Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nutrient-Dense Gluten-Free Snacks

Many of our Rett Girls struggle with weight gain.  It's difficult to keep weight on a kiddo who has trouble chewing and swallowing and spends so much time and energy in school and therapy and just trying to make her body cooperate.  There are only so many hours in a day, and we don't really want every spare moment to be spent at the table trying get some extra calories in. We also don't want those extra calories to be empty, rather we want them to assist in building strong, lean muscle.  A great place to start is with snacks!

PowerBalls:  Click HERE for the recipe.  The peanut butter adds lots of protein and fat, the flaxseed is great for adding extra fat, calories and fiber, the dried fruit gives not only sweetness but also fiber and antioxidants.  These are great for the whole family and are not only an easy, portable snack but a great quick breakfast, too!

High Calorie Shake:  Click HERE for the recipe.  Hemp Milk is dairy free and is high in fat (6 grams per 1 cup!), protein and is fortified with Vitamin D and calcium.

Trail Mix:  Skip the preservatives and high price tag and make some yourself with almonds or walnuts, dark chocolate, and dried fruits (if dried fruits are too difficult for your Rett Girl to chew try freeze dried fruits, they are a bit crunchy and melt in your mouth - they will "soak up" moisture from other foods though so if you are using in trail mix eat it as you make it, don't store it).

Greek Yogurt:  Make sure to get the full fat Greek yogurt, some are low calorie and low fat but that's not what we are looking for with our Rett Girls, they get the "real deal!"

Whole Milk Cottage Cheese:  High in protein and fat.

Almonds:  These nuts are packed with Vitamin E, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc not to mention high in good fats and protein.  A handful of almonds is great but if your Rett Girl is not able to chew raw almonds try substitute almond flour for whole wheat flour or rice flour in your recipes.  You may need to add some leavening agent (almond flour is heavier) and a bonus is you may also find that you can reduce some of the sweetener since almonds have a naturally sweet flavor.

Homemade Egg Salad:  Click HERE for the recipe.  Eggs are a great source of protein, opt for free range, organic eggs which are typically higher in nutrients or better yet, try to get some eggs from your local farmers market.

Avocados:  high in fiber and good fats avocados are great alone or mash them up and use them as a dip for veggies, gluten free crackers or corn chips.

Homemade Potato Chips:  So easy and they taste GREAT!  Just slice up really thin potatoes or sweet potatoes, lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt then bake until crispy!  Try these dripped in smashed avocados - YUMMY!

Hopefully we gave you some new and easy ways to add some good calories to your Rett Girl's diet.  Please remember to do a reality check when trying new foods - Rett Girls have very sensitive GI systems, start new foods VERY slowly.  All Rett Girls have different chewing and swallowing abilities, so be extra cautious with foods that are choking hazards like dried fruit and nuts, if your Rett Girl has difficulties with these don't push it.  You may want to try putting the ingredients into a blender to make them easier to digest.

If you have any nutrient dense gluten free recipes you want to share we would love for you to leave us a comment!