The Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free”Yes” List

This “Yes” List is what I would give to anyone shopping for my son. For the substitutes of conventional groceries, I’ve included pictures where possible.

A text list is at the bottom. I will insert pictures as I get time.

The Hormel Lunchmeat line has been a lifesaver for me. All natural protein is a staple for my son’s diet. And, since I have to pack his lunch every day, these are ready for cubing up. He can eat with a fork with sides of fruit, veggies, applesauce or gluten free and dairy free crackers. On the weekends or on busy nights, this comes in handy for making a hot sandwich in the skillet using  gluten free and dairy free bread, vegan rice cheese and earth balance butter flavored spread.

Oscar Meyer Selects lunch meats are also very good. However, they are more expensive than the Hormel Naturals brand. I will say that the OS Selects slow roasted turkey breast is quite good. If it goes on sale or I have a coupon for it, I prefer it over the Hormel Naturals oven roasted turkey.

Applegate people love us. Just read their labels, it is just meat and seasoning. No casein. No wheat. No gluten. God, do I love it when a food manufacturer just makes food, and not some chemical concoction. Applegate farms box and the Jones All Natural box look similar. The Applegate is much more expensive than Jones but you can be guaranteed of allergy safety. I tend to get the breakfast sausage, but…just… well, here… look at what they make… (yum!)… so many good things to try. http://www.applegate.com 

If you don’t mind paying $5.00 for a loaf of very small bread, then go for Udi’s. Unfortunately, because I’m always on a tight budget, I rarely buy this and my son doesn’t really miss the store-bought sliced sandwich bread since he gets plenty of starch with rice, potatoes and the gluten-free rolls and pizza crusts I make with the Bob’s Red Mill mixes. But, it’s good for the occasional GF/DF bread treat.

Rice Dream is a MUST in my house. I buy two of these cartons per week. If a hurricane is coming, I’ll buy 4 cartons. This is enriched with Vitamin D and calcium. It is great for cereal, drinking as is, making chocolate milk, pouring into smoothies, for baking and it freezes well for popsicles. It is cool and refreshing with a mild sweet flavor. This is easier on the tummy than soy or almond milk. Rice milk is not ideal for serious baking. It is mildly better than water when it comes to whipping up a batch of GFDF pancakes. Because I’m frugal, I have sometimes used water instead of rice milk and guess what? I detected no difference between the water and the rice milk. Almond milk, however, is heavier and creamier and makes a good baking milk.

Keep in mind that Bob’s Red Mill makes all kinds of food items that include wheat and dairy. I have had the best luck with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flours and Mixes. They make them in a separate facility. With regard to taste, texture and total safety to my son’s allergies, these food products have been a joy. My son complained of belly aching with Arrowhead Mills. And Pamela’s GF baking mixes warn of possibly containing some buttermilk or cross contamination with dairy powders. That said, the picture above shows some mixes that I have not yet tried (such as the brownie mix), so just be sure to continue reading labels and check that a gluten free product is also free of dairy. But by and large, Bob’s Red Mill mixes and flours have served us well. Especially in that with gluten free baking, one must purchase several different kinds of starches and flours to make something as simple as cornbread. These mixes help save money by having all of the requisite 3-5 different kinds of GF flours and starches to make the desired treat. Here’s the website: http://www.bobsredmill.com/ 

After my son had gone months without his old favorites: pizza, macaroni and cheese, tacos with cheese, etc. this product came to the rescue for a kindergarten last-day-of-school pizza party. I made a GF crust, then layered some (safe) pasta sauce, crumbled up cooked burger and this cheese melted on top. I delivered it hot in a Wilton cake pan wrapped in foil. It was like the boy got a special treat beyond what his friends were having. And he constantly asks for the pizza. This isn’t for people who can still eat cheese. Real cheese still tastes better. And this is expensive. But a little goes a long way. This melts, and, in my opinion, offers the much missed cheddar flavor that a little boy doesn’t get very often. They are just now coming out with all kinds of other cool cheeses that we have yet to try.

