Tonawanda News

December 9, 2013

SIMPLY GLUTEN-FREE: Try these kid-friendly gluten-free tips

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — I often get emails from people asking me for recipes for “kid food.” Personally I never made a distinction in my home between kid food and grown up food – good food should be enjoyed by all. But I do understand that some kids can be pickier eaters. If this is the case with your child then you need to find ways that make food more appealing to the youngsters. 

Here are a few tips I have discovered for getting kids to eat. 

Skewers

It seems that kids like to eat things off a stick! Get some wooden skewers and thread pieces of fruit on them. Cut meat and veggies into bite-sized pieces and cook on skewers shish-kabob style. 

Dipping

It seems that kids will be more willing to try something if they can dip it into something else. Make gluten-free dips for veggies, meats and fruits. Let’s face it, it is just fun to dip and eat!

Crunch

Texture can be a big deal for kids. I have found that most kids like crunchy textures over mushy. Try coating foods in crispy, gluten-free cracker coatings before baking to add crunch.

Size

Making food size appropriate is always a good tip. A child may not want to eat a whole chicken leg but very few will turn down a mini chicken “leg.” Chicken wing drumettes are fun and the wing has the most flavor of any part of the chicken.

Finger food

Honestly everyone — not just kids — likes to eat with their fingers now and again. This is especially helpful when your child has not yet mastered the use of silverware. Cut food into bite-sized pieces and let them use their hands. 

This recipe for gluten free crispy chicken wings uses many of these tips. Choose a gluten-free barbecue sauce that is not too spicy for the kids and I think you will find this recipe is a winner for everyone.

Gluten-free crispy chicken wings

1 cup gluten free barbecue sauce – use divided

1/2 cup honey – use divided

4 pounds chicken wing drumettes

Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray

2 4.5-ounce packages Crunchmaster Multi Grain Sea Salt Crackers

Pour 3/4 cup of the barbecue sauce and 1/4 cup of the honey in a large plastic storage bag and mix. Add the chicken wings, close the bag and toss several times to coat the wings with the sauce.

Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray. 

Grind the crackers in a food processor or blender to fine crumbs and pour onto a dinner plate. Remove a chicken wing from the marinade, roll in the cracker crumbs to coat and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken wings. Discard the leftover marinade. Spray the tops of the wings lightly with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and cooked through (registering 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the wing). 

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce with the remaining 1/4 honey and serve with the wings for dipping.

Makes about 30 wings.

Carol Kicinski is a gluten-free cook, magazine editor and blog writer. Find more of her recipes at www.simplygluten-free.com.