I am forever reading how porridge is such a great breakfast because of the health boosting, cholesterol lowering properties of oats etc but when you are living a gluten free, dairy free lifestyle you tend to think of a bowl of milky, sticky cereal as your worst nightmare.
However since I became aware of gluten free oats, and more familiar with the various dairy free milks, I decided it was time to face my fears and see if this could be made palatable, appealing and safe for my intolerant child. Certainly porridge was a favourite when I was weaning him, but in my experience most babies love all foods at that age, it is only once they get older, discover the word ‘no’, and in our case are given the cast iron excuse ‘but it might give me a tummy ache’ that you find yourselves getting less and less adventurous with food.
So it is a while since porridge has been on the menu, but as I am on this quest to find multiple safe breakfast options, I have to explore ‘oats’. Thankfully, the porridge making method was explained on the back of the packet. I got my gluten free oats from Waitrose, but I have also bought them from Sainsbury’s in the past – always in the free from sections and clearly marked – gluten free.
This breakfast is more for the warm summer days when you want something cold and refreshing to wake you up, when summer fruits are in season and in abundance. This is a ‘recipe’ I cannot take credit for. This was created by my intolerant child last summer. I have mentioned before how he loves his raisin toast. So a slice of the Warburtons GF fruit loaf, lightly toasted with a scrape of Pure Dairy Free is a big part of this breakfast. He likes it cut up into triangles – which make the toast the perfect size and shape for dipping into a yoghurt pot.
Zac’s favourite dairy free yoghurts are the Alpro soya ones. He likes all flavours but seems to like the cherry ones very much at the moment and is also very fond of the blueberry ones. Both are full of fruit pieces and highly coloured so stain clothes terribly and that is why, if you look at the picture carefully he has his top off! He hates getting his clothes dirty too, so as soon as he gets so much as a drop on him, he strips off. Not a bad thing as you need to get the stain remover on it straight away or you will never get it out.
I know a lot of people cannot take soya, and that must be tough because if you are dairy free too, I am not aware of many other yoghurt replacements. Alpro soya has been something of a godsend for us, as they are apparently so rich in calcium, protein, B and D vitamins that they help ‘prop up’ his diet. In fact, whenever we have seen a dietitian they pay little attention to the gluten free aspect of his diet and focus very much on the dairy replacement and take great pains to note down exactly what his daily intake is. I know it is crucial for bone density in later life, for a child to get the right levels of all these things and so I try to get Zac to eat three yoghurts a day. This was what the dietitian told me is the ideal way to ensure that his diet is adequate. He has a splash of the Alpro Soya Junior milk on his cereal, but no more than a splash and it is less densely laden with the good stuff than yoghurts, so I know I cannot rely on this for Zac.