Here is their website: http://www.daiyafoods.com/our-products

Oh what a day when we learned of this from a friend who also could not have dairy. I had no idea a totally animal protein product existed that isn’t the abomination that is margarine. This is made from non-hydrogenated oils. It melts kinda weird in the skillet. I wouldn’t use to to saute’ at high temperatures. But I have used it for all kinds of melty butter and baking applications. And, of course, their awesome website: http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/product

Bisquick GF mix makes quite the tasty pancakes! Added bonus: it’s in every store. Because it is a gluten-free product, the price is a little higher. Such as it is with this lifestyle.

Yay for classic candy! Here’s an article from their website that describes the ingredients and that it is vegan candy: http://www.smarties.com/product/vegan/ 

You generally need to be very careful with Glutino products, as many have a lot of dairy (such as their lemon wafers and chocolate covered pretzels). And don’t bother with the fruit bars, they’re awful. Fortunately, everything else they make that is both gluten and dairy free is pretty good. These pretzels are generally very grocery-store available and makes a great snack that doesn’t involve oil. But they’re damn expensive (about $7-$8 per bag). If you’re on a budget, try the Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels. I’ve been meaning try and use gluten-free pretzels to make a Chex snack mix using Rice Chex, Peanuts, these pretzels, earth balance and some sort of yummy seasoning.

Just a word to the wise: be very careful with gluten free crackers. Many contain cheddar and vegetable flavors that are derived from dairy. Even the plain and ever popular Nut-thins made from almonds, even the original flavor has a dairy dusting. Fortunately, a few crackers are made both gluten and diary free and Glutino again, wins with these. I like these better than many versions of regular crackers. Unfortunately, the Glutino products are not as reasonably priced as I would like. But sometimes, you just gotta give your kid some easy snacks. If you want to try more things they make, here is their website: http://www.glutino.com/ 

Wanna see one happy little boy? I really ought to write a letter enjoy and just say Thank You for existing and making this wonderful product. Totally vegan, gluten free, wheat free, and free of animal protein. I can eat chocolate and so can my friends. I made a batch of DFGF chocolate chip cookies with these and everyone loved them. Talk about a boy being a part of the party, enjoying life with everyone else. ❤ I also made some chocolate dipped strawberries with these. Although I recommend that you stir in a little coconut oil into the chocolate so that when you refrigerate the strawberries, the chocolate stiffens up more. And here is their website: http://www.enjoylifefoods.com 

This is not last, or least. I have more things to add to this list. Koala Crisp definitely deserves a kudos. Although the Nature’s Path Envirokidz line of GF foods is made in a facility that also produces allergenic foods, you and your kids might still be okay. If the sensitivity is such that cross contamination could affect you, then just be careful with this line or avoid it. However, the boy loves a serious bowl of chocolatey Koala Crispies with rice milk with cut up bananas in the morning. And I can get an occasional break from making eggs, etc. for breakfast. These are generally available in the GF section of most stores and the price is comparable to conventional cereals. Here is their website: http://us.naturespath.com/product

Rice Vegan Cheese

Rice Vegan cheese will probably taste pretty far out of the ballpark to a regular cheese eater but this is really meant for someone who hasn’t had cheese in ages and where the resemblance of cheese flavor is appreciated. My son seems to really love the Rice Vegan cheese slices as snacks. He can grab from the refrigerator with a few Glutino crackers, a banana and a juice box and he’s happy. What I love about the Rice Vegan cheese is that it is about $2-3 less expensive than the Daiya.

motts applesauce cups

Most applesauce products are a great time-saver for the lunchbox of an allergy kid. Heck, I eat them too. They are yum. My kid likes the blueberry flavored ones too.

