Cinnamon Waffles (GF, DF, NF, SF, EF)

Fall is here! Well it is for those of us in a colder climate.  I’m actually from the South, where we do not actually get a fall-time, just a very confused winter that goes from shifts 50 degrees from day to day later in the year.

Now I live in Washington, where the September 21st is pretty much literally when fall starts every year and you can count on the weather to change at that exact time.  Now, of course, I love to pull out the scarves, sit down with a pumpkin latte, and eat cinnamon everything this time of year!  So here are some allergy-free cinnamon waffles for those little ones who have allergies, or anyone else who may enjoy them!

 

INGREDIENTS:

cup GF flour (I use one with garbanzo bean, tapioca, and sorghum)

1/2 cup Buckwheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp Allspice

1 TBS ground cinnamon

1/2 ripe avocado

1 small ripe banana

2 TBS avocado oil

2 TBS honey

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup rice milk (or other dairy free milk)

1 sweet apple, peeled & diced (Gala, or other sweet variety)

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, Allspice, and cinnamon to combine.

In a separate bowl, use a fork to mash and mix the avocado and banana together, until it becomes a mushy texture, smooth texture.  Add the avocado oil, honey, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.  Then add the rice milk and mix again.

Add the liquid mixture into the large bowl with the flour mixture and mix them together until they are combined and there are no more chunks of flour.

Gently fold in the diced apple.

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Heat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray with avocado or canola oil cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Add the batter and cook according to your waffle iron. I use one that makes Belgian waffles, and it takes about 3 minutes on each side.

These come out nice and crispy! They are a dark color because of the buckwheat, but the nutty flavor from this flour goes great with the cinnamon.

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Serve with a nice healthy syrup: Add frozen blackberries (or blueberries, or other sweet berries) to 1 TBS honey in a small bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds to make blueberry syrup. Maple syrup actually tastes even better, but my daughter’s tummy cannot handle any syrups, so we use honey.

If you enjoy this recipe, please check out more recipes and food ideas from the tab on the right. Also, please share this with your friends and leave me a comment telling me your experience making it. Thank you!

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Lunch Ideas

Here are a few of my daughter’s favorite lunch combos that work great for a picky toddler with a sensitive tummy:

(Check out my post Food You Can Buy (GF, EF, NF, DF, SF) for pictures of some of the things listed here that I buy.)

 

LUNCH 1:

1/2 large link of Aidell’s chicken & apple sausage (or at least 4 mini links)

1 small slice of zucchini bread w/ pumpkin (cooked & mashed), mashed banana, and avocado mixed together and spread on top

A few peeled cucumber slices

 

LUNCH 2:

2 slices of Lunch meat broken in pieces

1-2 southwest hash brown patties (or kale tater tots)

Zucchini and cherry tomato slices mixed with avocado & Daiya ranch dressing

 

LUNCH 3:

Zucchini slices topped w/  homemade hummus (I use cooked chickpeas, sweet peas, and navy beans blended with canola oil, garlic, and herbs)

Turkey meat in broth (my daughter LOVES pieces of turkey in the broth with some Tony Chacheres seasoning. I just cook a turkey breast in the crock pot and then give her small pieces in a bowl with the broth and Tony’s)

1/2 slice homemade GF, SF, EF, DF, NF bread (recipe to come) spread with olive oil, sprinkled w/ Italian seasoning and garlic powder, toasted

 

LUNCH 4:

Turkey wrap

About a handful of quinoa and plantain chips mixed

A couple tablespoons or so of sliced green or black olives

 

LUNCH 5:

Fried burrito (My daughter’s favorite: heat a corn tortilla in a hot skillet for 30 seconds each side until it becomes soft, top with allergy friendly refried beans, avocado, chopped spinach, Daiya ranch dressing, fold like a burrito and fry in avocado oil on each side until crispy and browned)

Olive slices

honey roasted carrots

 

LUNCH 6:

Elk meatballs

Raw broccoli (my daughter loves it raw)

Cucumbers

Sweet potato chips

Crispy potatoes (peeled, chopped red potato tossed in avocado oil with salt and pepper, and baked until crispy)

 

Lunches are hard for me, because I’m always in a hurry, so some of these are thrown together things that my daughter just happened to really like! But these examples are basically the type of lunches that we do. My daughter’s favorite, by far, is the fried wraps. It doesn’t matter what I put in them, she loves them (especially dipped in her ranch 🙂

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For more information on nutritional guidelines, or more ideas, please see the “Resources” tab to the right of this page.  For recipes please check out my recipes page, and keep checking back! I am always adding more.

