Kids diagnosed with celiac disease have a tough time finding things they like. It's particularly difficult with school lunches. Children with celiac disease may feel a little left out and this is why it's crucial for parents to arm themselves with as much information as they can.
A child doesn't have to feel left out at lunchtime. Here are a few fun options parents can either make and serve or put in their child's lunchbox.
Grill the crust, if you can. It adds a bit of smoky flavor and gives the pizza a lip-smacking taste.
- 2 cups warm water (about 106 degrees F)
- 1 ounce active dry yeast
- 1/2 ounce plus a pinch of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons(plus a bit for dusting) gluten-free all-purpose flour (can be found in the health food section of your grocery store).
- 1/2 ounce fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup plus a bit for the grill extra virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water (about 106 degrees F) with the yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar. Stir to blend and let it sit until the top surface has little bubbles and is slightly frothy, about 5 minutes.
- While the yeast is bubbling, combine the remaining sugar with the flour, salt and xanthan gum.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the yeast mixture and the olive oil into it. Stir to blend. You may need to use your hands to get the dry and wet ingredients thoroughly mixed.
- Dust a clean, dry work surface with gluten-free flour, and pour the dough out of the bowl.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, until it's soft and holds together. (Note: This is not like kneading gluten-full dough -- it acts different and will sort of break apart when you pull it. Gluten-free dough does not stretch.)
- Shape the dough into a large ball, place it in the mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Let it "rest" in the bowl for a while in a warm place, about 30 minutes. (Gluten-free dough will not rise the way a gluten-full dough would. It will rise a bit but will be a bit softer and easier to work with.)
- Brush a stove-top grill lightly with olive oil. (If you do this on the bbq, you will need to use something to keep the dough from breaking through the spaces.
- Divide the dough into four equal parts. Shape each of the sections of dough into balls and place on the grill. Gently use your hands to press the dough into flat circles.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough out a bit more. The circles of dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Use a fork to poke a few air holes in the crust.
- Place the grill on the stove and turn the heat to high. Grill the dough until there are nice marks, about 4 minutes per side. Flip the dough gently.
- Add the toppings and heat in the oven, just long enough to warm them to crusts. You do not want to cook the crust further. If it cooks too long, it will become tough.
- You can add any toppings that your child loves. Make the sauce yourself, or thoroughly read the labels on purchased sauces (be aware that store-bought sauces may contain gluten). There are sauces that list “gluten-free” on the jar.
For more tips and recipes that are fun to eat, read on!