For children with celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet is a must. However, it shouldn’t stop them from eating tasty desserts.
Fortunately, many gluten-free treats for kids come with nutrients and flavors. Discover some recipes you can easily create at home.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by an immune reaction to gluten. When a child with celiac disease eats gluten — a protein found in barley, rye and wheat — their body creates an immune response that attacks the small intestine, leading to nutrient malabsorption.
This autoimmune disease is hereditary, meaning it runs in the family. Common symptoms of pediatric celiac disease include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Developmental delay
Enjoyable Gluten-Free Desserts for Kids
A strict gluten-free diet comes with many health benefits for the body. While there are a lot of considerations, it should not restrict your child from eating delicious desserts. Here are some recipes you can prepare at home that are perfect for your kid and the whole family.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cereal Bars
Try out this creative spin on the classic chocolate caramel butter bars. This recipe’s prep time is easy, but you must invest a little time to let it chill. These treats are gluten-free and delicious, making every waiting time worth it.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces mini marshmallows
- 4 cups puffed-rice cereal
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of flaky sea salt
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¾ creamy peanut butter
- Get a 9-inch baking pan and brush with melted butter, line with parchment and leave a 2-inch overhang on both sides.
- In a pot, melt three tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, add salt and marshmallows. Cook and stir until melted.
- Turn off the heat, then add cereal. Mix thoroughly and transfer to the prepared pan. Press in an even layer and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Add sugar and three tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture boils. Once done, remove the cover and wait until the blend turns amber, around three minutes or more, then remove from heat.
- Add cream and two tablespoons of butter. Stir the mixture until smooth and let it cool for about an hour. Whisk in some peanut butter and spread evenly over the crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Melt three tablespoons of butter and chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir mixture until smooth. Then, spread evenly over the caramel layer and let it harden for five minutes. Sprinkle with salt and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Lift the treat using overhangs. Cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.
2. Gluten-Free Apple Tart
A paleo-friendly and gluten-free treat for kids and adults alike! Sliced thinly and layered beautifully into the crust, this apple tart is also perfect for family occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Pie crust ingredients:
- 2 cups finely ground almond flour
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar
- 1 cup arrowroot starch
- ½ tablespoon ground flax or golden flax seeds
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, lard, duck fat, coconut oil or ghee
- 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg yolk
- Extra arrowroot or tapioca starch
Apple filling ingredients:
- 6 medium baking apples
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, palm shortening or refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- In a large food processor bowl, combine arrowroot, almond flour, maple sugar, flax, chia, baking powder and salt. Pulse five to six times, add the butter and mix another 4 to 5 times until the mixture appears sandy.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, then put three tablespoons of water on the top of the dough. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
- Place the dough out onto a cutting board. With your hands, shape it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic and let it cool for at least an hour or up to three days.
- A few moments before baking the tart, place a parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle with tapioca starch or arrowroot. Place the pie dough in the center, roll and form a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- Transfer the crust to the tart pan. Place your flipped tart pan in the center of the rolled-out dough. Slowly, slide one hand palm side up under the parchment, with the other hand firmly placed on the pan. Flip the whole thing quickly, then put it in the freezer as you prepare the apples.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Peel the apples and cut lengthwise. Slice them very thinly — around ⅛-inch thick).
- Melt butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep whisking until the sugar dissolves.
- Get your tart shell from the freezer and lay the apple slices in concentric circles, starting on the outer edge and going inward. As you near the center, place your thinnest apple slices and fold them slowly to form a beautiful flower-like shape.
- Sprinkle the lemon zest and drizzle half of the glaze over the tart.
- Bake for 40 minutes, then brush the remaining glaze on the apple slices. Bake again for five minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
3. Fresh Fruit Granita
Preparing something for a picky eater can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean your kid has to settle for bland snacks. Fortunately, this healthy recipe allows you to add fruits your kids will surely love. This Italian frozen dessert comprises the fruit you choose with sugar, salt, lime juice and yogurt.
- 4 cups cubed fruit
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup flavorful liquid, such as lemon and lime
- A pinch of salt
- In a blender, puree the fruit with sugar and juice. If your fruit is dry, add a few tablespoons of water until the mixture is about the consistency of a smoothie.
- Pour the fruit puree into a shallow pan, then freeze for 30 to 45 minutes until the top and sides of the pan are frozen.
- Scrape the partially frozen granita with a fork, breaking up large chunks.
- Return the pan to the freezer for four hours before serving.
- Add some whipped cream or yogurt, then top it off with your kid’s favorite gluten-free candies.
Other Gluten-Free Treats Kids Will Love
When creating gluten-free desserts for kids, sometimes less is more. Explore more easy-to-prepare recipes that are safe and enjoyable for your little ones.
- Strawberry-Lemonade Angel Pie: This tasty dessert has a meringue base perfect for kids who love strawberries, gelatin and some whipped cream.
- Fruity Smoothie Bowl: Make breakfast more enjoyable with a healthy smoothie bowl of fruits and vegetables in season.
- Gluten-Free Cake Pops: These chocolatey treats can be made in various colors and flavors, including vanilla and chocolate.
- Banana Cream Pie: This vegan and no-gluten pie only requires 10 ingredients for you and your kid to enjoy this tasty treat.
- Chewy Granola Bars: You only need flour, rolled oats, coconut, baking soda, chocolate chips and other dried fruits to create these healthy treats your kids will love.
Try Out a Recipe Today
Creating desserts for your kid with celiac disease is easier than you think. So, head to the kitchen — make a gluten-free dessert for your kid today.