Finding The Perfect Balance
A lot of children are susceptible to food allergies. Unfortunately, much of the foods that kids tend to like are filled with allergens. This presents a unique set of challenges for camp directors because they have to figure out how to accommodate these food allergies without compromising on the quality and taste of the foods. Kids are still picky eaters. If a dish does not have the look and aroma that they like, they will not eat it. Here are some suggestions on how to work around food allergies and still prepare foods that kids will love.
To accommodate allergies to cow’s milk, there are many tasty dairy-free alternatives. Soy milk and almond milk can be used in cake and cookie recipes that call for milk. The milk can be flavored with chocolate to make chocolate milk. Coconut milk can even be used to add a touch of tropical flavor to baked goods. Rice milk has a faint, sweet flavor, and it is perfect to use in puddings and desserts.
Some children are allergic to eggs. When baking muffins, applesauce can be used as an egg substitute. Eggs are used to bind the dry ingredients together, and apple sauce has similar binding properties. Another possible substitution is half of a ripe banana that has been mashed. This is great for making delicious banana bread.
Different Types Of Allergens
Allergies to wheat are on the rise. Wheat is commonly found in pasta. When making pasta dishes, you should look for a pasta that is made from rice flour and which does not contain egg products. You can make a delicious spaghetti sauce by using crushed organic tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and seasoning to taste. Make turkey meatballs from ground, dark turkey meat, panko crumbs, seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
Nut allergies can lead to serious consequences. However, many kids like to eat roasted nuts for a snack. To give them that crunch and flavor that they like, try roasting beans instead. You can roast garbanzo beans, peas, or soybeans in the oven. Give them a light sprinkle of kosher salt, and you will have a tasty snack that is rich in protein and delicious. You can use these on salads as well. Make a trail mix by mixing roasted beans with raisins and carob drops.
If you must keep foods gluten-free, and you want to serve a grain during meals, consider serving quinoa. It is a good substitution for rice. It has almost no flavor of its own, so it can absorb the flavors of your main dish without clashing. You can also find many gluten-free counterparts to things that kids crave, like hot dogs. Just be sure to read the label to make sure that it is certified gluten-free.
The list above includes some of the more common food allergies found among children. If you are in charge of preparing meals for a group of kids, the safest thing to do is to ask the parents to write down all of their children’s food allergies. Then create your menu with substitutions for the ingredients that can be problematic. With some creativity, you can prepare foods for the children that are safe and delicious.