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I am really struggling to find gluten free recipes

Hi Leanne, My husband is gluten intolerant. From a `saliva test` (not totally conclusive) we know our 9 1/2 month old son `may` also be intolerant. So far we have stayed away from all Gluten - easy when you already know how and easy to just make all your own food but I am really struggling to find recipes for rusks or the like for him now he is into more advanced foods. We have found gluten free animal crackers but I am concerned about the sugar levels as they are normally pretty high in GF food. What is an okay level of sugar?

Answer: Hi There, I do know of one gluten-free baby rusk, Baby Mum-Mum, website of the same name, though I haven`t seen them about for a while. The other option is a gluten-free bread and then cut into strips and bake them. Though sadly, many gluten-free breads aren`t additive free. Also, there is a lactose and gluten free rusks recipe on the Huggies Cookbook that may be helpful. I went through the same search with my boys and came up with nothing really. A feeding mesh and finger foods were our starting points. In regards to sugar, this is one of my favourite topics. I used to go nuts trying to find products, especially crackers, without sugar; now I look for those with the lowest levels of `sugars` on the nutrition panel. To see why, what I have done is included excerpts from my Toddler Feeding book on this issue: Using ingredient listings Existing food labelling laws in Australia and New Zealand require that ingredients are listed from the greatest to the smallest proportion. Check for added sugars on the ingredients list. Keep in mind that the term `no added sugar` means no sugars have been added during the food`s manufacture. It doesn`t mean that there is no sugar present. It`s worth remembering that naturally occurring sugars, such as apple juice for example, can be used as a form of added sugar, thereby increasing the ratio of simple sugars in a product that according to the label you might assume is low in sugars. It is important to keep this in mind when selecting products, e.g. a breakfast cereal containing dried fruit and honey may have a high sugar content but contain no added sugars as most of the sugars come from those naturally present in the dried fruit and honey. Therefore it is important to try to reduce added sugars, and check for levels of simple sugars to make sure we are picking healthy products. Choose products with a lower ratio of `sugars` compared to `total carbohydrates` on the nutrition panel The nutritional information on packaging seems to be increasing. GI ratings, percentages of RDI for nutrients, heart ticks, low this and that, the list goes on. However, while the nutrition panel may be intimidating, it can provide relevant and honest information. Nutrition panels Make nutrition panels your friend in the fight for healthy eating. Specifically, let`s look at the `carbohydrates` figure in comparison to the `total sugars` figure. - The total carbohydrates figure represents all sugars, naturally occurring and added, simple and complex. - The total `sugars` figure on the other hand indicates how much of these carbohydrates are simple sugars (naturally occurring and added). While it doesn`t tell you if the sugars are added (that`s where the ingredients panel is best), it will show you what portion of the carbohydrates are simple sugars, and what proportion are complex carbohydrates. Remember, complex carbohydrates are associated with many health benefits so where possible look for products that have a low total sugars figure in comparison to the carbohydrates figure. So I hope that fills in some gaps. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 22 Jun 2009