Monday, April 22, 2013

Gluten Free/Casein Free Experiment Day 3 (And a paleo meatball recipe!)

So far we haven't had any complaints about our change in diet. I made sure to fully stock the house with favorite "safe" foods so no one would feel deprived, and it seems to be working.

Some of the behaviors I'm noticing that I'm hoping will go away. Henry's shirt chewing has increased again this week as has his back talking, neediness/clinginess, and fixation on Minecraft. Thomas was particularly fussy today. We have compounding factors with Thomas - in addition to the diet change we're also night weaning.

On a related note, I slept through the night last night for the first time in over two years! Woo hoo!

So here's what the kids ate today.

Sausage, strawberries, dry chocolate chex cereal.
Once again, Helen ate everything. The boys just ate the sausage.

Grazing on ham and fruit.
Mini Egg Pizzas from Eat Like a Dinosaur.
Helen (it's so nice to have a good eater in the house!) gobbled them up, the boys wouldn't even taste them. Which is too bad, because they really did taste like pizza and even had a pizza like texture. I will probably make them again and hope the boys will give them a try.

Peanut butter Chocolate Apple "Cookies"
These were great. Cut apples length wise so you have apple circles. (I know I should have pictures, but really anyway you slice the apple is fine.) Spread with peanut butter (or seed/nut butter of your choice). Top with "safe" chocolate chips. This felt like a huge treat!

Paleo Meatballs and pasta sauce
Quinoa pasta shells

Dinner was a huge hit with everyone. I'm so glad I made a huge batch of meatballs! I cooked half of them with marinara sauce for dinner and the other half I cooked in some chicken broth and froze for future meals. Here's the recipe:

Paleo and Kid Friendly Meatballs

1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt 
6 oz tomato paste
3 eggs
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
oil for frying
marinara sauce or chicken broth

Mix almond meal, coconut flour, garlic powder and salt. I used my stand mixer to mix everything up. Add tomato paste and eggs and mix well. Add meat and mix till everything is well combined.

Heat oil in a large pan until it sizzles when you drop something in it. Form meatballs to desired size. I used a one inch cookie scoop. Brown meatballs for a minute or so on each side and then transfer them to your marinara sauce or chicken broth. Simmer for 30 minutes or more until they're cooked through. For our marinara sauce I used a jar of my dad's homemade sauce, a jar of store sauce and about a cup of white wine. Is wine paleo? I don't know or care. :)

The meatballs were awesome. They held together well and were delicious. Even with the big eaters gobbling them up, this made enough for at least two meals.  I'm sending a few of the sauceless ones in Henry's lunch tomorrow.

Gluten Free/Casein Free Experiment: Day 2

Helen asked loudly at breakfast this morning, "Don't you just love this diet?!! We get to eat scrambled eggs and bacon and fruit!" The boys weren't as enthusiastic. They left their tacos untouched.

Scrambled eggs in corn tortillas with salsa

Chocolate Chex

Helen ate leftover meatloaf
I think Henry ate ham.
I don't know what Thomas ate. He may have just had mama's milk before his nap.

Sunday lunches are mostly grazing affairs around here. Fruit and nuts. Not sure what else they ate. Oh. Potato chips. :)

Roasted chicken
mashed potatoes with unsweetened almond milk and Earth's best soy free butter spread
roasted brussel sprouts
Almond dream vanilla ice cream for dessert

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gluten Free/Casein Free Experiment: Day 1

We've decided to jump on the GF/CF bandwagon and see if we notice any discernible positive change from the diet. I'm hoping mostly for positive behavioral changes. I have some indication that my boys are addicted to wheat and dairy - they have very limited diets composed primarily of milk and bread. My oldest in particular. My pediatrician doesn't seem too concerned that Henry lives on hamburgers, milk, and apples ("it covers all 4 food groups!"), but I actually believe nutrition is important. I've heard that once you get through the initial withdrawl, these picky eaters often expand their repertoire quite a bit.

So not only do we have GF/CF challenge, we have a very picky eater challenge. I've planned out a full week of meals and snacks based on Henry's favorite foods that are naturally (or with minor tweaking) GF/CF. I don't want to do a bunch of highly processed gluten free foods. But I don't want them to feel deprived either, so I'm allowing more "junk" than I might normally (i.e. potato chips, dairy free ice cream, etc.).

Ideally I will keep a record here of how my family receives these meals and whether I notice any changes in behaviors.

So today we ate:

Henry just ate sausage. The other kids also had hashbrowns with mustard.

Okay, this is sad, but they just jumped me when I got in from the grocery store and ate what looked good. It was past lunch time, so I just let it go.
Chocolate Chex Cereal with soy milk
Potato Chips

Meatloaf (with almond flour and coconut flour in place of bread crumbs)
Sweet potato fries
GF Ketchup (is all ketchup GF? I don't know, but I bought some marked GF just to make sure.)
Steamed broccoli
Orange Juice (calcium fortified)