Did school start for your kids yet? We are very close here. September 2nd is the first day for the majority of schools in Minnesota and I can hardly believe my daughters are going into 10th and 7th grades!
My kids are busy, just like yours with after-school activities. In our case, it is high school soccer, cooking classes, and an occasional student council activity.
Emma, my gluten-free girl, will basically be at school from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 each night, unless she has away games and then she might not be home until 9:00 p.m. I need to start thinking about gluten free snacks to get her through!
Whether your kids are 10, 13 or 17, here are some snack ideas to throw in a backpack.
Non-perishable Gluten Free Snacks
- Beef Jerky. This is a really an awesome option. When we were on our mission trip in Haiti last March, we ate it for lunch to get some protein that didn’t need refrigeration. Not all of them are gluten free. The kind we had on our trip was Kirkland Signature brand from Costco. I have also found Oberto brand. Many of them are gluten free, but a few are not. Click here to learn more. Here are a few other options: Krave Jerky and JerkySpot.com is more of a clearing house on beef jerky brands.
- Squeeze applesauce. I am not sure why squeezing applesauce right into your mouth makes it even better, but it does! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to an individual cup where you need….a spoon! Of course GoGo Squeeze is really popular. There are some generic ones coming out now that are really only a little bit cheaper. Another brand I recently bought is Mott’s original applesauce, I got it home and found there was high-fructose corn syrup in it. Apparently I needed to buy the “natural” kind. So keep looking at the ingredients if HFCS is something you would rather do without. Ugh.
- Crackers. We like Van’s Multi-Grain. Breton has a gluten-free line now (I can’t find it in my main grocery stories though). Blue Diamond Nut Thins and Crunchmaster are good too.
- Go Picnic. The brand has several (but not all) shelf stable gluten-free lunch “boxes”. These really are great when you are on the go and I try to keep one or two on hand at all times. But at about $4.00 a pop, they can be pricey for the convenience. So if you can assemble the items together yourself, you’ll probably save some cash. However, sometimes Go Picnic has major sales on their products online. Just last weekend their website had a buy one, get one sale. So keep your eyes peeled for those opportunities. Go Picnic also launched a few gluten-free breakfast boxes too. I have found these in the breakfast aisle at my SuperTarget.
- Fruit. It is almost apple season! Yum!! Those don’t need refrigeration. Same with oranges and bananas.
- Chips. If you want to go there, there are many chips that are gluten free. It is best to check ingredients, but FritoLay will label their gluten-free products. Snyders of Hanover has gluten free pretzels. And Glutino has chips and pretzels too.
- Snack bars: Kind, Luna (look for GF) and Lara bars all have high protein snack bars that people love! Need a more kid-friendly bar? Try EnviroKids Cereal bars. They may not be as stacked with protein, but would be an easy grab-and-go item.
- Peanut or Almond Butter: Yes these are also available in individual squeeze package form. Put them on a cracker or rice cake or just eat them straight! Justin’s has this. Skippy has single serving sizes too.
- Nuts. Almonds, or pistachios! High protein snack!
- Pudding. Snack Pack pudding (except tapioca) is shelf stable and gluten free (for refrigerated puddings see below)
- Popcorn. Angies Kettle Corn Boom Chicka Pop brand is so yummy and low in calories. Now they have single serve packages if you like!
Gluten Free Snacks That Need a Cooler
My daughter usually brings a small cooler with her to school to carry extra food. Here are some of our cool favorites:
- Beef/Turkey Sticks or Pepperoni. Old Wisconsin has several GF varieties, Nick’s Sticks, and Wellshire Farms.
- Cheese. Whether it’s a favorite string cheese or BabyBel, many are made very portable these days. My daughter loves cheese with crackers and pretzels.
- Pudding. Jell-O pudding is gluten free, so is Kozy Shack (except bread pudding)
- Boiled Eggs. This is a great source of protein that is easily portable.
- Fruit. I think grapes and most fruit tastes better cold….so I added them to this part of the list.
- Yogurt. Chobani now has yogurt tubes that is easily portable. Stick it in the freezer and then put it in the cooler to thaw. Of course you can also put a regular Chobani yogurt (or any yogurt in there for that matter) and have it but you will need a spoon!
- Cottage Cheese. I love this snack. High in protein and so yummy. But definitely needs cold. I have found some single serving packs like Kemps that work great as a grab-and-go item.
- Sabra Hummus. It comes in easy single serve packages.
Well I am sure I have not exhausted this list. I hope it inspires you to try new foods, or perhaps it will help jog some new ideas we haven’t even thought of here. If you have something to add, please add it in the comments below.