Help for a school-need gluten, dairy, fruit, soy, corn, and red food free recipies

Hello Food 52, I have a student in my school that can not have gluten, dairy, fruit, soy, corn, or red foods. Until now, this student has brought their own snack daily. They often have a bowl of rice with olives. After months of conversation, the family has opened up to the child having snack at school.Our snack program offers a variety of produce and healthy snacks as we partner with our local farmers market, but we have been challenged to find snacks that this student can enjoy that we can serve to the whole class and in turn perhaps offer to the whole school. Any recipes or ready made snack ideas are welcome.



MTMitchell March 8, 2012
I really admire that you all are taking this on in your school. S/he may not vocaalize it, but I know it means a lot to this child to be able to be included in what everyone else is doing and not have to have a different snack/meal all the time. I worked at an elementary school for a few years, and we had a couple of kids with different food allergies (none as extensive as what you've described, however). I used to ask parents to provide me with a list of approved snacks and treats (since we did sometimes have parents bring in goodies for birthdays and other celebrations and I didn't want anyone to feel left out), and then also to let me know some things that they make at home that were their children's favorites. We were fairly restricted in terms of what we could do "on site" (public school), but we tried to plan ahead and make sure that we had a few things handy that each child could enjoy in the event that the "regular" snack or treat wasn't going to work. Good luck!
beyondcelery March 8, 2012
How about Hummus Deviled Eggs? If paprika is too red for the child, leave it off.

If flaxseeds are okay, try my Zucchini Sourdough Rolls:

I think my Coconut-Lemon Macarrons should be okay, unless they consider coconut a fruit:

My Raspberry Brownies should be okay as well, so long as you leave out the jam and make sure to use a soy-free chocolate like Theo:

I hope that helps you get started. Email me or check out my blog ( if you need more recipes. I think that once you get into the swing of this, you'll find the options can be surprisingly broad. Good luck!
lloreen March 8, 2012
What is wrong with foods with a red skin? Organic red peppers? Tomatoes? Rasberries and apples? Do red beans count? I have never heard of this food issue...Is it an allergy or a phobia on the part of the parents?
apryl.may March 8, 2012
Thank you to everyone who has answered so far! Sadly, this is an issue many school face, but all the support is welcome!
softpunk March 8, 2012
Yikes! What a strong case for home schooling.
softpunk March 8, 2012
And on a more positive and supportive note, you are unreasonably kind, patient and accommodating. My hat is off to you there!
lloreen March 8, 2012
Celery sticks stuffed with almond butter, hummus, or tuna salad?
I second the hummus and edamame suggestion...
How about kale chips?
Roasted chickpeas are a great snack too
apryl.may March 8, 2012
we can't have almond butter( nut free school) but we do make hummus that is tahini free. the child also can not have edamame. the whole school loves kale chips and we are hopefully the child will be allowed to try them next week. we just got the family to back down off of all organic while at school. sadly, the expense of all organic for a school of our size is not an option. we go local to support the community as much as possible. thanks for the roasted chickpea idea!
Sam1148 March 8, 2012
I'd go with the hummus dip, suggest earlier, carrot sticks. As a snack.

However, I think with those restrictions and the parents. And lack of medical back up (if any) it's a losing game, and the bar will be raised no matter what you do to accommodate.

Best game plan: Ask the parents to set up a meeting with the child's Doctor, and nutritionist.
Find out the health problems he/she has and work within the prescribed diet plan.
(I'd guess that doesn't exist IMHO and they're reading some book with food combination thingy, Google Food Combination diet for info).

