With endless varieties to choose from, all of which are zero- or very low-carb, there’s a lot for a D-parent to like about cheese. And what kid doesn’t love to dip and dunk their way through a meal? Enter: fondue!
I’ve created a cheese fondue recipe especially geared to a kid’s palate, with modifications like chicken broth instead of the typical white wine, and cheeses that aren’t as strong as the traditional gruyère. Because the meal is fun and interactive, I’ve found my kids being more adventurous with their dippers, dunking in vegetables that they would otherwise turn their noses up at.
There was a time when I would have been totally intimidated by a dish like fondue, since it’s hard to know an exact carb count. Now, for my own son with type 1 diabetes, I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing foods — especially those with only trace amounts of carbs — and estimating a correct bolus for him. But if you’re not at that point yet, you can always have your child put together a plate of dippers at the beginning of the meal, then add up the carbs on the plate. For fresh vegetables and fruits, using a kitchen food scale to gauge portions is most helpful. (It sounds tedious, but I promise it goes quickly.) I also like to buy ingredients that make it easier to count carbs. For instance, instead of buying a whole loaf of bread and then calculating how many carbs are in each cubed chunk, I purchase soft-pretzel bread bites that already have a carb count on the package. Or instead of getting a whole sausage link and slicing it up, I purchase the little bite-size sausages. Simple changes like this make it much easier to count carbs.
As for the cheese, I feel comfortable just tacking on a couple of carb grams to our total to account for the fondue itself and calculating my son’s insulin dose accordingly. But if you want an exact amount, you can just as easily measure out an individual cup of cheese fondue for each child once you’ve prepared the entire pot. (Depending on how quickly your child eats, you may just have to zap the cheese in the microwave to keep it warm.)
No matter which method you use, fondue is sure to become a family favorite!
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2½ cups Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt & white pepper, to taste
- Dippers of choice, such as apple slices, braided pretzel rods, soft pretzel bread bites, cubed ham, cornichons, grape tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, cooked sausages, cooked bacon slices, and blanched vegetables like green beans, broccoli, carrot sticks, and cauliflower
How To Make It
- In a large plastic zipper bag, add the Swiss and cheddar cheeses. Add cornstarch and shake to coat.
- In a fondue pot or a small to medium saucepan, warm the chicken broth, garlic, and lemon juice over medium heat.
- Slowly add handfuls of the cheese mixture, whisking in between additions, until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn heat to low and serve immediately with dippers of choice.