GAPS Recipes for Kids: 50+ Delicious Ideas the Whole Family Will Love (2024)

If your child suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, autism, ADHD, anxiety, or depression, chances are you’ve heard about the GAPS diet. Inspired by The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and develop by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndromeand is intended to remove gut-damaging foods that are difficult to digest and replace them with nutrient-dense foods in order to allow the intestinal lining to heal and seal.

The GAPS diet isnot intended to be a quick fix, and is a much more regimented protocol used to treat leaky gut, gut flora imbalances, and nutrient deficiencies, and if you do a quick search on Google, you’ll read some pretty powerful stories about the gut-brain connection and how the GAPS diet has helped children overcome symptoms of autism, ADD, allergies, and more.

If you’re interested in pursuing the GAPS diet for yourself or your children, there are heaps of delicious GAPS recipes for kids online, but before we share our favorites, let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

What is the GAPS diet?

The GAPS diet is based on the gut-brain connection, and is designed to heal and seal the gut lining, balance the immune system, and restore healthy bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract by focusing on diet, supplementation, and detoxification. There are several different stages of the diet, with new foods being introduced as you progress from one phase to the next. The diet eliminates dairy and sugar, allows minimal fruits and grains, and includes broths and probiotic foods to help the body heal.

Who can benefit from the GAPS diet?

The GAPS diet was designed to help those with food allergies and intolerances, behavioral and emotional challenges like autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression, as well as other autoimmune disorders, but some would argue it can be beneficial to everyone when followed correctly.

Does the GAPS diet work?

The reviews are mixed. While some report their child was cured of all autism symptoms as a result of the GAPS diet, others question the validity of the diet, and while there shouldn’t be anyharm trying some of the GAPS recipes for kids listed below, it’s important to do your own research before deciding if a full-fledged GAPS diet is right you and your family. Educate yourself on the benefits as well as the potential risks, talk to your family doctor, and enlist the help of a naturopath to ensure you fully understand the ins and outs of the GAPS diet before deciding how to proceed.

What are the best GAPS recipes for kids?

OMG, where do we start?! GAPS for kids can be challenging, especially if your little one is already a picky eater, but thanks to all of the parents who have already done the hard work for us, we’ve found over 50 GAPS recipes for kids that promise to be as delicious as they are healthy.

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Proteins

Superfood Meatballs | The Family that Heals Together
Paleo Three Cup Chicken | How WeFlourish
Pesto Sausage Cakes | Just Take a Bite
GAPS Salmon Cakes | Taste is Trump
Chicken Breasts with Figs and Squash| Real Healthy Recipes
Roast Pork with Onion Apple Gravy| Phoenix Helix
Lemon Basil Shredded Beef| The Paleo Partridge
Balsamic Braised Beef Shanks| The Primordial Table
Simple Tender Pot Roast with Holy Grail Gravy| Phoenix Helix
GAPS Tuna Salad | How We Flourish
GAPS Meat and “Potatoes” | How We Flourish
Chicken with Plums Carrots and Apples| A Squirrel in the Kitchen
Kalua Pig| Nom Nom Paleo
Hawaiian Pork Roast| Beyond the Bite
Beef Brisket| Elana’s Pantry
Cinnamon Chuck Roast and Onions| Whole Life Eating
Italian Pork Roast |The Clothes Make the Girl
Pulled Pork and Roasted Vegetables| Gutsy By Nature
Honey Garlic Chicken| Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Breads/Pasta

GAPS Friendly Pizza Crust | The Soft Landing
Garlic Coconut Flour Bagels | Low Carb Yum
Coconut Tortillas | Wholesome Yum
GAPSSpaghetti and Meatballs | How We Flourish

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Side Dishes

Instant Pot Refried Beans | The Soft Landing
Cauliflower Fried Rice | How We Flourish
Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls | Raising Generation Nourished
Braised Red Cabbage| The Bacon Mum (substitute honey)
Crockpot Caramelized Onions| Phoenix Helix
Nomato Sauce| A Clean Plate
Crockpot Butternut Squash |Empowered Sustenance

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Desserts

Paleo Strawberry Shortcake | Busy Creating Memories
Vanilla Bean Custard | Scratch Mommy
Fermented Cinnamon Apples | Hettman Homestead
Almond Pumpkin Cookies | Coach Sofia Fitness
Applesauce| GI365
Cranberry Applesauce| Paleo Cajun Lady (substitute honey)

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Breakfasts

Paleo Breakfast Casserole | Low Carb Yum
Avocado Bird’s Nests | Just Take a Bite

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Soups/Broths

Creamy Chicken Soup | How We Flourish
Slow Cooker Chicken Broth| Comfort Bites
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth| Mangia Paleo
Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Kale | Deliciously Organic
Spring Breakfast Chicken Soup| A Squirrel in the Kitchen
Easy Butternut Squash Soup| Real Food Carolyn
Tomatoless Soup| The Primordial Table
Bill’s Slow Cooker Chicken and Bone Broth| Everyone Eats Right
Cantonese Ham and Lotus Root Soup| My Heart Beets
Beef Stew with Cranberries and Rosemary| Phoenix Helix
Apple Butternut Curry Soup| Enjoying this Journey
Bone Marrow Soup | How We Flourish
Chicken Curry Soup | How We Flourish
Pork and Butternut Stew| The Bacon Mum

GAPS Recipes for Kids: Drinks

Homemade Cranberry Juice| My Heart Beets
Spiced Cider| A Clean Plate


Heal Your Gut, Change Your Life: Step by Step Guide to the GAPS Diet + 50 Recipes by Andre ParkerIf your little one suffers from food allergies, behavioral and emotional challenges like autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression, or another autoimmune disorder, and you are a believer in the gut-brain connection, the GAPS diet might be for you. It is said to help heal and seal the gut lining, balance the immune system, and restore healthy bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract, and with so many delicious GAPS recipesfor kids available, what do you have to lose? Just be sure to do your research and talk to a professional to ensure the GAPS diet is safe for the specific needs ofyou and your family. Like all diets, it comes with risks and benefits, and only you can decide if it’s the right lifestyle change to make.

