Gluten free eating Walt Disney World, part 2

Eating gluten free Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World, part 2

Gluten free eating Disney World, part 2

Hi everyone! In this post, I wanted to focus on our gluten free eating at table service meals and dinner shows. Our adventures took us to HoopDeeDoo Revue, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Tusker House character breakfast and Epcot’s Chefs de France. Note, that I had told the reservation desk and servers about my son being GF prior to arrival. Thankfully, in most cases, there were already suitable replacements on the table for him. Disney does a good job trying to cater to everyone, and for that I’m grateful as it took worry out of the vacation.

Character Breakfast at Tusker House

First, located in the Animal Kingdom, Africa, is the Tusker House character breakfast. Take advantage of this fun brunch buffet, all you can eat, where Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald and Daisy come to visit. We had a birthday that morning so that was a fun surprise for our little birthday boy. There were many choices here for food allergy sufferers (and vegetarians). We ate the scrambled eggs, bacon and ham from the carving station. Additionally, two frittatas were available – potato/leek and ham/cheese which was nice because they weren’t quiches. The potato and leek frittata worked well with TQ’s fructose malabsorption as he can’t eat onions – but leeks are ok. And it was quite tasty!  Most notably, my favorite included baby arugula tomato salad that paired well with smoked salmon. Other tidbits included a sweet potato hash, rice, roasted potatoes, and a chicken curry.

Meeting Mickey at Tusker House

Meeting Mickey at Tusker House

HooDeeDo Revue, a family favorite

Our most entertaining dinner was the HoopDeeDo Revue, located in Fort Wilderness. Perhaps it was nostalgia for my brother, sister and I, or that our kids had a such a good time, or maybe that our father was selected to be the fairy that evening. Anyway, the show was a hoot.

Gluten free eats began with a salad and corn bread. My son could have made a meal just on that! He loved it. In addition, he had an option of grilled chicken or GF tenders but he decided not to eat chicken and stick to bbqued ribs. The ribs were not heavily sauced, and he no trouble later after eating them (speaking only of the fructose malabsorption as bbque sauce is usually out for him) Admittedly, I was a little nervous – didn’t want a sick kid a few hours later. But, all was good! Rounding off the meal included corn, mashed potatoes and baked beans (which he did not eat because of FM)  For dessert, he had just a few strawberries, he was full from the rest of his meal. I believe you can ask for a GF brownie or cookie as well.

Gluten free ribs, veggie, mashed potatoes, corn bread and salad at HoopDeeDoo Review

Gluten free ribs, veggie, mashed potatoes, corn bread and salad at HoopDeeDoo Review

Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

I just love the Polynesian Hotel, the gardens are gorgeous. It was my grandmother’s favorite, and that makes me smile. But, anyway got a little off track, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is located at the Polynesian.  The show features hula dancers and fire throwers (everyone’s favorite).

To begin, there was a large platter of salads, pineapple and soba noodle salad. We were told that everything was gluten free except for the obvious soba salad. My son was brought a warm roll and his own salad to replace the coconut/pineapple rolls the rest were offered. Surprisingly, the entire main course was GF and my son couldn’t have been more excited to have an endless platter of meats and rice. Most noteworthy, his favorite (and mine too) was the pulled pork, shredded, lightly spiced, super tender and juicy. Ribs, roasted chicken and grilled veggies rounded out the meal. For dessert, the server bought him a lovely plate of fruit (pineapple, strawberries and melon) and assorted GF cookies and brownies. It was enough for our table.

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World part 2

Epcot’s Chefs de France

Last, but not least, was my son’s most favorite meal while we vacationed. Look for the Eiffel Tower in Epcot and you’ll find Epcot’s Chefs de France. No entertainment here, so the little one’s entertained themselves by coloring. But, it was a nice change and delicious food. Our server was helpful in helping us with selections. He had started a few GF rolls in the warming oven as well. The menu was easy to navigate.

We selected of the Prix-fixe menu. First course, salad of mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes tossed with a light vinaigrette. TQ liked that so much he ate 3 others from his cousins. We both selected the salmon entrée. Additionally, advised to change the white wine sauce to a buerre blanc sauce that was gluten free. The meal was served with roasted veggies and rice. The rice soaked up the extra sauce, which was extra delicious. All of the entree meats are available GF, so there were many options (beef, duck, chicken ect). In some cases,  sauces should be swapped out like we did. And for the little ones, GF chicken tenders are offered.

Finally, crème brulee was the dessert of choice. TQ just LOVES it, and he was looking forward to that indulgence all day. It was nice that there were different GF dessert choices from what we had already experienced. Besides the crème brulee, a variety of sorbets were available and chocolate mousse.

