Tag Archives: gluten free

Your Guide to a Gluten Free Passover

Every holiday has its sweets and treats. Hanukkah has greasy latkes, Purim with its gooey hamantaschen, even Rosh Hashanah boasts apples dipped in honey. And then there’s the most challenging of all holiday treats for a gluten free diet . . . matzah! What gives the crackle and crunch in this otherwise boring Passover delicacy? Let’s break it down.

Traditionally, matzah is made with two ingredients: flour and water. Water is added to flour made from one of the following grains: oat, wheat, rye, barley, or spelt. The mixture is then cooked for 18 minutes at most, just long enough for it to be cooked and before it is able to rise. Because of the grains used, traditional matzah is not acceptable for those on a gluten free diet, specifically those with celiac disease.

So what is a gluten free Passover observer to do? Luckily, along with the rest of the food industry, Passover food brands are catching on to the growing need for gluten free products—now there’s even gluten free matzah! Look for “Gluten Free Matzah style squares,” made by the brands Yehuda and Manischewitz. And, as if we weren’t already fans, Manischewitz has created a full line of gluten free, kosher for Passover products! Find everything from brownie and pancake mixes to macaroons, crackers, and soup broths that are both Passover and gluten free compliant. We also recommend looking for Passover foods made with potato starch and tapioca flour, which are both gluten free ingredients.

The great news is that you don’t need to celebrate Passover in order to reap the benefits of this holiday. The season brings endless amounts of new gluten free foods that only reach shelves around the Passover season. So take out that magnifying glass and head to the kosher for Passover aisle—who knows what holiday sweets and treats you may find!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Ayelet Schieber, MS, RD is a registered dietician in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. Mrs. Schieber is a great resource for all things relating to food and nutrition, from symptom management to weight maintenance to healthy snack ideas.

Leora Hauptman, MS, RN, CPNP is a nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. Mrs. Hauptman has many years of experience working with children with gastrointestinal disorders and developmental disabilities.

Beyond Milk & Cookies: Festive Gluten and Dairy-Free Holiday Treats!

Now Dasher, Now Dancer, Now Gluten-Free Prancer and Dairy-Free Vixen?

If your child has celiac disease or a milk allergy, leaving Santa and his crew the usual milk and cookies on Christmas Eve may be out of the question. How can you best handle these food allergies and stick to your family’s traditions on Christmas Eve?

Eat Like a Reindeer
In the wild, reindeer rely on leafy greens as their main source of food. They enjoy birch and willow leaves as well as grass, moss, fern, and herbs. During the winter, they even dig below the snow using their hooves in search of a bushy plant called lichen, otherwise known as “reindeer moss!” For those with food allergies, leafy greens are gluten and dairy-free, not to mention packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K (essential for growing teeth and bones, a strong immune system, and healthy eyes and skin). Notably, leafy greens are also rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium, significant to those with celiac disease, as levels in some individuals may be low.

Why not include some reindeer food as a side for Christmas Eve dinner and save some for Rudolph to enjoy later? Make your own salad dressing to limit allergens and to encourage your family to experiment with different flavor combinations. For reindeer fare inspiration, check out CHOPCHOP’s Red Radish Salad or put your little elves to work at designing their own gluten-free, dairy-free fodder:

Jobs for Santa’s Helpers

Wash and dry lettuce using a salad spinner Tear leaves and herbs into small pieces
Peel cucumbers Grate carrots
Toss ingredients together Measure olive oil
Squeeze lemons Shake salad dressing to combine in a jar with a lid

Mix and Match Recipe: Reindeer Food
Decorate reindeer food with your choice of greenery and ornaments, then top with your favorite trimmings!

Greenery Red and Green Ornaments               The Trimmings
Baby spinach or Bok Choy Apples 2 parts olive oil plus . . .
Kale Dried Cranberries or Cherries 1 part balsamic vinegar OR
Arugula Pomegranate seeds 1 part Red wine vinegar OR
Boston Lettuce Grapes 1 part Lemon juice plus . . .
  Bell Peppers Pinch of salt
Cherry Tomatoes
Radishes
Cucumbers
Green onions
Basil
Mint
Avocado
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Pistachios

Plan a Cookie Swap
Now that you have the reindeer taken care of, what is there to cook up for Santa? Gluten-free, dairy-free baking does differ from baking with wheat flour, milk, and butter. However, in our experience, these baked goods taste just as delicious as the real thing!