If this information is helpful for you, please like, share and comment. Thanks for visiting!

Food You Can Buy (GF, EF, NF, DF, SF)

Here are a few staples that we keep in our house for snacks or quick sides, etc. that are allergen free.

 

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The quinoa puffs and veggie crisps help add grain to a limited diet, and my daughter LOVES these spicy ones!

 

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These lentil chips are a great snack because they have protein and nutrients that other chips don’t; so they are great to have on the go! The veggie strips are mostly potatoes, but still a tasty treat 🙂

 

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These sausages work really well for lunchtime, or a quick snack to take on the road. I heat them up in a bowl full of water and pull the skins off (makes it easier for a toddler to chew).  My daughter loves these. But you have to be really careful with the artichoke & garlic one. I have found SO many pieces of cartilage, or something that is really hard in EVERY link I have had so I check those very thoroughly before giving them to my daughter.

 

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I buy these sausages at Walmart. They are by far the best quality that I have found: simply meat and spices. No weird additives. And they taste really good. My daughter loves the pork!

 

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These little tater tot things are great. I just microwave them for a few seconds and then stick them in the toaster oven on foil until they get crispy.  dr. Praeger’s also has a Southwest Hashbrown option. Those are my daughter’s favorite. For her limited diet, the dietitian says she considers potatoes a grain and they are nice and high in calories, which growing kids need, so these are a great option.

 

 

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For sandwiches or just finger foods, these lunch meats work great. My daughter loves the ham. The ranch dressing is also great addition to your available condiments. It helps my daughter eat her veggies when she just doesn’t really feel like eating them. I add to her wraps and tacos also.

 

 

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This is the ONLY soup I have found that my daughter can tolerate. It is great to have around for those nights when you just don’t have time to make anything. Or if you are going out eat, you can take these along pretty easily.

 

There is not much else that I have found to buy for my daughter (rather than cook from scratch), but these few things are staples in our household!  This is not an exhausted list, but it sums up what we normally buy. I hope this is helpful!

 

If this is helpful for you, please like, share, or comment! 

Easy Lunch for that Sensitive toddler!

I always seem to be in a hurry at lunch time for one reason or another, so anything quick and yummy AND nutritious for my daughter is always more than welcome!

If you’re looking for a quick lunch that’s fun for toddler’s try a wrap (as usual, this lunch is gluten, soy, dairy, egg, and nut free):

What you need:

1 tsp avocado oil

1 100% corn tortilla

2 slices of Lunch meat or your choice, chopped (I use Natural Choice)

2 slices cucumber, chopped

1 tbs green onions

A few leaves spinach, chopped

Dairy free ranch dressing

How I make it:

Pour the oil in a small skillet and heat on medium-high heat. Swirl the tortilla in the oil to coat it and let it cook a little on each side until it is easily bendable (about 1 minute on each side).

Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. I put some ranch on the bottom, then lunch meat, green onions, cucumbers, spinach, and a little more ranch on top.

Fold the tortilla and place fold side down in the skillet over medium high heat just until it cools enough to stick together (about 2-3 minutes).

And serve with a side of quinoa and plantain chips! My daughter loved being able to hold her wrap! She really enjoyed it!

The NEVER-ENDING Diaper Rash!!

Has your child ever experienced a diaper rash? Most babies will at some point experience a rash, for one reason or another, and they usually heal in a matter of hours or a couple days. For yeast rash, it may take a doctor’s visit and some prescription cream, but it should still clear up after a week or so, right?  Yeah, for the normal baby… Not for my daughter!

 

Diapers Problems from the Beginning

My daughter has had problems with rashes since she was in size 1 diapers.  Huggies gave her pretty bad rashes every time we used them. We tried numerous other kinds and she always ended up breaking out in a rash. Her doctor said that what she was experiencing was some type of allergy to the diapers because she was always able to wear the diapers for a few days before the redness started. And then the redness would turn into an actual rash, and it would continue to get worse until I changed the kind of diaper she was wearing.  We finally found Pampers Sensitive worked best with her.

