Feeding a Gluten-Free Kid
Sticking to a Gluten-Free diet can be challenging for even the most disciplined adult. Constant temptation surrounds us, and it can be difficult to find safe snacks and meals on the go. Feeding kids, with their persnickety tastes and peculiar notions about what is “good” to eat, can be even more of a challenge!
Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly Gluten-Free food ideas, meal by meal, including healthy snacks to keep kids happy in between.
- Eggs and GF Toast – try poaching or soft-boiling your eggs for a lower-fat, high-protein start.
- GF Hot Cereals – try Quinoa Flakes or Bob’s GF Hot Cereal. Add fruit and nuts for interest, sweeten with agave nectar.
- Gluten-Free Pancakes – easy and good, using mixes from Pamela’s Products, Trader Joe’s, or Bob’s Red Mill.
- Frozen GF Waffles – increasingly available at many stores, and consistently good. Trader Joe’s are the most economical.
- Fruit! Don’t forget to include some of your kids’ daily fresh fruit and veg intake in the most important meal of the day.
- Homemade chicken, turkey, or tuna salad, either as a sandwich on GF bread, or as a salad with greens and favorite veggies like carrot or celery sticks.
- Find some Udi’s GF Bread. It tastes great without toasting and is perfect for packing a sandwich in a school lunch, and will work for all of your kids’ favorite sandwiches.
- 3-Bean Salad – an easy and protein packed side dish that can easily be tailored and seasoned to kids’ tastes. Make it yourself and be sure all ingredients are Gluten-Free!
- GF Noodle dishes – many, like pesto or pasta salad, can be enjoyed without heating. Use Trader Joe’s or Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta.
- For a lunchbox treat, throw in a Brownie or Monster Cookie from Crave! Order in bulk from our online store and store frozen. You’ll have delicious GF goodies on hand, ready to go at all times.
- Veggies and dip – often a simple and tasty dip is enough to make kids eat fresh veggies with gusto! (Hint: Try mixing 2 parts GF Mayo with 7 parts Plain Yogurt, and season with dill, garlic powder, or whatever seasoning you and your family like.)
- Corn Chips and Hummus – or salsa, guacamole, etc. Just make sure that if you are using prepared products, double-check that they are GF. Also bear in mind that even though corn chips may seem healthier, they have just about as much fat as potato chips.
- Fruit and nuts – be willing to experiment and you’re sure to find some that your kids will happily eat!
- Trail mix – make your own, using your kids’ favorite GF ingredients, and kick it up with raisins, dried fruit, or even a few chocolate chips.
- Homemade Chicken Fingers – a longtime kids’ favorite. Dip into beaten egg, then dredge in GF bread crumbs and pan-fry, or roll in crushed potato chips and bake. Your kids will love having a GF version of this favorite finger food.
- Spaghetti – what kid doesn’t love it? Again, use Trader Joe’s or Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta. You can even make meatballs, using GF bread crumbs.
- Taco Night – Avoid those prepared taco seasonings and make your own taco filing. Season with garlic, chile, cumin, or your favorite spices. Use soft corn tortillas, heated on a griddle, or crispy corn taco shells (GF please!) and then have some family fun putting them together.
- Macaroni & Cheese – it’s easy to make a delicious, homemade, Gluten-Free version of this classic dish. Just use one of the Brown Rice pastas mentioned above, and substitute a GF flour like tapioca or arrowroot for the thickening. We’ll share one of our favorite recipes in a future post. You can also turn this into a casserole of sorts by adding some cooked chicken and peas, or whatever other veggies you can sneak past your kids!
- For a fun, easy, and satisfying side dish, try some oven-baked fries. Recipes abound online. You can also invent your own, using russet or sweet potatoes and your favorite GF seasonings. For best results your “fries” should be tossed with a very light coating of olive oil, and baked for about 40 minutes in a very hot oven (about 425 degrees).
- Don’t forget a salad! Judicious addition of nuts, cheeses, sunflower seeds, etc., will make your dinner salad infinitely more interesting to your kids.
For special occasions like kids’ birthdays, remember that Crave bakery is here to provide custom-designed party cakes, tailored to your child’s dietary needs. Our cakes are all Gluten-Free, and can be made free of dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, and even sugar! Always made with quality wholesome ingredients, we design our cakes around kids’ interests, and can run with any theme your kid dreams up. Check out some of these fun cakes we’ve done:
We hope that these suggestions are helpful for you and your family. If you have a favorite kid-friendly recipe or healthy snack idea, please share – we love to hear what our customers and fans have to say!
All of us at Crave Bakery wish you and your family a happy, warm, and fun-filled Spring. Thanks for reading!