Gluten-free baked goods turn out the best if you make your own gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture from a few different types of flours. By including both whole grain and starchy flours, you’ll ensure that the end result more closely mimics wheat flour. For a more detailed explanation, as well as suggestions for a variety of flours to use, check out The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. If you’re short on time or would rather purchase a gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture, there are many ready-made products available. We have tried both flour routes, and both led to yummy results!

You can use coconut, soy, and almond milk as substitutes for cow’s milk in most recipes, however, since each has a unique flavor, you may want to experiment a bit depending on what you’re baking. Additionally, if a recipe calls for warmed up milk (like hot chocolate), note that soy milk may curdle if heated too quickly or at too high of a temperature. Stick to low and slow! Many recipes for cookies and other sweets call for butter, but if you’re dairy-free, there are some very butter-like alternatives available.

On the night before Christmas, try this favorite gluten-free, dairy-free cookie recipe, or use gluten-free all-purpose flour in your own cookie recipes. To drink, leave Santa a cup of Hot Honey Vanilla Milk (substitute coconut, soy, or almond milk for cow’s milk), or go with a cold glass of a cow’s milk alternative. Now grab your apron, put on some festive music, and show Santa how gluten-free, dairy-free baking is done right!

Jobs for Santa’s Helpers

Measure ingredients Crack eggs
Mix batter Roll cookies in cinnamon-sugar mixture

Recipe: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mexican Chocolate Cookies
Makes: 3 dozen

Ingredients
315 gm. Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. Cream of tartar
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Gluten-free, dairy-free butter substitute
1 3/4 cups Sugar, divided
2 large Eggs
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ancho Chile powder (optional)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 375° F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt
3. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter substitute and 1 ½ cups of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat to combine
5. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated
6. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with cinnamon and chile powder
7. Using a small ice cream scoop, or heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture
8. Place about 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets
9. Bake until cookies are set in the center and beginning to crack, about 12 minutes
10. Let cookies cool, and store in an airtight container for up to a week (these cookies also freeze well)

To learn more about nutrition and gluten-free foods, join us in the kitchen and get cooking! Through a partnership with the Natural Gourmet Institute, the Sylvia Center and NYU Langone Medical Center’s S.Q.U.A.S.H. and Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Programs, kids learn to make fun, healthy, gluten-free recipes with professional chefs.  Class is free and open to the public for kids ages 7 to 12. For more information, email celiacdiseaseprogram@nyumc.org or call 646-754-2233.

NOTE: Foods and ingredients listed are considered to be gluten-free and dairy-free as of the date of this blog post, but we always recommend reviewing food labels to confirm, as manufacturing practices may change. Call food companies if you are ever not sure!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Jackie Ballou Erdos, MS, RD, CDN, Pediatric Nutrition Coordinator and Director of the S.Q.U.A.S.H. Program (Smart choices, Quality ingredients, Unique, Appetizing, Simple & Healthy) at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Thanksgiving Tips for Gluten-Free Families

09 30 15 Silly Yak Pizza Party Photo CollageTake a moment to think about your favorite Thanksgiving memories. Chances are your thoughts immediately focus on family—and food. If you’re one of the “chefs” in your family, you know that meal-planning can be stressful, from planning a grocery list to perfectly timing each dish. For families with special dietary needs, the stress of planning food for the holiday can overshadow the excitement that should accompany such a celebration.

The NYU Langone Pediatric Celiac Disease & Gluten Related Disorders Program helps gluten-free families balance the stress of meal-planning with the enjoyment of holiday gatherings. As Thanksgiving approaches, here are some new ways of celebrating and showing gratitude:

  • Focus on and nurture your relationships with friends, family, and your community.
  • Start a new family tradition. Try playing games, having a movie night, or reading a book together.
  • Find something to be grateful for each day. Keep a gratitude journal to commemorate all you have to be thankful for.
  • Make it a priority to smile and laugh every single day.
  • Send cards or letters to the important people in your life to let them know how much you appreciate them.
  • Volunteer for a cause that’s important to you.
  • Practice random acts of kindness. Do something nice for someone for no particular reason.
  • Give encouragement to someone who really needs it.
  • Be kind to yourself. With all the love you’re showing to everyone else, make sure you don’t forget yourself!
  • Get creative. Express your happiness and gratitude through art, music, dance, or whatever else helps you feel inspired.
  • Make a conscious effort to think positively and see the good in others.
  • Continue to celebrate all the wonderful things in your life all year long. If you ever need a reminder, check your gratitude journal!

