Catherine: Cooking Gluten-Free for Kids with Celiac Disease
Following a proper Celiac diet and keeping gluten contamination in check can be a hard adjustment to make overnight. Learn how Catherine used our GF meal planning service for an easier transition and how she enjoys healthy gluten-free recipes with her family every day!
When Catherine’s daughters were diagnosed with Celiac Disease, she had to go from cooking gluten-full meals to gluten-free meals (see the pantry items they had to throw away in photo below). Luckily, preparing GF family dinners wasn’t so hard when she had the right meal plan in place. It has even encouraged the kids to become more adventurous eaters along the way! Read our Kitchen Hero interview with Catherine below to learn more about her cooking journey.
Name: Catherine Redd
City, State: Honolulu, HI
I cook for: my family of 4 and have cooked for a family reunion of 22 people multiple times (using Cook Smarts meals).
Outside of the kitchen I: enjoy organizing, crafting, and playing on a military kickball league.
The 3 pantry items I cannot live without are: granola, rice, and Tamari sauce.
I cook because: it keeps my family healthy and safe from gluten cross-contamination.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Chicken with Mango Salsa
What made you start cooking gluten-free meals?
Both of my daughters, Violet and Alaina, were diagnosed with Celiac Disease in December of 2018.
As someone who has a family with different dietary needs, can you tell us what challenges you face when cooking for others?
I have made my home a gluten-free home with no risk of cross-contamination when it comes to cooking for my family. I do make an exception when hosting a BBQ with friends and will buy normal hamburger buns. I just make sure they are contained.
How has Cook Smarts helped you and your family adopt a gluten-free lifestyle?
Oh man, I cannot express my gratitude to Cook Smarts enough. Having the option to change all of the recipes to gluten-free made the transition to becoming a gluten-free home so much easier. I know that things would have been far more stressful without this meal plan. I also want to add how much having a meal plan helped us during our move to Hawaii. We lived in a hotel for about a month and avoided eating out because of cost and risk of cross-contamination for our girls. We made sure to get a hotel with a kitchen and were able to successfully cook our dinners while in transition!
What are your favorite tips and best strategies for raising healthy and adventurous eaters?
I make my kids take at least one bite of each item on their plate. They can be really picky eaters but with Cook Smarts they have been introduced to so many new and exciting foods. They are definitely more open to trying new things since we started. As for me, I have always been like a child when it comes to vegetables. Since cooking with your program I now eat tomatoes which would have been unheard of 2 years ago, lol.
“I cannot express my gratitude to Cook Smarts enough. Having the option to change all of the recipes to gluten-free made the transition to becoming a gluten-free home so much easier.”
What’s been the biggest change in your family’s cooking / eating routine since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
Before Cook Smarts I would almost never make a meal plan. I would go to the grocery store and get basic supplies like rice, frozen chicken, and some frozen veggies. It would be almost dinner time and I would quickly try to figure out what to throw together. That lifestyle left much to be desired.
What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?
I find that looking at the recipe first thing in the morning is really helpful. That way you don’t overlook things like marinating and crock pot cook times.
Thank you so much, Catherine, for sharing your story with our cooking community! We are so glad that our meal plan service has helped you transition to Celiac-safe meals, live out of a hotel in Hawaii, and find the magic of good meal planning. We are excited to keep helping you bring healthy and adventurous recipes to your family’s dinner table each day!