changing our diet around here

Well I’m surprised I’m getting a blog post up tonight! It was the first day back at school and I had two pick up times, an early start and lots of car trips but it was a fabulous day for everyone. I probably got more emotional about leaving keira than the twins but everyone had a great day and it was early to bed to do it all over again. And send my little miss off to preschool tomorrow for the first time ever!

But let’s talk diet. We’ve found a new paediatrician and he is just fabulous. I found someone who could help me with the gluten free diet that has been so helpful with elodie and look at her overall health rather than just her delays. I haven’t done a big post on gluten free but will write a few about our experiences. Whenever I was googling looking for ways to help my little miss the gluten free dairy free diet kept coming up.


I read a book (this one) and found it fascinating and started with gluten free. Now the gluten free is the easy bit and for us it had huge improvements in a number of areas which led me to this new dr. He has now suggested that we give the dairy free a go and it might not have a huge improvement but based on the gluten free being so successful its worth having a shot. His advice was that something with a small improvement here and another improvement there from something else all adds up and trust me at this stage it all adds up. Going gluten free got rid of some major behavioural issues, sleep and other issues we were facing. And I felt great. We’ve slipped up twice – once on holidays and once after Christmas and all the old problems came back and I just didn’t feel as great. So back on the gluten free we went. I don’t know if it works for everyone but you have to admit that our diets are so revolved around bread and wheat these days that some of us need to cut back or get rid of it. Same goes for additives, colours and preservatives in what we give our kids.

Now I say gluten free is the easy bit because we’ve just substituted our flour with gluten free flour. Bread with gluten free bread – just for our littlest miss, the big kids and rest of the family eat regular bread. Pasta is now san remo gluten free and cookies/biscuits are all gluten free. Luckily we love corn thins and rice crackers which are gluten free so that makes it a bit easy too. Plus we just love sushi which is gluten free and we serve it with tamari instead of regular soy sauce. Winner and no one has noticed the new sauce.

Combining the dairy free is where it gets tricky especially eating out. I tried and didn’t know what to eat. But this weekend I’ll start on the dairy free and see how we go. We are also starting a special multivitamin and doing some more tests. This recipe above was one of my gluten free dairy free creations which is bacon, lentil and vegetable slice so might give that another whirl as it would be good in lunchboxes too.

and interestingly for the first time a dr has said that we need to eat organic wherever possible, get the preservatives and additives out which is something that we’ve done as we’ve been going gluten free with the exception of the bread and a couple of other things. Today our big organic fruit and vegie box arrived and I’m excited to get cooking this week and weekend. And do you love the lemonade bottle in the background? Just keeping it real for everyone out there! I’m not perfect and I’ll never try to be.

I know from my facebook page that some of you are experts out there with diet and your kids and I’d love to hear what has worked for you, favourite recipes and websites and resources. Hit me with it.

For me I love Against The Grain (really great family recipes and a huge book I reviewed here and where I discovered the amazing cobb salad pictured below), Cooking for Isaiah (great if you love baking, have kids who love the sweet stuff/pizzas/baking etc) and I like this one for family dinners as we just love asian cooking. Love to hear if you have some favourites for special diets too.


  1. Hi Corrie
    Everything I cook is gluten and dairy free. I really love any recipe by Bill Granger. Many of his recipes are Asian inspired so there’s no dairy and little wheat in those. I now use a lot more lime juice and fish sauce, and tamari of course. We had his lemon chicken tonight which is a regular fave.

  2. A Christy Production says:

    Personally my favourite lactose free milk is Zymil. They have also come out with a cream which is really tasty and I can’t tell the difference. The milk is similar to smarter white in my opinion and I don’t notice it when eating it with cereal etc. I recently tried a new dairy free ice cream too, I wish I could remember the brand but cannot, sorry (I just got it in Coles). The Zymil milk can be bought in cold 1L cartons or in long life cartons. I cook with the milk & cream and hubby doesn’t notice at all which is great. There are so so many dairy free options with typically dairy filled items like cheeses, yoghurt etc, so it will probably be easier than you think with baking & cooking. The tricky part will be eating out like you said, and then if you are eating something that may have been made using dairy products. But I’m sure you’ll figure it out quick smart!

