I have been speaking with several single moms, single dads and low income families with Celiac children and the first question they ask me is usually something like “Is there a place to find cheap gluten free food?” or “How can anyone afford to live gluten free on a small income?”
Well, I don’t have all the answers (I wish I did) but here are my best suggestions:
1. Focus on foods that are naturally gluten free.
· Most dairy products (unless they are processed) Note: Many Celiacs can’t tolerate dairy.
These are all healthy choices any way. Don’t forget about nuts and seeds too.
2. Purchase multiples of gluten free pre-packaged foods such as crackers, bagels etc. when they are on sale. (Most of the bread products are frozen anyway, so you can store them in the freezer)
3. Make your own as much as possible. This site has recipes for just about anything you would like to make and you can get most of the ingredients in Bulk food stores (Such as Bulk Barn) at fairly reasonable prices. I suggest that when you first start cooking and baking your own, you don’t buy large quantities of any ingredient except brown rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. (These, you will use a lot)
4. School lunches don’t have to be sandwiches. You can buy rice flour wraps in the frozen gluten free section (or make your own) and fill them with things like tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad or what ever your child likes. You can also make your own “lunchables” using plastic reusable containers. Just be sure that if you use cold cuts or sausage etc. that they are gluten free.
5. Yogurt makes a great snack (or dessert) Harry Horne’s custard powder is fairly inexpensive and gluten free. (You can make some up and add fruit etc. to make it extra tasty)
6. Every time you go grocery shopping, remember to check labels, look for sales and check the shelf life of each item.
The best advice I can give you, is make everything from scratch – that way you know exactly what you and your family are eating.
For a complete list of what ingredients are and are not gluten free, contact http://www.celiac.com, http://www.celiac.ca and this site. (Carry the lists with you when you shop)
In a discussion on Gluten Free Faces I learned that there is a need for children to connect with other children with the same dietary restrictions so that they don’t feel so different from the other kids. Makes sense right?
What I have done is to start a sub-group on Allergies-r-us called “Kids Connecting With Kids”
Here is how it works.
If you have a child that has Celiac disease, Diabetes or a food allergy, you e-mail me.
I will find another kid in the same area and same age group for your kid to connect with.
The initial meeting (on line) will be done through me. Once I am sure the two kids are compatible, I will let them connect directly with each other.
There is no cost for anyone for this – I just want to help the kids.
The e-mail address to be used for this is email@example.com
Once they are cooked and you split them in half, let the kids build their own mini pizzas.
1 cup milk
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup melted shortening
6 cups GF all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the sugar making sure the sugar dissolves.
Let cool to luke warm.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Let stand until frothy.
In a large bowl, combine milk mixture, yeast mixture, shortening, and 3 cups of flour.
Beat until smooth.
Add salt and remaining flour.
Knead and place in a greased bowl.
Cover and allow to rise.
Punch down and roll out to about ½ inch thick.
Cut with biscuit cutter.
Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and place rounds on top. Sprinkle cornmeal on top.
Cover and allow to rise for about ½ hour.
Heat a greased griddle.
Cook for about 10 minutes on each side.
Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage.
Gluten Free All-purpose Flour Mix
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup cornstarch
3 tsp potato flour (not potato starch)
1 ½ cups peanut butter
6 tbs Honey
1 to 1 ½ cups dry -milk powder
Combine all ingredients, add more dry milk if needed to keep it from being sticky.