I was so excited when I was offered a chance to review a new edition of the cookbook, “Special Diets for Special Kids” by Lisa Lewis! This is an updated edition that combines 2 previous volumes into one book full of over 200 Gluten-Free and Casein-Free recipes. I was extra excited because this came to me at a time that we were re-focusing our efforts to keep a gluten free diet, and I was anxious to have some tried & true recipes to make. We are a gluten-free family and even though we are not casein free, I do try to control our dairy intake so I love using substitutes whenever possible. If you are already on a GFCF diet, or if you are considering starting one – this is a must-have resource for your library!
This book is so much more than just recipes! The entire first chapter explains why this diet is so helpful for children on the spectrum, or for those that live with ADHD, Celiac Disease or allergies. The information includes scientific information about how gluten and casein affect the body and why it is so important to clean up your child’s diet.
Chapter 2 goes on to describe vitamins and minerals, which ones are often lacking in children on the spectrum, and what they do for our bodies.
Chapter 3 is a great “keep it simple” guide to what foods to feed your child, and which ones to avoid. In addition, she discusses different flours and how to incorporate baking into this diet. This was super helpful for me as I love to bake! I didn’t want to continue to spend a fortune on pre-made GFCF baked goods, but wasn’t sure where to start baking GF products. This chapter gave me clear information that I needed to move forward with making some of our favorite foods.
Chapters 4-13 are filled with delicious recipes for all the typical kid favorites and many many more! Armed with this book, you will be able to make muffins, pancakes, chicken nuggets, chicken & dumplings, snacks, sweet treats, and even condiments! Any of your favorite recipes call for “sweetened condensed milk”? No problem! She has a casein-free substitute for that.
She also includes an entire chapter (chapter 10) devoted to holiday fare so you can continue your GFCF way of eating easily over Thanksgiving and Christmas. She offers recipes for 4 different types of dressing, tasty sides, and even gingerbread people & pumpkin pie! There is no reason to stray from this diet over the holidays! Arm yourself with safe and healthy food choices so that you can give your child a head start as they deal with being off their routine, having extra people in the house, and all the excitement of the holidays.
I was also excited to see all the sweet treat options in the book for those special occasions. I always like to have safe recipes on hand for taking to a friend’s house or a potluck so that I know there is something my daughter can have without feeling left out. Also, my daughter just started Girl Scouts this year and of course that means selling cookies! Unfortunately, the Girl Scouts do not have a GF option yet, but have no fear! On page 311, there is a recipe for making your very own Thin Mints! You can bet your chocolate wafers that I’ll be making those to have on hand during cookie selling season!
Also included with the book is a CD full of all the printable recipes so you don’t even have to get your book dirty when you are in the kitchen whipping up that new family favorite!
If you want to get your hands on this incredible resource, just click here to order your own copy! Use the coupon code ARMY to get 15% off and free shipping!