My kids are 8 & 10 now. My oldest was diagnosed with PDD when she was three, so we've been at this a long time. And, a lot has changed. There are many more GFCF products on the market today than there were seven years ago - many good GFCF products! And some are even sold at the regular supermarket.
To refresh all, my kids are GFCF, soy free and the littlest also is peanut free and egg free.
As they grow older, I've realized the best thing I can do for them is to teach them how to make eating as simple as possible -- shopping, cooking, etc. So, rather than run to five different groceries to find all sorts of ingredients to make all sorts of foods, we buy as much as possible from two stores - the local supermarket and a nearby food co-op.
On a typical day, my daughters will eat the following:
Breakfast: GF cereal (Gorilla Munch, Erewhon "rice krispies," Health Valley Rice Crunch ems), or a sandwich (Ener-G yeast free bread, Kinnikinnick Tapioca Rice Bread, GFCF deli meat, mustard/ketchup, lettuce), or toasted bread with butter -- Earth Balance "red tub" -- or Crofters jelly. On Saturdays, we make a mashed potato thing with Dayai cheese, rice milk and the Earth Balance - sometimes adding a GF sausage, bacon or even hot dog.
Lunch: I pack a Juicy Juice, mini carrots, chips (Lays, Ruffles, tortilla chips), or pretzels (Wylde brand is GFCF), and a sandwich.
Dinner: Meat (beef, chicken, fish - seasoned), a side like rice, potatoes or pasta (Tinkyada is a good brand), and frozen veggies.
Snacks: Sweet snacks include lollipops (DumDums or Yummy Earth), Enjoy Life chocolate bars, Smarties, KToos sandwich cookies, Enjoy Life cookies, Rice Dream ice cream and either Budget Popsicles or Philly Swirl popsicles in the summer. Other snacks include chips, pretzels, Puffins GF cereal "honey rice," GF crackers (Edward & Sons), and a variety of other GF snacks on the market today. "Food Alive" makes a good flax cracker snack that my kids enjoy - and they're picky. Similarly, Beanitos makes a great Chipotle BBQ cracker - made from beans.
I still make the kids, from time to time, homemade cookies, cupcakes or cake - especially for birthdays, etc. I also still make my own crust for pizza or wedgies - I haven't found anything better in the store.
Much like life, their diet is not perfect, and I understand some will balk at this. However, I've decided it's too much to expect that they will maintain perfect eating habits when they're older and on their own.
They eat some fruit and veggies - apples, strawberries, broccoli, beans, carrots, lettuce and blueberries. We make salads and find Drew's dressings to be perfect.
My youngest cannot eat eggs, but my oldest can, so she gets eggs about once a week.
Neither child has an interest in peanut butter right now. My youngest is allergic to peanuts, so we buy almond butter or cashew butter. If you're in this situation too, please note that many of these alternative butters are made in facilities that handle peanuts. So, if the allergy you're dealing with is severe, be careful.
My kids don't drink pop right now and when they want juice, it's Juicy Juice. They drink milk (Westsoy Rice Drink or Rice Dream) and lots of water.
Thankfully, there's a lot of quality products on the market right now that really help. However, many are expensive. We've found ways to work some into our budget to help make our lives easier - and the kids really enjoy buying foods that they see other kids eating.
Well, that's sorta the latest from here. Hope you're all doing well.