sticking and baking for 8mins at 180. They should be golden brown and squishy inside if you can watch them through the door it's good.

Or add a little more flour until the doughs quite stiff and then you can roll it between two sheets of cling film and use cutters on it. I find it's best to do this in small batches on the tray as they are quite easy to break. Bake as above and decorate with icing.

The icing I use is 2tsp egg replacer, two tbs water mixed with 8oz icing sugar and 1/2 baking soda. Add any colours that you wish. I use gel colours but if you use liquid ones you might need to add more sugar.

If you would like to join our Facebook group, we share lots of support and free from recipes!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

An explanation of Food Allergies for Children

Healthy Eating - What it means for us

Dorothy's friends Katherine and Alfie are eight years old. They suffer from food allergies, in their case “gut allergies” called non IgE allergies which you can’t test for.

IgE allergies are the ones which bring an instant reaction, and extreme forms can cause anaphylaxis.
Do you know anyone who carries an Epipen? They contain medicine for that sort of allergy. You can test for those - which makes identifying your trigger foods a little easier, although food allergies are never easy!



"There are different types of food allergies. We have Eosinophilic Disease, when the body gets confused and thinks some foods are like germs and need attacking. The problem is this attack can end up hurting your body too! Eating those foods make your throat, tummy or bowel red and sore and stops them working properly. If you are not careful then things we all take for granted like eating, swallowing and digesting food don’t happen properly. Going to the toilet can be painful, take a long time and be really difficult. Like any other food allergy you must stop eating the food your body is reacting to.

Some people react in a quick, dangerous way to foods. This can be life threatening. Others react more slowly but the long term effect can be very serious. All our bodies like to be cared for, letting them get red, sore and swollen for long periods of time can damage them. Our bodies work best when they are properly cared for. We all try and look after our teeth by not eating too many sweets! If you have a food allergy you look after your body by avoiding those foods your body reacts to.

Sometimes that means you cannot eat foods which have important things in them for growing. That can mean you need to find those important things in other foods, or in a special formula drink, and take medicines to keep healthy."

Food still needs to be fun though - Katherine and Alfie do lots of baking and cooking with their mum. You can substitute most foods to make delicious recipes.



Katherine says "Getting enough energy is really important - we use a lot of it in school! So sometimes food you might think is less healthy is just right for us! Healthy Eating is really important. It is about looking after your body. But most of all it is about eating in a way to take care of your own body in the best way possible for you."

Want more information on food allergies? 
For “classic” IgE food allergies Our Allergy Adventures is a great site for kids. Lots of activities and useful child-friendly information.
For general info on allergies for kids www.allergykids.co.uk/
Or if your parents want to read more about allergies and intolerances, or more specifically Gut Allergies.

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