Silly Yak Club Pizza Party 008 Diaz Fam 2And finally, connect with others and share your experiences. Join the Silly Yak Club at NYU Langone Medical Center! Kids ages 3-10 years old with Celiac disease (and even non-Celiac gluten-related disorders) are invited to join this special club that celebrates living life without gluten. The club meets regularly at NYU Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center for fun activities such as our back to school pizza party and our upcoming celebration of the fall season. Our next event is Wednesday, November 18, from 5-6:30pm. All “Silly Yaks” are welcome (along with siblings and caregivers) to join us for dinner, plus a fun gluten-free candied apple activity and art projects to take home! Note: all items served are gluten and peanut free, however only the items used for our candied apple activity will be kosher-certified (certificates available for verification).

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Janis Atty, MA, CCLS, ATR-BC, LCAT is a child life specialist and creative arts therapist at NYU Langone’s Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center. She helps pediatric patients and their families understand and cope with medical illnesses and experiences. By providing education, preparation, emotional support, and guidance, she promotes positive development and well-being in patients facing a wide range of challenging life events.

Hayley Adkisson, LMSW is the primary social worker for the pediatric gastroenterology, endocrine, infectious disease, nephrology, and rheumatology services, as well as Adolescent Medicine, at the NYU Langone’s Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center. She specializes in the areas of severe mental illness, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, sexual assault and recovery, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), emergency medicine, and mood disorders.

3 Kid-Friendly (and Delicious!) Gluten-Free Recipes

happy family with two kids making dinner at home
Last week, our awesome experts from NYU Langone Medical Center wrote about how to enjoy a gluten-free Halloween if you or your little one has Celiac disease or any another gluten intolerance. This week, we’re happy to share some of our experts’ favorite gluten-free recipes—one that’s perfect for Halloween and two others that are both kid-friendly and delicious!

1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Time to Make: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 cup
Serving Size for Kids: 1/8 cup
Serving Size for Adults/Adolescents: 1/4 cup

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                       1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Parchment paper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Scoop seeds out of pumpkin using a large wooden spoon
3. Separate seeds from pumpkin flesh and rinse seeds
4. Drain seeds in a colander and pat dry with paper towels
5. Mix pumpkin seeds with olive oil and salt
6. Spread mixture evenly on the parchment paper
7. Bake pumpkin seeds for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, turning seeds over halfway through cooking
8. Allow pumpkin seeds to cool off before enjoying!

For Fun: Follow directions above but add your favorite spices for different flavored seeds!
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds: ½ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. cayenne (for spicy seeds!)
Pumpkin Pie Seeds: 1 Tbsp. sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Pumpkiny Trail Mix: toss roasted seeds with your choice of dried fruit and nuts for an on-the-go treat!

2. Sweet Peach Smoothie
Time to Make: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 cup
Serving Size for Kids: ½ cup
Serving Size for Adults/Adolescents: 1 cup

Ingredients
¼ cup water or coconut water
¼ cup plain, low-fat yogurt
½ cup fresh or frozen peach slices
½ frozen, overripe banana

Directions
1. Add water, yogurt, peaches and banana to blender
2. Blend until smooth

Fun Tip: Turn brown bananas into smoothie ingredients! Simply peel bananas and freeze in a freezer bag, then add to smoothies later!

