Sunday, January 2, 2011

10 Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Portable Snacks for Kids

The snacks at my son's daycare are generally not gluten free, so I've been scrambling to put together some alternatives without having to buy specialty products every time. 

Here are a few quick snacks that he loves that are (mostly) healthy and are naturally gluten free!  Remember to always check labels to make sure that the brand you're buying is gluten free, as product ingredients change.

Updated August 2013.


1- Fruit purée cups or fruit cups packed in natural juice.  I buy whichever brand is on sale and make sure to pick up the unsweetened variety.  They don't need to be refrigerated unless the package has been opened, they're all natural and more fun than eating a plain fruit for most kids.

2- Tortilla chips and Salsa.  Simple.

3- Plan rice cakes topped with peanut/apple/almond butter, or just some jam, or salsa.....  Beware of flavoured rice cakes, many are not gluten free.  Corn tortillas are a great substitute.

4- Veggies and Hummus.  Some cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, or any veggie you can think of that your kids will eat.  Hummus is also great spread on a rice cake, or eaten with a corn tortilla.

5- Popcorn.  Check labels and stick to plain or lightly salted brands.

6- Veggie Chips, the baked kind.  There are also rice and bean chips, baked potato chips, etc.  The key word here is baked, not fried.

7- Soy yogurt or soy pudding.  My son particularly likes a gluten free, dairy free chocolate (made with pure cocoa) soy pudding.  If you have a thermal lunch bag, the refrigerated kind work, if not, look for alternatives that are shelf stable.  Every kid needs some chocolate in their life! 

8- Trail mix or just some dried fruits and seeds, perhaps mixed with some popcorn.  My sister mashes dried apricots and rolls them into a log and coats with dried shredded coconut for her daughter.  Keeps in the fridge and can be sliced into little rounds.  Yum.

9- Marshmallows. Mini ones pack easily.

10- Boxes of raisins. Or baggies of grapes, blueberries, strawberries, etc.  Somehow fruits that can be popped into the mouth like candy work best for my son.

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