A reader writes asking for gluten free suggestions for their 18 month old, a somewhat picky eater who is currently on a Gluten- and Dairy-Free diet.
Well, first of all, it is important to consultant with your child’s doctor, and ask about seeing a nutritionist. The gluten free diet can be tricky, and it is not always easy to balance the diet, especially in terms of vitamins. There is a new book: Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free by Dennis and Lefler, which can point you in the right direction and help with finding resources.
Consider the possibility of using “naturally mushy” foods such as banana, avocado, cooked sweet potato etc. These foods have a lot of curb appeal for the under 5 set. Of course, you have to choose those foods that work for you and your family.
You can also make a very nice breakfast “smoothy” in the blender, from frozen orange juice, frozen strawberries, banana, honey, and gluten-free yogurt or gluten-free non-dairy yogurt – it is the basic concept of this smoothy that is important – you should adjust the ingredients to suit your child’s tastes and needs.
For a “sandwich” try making musubi – see the instructions here, and use fillings and accompaniments that your child can eat.
Most importantly, make sure that the diet you are feeding your toddler is nutritionally appropriate for a growing child. Consult your doctor, and ask him/her for a recommendation for a nutritionist as well.