3. Salad Selfie
Time to Make: 15 minutes
Makes: 1 plate
Serving Size for Kids: ½ Salad Selfie
Serving Size for Adults/Adolescents: 1 Salad Selfie

Ingredients
Cored pear quarters (fresh and ripe, or canned and drained)
Plain Greek yogurt
Cantaloupe or honeydew
Celery sticks
Shredded carrots (long strands, if possible)
Sliced strawberries
Dried cranberries
Parsley Sprigs
Small spinach leaves
Sliced radishes
Sliced kiwi
Sliced Black olives

Directions
1. Rinse fruits and veggies
2. Place half a pear flat down in the center of the plate
3. Take a round scoop of the plain Greek yogurt and place it on the narrow top of the pear (the yogurt should look like the head of a person and the pear is the torso)
4. Use the long strands of shredded carrots or celery sticks to create arms or legs
5. The remaining ingredients can be used to create facial features like eyes, nose, mouth, hair, hands, legs, and so forth!

For fun: Use any fruits and veggies you like. Name your salad selfie and eat!

And don’t forget—to learn more about nutrition and gluten-free foods, join NYU Langone Medical Center in the kitchen! Through a partnership with the Natural Gourmet Institute, the Sylvia Center and NYU Langone Medical Center’s S.Q.U.A.S.H., and Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Programs, kids learn to make fun, healthy, gluten-free recipes with professional chefs. Our next class, a Mexican fiesta, is on October 14, at 5:30pm. Class is FREE and open to the public for kids ages 7 to 12. Register here!

Tricks (and Treats) For a Fun Gluten-Free Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, what do you do if your little pumpkin is gluten-free? Well, there’s no need to fright—these tricks will keep superheroes and princesses alike safe and happy on All Hallow’s Eve.

Make a Game Plan
During the weeks leading up to Halloween, as your child selects her Halloween costume, talk about eating gluten-free on Halloween night, as well as at parties leading up to the holiday. Propose a few strategies, but let her be a part of the conversation:

• Agree that no Halloween candy will be eaten while trick-or-treating, unless mom or dad has checked the label first—the Celiac Disease Foundation’s 2015 Gluten-free candy list is a great reference
• Bring gluten-free snacks for trick-or-treating:*

  • Annie’s Homegrown Fruit Snacks
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten-Free Mini Pretzels
  • Nestle Raisinets
  • Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (look out for our next post with the recipe!)

• Trade gluten-containing candy at home for gluten-free treats
• Donate gluten-containing candy to an organization that sends care packages to troops or veterans such as Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude
• Enlist the Switch Witch, who magically leaves a gift in return for candy on Halloween night
• Out of sight, out of mind—keep the stash out of immediate view, and distribute 1-2 pieces of candy each day only after kids have had a nutritious snack

Spread the Word
• Tell neighbors and your child’s school about the Teal Pumpkin Project, started by the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization! The organization encourages households to include all kids, no matter what food allergy they may have, to participate in trick-or-treating by placing a teal painted pumpkin outside, meaning they have non-food treats such as:

  • Crayons
  • Bubbles
  • Playing cards
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Glow bracelets

• FARE’s website includes free downloadable flyers to advertise the Teal Pumpkin Project in communities

The Bottom Line
Prepare for Halloween and other holidays ahead of time, talk to your family about the best plan for you, and have fun!

*Snacks listed are considered to be gluten-free as of the date of this blog post, but we recommend reviewing food labels to confirm, as manufacturing practices may change. Call manufacturers if you are ever not sure!

To learn more about nutrition and gluten-free foods, join us in the kitchen and get cooking! Through a partnership with the Natural Gourmet Institute, the Sylvia Center and NYU Langone Medical Center’s S.Q.U.A.S.H., and Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Programs, kids learn to make fun, healthy, gluten-free recipes with professional chefs. Our next class, a Mexican fiesta, is on October 14, at 5:30pm. Class is FREE and open to the public for kids ages 7 to 12. Register here!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Jackie Ballou, MS, RD, CDN, is coordinator of Pediatric Nutrition and director of the S.Q.U.A.S.H. Program (Smart choices, Quality ingredients, Unique, Appetizing, Simple & Healthy) at NYU Langone Medical Center. 

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
NYU Langone Medical Center
Facebook: NYU Langone Medical Center
Twitter: @NYUMLC

National Gourmet Institute
Facebook: National Gourmet Institute
Twitter: @naturalgourmet

The Sylvia Center
Facebook: The Sylvia Center
Twitter: @SylviaCenter