I had a conversation today with a sweet nursing mom of a 3 month old who is having to cut out gluten (ie bread, pasta, etc), dairy, soy, and eggs. She is already allergic to corn, so adding these four new things has been really hard on her.
Plus she has a toddler to take care of.
When she first found out that her little one needed this restricted diet she said she found herself eating a LOT of bananas because she just didn’t have the time to research meal and snack ideas for such a restrictive diet!
So today I want to do some of that hard work for you.
Here are some easy-peasy allergy friendly dinner ideas for busy moms who want their kids to actually eat their food too!
All of these ideas are free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, and nuts. If you don’t have a dairy or corn allergy, you have the option to add those in to a few of these meals.
- Grill or oven cook some chicken legs with salt and pepper, sweet potatoes, and green beans with a piece of most natural bacon you can find (watch for soy). For picky eaters, add their favorite fruit as an option on the table. My kids love those little mandarin orange cups.
- DIY Taco Bowl – let the each person pick which options to put in based on their diet. Options include – Rice, refried beans, black beans, corn, and ground beef seasoned only with simple spices such as chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder, (no mixes, loaded with allergy ingredients such as gluten, dairy and soy). Can top with sour cream, cheese, chives, diced tomatoes or salsa. This can also be served over corn chips for those without corn allergies.
- Pork Carnitas – this recipe uses simple ingredients like oranges and limes to break down the meats. Add a few seasonings and you put it in the crock pot. It’s so easy. Serve with rice, or tortillas and queso fresco depending on allergies. Check out the recipe here:Pork Carnitas
- Spaghetti – yup! You can make this super allergy friendly! You can use gluten free noodles or spaghetti squash, grab a gluten free spaghetti sauce from the store, and just season your ground beef with salt. I like to add my spaghetti sauce to my browned meat and let it simmer for a bit to let THAT season it. Just don’t serve it with bread or cheese. Enjoy as is!
- Smoothies and sandwiches! My go-to for sure! You can EASILY find gluten free bread here in East Texas at the big box stores, and all natural stores around the area. My favorites are Schar and Canyon Creek. Udi’s is also popular. Just make sure your deli meat is gluten free (my local deli department at Brookshires is GREAT about this!) and add mustard! I also like to grill bacon and add baby spinach and tomato slices. If you are dairy free, you can buy some dairy free cheese called “Daiya” and use that as a substitute if you really want the cheese. For smoothies I just throw a banana and some frozen strawberries in my blender et voila! Smoothie! My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this meal!
- Beans and Rice! – my husband’s favorite meal! (lol) I use my instant pot for this one. I put pinto beans and whatever meat I have on hand (usually leftover ham pieces from a big ham) in the instant pot and then some rice in my rice steamer. We eat beans and rice probably two times a month? I like to make smoothies on these nights or cut up some pineapple. My kids also love this dinner!
- Steak and potatoes – come on, it doesn’t get any better than steak and ‘taters’ right? This is great for your hubby to grill for y’all when you just don’t feel like cooking. Just be careful how you season your steak. When in doubt, get a great cut of meat and just use salt and pepper. And for your potato, just use the toppings that fit your allergies. Again, Daiya has some shredded dairy free cheese you can use! Or just make some green beans with a piece of bacon as your side!
There are just a few ideas to get you going at least for a week! Look up some ideas on Pinterest too!I usually search terms like “gluten free” or “dairy free” and find lots of recipes that check off the allergy friendly boxes.
And when you are really stuck for idea, just think very simple. Plain meats and plain veggies. Rice and apples are also GREAT filler foods for when you just can’t seem to get full enough. Cook your veggies without butter, don’t fry things in flour, and grill meats or cook meats in your oven without seasonings. You DON’T have to go to the store and replace everything in your pantry with it’s “gluten free” counterpart.
You probably WILL go through a few months of trying to figure out your new recipes, but once you get the hang of it, it WILL get easier. I promise. But for the first few months, just come up with a handful of ideas that you know are okay for y’all to eat and that your family likes, and then build from there.
If you want more allergy friendly dinner ideas for busy moms next month, let me know in the comments below and I’ll make another list!
PS!! (Also check out this article I wrote on allergy friendly Holiday Foods.)