 
Creme brulee at Epcot’s Chefs de France

Creme brulee at Epcot’s Chefs de France -Yummy!

In conclusion, fun trip, good food and great service. We were very pleased with our gluten free eating Disney World dining adventures and look forward to going back to try new things. What about you? Do you have any adventures you’d like to share? Or any favorite Disney GF meals?

 

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World

 

Happy New Year! We just got back from a family vacation to Disney World. It was sure nice to get away and do something different and recharge the batteries. Of course, the kids had a blast as well. We really aren’t excited about being back to below zero temps that’s for sure! So, I decided my first post of the year will be about eating gluten free at Disney World. Anytime, we go anywhere out of the ordinary, I do research about places to eat. It’s always a challenge. This trip was no exception.

First, step before leaving was to make sure I had adequate snacks packed in the event we couldn’t find suitable gf options at the airport or at a park. Included in my stash were a few gf low sugar granola bars, protein balls, beef jerky and microwaveable rice packets (and plastic forks!). Pack a few in the purse for the day and the rest in the luggage, if nothing else I have peace of mind. And off we went!

Eating gluten free at Disney World

We arrived at the French Quarter at Port Orleans. And of course, as soon as we got there all of the kids were asking to eat (13 of use in total). It had been a long half day of travel after all, so most of kids sat down with hot pretzels from the bar. The bar did not have any gluten free options so I went to the main restaurant where I found some fries (forget about nutrition!) My son was happy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the other options offered for meals and snacks.

Quick snacks included a variety of fresh fruit and veggie containers. Milk and soymilk, V8 juice, hummus, yogurts, parfaits (not positive that was GF). I knew I would be able to get GF buns all over Disney. And this hotel offered that. When placing your order, tell the cast member that you are GF and they will get the chef. The chef will go through all of your options and prepare your meal separately. And as I learned, that was the routine for every quick service meal.

I would also like to make a note that Port Orleans serves gluten free beignets! Yes, you read that right. I hear they are amazing. Sadly, we did not try them as they are made with applesauce and that is a no no for fructose malabsorption. But, what a treat that would be for gluten free eaters!

Gluten Free at Port Orleans Riverside Mill

Gluten Free at Port Orleans Riverside Mill

Our first dinner was at the Port Orleans Riverside Mill, just a short walk away from our resort. Gluten free choices that I observed:

Burgers

Hotdog

Grilled chicken sandwich

Create your own GF pasta

Other sandwiches, like club, turkey and roast beef

Make your own salad

Desserts: cookie, brownie and ice cream

TQ opted for a make your own pasta dinner and salad. The pasta was mixed with a marinara sauce and he added chicken and parmesan cheese. His salad had fresh greens, and other veggies that he selected. A good healthy and hearty meal to start off our first day of vacation.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The next morning we skipped breakfast to get to the Animal Kingdom Park as it opened at 7am. So, I had purchased a few fruit cups (red grapes and melon) and milk the evening before to go along with our protein bars for a quick start. We spent two days essentially at this park so I will go through all of our eating adventures there. Go to Harambe Fruit Market located in Africa, our favorite snack station. Here they had a large selection of fruit (as the name would suggest) clementines, fresh pineapple spears, grapes, strawberries, carrots, cheese and nut bowls, bananas, apples with caramel, chips (Lay’s) and yogurt. Each day was slightly different. Clearly, enough choices for everyone GF, low FODMAP, vegetarian, dairy free and our group encompassed all (yes, we are a high maintenance family 😊 )!

Next, Yak and Yeti Counter service (next to Yak and Yeti restaurant – which has an entire allergy friendly menu for everyone! Will try that next time, for sure) as we did not have reservations for the restaurant. Nonetheless, the chef came to inform us of the day’s special short rib platter. He recommended it as one of his favorites to eat himself and he is celiac! So, we jumped on that. They were tangy, sweet and mouthwateringly tasty. Another option was a fresh salad with chicken.

yak-and-yeti-restaurant-main-entrance allergy free menu available

yak-and-yeti-restaurant-main-entrance allergy free menu available

Our final meal at Animal Kingdom was also a quick service meal at Restaurantosaurus located in DinoLand. This is your typical burger place. We opted for a grilled chicken BLT sandwich with fries. (they also offer vegetarian burgers) There is a nice bar of fixings to add extra lettuce or tomatoes, pickles ect to your burgers along with sauces. I am not sure which sauces were GF as my son is a purist and opts for no sauce 😊 Worth noting, Flame Tree Bbque located between the Tree of Life and DinoLand, has a menu that covers the top 8 common allergies (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish) They offer ribs, chicken and pulled pork.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Enjoy a quick service meal in Hollywood Studios at Rosies’ All-American (near Tower of Terror), connected to Fairfax Fare. Rosies, has a menu to cover all of the common 8 allergies. GF selections included chicken strips and burgers which my son opted for as he’s a burger freak. A turkey sandwich is offered for children’s meals. Fairfax Fare had TexMex offerings but I read conflicting reports that the pork and rice bowls were gluten free, plus other FODMAP ingredients could have caused trouble. They have a vegan chili rice bowl for all of my vegan friends worth noting!

