Brain Food For Kids

Now that school is in full swing and schedules are getting even busier, it’s the perfect time to keep nutrition in check before your little ones head out the door. Research has shown that growing brains and bodies need a healthy and balanced breakfast that is packed with protein, vitamins, electrolytes, and probiotics to start the day out strong. But, when your kids have food allergies, finding good sources of the nutrients they need can be tricky.

Here are some creative alternative breakfasts you can rotate through during the week:

  • Coconut or water kefir with toasted gluten-free oats and assorted berries.

The dairy-free kefir will provide excellent probiotics for gut health, while the oats are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and soluble fiber. Dark berries, such as cherries, blueberries, and cranberries, are high in antioxidants for cellular health, and full of natural sugars to maintain energy levels. Create a dazzling, layered parfait drizzled with honey for a little extra flavor!

Craft a fun breakfast out of texturized water kefir

Dark, antioxidant-rich berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pancakes are a breakfast staple!

If you need to adhere to a gluten-free or egg-free diet, try a gluten-free flour and an egg substitute (see charts below). Or, follow Cybele’s Allergy-Friendly Pancake recipe, included at the end of this post.  Flaxseed, hemp seeds (also called Hemp Hearts) and chia seeds can all be added as an allergy-friendly source of omega-3 fatty acids, and Earth Balance margarine can be used as a substitute for butter.

It’s impossible to resist a stack of these delicious pancakes!

 

  • If gluten-free waffles are on the ‘safe-to-eat-list’ and what your kids crave, Van’s Frozen Waffles are a quick and tasty option.

Slice some bananas, serve up with some real maple syrup, and enjoy! To balance out the sugars in this meal, include a side of fresh avocado, which is high in potassium, good fat, and fiber. This triple-threat food regulates insulin levels, which will help your kids concentrate during long days at school.

Golden-brown waffles with a healthy avocado spread

Cybele’s Allergy-Friendly Pancakes

(Gluten-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Nut-free!)

Have you been searching in vain for a gluten-free, egg-free pancake recipe? Well look no further. Not only is this recipe Gluten-Free and Vegan, it’s also free of all top 8 food allergens.

  • ¾ cup rice milk (plus more, for thinning batter, as necessary)
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer* mixed with 2 tbsp. rice milk
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal*
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder**
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • maple syrup
  • Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Chips
  1. Combine ¾ cup of rice milk with lemon juice, and let rest about 10 minutes to sour into “buttermilk”. Add canola oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract, whisking well.
  2. Combine egg replacer with rice milk, whisking till frothy.
  3. Combine flour mix, corn meal*, xanthan gum, baking powder**, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the center of the bowl. Pour in rice milk mixture and egg replacer. Stir well, smoothing out any lumps. If the batter seems too thick, thin by adding more rice milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time until proper consistency is achieved. You want it thin enough to spoon out onto the griddle, but not too thin.
  5. Heat griddle over medium-high heat. Grease griddle LIGHTLY.
  6. Scoop out about ¼ cup of batter, per pancake. Cook, about 2 ½ minutes, until bubbles have appeared around edges of pancakes and popped, and edges are setting. Reduce temperature if pancakes are cooking too quickly. Flip and cook about 2 ½ minutes more. Transfer to warm plate. Serve warm with maple syrup, and sprinkling of Enjoy Life chips.

*For a corn-free version, omit cornmeal, use guar gum instead of xanthan gum (or use Authentic Foods corn-free xanthan gum), and increase King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour to 1 ¼ cups. In place of the 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons rice milk, substitute 1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water for a “flax egg”. Be prepared to add additional rice milk to the batter, to thin it as necessary, and increase cooking time by about 2 minutes. They will be thicker.

**For corn-free baking powder, look for Hain Baking Powder

Reference these useful substitution charts for all your free-from cooking:Egg substitutionsMilk substitutionwheat subs

 

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