And Pampers worked great until she was old enough to drink water and became a heavy wetter. Then they turned into a gross mess. The pee would basically “sweat” out of the diapers like sweat on a glass of ice tea and then they would leak.. and fall apart (literally).  So I tried a number of other diapers, but I just couldn’t find anything that didn’t make her break out; and I swore I would NEVER use cloth diapers.. they’re gross, a lot of work, and just weird!  So I just dealt with Pampers Sensitive, until she grew out of size 4. Yep, seriously, they don’t sell them past size 4. Why would you do that to me Pampers??!!  My only other option was the very expensive Gentle Care (which is basically the same diaper as Pampers Sensitive, but it is exclusive to Target and they actually sell size 5. But for the horrible quality that they were, the leaks we kept having, and the money we had to spend for them, they just were not a long term solution.

 

The Beginning of Cloth Diapers

So I finally had no choice but to start using cloth diapers. And if you are considering using them, I would HIGHLY recommend Wegreeco diapers from Amazon. They are way cheaper than the average cloth diapers, great quality in my opinion, and they work really great. Just DO NOT “strip” them. I’m sorry, but in my opinion, stripping diapers is nonsense.  Just use regular detergent that is free of fragrances and use enough to clean them and you really don’t need to do anything else.

Once I learned that, I realized that cloth diapers weren’t so bad after all. Just follow the manufacturers instructions. If you’re baby gets a rash, use diaper liners temporarily. You can buy those on Amazon too.  I didn’t use the liners and ended up with with cream on the diapers, so I tried washing them in hot water (against the manufacturing instructions). This completely ruined them as pocket diapers. But before I ruined them, they worked really well.  I also use Gerber bath rags for wipes. I just wet them with water and throw them in with the diaper inserts when I wash them. It makes everything easier and it is one less thing to wonder about when she gets a rash.

 

And the Rash Begins

I used cloth diapers on my daughter for a good few months with no major rash problems. She had some rashes here and there when she would get diarrhea from food (check out my blog on food allergies for more info on that), but they were always gone by the next day.  Then, one day, a rash started as usual from an episode of diarrhea and I treated it as I usually would. But it continued to get worse. Every day it got worse. The doctor prescribed Nystatin in case it was yeast, and we tried that for a few days along with oatmeal baths and constant diaper changes. And I had to revert back to disposables for a short time so I could cake on the cream.

But for most of the day, I just let her run around naked. I tried to keep her contained on the tile floor as much as possible for when she had an accident, and I just had to keep cleaning up after her; but I didn’t care as long as it worked.  The nurse told me that if it was yeast, the best thing I could do was let her run around naked. Well, it continued to get worse.

So we went in to see her doctor. He thought it was her diaper allergy acting up since I was using the disposables (Pampers Gentle Care, now called Pampers Pure), and that I should just use the cloth and put hydrocortisone cream on the rash to help it go away.  So we did that and continued to let her run around naked for a couple days.  It STILL got worse. The rash was so bad at this point that it started oozing. It was AWFUL! It brought me to tears to see something like that on my child!

So I took her in again and a different doctor told me it was definitely a very bad yeast infection and that I should try treating her with Monistat (please ask a doctor before trying this though, there is a right and wrong one to use, but I don’t remember exactly at this point). She told me the rash should clear up quickly with the Monistat and should be completely gone by day 3.  So I continued to let her run around naked and and I tried treating her with monistat for FIVE days. It improved some, but never went away. And then it started getting worse again.

Finally, her doctor saw us again and he basically said that although the other doctor meant well, it clearly was not a yeast infection because it was not in the folds of her skin. He told me that I did not use the hydrocortisone cream long enough because it takes at least a couple days of application before it would actually start to work. He also referred us to a dermatologist, but they were–of course–booked for over a month. I continued with the hydrocortisone cream, and I did see some improvement, but the rash still just would NOT go away!

