"My kid was recently diagnosed with food allergies. Does that mean I have to cook everything from scratch?" This is one of the most common messages I get in my inbox. More often than not, it will be followed by statements of frustration, confusion and even guilt. The typical mom guilt that implies "I'm not doing enough for my child." sort of thing.
Guess what my dear moms and dads? I too, don't make everything from scratch. Even if I blog about food, create recipes and spend most of my waking hours cooking, I confess I still rely on the help of ready to eat foods to keep my growing kids fed. It's just that the more I cook, the more the eat. Can you relate?
Anyway, since most take out is no longer an option, I try to stock up on frozen packaged foods which can be easily reheated. One of my family's favorites is Ian's Natural Foods.
For those who are not yet familiar with this brand, Ian's Natural provides a wide variety of allergy-friendly, kid approved meal solutions that the whole family can enjoy. Their foods are made with simple, honest ingredients and without any preservatives, artificial ingredients, trans fats, or added hormones and antibodies. From breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack, Ian's got us covered.
Here are some of my kids' favorite gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut and peanut free treats. As I have mentioned here on the blog before, all my food allergy kids have eaten the regular version of these foods before they were properly diagnosed. So when they say that it is close to the "real thing", it really is.
Smokin' Sweet BBQ Chicken Nuggets
Seasoned with garlic, onion, tomato and jalapeno powders, these chicken nuggets are loaded in flavor. No ketchup or sauce needed. All four of my kids gave it a thumbs up. The two younger ones though found it a little spicy for their taste.
Breaded Popcorn Turkey Corn Dogs
The kids gave these a double four thumbs up! Though it's not the traditional corn dogs they had prior to their food allergy findings, these were still a big hit. It has the right amount of crunchy coating which is close to that of a really good tempura. The hotdog stayed moist, soft and the best part not too salty.
Mac & No Cheese
What more can I say? Finally! At first the kids were a bit hesitant to try it because of the name on the box. If there's no cheese then what will it taste like?
Though they've tested quite a number of vegan cheeses, most of which, they hate, I was able to convince them to take a bite. Guess what? They liked it! It's not salty but is quite creamy and tasty. The noodles were a little on the soft side though.
Supreme French Bread Pizza
My lifesaver! As you all know, pizza parties are still a norm in many schools. If there's going to be a party the next day, I would stay up late, preparing for a pizza dough and wake up really early the next morning to make the pie. These are not only convenient but really yummy. Even my toughest bread/pizza critique gave it a double thumbs up. Love that it is already portioned and can be ready in 20 minutes.
Did I make you hungry? Would you like to try any of Ian's Natural products? Click this now to get your $1 off coupon.
(Note: I received free products to review for this post. My opinions and that of my children about the products were not affected in any way. Please see my full disclosure here. )