  3. It is amazing what a difference it makes to remove elements that are so reasonably new to our systems! Most of the recipes I post are GF and DF these days. No doubt you are familiar with Jo from Quirky Kitchen? One important tip, much packaged GF stuff simply subs wheat with soy and that can cause all sorts of issues because of the hormonal impact in the long term so look out for it!

  4. I am gluten free too Corrie. My main problem with being ‘glutened’ has been when eating out. I recently found these toasting bags that you can put the gluten free bread etc in to toast, so will be giving that a whirl next time I head out for breakfast at our local cafe…..I’m pretty sure that that is where my cross contamination issues are coming from when out. Just something to be aware of. Good luck with going dairy free as well :) So glad that you are seeing improvements!

  5. My daughter went dairy free a couple of months ago. She had rhinitis for years and even had her nose operated on. She had a dairy allergy as a baby which I thought she had grown out of but apparently not! She has just returned from a month in India on a school trip and even managed dairy free while away. I find milk and margarine easy because I can buy dairy free options quite simply. The problem I have is cheese. I have heard great things about buffalo cheese which I can get here but haven’t tried yet. Until then unfortunately no pizza :(

  6. Hi Corrie, have you checked out ? She has dairy/gluten/refined sugar free etc. I keep meaning to try more recipes but I find the cost of some alternatives can be quite high depending on where you buy them. Good luck, I am also wanting to make some changes in our diet this year. Thanks for all your yummy recipes too! Our fav is chicken pie :)

  7. We’ve done that and all. The biggest was definitely all the chemicals and additives etc. we followed Sue Dengates FAILSAFE method and bought her cookbook. For dairy free instead of swapping we just eliminated anything that was a dairy meal as swapping to soy or almond milk just was too big a jump in terms of flavour. After 4 weeks your body forgets certain tastes and so then I reintroduced some soy milk but mostly only ice cream as none of us could drink the stuff except hubby. I did find that coconut milk was a good swap for a few things like cream in sticky date toffee sauce etc. we didn’t enjoy the soy cheeses so we just skipped those types of foods. hubby ate soy yoghurt but again he was the only one. It kind of leaves you with meat, nuts, fruit and veg and we were fine with that lots of baked dinners and spag Bol plus any kind of Asian meal served with rice as long as the bases were gf/cf. Mashed potato with olive oil salt and pepper worked a treat as long as it was light olive oil. Sorbets especially easy in a blender or thermi if you use frozen bananas just whipped up …tastes amazing or frozen raspberries. Treats were kettle plain chips and schweppes lemonade because they were Failsafe and natural confection company jellies and snakes.

  8. Ruth Leon says:

    You have not indicated as far as I remember the issue/condition that renders such radical changes to diet & it isn’t any of my business, and I am loath to make assumptions, but my sister has two children on the Autism spectrum who are now in their teens. The diet you have described, dairy free and gluten free was excellent for the boys and certainly it is excellent.
    In addition to diet, she wondered if heavy metal poisoning would have an effect on the boys so she began investigating ‘chelation therapy’. The change in those boys is utterly remarkable. The eldes has just gained admission to university this year and the other who was full on autism is in year 10. Still some issues but when we consider how closed in he was, well it’s outstanding.
    ( Can you ever cure autism? This mum believes her sons have ……/can-you-ever-cure-autism-this-mum-be…
    Mar 2, 2009 – Fleur Elmslie, on February 12, 2010 at 6:49 am said: All 3 of my children have recovered from ASD. One Son 12 now, was severely autistic at 2 …)

    I would actually suggest going sugar/fructose free also. Not as hard as you imagine– your veggie box is a wonderful start and making everything from scratch as you do. Sarah Wilson has a blog and good books with great cakes and treats that are sugar free.
    I really enjoy the sugar free diet and love the ingenuity involved in cooking an the thermomix makes it a great deal easier. (I am not dairy free though) there are some great vegan blogs too. The simple veganista being one I like.
    Good luck

  9. I make almond milk and yoghurt and we try to be low gluten where possible. Alpro do a lovely dessert 4pac (yoghurt substitute) which madam likes, but as others have mentioned, soy can be a allergen (our paed warned us it often goes hand in hand with dairy)
    It’s also worth confirming whether they want fully dairy free or just avoid anything that’s not cooked into baking etc. We were fully DF for 18 months, had 12 months of it only in baked goods and are now able to have limited dairy in any form.

