One of our greatest food challenges has been to find sweets, especially candy and cupcakes that our son with acid reflux disease can tolerate. After six years, we are up to four types of candy that work well for him in small amounts. Of course, each individual with acid reflux will have his or her own short-list of foods that do not make his or her symptoms worse. The list below is what my son can tolerate, and I hope this can serve as a starting place if you are searching for special treats for your child.
Lollipops - Made by YummyEarth. These are free of eggs, soy, nuts, gluten, wheat, casein, and dairy. You can find out more about them at www.yummyearth.com. Our local health food store special orders them for us.
Maple Candy - Made from 100 percent pure maple sugar. Our local health food store has several brands in stock, and most are brought in from Vermont.
Fruit Leather - We call this “flat candy” and my son can have the apple flavor made by the Stretch Island Fruit Company. It does not contain corn syrup or other additives - just pure fruit and lemon juice concentrate. Most health food stores carry this or a similar brand.
Chocolate Chips - We sift these out of the Gluten Free Pantry chocolate chip cookie mix, and just store them in a plastic bag. Chocolate can be an acid reflux trigger food and make reflux work, but a few of these seem to work as decorations. You can find out more about their products at www.glutenfreepantry.com.
Cupcakes - These have a unique consistency, but considering there are no eggs, dairy, or corn in these, they may serve as a starting place if your child has multiple food sensitivities.
½ cup margarine (my son can have Spread made from canola oil)
1 ¼ cup sugar
4 T water, 4 T. oil, 3 tsp. baking powder - mixed together
½ tsp. of vanilla or lemon extract or both if tolerated
2 ¼ cups flour (my son can have rice or potato flour so we mix them)
¾ T. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup water
In large bowl, beat margarine until creamy, and add sugar, water, oil and the baking powder mixture. Add vanilla and lemon extracts. Stir well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until blended. Add water. Blend well. Decorate with dried coconut, or chocolate chips, or crushed maple candy. Spoon into lined muffin tins and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.
Summer is a time for partying and picnics. This season can be especially hard on children if they are only able to watch other children have treats. I hope at least one or two of these ideas work. If not, homemade popsicles from smashed bananas might do the trick.
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.