Dealing with coeliac disease can be difficult to say the least, and helping your child to adapt to a whole new culinary lifestyle is no small task. Education is the key, ensuring your child understands the ins and outs of the illness, what they can and cannot eat, the woes of cross-contamination and the effects of gluten on the body. Now, a comprehensive understanding of the disease is all well and good, but once that food-envy kicks in, even the most poised of adults would struggle to keep their hands off the party rings. A children’s party is a gluten mine field; here are a couple of recipes to navigate you through it.
First and foremost, the C-word. Cake. As children, we were surrounded by the stuff. From birthday parties to school dinners, sleepovers to scout camp – that gluten-filled slab of horror lurks around every corner waiting to strike. Not to worry though, there are plenty of delicious GF cake recipes out there, meaning your little one won’t ever have to miss out. Here’s one for a tasty traditional gluten-free Birthday Cake. Hip hip hooray!
- 150g gluten-free mix or flour
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 100g soft margarine
- 100g icing sugar, sieved
- 50g butter
- Vanilla essence
- Place all sponge ingredients into a bowl and beat well until light and fluffy
- Divide mixture into two sandwich tins or cake cases and cook in a pre-heated oven 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 20 –25 minutes (for Victoria sandwich) or 10 –15 minutes (for butterfly cakes) until risen and firm to touch
- Cool on a wire rack
- For buttercream beat together icing sugar and butter until it is pale in colour
- Add a few drops of vanilla essence
- When sponge is cool fill with jam and buttercream.
Now, there’s one thing that every children’s party buffet has in common. Okay, two things – a half-eaten dribble-covered Chubba Chupp stuck to the table cloth and CHICKEN NUGGETS. These delectable little chunks of gluten-covered meat are a nightmare for parents of children with a gluten intolerance. To us they are nothing but an easily-avoidable processed snack, but to children they are EVERYTHING – sustenance, weapons, signifiers of social status, currency…the list goes on. Here’s a recipe for GF Chicken Nuggets personally recommended by our very own man-child, Jake, of No.G HQ:
- 375g chicken breast, cut into chunks or goujons
- 1 egg, beaten
- 100g gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free mix or flour
- Pinch of garlic salt (optional)
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Combine the gluten-free breadcrumbs, dried mixed herbs and garlic salt
- Put the gluten-free flour into a shallow dish
- Beat the egg into another shallow dish
- Dip the chicken in the flour, then in the egg and then into the breadcrumb mix
- Add oil to a large frying pan and cook chicken over a medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes, until cooked and golden, turning frequently.
- Use crushed gluten-free cornflakes in place of the breadcrumbs.
- Add four tablespoons gluten-free desiccated coconut to the breadcrumbs.
- Instead of frying put on a baking tray drizzle with oil and put in a medium oven for 20 minutes
Whilst we’ve only given you two, there are a wealth of amazing gluten-free recipes out there on the world wide web to ensure your little ones never have to miss out. Actually, now that you mention it, we know a fab little bakery providing great alternatives to some of your favourite pastry-based goodies. Check out www.toogoodtobeglutenfree.com!