    Genuinely DF isn’t that bad once you launch yourself into it. A most people have said, the worst thing is missing cheese!
    Eating out we just stick to Asian food.

  10. Hi Carrie, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the end of 2012. I’m now gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free and have been able to eliminate most of my symptoms as a result. So many people are finding that gluten / diary / sugar has major links to their health but the medical profession as a whole seems to be lagging behind. It’s so great your doctor is embracing current thinking! I make milk using nuts and while my kid’s aren’t big fans of drinking it they generally don’t notice when it’s added to cooking.
    Just read up on soy products as there is a lot of contention about whether it’s as good as it is claimed to be. I love Kris Carr and Sarah Wilson’s websites for information on healthy living – they’re always very informative. All the best with your journey!

  11. I have recently discovered the ‘Cut out the Crap’ series by Collette White . They are excellent and consist entirely of great recipes that are gluten free, dairy free & preservative free. I particulary love the ‘Cut out the Crap for kids’ book which has fantastic and easy recipes for the whole family to enjoy.

  12. Is it all dairy that you are cutting out? Or is it lactose? I went lactose free years ago due to Crohns Disease and love the Liddells range of milk, cheese and cream. No lactose and honestly you can’t tell the difference from “real” milk. Good luck

  13. Chami Lam says:

    Hi Corrie
    My son was diagnosed with autism last year and we are also giving the gluten and dairy free diet a go though I do let him have a sneaky bit of wheat on holidays etc….we found that the Woolworths macro almond and rice milk was the best of all the brands we tried…in fact we were away over the xmas break and had to buy a different brand which didn’t sit too well with him…would love to hear the name of the vitamin your doctor recommended if you get a chance. Good luck with Elodies pre school today I know how u feel my guy is starting two days in the bigger class and since he has no speech I feel a lot of anxiety of how he will go being with much older kids who can communicate better

  14. Gluten free here for my hubby and 9 year old son and my hubby and 11 year old daughter are also on failsafe, which is tricky as it means that even lots of fruit and veg need to be avoided.
    My husband is also dairy free.
    Our other two children seem to be able to eat anything, but we do follow failsafe by avoiding all artificial colours and preservatives and notice that our 7 year old seems to react if he eats too many high sulfite foods.
    It is a real juggle with four children and all of these special dietary requirements.
    Keep up the good work though as it does make a difference.
    I agree that the gluten free part is the easy part :)
    Some days I find myself baking three different things for lunchboxes to suit all the requirements and tastes of everyone.

  15. Hi Corrie,

    Try Quirky Cooking. She does a whole lot of gluten free and dairy free recipes, normally from scratch and they’re all for the Thermomix. Plus they taste delicious!

  16. Bernadette says:

    HI Corrie, I wish you well with your dietary changes. I have been making changes for my family over the last couple of years after meeting a wonderful nutritionist called Cyndi O’Meara. Cyndi has a great website ( with information, insights and recipes. I would highly recommend having a look. I am trying to get my 19 year old to make the dietary changes she needs to make to improve symptoms of her autoimmune disease! I think it might be easier with your beautiful Elodie! 19 year olds are hard eggs to crack!

  17. I find Indian food to be the best eating out option. Asian still uses soy sauce in most dishes which is not gluten free. Indian cuisine uses chickpea flour mostly, no soy sauce and there are plenty of dishes with non dairy sauces. I love Jude Blureau’s books, and she has many things with gluten and dairy free options. One of my children had some severe behavioural issues which cleared up 90% once we removed gluten and egg (he had a comprehensive allergy test). I was amazed. It is really hard sometimes to provide healthy food all the time, and get the kids to eat it! I am a mother of five too and it is rare that all the kids will eat a dinner I cook. Sometimes you just want to order pizza!

