fruit & nut bliss balls {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free}

I think I’ve mentioned before that we’re still trying to sort out the mystery of Hugo’s tummy. It’s been a windy road so far.

We started with Hugo only sleeping in 45 minute cycles by four months and ended up with a short stay at QEII. QEII was hard. I came home very upset with myself but, in time, came to understand the experience included a whole lot of judgement from the nurses who actually completely missed Hugo’s problems.

We came home with a diagnosis of failure to thrive and a lot of exceedingly unhelpful advice. I was told I was feeding him ‘wrong’ (whatever that means, anyway…), that I needed to push him onto solids (mixing in butter and formula whenever I could), and stretch his feeds to get him sleeping better.

In reality, in the months following, a helpful GP and peadiatrician helped us establish Hugo actually had severe silent reflux which his medication wasn’t treating adequately. The correct medication – and he was sleeping much, much better almost immediately (and sometimes through the night). Elimination diets have established severe reactions to dairy and soy (so much for those instructions to add butter and formula to everything…). To be honest, we’re also assuming he has problems with gluten as everyone else in my family does and we’re not ready to test that out.

Hugo reading

We’ve found Hugo’s happiest following a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free diet but he still falls into the category of ‘failure to thrive’ as he falls outside of the weight growth curves. Man, I hate that term.

Hugo and I have been back to the paediatrician and he has suggested we try a range of things, including moving towards a lower fruit, lower fluid, higher fat, higher fibre diet.

I’m trying to use nuts to work more good fats into our diet, especially snacks. We don’t eat a lot of nuts and Hugo won’t have a bar of peanut butter. I’m also going to become good friends with coconut milk, I think. And visit a paediatric dietician.

In any case, I’ve been looking around for a good bliss ball recipe. With a bit of tweaking, here’s what I’ve come up with. The possibilities are endless and you can change them up however you like as long as you end up with a mix which will hold together. Keep in mind that this recipe is designed to increase my children’s fat intakes…so maybe ditch the oil and use water if you don’t have the same goal!

fruit and nut bliss balls

fruit & nut bliss balls {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free}

  • Servings: about 24 balls - but it depends how big you make them!
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

1 1/4 cup of mixed nuts (today I used raw cashews and blanched almonds)
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup other dried fruit (I used dried cranberries but you could try apricots)
1 tblsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla essence
Coconut oil or water (I used canola today and it worked)
Desiccated coconut for rolling

Throw nuts, fruit, cocoa and vanilla essence into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add oil (or water) gradually until mix holds together when rolled firmly into balls.

Roll into balls, and then in coconut.

Keep in the fridge. Can be frozen (if they last that long).

Elena and I loved these balls. They are delicious. Hugo had a few little ones – I hope they grow on him!

This entry was posted in dairy-free, food for kids, gluten-free, recipe, soy-free, sweet. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to fruit & nut bliss balls {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free}

  1. Ema Jones says:

    These are real bliss balls 😛
    Adding in some coconut oil would enhance the flavor. What say?

  2. sue says:

    I hope that you find an answer to his health problems. My daughter was lactose intolerant and never slept properly at all, always crying in the afternoon. One day the health nurse said she may be lactose intolerant and she was 8 mths old by then. She started to sleep a bit better. My nephew is lactose intolerant too and drinks soy milk and no other dairy products. She is a nurse and said if he ever has a tummy ache she gives him a bit of soda water and it helps immensely.

    • Ruth says:

      Food intolerances make things more complicated, don’t they? I’m hoping we’ll be able to work out exactly what makes Hugo unwell – and then stay away from it! The soda water’s an interesting tip 🙂

  3. Sounds like you were given a lot of none too helpful advice early on…it makes things so much harder. Feeding him ‘wrong’, gee that must have really helped 😦 Glad to hear you are getting helpful advice and are on the right track now!

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