The easy spontaneity of summer has given way to the more rigid routine of the school year, and with your child’s academic schedule comes a need to put some thought into the snacks they will carry to school each day. Unfortunately, nutrition can often be the first thing to go in the chaos of a new school year. The good news is healthy, gluten-free snacks are readily available to give children the fuel they need to learn and grow. Whether your children are on a strict gluten-free diet or you are just seeking to remove some of the harmful elements from their diet, these gluten-free snack ideas can add variety and healthfulness to their school day.
Plucked From the Vine or the Tree
Often a healthy, gluten-free snack is as close as your refrigerator, and with a little bit of creativity you can make everyday grocery items into creative, appealing school snacks for your kids. An excellent starting point is fruit, which is naturally gluten-free and adds vitamins and nutrients to your children’s diet. If they don’t love more traditional fruit options, try these alternatives:
- Mix several types of berries together in a small container and sprinkle cinnamon on top
- Find new varieties of dried fruit that appeal to your child apple chips, dried mangos, flavored dried cranberries or banana chips, to name a few. If your child likes coconut, mix some flakes in with the dried fruit for an added touch.
- Look for unique and kid-friendly fruit options in the grocery store, like clementines, doughnut peaches or grapples.
- Freeze bite-sized snacks like grapes and then pack them in lunch boxes; they will thaw a bit but still be delightfully cold and a bit crunchy by snack time.
Do-It-Yourself and Gluten-free
An efficient grocery trip is the first step toward assembling a winning week of school-day snacks. If you keep the right gluten-free elements on hand, you can easily assemble some delicious snacks like these:
- Hazelnut-chocolate spread on gluten-free bread
- Greek yogurt cups with gluten-free granola topping or fruit or both!
- Celery slices filled with peanut butter and raisins
- Popcorn with parmesan cheese or cinnamon topping
- Hard-boiled eggs, peeled and salted lightly
- Steamed edamame in the pods (its more fun for kids to pop out the edamame themselves!)
When You’re Looking For Something Special
We live in an age where gluten-free eating is more accessible than ever, and snacking options range from the ordinary to the exceptional. In the latter category, we have plenty of options for you. Send your kids to school with a few bears or worms or a combo of the two, and they’ll have a tasty treat that is free of not just gluten but also high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and the top ten allergens. It’s not for every day, but now and again you’ve got to go for a special treat!
What are your favorite gluten-free snack options? Any favorites we missed? We’d love to hear them!