Snacks are an important part of my day. With four small kids and my inability to go long sans food without getting a bad headache, a simple snack can mean the difference between a happy afternoon and a major tantrum. My kids benefit from them, too.
I discovered that I was gluten intolerant almost two years ago. Back then, I was already making all of our food from scratch, having realized the benefits for our health and budget. Admittedly, snacks can be a challenge when you decide to stop eating processed food. But gluten-free snacks? That makes it even tougher.
Not only was I done serving up goldfish crackers, but I had to look for alternatives to homemade bread with peanut butter so that I didn’t have to fight the temptation to take just one bite (which invariably leads to ten and a whole lotta pain).
And I wasn’t about to buy expensive store-bought gluten-free snacks that were still full of sugar. Fortunately, I’ve found some great alternatives that are mom- and kid-approved. Below I list 10 snacks that we eat on a regular basis, but don’t let this curb your creativity, there are many more gluten free foods out there so use your imagination!
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals and can pep you up after a small handful. They’re also quite portable, making them great to have on hand in the car, in addition to a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks. We buy our nuts in bulk which significantly lowers the price. (where to find organic nuts)
2. Hardboiled Eggs
Eggs contain every nutrient but vitamin K. If you’re not sensitive to eggs, keep some hardboiled ones on hand for an excellent snack. Read more about finding good eggs.
Sometimes 10 a.m. rolls around and I can’t wait to have a smoothie. Smoothies are great because you can put so many different things in them, including produce that needs to be used up soon. They’re also nice and portable, so you can make them in advance and bring them along with you in a mason jar. Read this diyNatural smoothie recipe for different smoothie combinations.
4. Veggie sticks
Eat ‘em plain or dip them in dressing or hummus, these are handy to have around. My kiddos like broccoli and sugar snap peas dipped in ranch. Carrot sticks and red bell peppers are deliciously sweet on their own.
This one is a bit tricky if you’re watching how many starches you eat because they’re made with garbanzo beans. (Beans are a bit starchy). But it’s a great snack with lots of protein. My kids love this simple hummus recipe.
6. Fruit & Berries
Dried or fresh, fruit makes an easy, delicious snack. Apples with peanut butter are a huge hit here, as are fresh strawberries. Want something a little different? You can also make homemade fruit leather.
7. Cheese sticks
I cut cheddar cheese into slices or sticks for a quick protein-filled snack. My kids love cheese this way, as do I. Slices of mozzarella can be paired with tomato and basil for a satisfying afternoon snack.
My family loves stove-top popcorn. I put a little coconut oil in a pan, add some popcorn and cover it with a lid while the kids take turns shaking it until it’s all popped. They enjoy it topped with butter, salt and nutritional yeast, a great source of protein, fiber and B vitamins with a cheese-like flavor. (where to find popcorn, good coconut oil, unrefined sea salt, and nutritional yeast)
Seeds are full of vitamins, minerals fats and protein that will keep your body running well between meals. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin K, among other nutrients. Sunflower seeds, which contain vitamin E and vitamin B1, are my personal favorite, especially when I have to liberate them from their shells.
10. Guilt-free cookies
These gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are amazing! I add ½ cup shredded coconut to them and use dairy-, gluten-, soy-free chocolate chips. Sometimes I omit the the chocolate chips altogether. The result is a healthy, tasty snack.
These simple, healthy snacks great whether you’re gluten-free or not. Don’t leave home without one.
photo credit to shalommama