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GAPS Diet For Kids | Intro & Full Recipes By Stage

Staring the GAPS diet for kids may be a good decision if you are a parent of children dealing with one or more chronic health conditions that mainstream medicine may not fully understand yet, like food intolerances, allergies, autoimmune diseases, asthma, eczema, many digestive disorders and even autism.

Unlike GAPS diet for babies, when implementing GAPS diet for kids (toddlers and older children) it might be a little tricky as they already acquired some food preferences (they’re quite picky).

GAPS for kids shots of recipes.

For a smooth transition to GAPS diet for a kid, you need go slowly (especially if the child is used to most processed sugary starchy foods).

For extremely picky eaters it’s recommended to start with the full GAPS diet (which is more relaxed) for a month or two, and slowly progress to GAPS Introduction Diet. This would be less stressful for the parents (as they get used to new grocery shopping list, recipes and mistakes) and for the child, as he/she learns to change the eating habits.

Keep in mind you need to make progress everyday, slowly, but firmly.

If the child is already accustomed to healthy eating (for the most part) then jumping to the GAPS Introduction Diet shouldn’t be a problem.

So here is how you do the GAPS diet for kids, stage by stage:

Implementing GAPS Diet For Kids Involves 3 Parts:

1. Introduction Diet

This is beneficial for kids with food allergies and intolerances. It intends to heal and seal the gut lining quickly: from a few days up to a few weeks, it depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the child. Here are the stages of food introduction:

First Stage

Second Stage

  • Continue with soup, stocks and probiotic foods (increase the amounts).
  • Add egg yolks (raw organic) or at least soft boiled. Start with 1 a day, increase to 1 per bowl of soup. If well tolerated progress to whole egg.
  • Stews or casseroles made with meat and vegetables. Example of recipes:
  • Start adding a teaspoon of ghee each day while gradually increasing the amounts (add when preparing the recipes).

Third Stage

Fourth Stage

  • Continue with previous foods (stock, soup, probiotic food are the staples).
  • Gradually add roasted or grilled meats (avoid fried and burned) served with cooked vegetables.
  • Add more fats: cold press oils (olive oil and coconut oil).
  • Introduce freshly pressed juices (no pulp) start with 2-3 tablespoons, gradually increase to 1 cup (237ml) a day. The juice should be drank on empty stomach (morning and afternoon is ideal). Start with 1 juice (like carrot juice) and slowly progress to celery, cabbage, fresh mint, parsley, beets (small amount 5% in combination with other juices) and then a combination of those. When well tolerated, an apple can be added. Recipe examples:
  • Baked goods with nuts and seeds (ground into flour), start serving small amounts (1 slice), slowly increase. Example of recipe:

Fifth Stage

  • Continue with previous foods (stock, soup, probiotic food, fresh juices are the staples).
  • Add cooked apples (puree with a bit of fat like ghee or yoghurt). Start slowly, watch for any reaction. Add a touch of honey if the apples are sour.
  • Introduce raw vegetables (start with cucumber, lettuce, if well tolerated, add carrots, onion, cabbage, tomato, bell peppers (if there’s no reaction to nightshades), etc. These need to be chewed well with no digestives symptoms.

Sixth Stage

  • Continue with previous foods (stock, soup, probiotic food, fresh juices are the staples).
  • Introduce fresh raw fruits, start with apple (no peel) and gradually introduce others: stone fruits, berries, tropical, and citrus at last.
  • Introduce other baked goods (with GAPS approved ingredients). Dried fruit and honey as sweetener.

2. The Full GAPS Diet

This the maintenance phase of the GAPS diet (basically a continuous sixth stage) and lasts between 1.5–2 years. It depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the child.

  • The day should start with a glass of room temperature water and/or a portion of freshly squeezed vegetable juice (mentioned above). You can add a touch of fermented vegetable juice as well.
  • 85% of all consumed foods should consist of: stock (2-3 times a day), meats (from stock, poached, roasted or grilled) organ meat, soups, stews, fish, eggs, animal fats, fermented dairy and vegetables (cooked, raw or fermented) and fresh cold pressed juices.
  • Seasonings/spices allowed on full GAPS (organic individual, no pre-packaged mixes): bay leaf, black pepper, Celtic sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, (no table salt), ground rosemary or thyme, dried basil, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg. It’s better to use fresh garlic and onion as the dried powders usually have anticaking agents. Or you could dehydrate them yourself and grind into powders.
  • Fruits should be consumed in moderation as a snack between meals.
  • Baked good (with GAPS compliant ingredients) should be consumed in moderation as well.

GAPS Recipes For A Typical Menu

GAPS Breakfast Ideas For Kids:

GAPS Lunch Or Dinner Ideas For Kids

Soups

Sides & Mains

Salads

GAPS dessert recipes:

GAPS Sauces and Dressing

GAPS Snacks For Kids

Homemade Dairy Free Plant Based Milks:

3. Coming Off The GAPS Diet

It represents a slow reintroduction of more foods (in order) – the child should have at least 6 months of normal digestion before introducing foods not allowed on the GAPS diet. Children generally recover more quickly than adults.

Once the child’s digestive system starts functioning normally, you can gradually introduce small amounts of other wholesome foods. Make sure to wait 2-3 days (watch for symptoms) before introducing each one and keep this order:

  • Potatoes (if sensitive to nightshades introduce, eggplant, tomato and red peppers first).
  • Then you can introduce fermented gluten free grains: buckwheat, millet, quinoa etc.
  • Sourdough baked goods with organic sprouted flours.
  • Various starchy vegetables, legumes and beans.
  • With time you may find that your child can tolerate regular grains (not fermented).
  • Don’t go back to processed foods.

For more detailed information, you should read:

  1. GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book
  2. The Nourished Kitchen: Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy.
  3. The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children.
  4. Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World.
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