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GAPS Recipes for Kids: 50+ Delicious Ideas the Whole Family Will Love (2024)


Does GAPS diet really work? ›

The bottom line. The GAPS diet is a restrictive diet that was created to treat many different medical conditions. But, the current research right now does not offer any convincing evidence that this is true. Also, the diet can be hard to follow and has some health risks.

How long does it take for GAPS diet to work? ›

Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends that many people follow the introduction diet before starting the full GAPS diet. While highly restrictive, this phase aims to heal the gut and reduce digestive symptoms quickly. It can last anywhere from a few weeks to 1 year.

What food can you eat on the GAPS diet? ›

Best foods to consume on Full GAPS are eggs, meats, stock, fish, shellfish, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts seeds, garlic, and olive oil. Meats should be fresh or frozen from high quality sources. Avoid smoked, canned, and processed meats.

Can you eat fruit on the GAPS diet? ›

In stage 3, add fermented vegetables, scrambled eggs, avocado, and duck and goose fat. In Stage 4, you are allowed to add to your GAPS Diet food list with meat, vegetable juices, olive oil, and GAPS bread. Stage 5 adds in raw vegetables, fruit juices, and apple puree. In Stage 6, you can add your raw fruit.

What can you not eat on the GAPS diet? ›

Foods You Cannot Eat on the GAPS Diet
  • Grains.
  • Sugar.
  • Potatoes.
  • Parsnips.
  • Soy.
  • Commercial yogurt.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Rice.
Sep 14, 2023

Can you eat potatoes on GAPS diet? ›

Starchy Vegetables

Vegetables that are not allowed on the diet include potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and yams. Beans and legumes are also not allowed on the GAPS diet.

Is cheese OK on the GAPS diet? ›

Initially no dairy products are to be consumed. You will be instructed how and when to introduce the foods on this list. Raw cheese from organic grass-fed cows is always preferred. All dairy should be hormone-free.

Can you eat carbs on GAPS diet? ›

Following the GAPS diet can be a years-long process. It requires you to cut out all foods Dr. Campbell-McBride thinks contribute to a leaky gut. This includes all grains, pasteurized dairy, starchy vegetables and refined carbs.

Do people lose weight on the GAPS diet? ›

The GAPS diet is directly linked to weight loss as it promotes the growth of healthy microbiome in the gut. It reduces inflammation, insulin resistance, and unhealthy fats. It does this by replacing bag bugs like acidic compounds and fats with healthy fats.

Is rice allowed on gaps? ›

This means avoiding or significantly restricting potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, yuca, taro, and all grains, including white rice.

Can you eat bacon on GAPS diet? ›

Selecting the right bacon is important: GAPS does not recommend smoked meats as they normally contain nitrites or other substitutes that are even worse than nitrites with alleged cancer causing agents so store bought bacon is out (including some nitrate free commercial brands).

Can you eat peanut butter on GAPS diet? ›


In the original GAPS Book, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride recommends nut butter at this stage. In recent conversations, she now believes that, for most people, it is a good idea to wait to introduce nuts until Full GAPS.

Are bananas allowed on gaps? ›

Bananas are allowed on GAPS from the start but they need to be fully ripened or even overripe because they are easier to digest that way (less starch and more simple sugar). But as you get more and more used to the GAPS diet, it's said that even fresh bananas should be ok to digest by now.

Can you eat tomatoes on the GAPS diet? ›

Well-cooked vegetables, with all fibrous stems and peels removed: beets, bok choy, broccoli (no stalks), brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower (no stalks), collard greens, eggplant, French artichokes, garlic, green beans, kale, onions, peas, peppers, pumpkin, spinach, squash (winter and summer), tomatoes, turnips, and ...

What beans are allowed on gaps? ›

  • (soaked and properly prepared)
  • Navy Beans, dried, white.
  • Lima beans (dried and fresh)
  • Lentils.

Does the GAPS diet help lose weight? ›

It's possible to lose weight on the GAPS diet, but that's not the aim of the protocol. Instead, it's used to address a variety of autoimmune, digestive and neurological conditions. If you're currently eating a lot of high-sugar or ultra-processed foods, moving to fresh, whole foods can result in weight loss.

What are the side effects of the GAPS diet? ›

Campbell-McBride states that symptoms such as vomiting, severe stomach pain, distended stomachs, and extreme diarrhea or constipation, as well as increases in the symptoms you're trying to eliminate with the GAPS diet, are totally normal. Given time, the diet will work and your gut will begin to heal.

Which diet program is the most successful? ›

The best overall diets for 2024 are:
  • Mediterranean.
  • DASH.
  • MIND.
  • Mayo Clinic Diet.
  • Flexitarian.
  • WeightWatchers.
  • Volumetrics.
  • Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory.
Jan 3, 2024

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