If that does not exist, ask the parents what snacks would meet their requirements.
apryl.may March 8, 2012
thank you for the suggestion. they have been food combining in the past.. many families are starting to do this....and i remember when wonder bread was the healthy choice!
softpunk March 8, 2012
I accidentally hit Agree instead of the reply button. I don't agree. I think wonderbread is disgusting, but denying a child all fruit and anything red is more unhealthy than crappy white bread.
softpunk March 8, 2012
Fruit? Seriously? Why must all fruit be avoided? Am I the only one who thinks dietary restrictions in schools are getting a bit too restrictive? Are all the other kids not going to get fruit because this kid "can't" have any? I sure hope not because that just doesn't seem right.
apryl.may March 8, 2012
everyone else has fruit daily. this child brings snack daily as the food restrictions have been even more complex until this point.
susan G. March 7, 2012
I would start with, what are the other children used to having for snacks? If you use that as a starting point, they would feel comfortable with the choice so that the allergic/intolerant child would not feel singled out.
Possible starting points -- readily available dry cereals, like Rice Chex, which I believe is now completely GF; crackers, many available; fruits and vegetables, even salsa. A pizza flavored dip or spread? SKK's "focus on what s/he can eat" helps the thinking process!
susan G. March 7, 2012
Sorry, missed the fruit on the 'off' list. If nuts are acceptable, some kind of trail mix, which could include nuts, cereal, chips...
apryl.may March 8, 2012
since the family is against process food, cereal and crackers are out. the students eat a varity of food. we have a focus on local and seasonal and buy from the farmers market and supplement what is not in season( this summer we are canning like crazy since we taught the children that there is no blueberry bush in NYC in winter) a typical snack would be multigrain bread that we bake with olive oil for dipping, roasted vegetables or some kind or fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit. we make our own granola, jams, fruit leather, jerky, other breads, dry fruit, etc. ever classroom( 8 in total) also cook once a week either something the kids select or something that one student eats at home.
SKK March 7, 2012
How great of you to have this student feel included in the community! My first thought would be to focus on what he/she can eat rather than the list of no's. A couple of questions - can you fix things at school, as in dips? What vegetables are in season? And to echo Miranda's question - is no red dye or the colors of food - red cabbage, bell peppers etc? The answers will help shape the recipes.
apryl.may March 8, 2012
that is exactly what i said to my staff! lets focus on what the child can have!!! We can fix things at school. in fact, we have a full time food/gardening person on staff. the red goes for the skin on food and any dye. the family does not allow ANY processed food for the kids. they may allow a rice cake that is as natural as possible. we have been tinkering with our house made granola to adapt it as it is oat based and uses honey from NY state. we are also a nut and seed free environment.
SKK March 9, 2012
Momo78, I want to go to your school! Wonderful context for these kids to grow up in on so many levels. Do you have a dehydrator at the school? If so, I can send you some great recipes that fit the requirements for crackers that are tasty and filled with vegetables. Also, lettuce wraps are really good. You could put vegetables, rice and your jerky in them.

You asked if someone had a recipe for jerky marinade. Given the constraints I would recommend a dry spice rub, which you rub into the jerky and let sit overnight in the fridge.
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin (If it is considered red substitute thyme)
½-¾ teaspoon garlic powder

meganvt01 March 7, 2012
Or edamame. Veggie sushi rolls?
apryl.may March 8, 2012
the child is not allowed to have soy beans, but sushi rolls have been a hit!
meganvt01 March 7, 2012
You didn't mention vegetarian - how about some homemade (local meat) jerky? Maybe a caponata dip with a gluten free cracker?
apryl.may March 8, 2012
we have started to make jerky for the school! any suggestion for a marinade?
Shalini March 7, 2012
Nix the corn tortillas in my answer!!! Try gluten-free or rice ones instead.
Miranda R. March 7, 2012
Ok, this is a tough one, but there is surely something. Just to clarify, what exactly are red foods? Like bell peppers and apples or as in things with red food dye?
apryl.may March 8, 2012
any food with a red skin.
Shalini March 7, 2012
How about sprouted mung beans? Kids love to snack on them. Pea shoots are another thing they love, as well as sunflower sprouts. Unsalted rice crackers are another option. Sushi rolls with just seaweed and rice and a little carrot or avocado in the middle would work. A homemade chickpea spread would work as well, not using any sesame oil in case of allergies. Corn tortillas might work as well, sprouted corn ones are very nutritious and can be toasted and eaten with a topping of black beans and chopped cucumbers and herbs.
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