A Useless Dermatologist Visit

After a month, we finally got in to see the dermatologist. He looked at the pictures I had taken of the rash, looked at the rash she still had at the time, and gave me his conclusion. Clearly, the problem was that I don’t change her diapers often enough. He said it was “Irritant Contact Dermatitis”, not yeast, or anything to be concerned about… I just needed to change her diapers more often.  “Seriously?” I said, “Did you not hear me say that I let her run around naked for 2 weeks??  I change her VERY often! Half the time she is not even wet, or she is barely wet when I change her!” But, nope, that wasn’t good enough. Clearly, she just needed more diaper changes. And that’s all I got out of that visit. That and the fact that this was the worst rash he had ever seen. Apparently I am the worst diaper changer ever!

 

Finally an Answer!!

So I called the nurse at my daughter’s doctor’s office and told her how the appointment went.  She was just about as frustrated as I was and relayed it to the doctor, who penciled me in for another appointment.  He took another look at the rash and again said that it seems like an allergic reaction to him.  He told me to stop using disposables altogether, but I explained to him that the cream will mess up cloth diapers (I had kind of already messed them up at this point). And he gave me this confused look and said, “Wait, are you not using cotton diapers?” So I explained to him that most diapers are not really cotton anymore, they are made of bamboo and all sorts of other materials so they can be thin and still absorbent.  So he told me to try cotton ONLY.

Well, I already had the pocket diapers and there was NO WAY I was going to buy a whole new set of diapers, so I just went to Walmart and bought some Gerber 100% cotton prefold diapers.  I placed them in the diapers (not in the pocket, just laying on the diaper). I also started using Lanolin as a barrier cream because it easily washes out of cotton diapers if you wash them in hot water.

At this point, after THREE months of dealing with this horrible, never-ending rash and no answers.. FINALLY it went away!!  We actually had a party celebrating the end of her rash (I’m not kidding). It was such a relief!  So, it turns out, her doctor was right the whole time. It WAS a skin allergy.

We later saw an allergy doctor, who after testing confirmed that my daughter has 4 skin allergies, to 2 preservatives, a topical antibiotic, and “fragrance.”  As it turns out, Pampers “Pure” is not so pure after all. They put fragrance on the inside of the diaper that touches the skin. Not only was that aggravating her, but her shampoo had fragrance and one of the preservatives, and the diaper rash creams apparently mask the fragrance under different names (even the “all-natural” or “organic” ones that we tried).  Now it all made sense. Everything we were using was constantly causing an allergic reaction, and the more things we used (Pampers, rash cream, shampoo), the worse it became.

Now, we only use the cotton inserts during the day. I just fold them in the opposite direction of the actual folds and set them in the diapers. It works great. We have yet to have another rash at all, and these are actually WAY easier to care for than the normal cloth diapers. I wash the inserts and rags that I use as wipes separate from the covers so I can wash them in hot water.  I use Arm & Hammer Sensitive laundry detergent, which has worked the best in my experience. Even though the cotton inserts are bigger and bulkier, my daughter doesn’t mind them and I rarely have leaks anymore; but most importantly we are rash free!!

At night we use Honest diapers. Initially, I thought these were just a Hollywood gimmick. But we KEPT having leaks at night with cotton diapers, no matter what kind or how we used them. So, I went out and tried the ONE type of diaper that I had not tried yet: Honest. And to my utter surprise, these are amazing! They do not bother her skin, since they are free of all preservatives and fragrances (and even plastics, if you are one of those moms that likes things to be “all-natural”).  And they look super cute! Not to mention, they are WAY better quality than Pampers anyway.  The only downside is the price. They are worth every penny by all accounts, but they are very expensive. Some people may be able to buy in bundles with wipes and have significant savings, but we can’t because my daughter is sensitive to the wipes (flower extracts=fragrance for her). So, we just use them at night. But I will HIGHLY recommend giving Honest diapers a try if your little one has rash problems.

 

Conclusion

If your baby has a rash that just will NOT go away, maybe it is a skin allergy.  Ask your doctor, of course, but try cotton inserts and/or Honest diapers. The inserts are cheap at Walmart, and may be a simple solution. If not, you won’t lose much.  If anything you’ve read here was helpful for you, please let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Allergy-Friendly Savory Veggie Waffles (GF, DF, EF, SF, NF)

These waffles are SUPER allergy friendly! They are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free (Whew!) for my daughter who has some intense food allergies. I am no expert cook, but I have tried to make everything I can work so my daughter can enjoy her food.