  18. I agree with others re Quirky Cooking if you haven’t already seen it.
    Another few are Elana’s Pantry
    My New Roots (has an instragram feed too)
    I also agree with another reader who has cautioned against some products that are Gluten Free but packed with other ingredients which can be just as reactionary.
    I’m fructose intolerant, with some foods worse than others. I’d try and cut out as much of that sugar as possible (wheat has fructose in it, so whilst some people may not be gluten intolerant, they could have fructose malabsorption issues). Sue Shepherd of Shepherd Works has done a lot of research into the FODMAP diet. Great info on her website

  19. Your salad is gorgeous! I’ve thought about going gluten free for myself. I’d love to see if it makes a big impact on me as well!

  20. Hi Corrie,
    A favourite blog of mine with wholefood recipes, including plenty of sweet (but nourishing) recipes is Petite Kitchen-
    A few of my favourites are the coconut yoghurt, lemon and coconut truffles and the lime and coconut cream panna cotta.
    Many of her recipes are dairy free, sugar free and/or gluten free.

  21. I agree with Olympia Cut Out The Crap is my favourite followed by all of Sue Shepards Book also join the Celiac Society they have the best support amd information you will need. Just keep it simple eat fresh and minimal pre packaged .

  22. How wonderful is this technology of ours? You have reached so many people with your own story about discovering Elodie’s new dietary needs. Wonderful to see so many sharing their own stories and where they go for help. 10 years ago this would not have been so easy.

    Oh and I hope the end of Elodie’s day is as bright as the beginning!

  23. Try ‘cut out the crap’. I’ve met Coll a few times as a fellow Mum, and she is just lovely. She has a lot of food intolerances, and has cut preservatives and additives out of her families diets too.

  24. How are you going with the gluten free bread now you are also trying to avoid additives and dairy? I loved it until I read the ingreients, WHOAH!! What a chemical maze. I indulge every now and then, we have a gluten free sourdough in WA that is amazing but very expensive. It is also a now and then treat.
    I still get caught out. Lactose free icecream contains gluten, oats labelled gluten free were a big fail. It is a long journey of learning and aiming for health. Goodluck to you and your family xx

  25. Hi Corrie,
    I take my hat off to you as I have found it a very difficult thing to make dietary changes. I think I do a reasonable job of avoiding colours and preservatives as I’ve always been careful there. However I’m trying to cutback on sugar now and it’s hard to do. I suspect my family would also benefit from
    eating gluten free and I was wondering are you really able to simply swap flour for gluten free flour in your cookies and cake recipes?

    • hi there
      my lovely readers told me about white wings gf flour and it’s a pure substitute of cup to cup! really great and it tastes a bit different but now we’re used to it!
      give it a go! it is hard work but worth it in the end:)

  26. I really love My Darling Lemon Thyme for gluten and dairy-free recipes. Such an amazing blog! I will have a think of the others I like. I tried gluten-free for quite a while, but it made absolutely no difference at all, so I don’t bother with it now. I do like baking with buckwheat and some of the other naturally gluten-free flours though, they’re pretty delicious and have much more nutrients and good stuff than plain ol’ refined white. Although I do love a refined white from time to time!

  27. Thanks Corrie. I will give it a try. Also I forgot to mention one blog that I like; Wholefood Simply, great recipes for those with intolerances & allergies, by a Sydney mum.

  28. Hi Corrie

    I find Pete Evans has some very good recipes and tips for paleo diets on his facebook page. He is also presenting on food as medicine through the MINDD Foundation which you may find inreresting (

  29. Love against all grain. Such a great site. Not sure if it’s near you or not but I know of an organic food market that runs weekly in Frenchs Forest on a sunday morning. There are some others around that area as well. Website address is I try and get as much fresh food organic as possible and am lucky living on the mornington peninsula in Victoria I have access to local farms and markets to buy from. It’s much cheaper and you support the local businesses too. You can also get a list off the net which helps in buying organic produce called the ‘clean 15’ and the ‘dirty dozen’. Glad to hear the changes are working for you and your family though : )

  30. Tracey mayhew says:

    Excellent to hear Corrie. I’m all for organic foods as well as being celiac so it gets easier as you go. Since having my baby boy I’ve learned an abundance about how our intestinal gut flora operate in conjunction with our nervous system and immunity etc. it’s all linked together in harmony of course. Anyway. Try googling raw foods for kids and you’ll find a whole new way of creating nutritious yummy foods your kids will love. And so will the grown ups. Xx

  31. Tracey mayhew says:

    Oh and another thought to put out there is to be aware as to how the children respond to certain fruits as a lot are high in naturally occurring solicilates. And give a thought to raw organic dairy in the right time. Worth researching the benefits. As well as goats milk products. Always organic of course. Xx

  32. Hi Corrie,

    All the best with new diet approach. You have made me want to try making Gluten Free bread I’m just not sure which way to go with a recipe do you know of which is a good one to try. Thanks!

