08. 02. 2015
gluten Free snacks In the midst of a crazy trip to NYC a few weeks ago, I decided to drastically change my 2-year-old son's diet and jump on the gluten free bandwagon. Did I mention we were in the middle of a crazy trip to NYC?  This was clearly the best time to make a huge dietary adjustment.  This is what happens when I'm tiny-NYC-apartment-bound while kids nap.  I end up having a lot of meetings with Dr. Google and learn all kinds of interesting things.  Anyways, the main catalyst behind the change, aside from just wanting my son to eat healthier (because 3 meals a day consisting mostly of goldfish just ain't right), was to help him with his digestion and to get him, um, more regular. I have been giving him miralax for way too long and Dr. Google told me that there is new research out that suggests this might not be the best idea for young children. I also stumbled across some articles that pointed out there are often behavioral benefits to a gluten free diet. Behavioral benefits?? Hmmm interesting, tell me more... Some parents mentioned that going gluten free helped their kids seem more, for lack of a better word, rational.  They said their kids appeared to have less tantrums and just seemed more settled overall.  Dr. Google, this sounds too good to be true.  Are you filling me with lies? Either way, I figured going gluten free was worth a try. So I gathered all of our cheese-its, goldfish (ouch this was a painful one to let go), cereal, pasta and bread, and tossed them in the garbage. I then immediately pulled them back out of the garbage because it was 5 pm and way too cold and late to drag 2 cranky kids to the grocery store.  Gluten it was then for snack, dinner and breakfast, and THEN we would embark on a shopping trip and a gluten free lifestyle. It was tough at first to get a hang of figuring out what products were gluten free. I'm still far from being able to quickly identify gluten free foods, but I'm learning.  But I will tell you this - it has only been 2 weeks and it IS making a difference.  My son is more regular without miralax. WOOHOO, freedom from Miralax!  And I also have to say that it has made a change in his behavior.  Again, it has only been two weeks and I've heard that it takes 4-6 weeks for gluten to exit your system, but I see a shift and I sense more is coming.  I've tried telling this to other moms and I tend to get that "hmmm well that's interestinggggg" response. I can see them thinking that my hippie, organic, all-natural californian side is coming out.  But honestly, this has nothing to do with California.  It has to do with is the removal of gluten helping to improve our lives in several ways. I'm not going to say it's a miracle cure for anything - it's just given us a great boost in a few areas. To elaborate, beyond being a bit more regular, my son also seems a little more plugged into everything, more engaged in activities, wakes up in the mornings and from naps in a WAY better mood and I also swear his language has grown more rapidly now than when he was "hittin' the gluten." I'm sold. Peace out, gluten. Show yourself the door. This is just beginning and I'm excited to see what else might come from this change.  I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime I wanted to share some gluten free products that we have come to love. And by we, I mean my EXTREMELY picky two year old food critic.  Of course we do a lot of fruits, veggies, meats and nuts, but you all know those types of things are gluten free.  Here are some more snack-type products that I didn't know were gluten free or are really good gluten free versions of the real stuff that my PICKY two year old loves. Oh and FYI we get all these products at Whole Foods, Walmart or Target, and take note that this list is a combo of healthier items as well as more "treat" options. * Cheetos - I mean! I gotta start with this one.  Did you know these babies are gluten free???!  Actually, Frito-Lay makes A TON of gluten free products - Check out Frito-Lay's Gluten Free list to see their other products. * Gultino Cookies - My son especially loves the oreo ones.  He has no idea they are not regular oreos. * Utz Potato Stix - interesting and different little Gulten free snack. My son thinks they're mini french fries - sure, I'll go with that. * Fiber one fruit snacks - These have the added bonus of fiber and my son LOVES them. He thinks they're candy. I love when I can trick him when it comes to food. *Craisins Dried Cranberries - These are so good and they have fiber in them as well! *Hershey Products - A lot of their products are gluten free. I like to give my little guy some chocolate chips for a dessert.  Yummy for a treat! *Immaculate brownie cookies - HOLY gluten free these things are AH-MAZING. I "make them for my son" but my husband and I eat 90% of them before my son has one. These cookies are insanely good and I'm VERY particular when it comes to cookies. *chex cereal - Good ole chex - thanks for being there for us.  Your cereals are so yummy you'd never know they didn't have gluten. *Earth Balance Aged Cheddar Popcorn - I love chips, but this popcorn makes me and my son say, "chips, who?" SO delicious. *Arrowroot cookies - These are really tasty replacements for animal crackers. Really good. *popchips - You know when you try to give your child healthy chips and they look at you like oh you're so silly I see right through you and NO I will not be eating these? Well, they won't do that with PopChips. They pretty legit. *Kale chips - My crowning domestic achievement lately - homemade kale chips.  SO easy, really good and super healthy.  All I do is get lacinato kale, wash and dry it, then rip off the leafy part into small, chip-size pieces. I then toss them with olive oil and salt and microwave them on a dish with paper towels underneath and top for 3 minutes.  YUM! Do you have any fav gluten free products??