Your kid might have eczema. They might not. They might be wheat intolerant (a type of grass – see the link?). They might be gluten intolerant. My daughter has lovely skin and has always eaten everything. So when AJ started to get eczema I was a bit confused and suddenly a bit lost on what to feed him. When I started weaning Lolo at 6 months there were lots of veg and other things introduced but she also had bread. Nice bits of toast, great for grabbing hold of and feeding herself, plus it kind of disintegrates in the mouth, ideal for initial stages. The moment the toast touched his lips his skin flared up and the moment I took it away it died down. I still try him out here and there on a bit of pasta or bread, or in situations where it can’t be helped but generally we seem to have adjusted well. If you’re trying to adjust, here are 3 things to remember:
- There are 3 grains that contain gluten: wheat, barley and rye
- LOTS of natural things don’t have wheat / gluten, so there are many natural substitutions – don’t feel caged.
- Pre-made and refined foods are where it tends to sneak in when you’re not looking. Did you know couscous contained gluten for example?
Here are some of my favourite / easy things for the whole family but especially great for a little person who’s weaning:
- Gluten free crumpets: they are totally yummy, slather with whatever you like. The ‘Genius‘ ones are great.
- Home made pancakes w banana OR pear: 200g Gluten Free flour / 2 eggs / 500ml milk / Butter or oil. Make the same way as normal pancakes and eat straight away.
- Eggy Gluten Free bread: takes 2 minutes to cook, v tasty, v soft and the eggs give it extra protein
- Finger food: Bananas, blueberries, slices of strawberry, pears, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, slab of smoked salmon (if they have a taste for it), chunks of figs, roasted veg (carrots, squash, parsnips (they love this as its so sweet), PRUNES (for a better bum)… this goes on, this is a good list regardless of whether or not they’re gluten intolerant
- Mashed potato especially with a sauce, beef stew?
- Rice (beef rendang curry gives loads of flavour and you can just give them the well cooked vegetables)
- Moussaka: You can have the constituent parts: aubergine slices fried, lamb meatballs etc for them to grab or make a normal moussaka: just use gluten free flour when making the white sauce
- Duck and porcini mushroom meatballs: sounds totally posh and expensive. You can basically have any meatballs but I like these because they have quite a lot of veg/mushrooms in them so it helps with the digestion and lots of flavour. Literally almost half duck mince and half porcini mushrooms (prepared per instructions, not dry) – by eye rather than weighht, some breadcrumbs (made from some gluten free bread naturally 😉 and finely dice some prunes as well to make them a bit sweeter for the kids if you like. Original recipe in Polpo’s cookbook (Venician cooking) – literally one of my favourite cook books ever.
- Meatballs w gluten free pasta. Especially the twirly pasta – great for holding on to and stuffing in their mouths. Meatballs ideally are home-made as often have normal breadcrumbs
- Soups: Pea and ham, … or anything soupy: garlic and onion as a base, add some bacon to fry, add water, bring to the boil. Add peas at the last minute and blitz w a hand blender.
2 top tips from me
- Gluten free stock cubes: Kallo are great for flavour, but don’t forget herbs generally, sage, taragon etc.
- A bag of petite pois in the freezer. Great for adding to ANYTHING! And a great bright colour for the weaner to try to grab.
- Dried Puy Lentils: again, great to add to pretty much anything, cooking time of about 30mins, so easy to add to a sauce when you’re making one