  33. Hi Corrie,
    I’d definitely recommend visiting Jo has heaps of yummy dairy free and gluten free thermomix recipes on there. She’s also bringing out a recipe book soon!

  34. We are gluten free house hold but we do have dairy in yogurt and milk form. Althought I’m thinking about starting the whole 30 tomorrow and that’s dairy free so we’ll see how I go with that!

  35. I am coeliac and am gluten free. I am also dairy and egg intolerant as well as not tolerating chicken.
    People ask me what on earth I eat … mostly vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, seafood.
    We travelled around the USA as a family for five weeks and I survived eating out the whole time, without getting glutened once!
    I order a steak (or fish) with veges… like a baked potato and brocoli (in the winter) or salad. It can be a bit tricky but even places who don’t offer those options on their menu, I have found, are happy to make something I can eat.
    The key is keeping to the basics. I stress no sauces, marinades or dressings.
    Im glad the diet is making a big difference.
    We put my 11 year old on a gluten free diet a year ago and haven’t looked back. She started reading and now has her nose in a book constantly. She stopped throwing tantrums, she grew 14 cm. She also stopped refluxing, no longer has a mouth full of ulcers and doesnt get hiccups 20+ times a day any more.
    Fortunately there are so many options these days for eating gluten free. I find eating egg free much harder.
    Paleo was the best move for me.

  36. Hi corrie, I think this is just wonderful that you are doing all of this research and adopting these changes to your daughter ‘s diet and with great success by the sounds! If you are interested, I absolutely love Sarah Wilson’s websites and I’ve recently quit sugar and mostly gluten and noticed a huge improvement in my moods and energy level plus I think Sarah just talks such sense and her research is so impressive. Thanks for this post – I love hearing your gluten free progress!

  37. Good luck with your daughter. Went through a similar experience with my son about 2 years ago (he is 4 1/2). I also don’t want to make assumptions about a diagnosis, but in my case, my son was diagnosed with mild autism. We did cut down on gluten but do not follow a special diet–just try to eat organic. Two easy things to try if this pertains to you: epsom salt baths–they calm anyone, especially a child with ASD. And the thing I do religiously: teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil daily. I just mix it in applesauce. We buy the fancy organic, pharmaceutical grade kind. It improves brain function. In the past many mothers used to give this to their children to be healthy.

    That, plus many many rosaries, and tons of classes and work (early intervention, music therapy, OT, speech and language, behavioral therapy, play groups, soccer) and my son is doing absolutely fantastic! You can’t “cure” autism because it’s not a disease. It’s a group of behavioral, medical, and or sensory and communication issues. HOWEVER, some children can 100% , absolutely fall off the spectrum when their issues are improved or removed. My son has made huge gains and I know that he will fall off in the near future. It’s not a myth. I know parents personally whose children have fallen off. Also have heard the “experts” tell of their own experience. Early intervention works wonders for many children, even if they don’t necessarily “fall off.” Again, I don’t assume that this is what you are going through, but maybe this info. can help someone else.

  38. Hi Corrie,

    A friend gave me the book ‘Wholefood Simply’ yesterday and it is brilliant. I have made two recipes already and my fussy Celiac son loved them. They seem to be dairy and gluten free. It is Australian and there is a blog.

  39. Hi Corrie,

    You probably have already heard of an Australian book called One Bowl Allergy Free Baking Cookbook by Linda Bosnic. –
    It has quick and easy recipes for gluten-free, egg free, dairy free which I found good when my daughter was gluten intolerant. Some of them you don’t even need a mixmaster. I have really enjoyed it!

Leave a Comment


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)