The Magic Kingdom

Finally, the Magic Kingdom had suitable choices. We tried Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café located near the Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain. This was another restaurant that was well suited for our entire family. The menu covers all top 8 allergens and also features vegetarian. Gluten free meals included a chicken salad, a burger and rice bowls with chicken, beef or vegetarian. I enjoyed the chicken bowl, and you can customize the bowl to your liking at the salsa bar. Here you can get fixin’s like salsa, guacamole, corn salad and veggies to add to your rice bowls or top burgers.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland, food allergy free menu available

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland, food allergy free menu available

All in all, there were many options for all of our special diet needs. All of the parks readily offered fresh fruit and veggies as snacks, popcorn, turkey legs and dole whips (famous dessert) which we didn’t partake in – but definitely an option. In my next post, I will detail our meals at several of the dinner shows and Epcot for sit down dinners. Do you have any experiences at Disney that you’d like to share? Any favorite restaurants?

My gluten free diet is seriously lacking fiber!

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

Hi! Hope everyone is having a good day!  So, I just released my R U Fueled app – a nutrition tracker inspired my my kiddos. One being on a food restricted diet (gluten free, fructose malabsorption and food allergies) while the other is just super picky. My first insight: the gluten free diet is seriously lacking in fiber! Not big news, but I thought I was doing pretty well! Despite my best efforts to add fiber to our gluten free diet, I learned that it was still not enough.  My son is only getting on average 58% and my daughter is worse…..

Fiber as you probably know is helpful in maintaining weight by adding bulk keeping you full longer. In addition, it improves digestion, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Finally, of course it helps with your bowel health. Insert the big eye roll from my 13 year old, followed by giggles from obnoxious bathroom humor…. 

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

So, what will our next steps be?

Gluten free sources of fiber include:

Fruits: raspberries, strawberries, apples, banana, fig, prunes

Veggies: broccoli, beets, dark leafy greens like chard, spinach, artichokes

Beans/Legumes: navy, kidney, pinto, garbanzo, lentil

Nuts/seeds: almonds, pistachios, pecan, sunflower seed, flax, chia

Whole grains (GF): quinoa, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice

 

Navigating food allergies is another challenge. Let’s pick a few allergy friendly AND FODMAP (safe for fructose malabsorption and IBS) sources from each category:

Fruits: Kiwi, berries

Veggies: broccoli, baby kale

Beans/legumes:  mung beans (Korean pancakes this week!)

Nut/seeds: pepitas, sunflower seeds

Whole grains (GF): teff, buckwheat, psyllium fiber

This week I’ll add more of these to our diet to see if we can improve our fiber levels and I’ll report back. And I’ll track with R U Fueled – nutrition app. My game plan will be eating a salad every night at dinner. A kiwi for lunch everyday because it’s easy to pack in lunch boxes. The berries I’ll either sprinkle in at breakfast or dinner. I’ll make waffles or pancakes for this week’s breakfast with the teff flour. (These are great make ahead items that can be frozen and then pulled out what you need them every morning). Korean pancakes will be dinner one night. Yum! I’m excited about that – they’re so tasty! And make great leftovers as well. The seeds, what to do with those? Gotta be honest,  seeds are not the kids favorite. I’ll have to get creative. I might try grinding them up and adding them to a cookie – like a seed flour. What do you think? 

Goals for the week

One of my goals is to see if my 13 year old is less hungry during the day. As you can imagine, he eats like a TRex (yes, he might be one of the ones you see on the Facebook videos 🙂 ) But, let’s see if adding more fiber helps. Maybe he’ll just eat like a baby TRex….. Now ,I know that I have to be smart about adding fiber as well… too much and I’ll have both kids in the bathroom all day. So, there that.  Ha! I think the right approach is to try to add it throughout out the week, and not just a day. Anyone else have any ideas? Let me know!

R U Fueled - nutrition tracker

R U Fueled – nutrition tracker