Several years ago, my son was diagnosed with a condition which prompted us to start him on the GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet. This meant he had to avoid foods with gluten, a protein found in wheat products, such as most cereal, crackers, and bread. He also had to avoid casein, a milk protein found in milk, yogurt, and cheese.
At first this diet seemed very restrictive. It was hard to find foods to replace his old favorites. We switched his milk to rice milk, which he didn’t seem to mind. Next we had to eliminate gluten from his diet, which was no easy feat. I scoured specialty stores searching for gluten-free foods, but many foods were pricey and lacking in flavor. Finally I realized that my kitchen was already stocked with many gluten-free foods .
Here are some of gluten-free foods you may already have on hand:
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh meat (chicken, steak, hamburger)
Sausage (check label- Cascadian Farms- mild, all natural)
Bacon (Oscar Meyer)
Turkey Burgers (Jennie O, all natural)
Many types of lunch meat (Hormel All Natural, Boar’s Head, etc)
Hot dogs (check ingredients, Oscar Meyer & many other types are gluten-free)
Potato chips (Lays, etc.)
French fries (Cascadian Farms, Ore Ida, etc. -check ingredients, some may have gluten added)
Fruity Pebbles Cereal
Corn chips (Frito Lay)
Corn tacos/ tortillas
Dum Dum Lollipops
Capri Suns (contains no artificial colors or preservatives)
Gluten free cookies, pretzels, pasta, and cakes mixes can be found in specialty stores. I found many of these products at Wegman’s. I like how they label the front of all of their foods that are gluten-free. I also shopped on-line at the Gluten-free mall, which would deliver directly to my home. You can browse their site at this link : http://www.celiac.com/glutenfreemall/?gclid=CObQgJ-f1rMCFcXb4AodU3oATA
If you are looking for more information on the GFCF diet, you may want to read Special Diets for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis . This book provides many great recipes that are gluten and casein free.
At times it was difficult for my son to stay on this diet, but it did get easier as we found alternative foods to replace his old favorites. The diet helped him tremendously and today he is able to eat a normal diet, including foods with gluten and casein.
The gluten-free diet is becoming more popular and gluten- free foods are more readily available in stores, however you may need to look no further than you kitchen to find a wide variety of gluten-free and casein-free products.