Kids who have to eat gluten-free meals may feel that life is a little bit unfair. It's hard to see the big picture when you are just a kid and all your friends get to eat with no restrictions. There are many options available that will help keep kids from feeling deprived --- but read labels every time you buy a product in case the ingredients have changed.
Kids love popcorn and it is always gluten-free if you pop it yourself at home. Rice and corn chips are typically gluten-free and can be eaten with melted cheese, salsa or their favorite gluten-free dip. Mix up a gluten-free trail mix with some favorite ingredients and keep a supply on hand for a quick, convenient snack. Gluten-free cheese sticks are easy to grab on the go.
Keep a good supply of cut-up fresh fruits and vegetables and creamy, gluten-free dip in the refrigerator for easy snacking. Apple slices with peanut butter make a delicious treat with lots of protein and little sugar. Choose a peanut butter with just peanuts and salt as the ingredients. Frozen grapes are a healthy treat that kids love on a hot day. Blend a fruit smoothie using whey powder, ice and a few different types of fruit. You can even add in cucumber, carrot or spinach without affecting the taste. If you want to use more vegetables, add a little bit of sugar to the mix.
Make your own kid-friendly juice pops. Fun molds are available at cooking shops; let your child choose the ones he likes best. The pops can be as easy as adding gluten-free juice to the molds and putting them in the freezer. Slice up small bits of fruit and put them in the juice before freezing for added color and texture. Many health-food stores carry cake and cookie mixes that guarantee you a gluten-free product. Let your child get into the fun of baking treats for himself.
If you are searching for a snack that's a little more substantial, macaroni and cheese is an all-time favorite for kids, and gluten-free kids can still indulge. Use rice pasta and add your own cheese. Rice pastas are even available in a variety of shapes. Let your child choose the one he likes. Make lettuce wraps by filling pieces of bibb lettuce with chicken strips, veggies, and rice or hummus for a delicious meal. Serve with gluten-free soy sauce or your child's favorite salad dressing.
- Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images