My kids are different than a lot of kids in that they've been pretty much fed real, grain-free, not-processed food from scratch most of their lives. My oldest was 2 when we went on the GAPS diet to get rid of his weird food sensitivities to cinnamon and walnuts and we've been mainly on a grain-free diet (Paleo) since. My youngest has always been this way. Sure, we eat gluten-free baked goods and corn on occasion, but a good 80% of their diets are grain- and dairy-free.
I've never found it particularly hard to feed them this way, and for the most part they've been ok with it too. It's gotten a bit harder as my oldest entered elementary school and sees his friends eating certain things that he can't, but that's when I really relax on the grain-freeness and seek out gluten-free options that are similar. Like for example, last week my son had a Valentine's Day party at school where they decorated sugar cookies and had cheese and crackers. I brought in some Simple Mills almond flour crackers and gluten-free sugar cookies for him and let him eat some of the Hershey's kisses and conversation hearts and he was as happy as could be.
Do we see effects from letting him eat processed gluten-free food and sugar? Sometimes. I do notice him getting a bit more hyperactive and he doesn't seem to think as clearly, but to me it's a matter of balance when it comes to kids. I don't want them leading a life devoid of kid things or feeling like outcasts but I also don't want them to be unhealthy.
That's why I often experiment with recipes that are packed with nutrition but can be easily passed off to my kids as a kid-friendly food. Like this blueberry “ice cream”. Is it really ice cream? No. It's a mixture of coconut cream and frozen blueberries with an avocado to make it creamy. But they don't know that. They just see this beautifully colored purple, yummy looking cold dessert/snack coming towards them and smile!
It's also not heavy on the sugar. It only uses 2 tbs of maple syrup over 4 servings. Otherwise it's just the blueberries lending a natural sweetness. So I can feel really good serving this to my kids as either a dessert OR a snack.
It literally is one of those recipes where you dump a bunch of stuff into a blender and blend, so it also doesn't get much easier than this. You can serve it as is, which is what I usually do when it's a snack, or you can add some fun toppings like shredded, unsweetened coconut or Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (they are dairy- and soy-free). I did also add some India Tree Naturally Colored Sprinkles on the ice cream pictured, but they do contain a bit of corn and soy, so not necessarily a Paleo option but one I let slide for the kids again keeping with the balance thing.
2 Minute Dairy-free Blueberry Ice Cream
- 1 5.4 oz can coconut cream
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional toppings: Enjoy life Chocolate Chips, Coconut Flakes, India Tree Naturally Colored Sprinkles
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.