Try to get the ones without the high fructose corn syrup and watch for aspartame, sucralose and saccarin, especially if the product says sugar-free or low in sugar. Large food manufacturers generally do not care what goes into children’s bodies but fortunately, they come up with options for those of us who DO care. This is where the “voting with the dollar” comes into play. Make your point and buy the good product they make, like the one in this picture.

dark chocolate almond milk

The Silk Pure Almond Milk – Dark Chocolate Flavor is sooooooooo delicious. I often sneak a glass of it because it is so good. I do a mix of rice milk and dark chocolate almond milk in a thermos for his lunch every day. It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin E and has some protein. Not as much as Soy Milk but it is still very filling.

Silk Fruit and Protein

Speaking of Silk Soy Milk, this is very delicious. When it goes on sale and I have coupons, I’m all over it.

Vans Waffles

Great waffles. Pre-made frozen waffles always make my mornings easier!

chex cereals

They make a chocolate one too, but I think he has worn himself out on the chocolate flavor. These are great to take along as a dry snack too. His current favorite flavors are the Honey Nut and Cinnamon.

cocoa rice

The Mom’s Best Cocoa Rice is a huge hit in our household. We find it at Kroger and it is often about 1/2 the price of the Chex Cereal. And it tastes better, too. I have to stop myself from eating this so that my son can have it.

THE REMAINING YES/NO LIST IN TEXT ONLY:

Meat in it’s raw Fresh or Frozen state, to be cooked:  Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Pork and Fish

Canned salmon and sardines. (I prefer that tuna be limited due to the mercury it has)

Limited Bacon (it’s high in nitrates).

Nitrate-Free Bacon

NO HOT DOGS – they are made with casein.

NO SALAMI or PEPPERONI

Canned corn (NOT CREAMED)

Canned green beans

Fresh or frozen vegetables (he is a good vegetable eater! he doesn’t like broccoli though and tends to throw up when he has it)

Frozen Hash Browns and Tater Tots (make sure ingredients are free of breading, gluten, wheat, and dairy anything).

Any kind of potatoes

Any kind of rice

Plain Popcorn

Indiana Sweet Kettle Corn

Cracker Jacks

Plain Potato Chips

Sea Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

NO MEAL MIXES

NO BROTH

NO BOUILLON CUBES

NO SALAD DRESSING

Fritos

Plain tortilla chips (make sure that it’s corn only)

Ketchup

Mustard

Syrup

As for Mayo, I haven’t tried it with him. It should be okay but I’ve been using Veganaise to be on the safe side.

NO PASTA SAUCE (they often have cheese and I can’t really trust it when it says “flavors” are added)

Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Diced Tomatoes

Dried Beans

Canned Beans (try to get ones that are just beans, water and salt. Avoid the ones that have crap in them like Disodium EDTA)

NO COKE or other dark sodas (caramel coloring is often made with gluten)

NO CHAPSTICK (made with gluten)

NO FAST FOOD (french fries are cooked in same oil that is used to cook the breaded nuggets and McDonald’s does things like put dairy powder in their lemonade drinks. Weird! You cannot trust these places).

If you are taking him out to eat, Ruby Tuesday’s is a good place because they have the salad bar with things he can eat. Often, I ask the waiter for his/her help and emphasize that we need a burger cooked in a separate pan and with no butter (I often tell them what happens to him when he has wheat and dairy and they don’t want it to happen either). A baked potato, steamed veggies, fruit cup, salad with no croutons, cheese or dressing. Make sure they hear you when you say he can’t have the bun for the burger and no cheese either. It seems that they have a hard time remember that he cannot have either wheat or dairy. But, we’ve had some success with this. As a rule though, we don’t go out to eat because it makes the boy feel pretty left out. Or I bring his favorite foods in a lunch bag so he can eat what he likes and we can get what we like without worrying about his diet. Generally though, I can make him much more interesting things at home that we all eat together. This whole experience has forced me to be a better cook and I’m hoping to develop a really good gluten-free and dairy-free mac n’ cheese in the not too distant future. The boy is ever hopeful.

Thank you again for helping us keep this kid healthy!

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