These are packed with protein (I use a garbanzo and fava bean GF flour mix, and add more garbanzo flour) and fats (avocado and canola oil, or oil of your choice), which little ones need for development.

I do not have any pictures yet because I made these as an experiment and did not know if they would turn out.

Well, they taste like a crunchy pot pie! My daughter loves them!

When I make them again, I will add pictures. If you make them and you like them, please leave feedback for me! I want to hear about it!
2 cups GF flour (I use one with garbanzo and fava beans for added protein)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ a medium to large avocado
⅛ cup apple sauce
3 TBS canola oil
¾ cup rice milk
⅔ cup water
1 tsp dried basil
⅔ cup cauliflower florets finely chopped (softened; see note)
½ bunch green onions (or scallions)
⅓ orange bell pepper
1 large stalk celery finely chopped (softened; see note)

DIRECTIONS:
Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, mash avocados with a fork until they become a creamy mixture. Mix in the applesauce and canola oil (I used my handheld mixer in a normal size soup bowl for this part).
Then add the rice milk, water, and dried basil to the avocado mixture and mix well.
Pour the liquid mixture to the flour and mix with a handheld mixer for at least 30 seconds (GF flour is different than wheat.. You want to mix well). Add the cauliflower, green onions, bell pepper, and celery to the mixture and mix just until combined.
Heat the waffle iron and let the batter sit for at least 20 minutes. Once the waffle iron is ready and the batter has had a chance to sit, follow the instructions for your waffle iron and cook them like normal waffles. Mine take about 1-2 minutes on each side.
NOTES:
To soften cauliflower: I just put the cauliflower in a bowl with a tiny bit of water, cover with a plate, and steam it in the microwave for about 2 and a half minutes, until it’s tender.
To soften the celery: I put in a bowl, cover it with water, and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, or until tender.
I have not learned how to reheat these in a way that does not dry them out, so they really do not keep well. My daughter will still eat them, but they do dry out when reheated (no matter how I try to reheat them). If you find a way to reheat them without drying them out, PLEASE leave a comment and tell me about it! Thanks!

This recipe was adapted from the original recipe here, Savory Veggie Waffles

Allergy-Friendly Grape Muffins (GF, DF, NF, EF, SF)

These muffins are SUPER allergy friendly! They are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free (Whew!) for my daughter who has some intense food allergies. I am no expert cook, but I have performed many experiments trying to make nutritious food that my daughter can enjoy. These are a result of that.

They’re are packed with protein (I use a garbanzo and fava bean GF flour mix, and add more garbanzo flour) and fats, which little ones need for development (avocado and canola oil, or oil of your choice).

I do not have any pictures yet because I made these as an experiment and I wasn’t sure if they would turn out. When I make them again, I will add pictures. If you make them and like them, please leave feedback for me! I want to hear about it! Thanks!

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Gluten-free all purpose flour
½ cup Garbanzo Flour
2 3/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ cup honey (I use local, raw honey for more flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ cup avocado
½ banana (heating up frozen bananas works best)
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup rice milk
1 ¾ cups small grapes (concord? I used some that were given to us from our friends’ vine; I’m not sure what they are exactly)

DIRECTIONS:

Pour both flours and the baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mush up the banana and avocado together until it becomes a mushed up soupy, glob of slop, then add the canola oil to the slop and mix some more.

Measure out the honey and vanilla and pour into the flour mixture. Add the oil, avocado, banana mixture also and mix into the flour with a handheld mixer.

Add the milk and mix very thoroughly with a handheld mixer (the key here is actually to OVER mix, not under mix. GF flours need a lot of mixing).
Add the grapes and mix gently to combine it all together.

NOW preheat your oven to 375 (F). The batter needs to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you add it to the muffin pan.
After 30 minutes, either use paper muffin cups or do what I do and grease your muffin pan with canola oil. Then add the batter. I fill it almost to the top of each cup.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown (30-32 minutes with my oven)

Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.   DON’T check to see if the insides are still moist. They will be until they sit out for a while and the dough fluffs up. That test doesn’t work with GF flour.

 

This recipe was adapted from the original recipe here, Grape Muffins

To see a different version of this recipe with added veggies click here.