Here’s the scoop on what to make! The most delicious healthy, dairy free, and gluten free snacks for kids! Tips and recipes that are easy, non processed and provides children sustainable energy!
Most week mornings you will find the kids and I at the gym. Every time my 2 year old (Curren) rolls in strutting his stuff with his backpack filled with homemade granola bars or muffins, fruits and vegetables. He will snack for a bit before feeling comfortable enough to begin playing with others.
His snacking behavior is occasionally more about comfort eating, or in his case mini bites of snacking that lead to lots of unfinished foods. I hate wasting food. Probably not a good trait to have with little kiddos because I end up finishing off most of their meals!
He goes everyday to
the gym school with all his favorite gluten free snacks. Our family does not have Celiac disease but I have detected a bit of gluten sensitivity that runs in the family.
I share this with you in case you notice the same things in your children, self and anyone you know.
It all started with my kids last year. My oldest (Chase who is 5 years old) used to have terrible lashing out issues for a while and I started to log his daily diet. What I noticed is that his worst emotional days were on the days that he would have bread with cream cheese for breakfast. As soon as we switched to gluten free bread or oatmeal for breakfast and eliminated gluten from the rest of the day he became a calmer happier child! What parent wouldn’t be stoked about this! We already do not really eat dairy except in cheese so I knew his outbursts had to be from another source.
Now that Chase is happier without gluten, one thing has always stayed the same. He could care less about snacks most days! His personality for food is not to eat for comfort, it is for consuming when hungry. Duh, that is how we all should be, right? This kid has amazing self control! He fills up at breakfast and lunch then usually wants a snack around 3:00 then eats dinner about 5:30 pm. At snack time, I shoot for fresh vegetables and fruit first, and if that is not tickling their fancy then they get the healthy carbs like gluten-free muffins or crackers.
Thanks to the rapid growing rate of 2 year old Curren’s body he consumes food at a rate much different than my 35 year old body and even my 5 year old’s body. So Curren eats snacks about every 2 hours and they usually cater to healthy homemade gluten free dairy free snacks that are just as good as store bought versions.
Most Americans do not realize, but in Europe they do not use nearly as much gluten in their baked goods. That is why most people do not feel that bloated feeling after eating gluten when they visit Germany, France, Italy etc.
What is gluten anyways?
Glad you asked.
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten sensitivities cause an autoimmune response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. This means the body is unable to effectively absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can really wreak havoc on the body causing symptoms such as bloating or gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, “brain fog,” and itchy skin rash, and has also been tied to anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss among others. Yikes!.
Gluten is what gives ice cream its reason not to melt quickly and provides fluffy elasticity in freshly baked goods. But have you ever felt horribly bloated and sluggish after eating a giant sandwich or pizza? Experience hormonal outbursts? Constipation or diarrhea? The culprit is most likely gluten. Today gluten is 80% higher in wheat products than it was 40 years ago!
Needless to say, lots of homemade gluten free snacks in our household!
Healthy snacks are kinda my jam around here (if you have not noticed yet) and these tasty easy recipes just need to be shared! So I have compiled our families top favorite snacks into an e-book and posted a few of the links below for you all go print and make at home too!
Why homemade and not packaged snacks? After-all, they are easier right?
Do you really think packaged foods are easier? Ok you are right, it usually is… But I can tell you this – if you have the right recipes it’s not hard at all especially if you can plan ahead.
In the long run most packaged foods are processed and non gluten free snacks for kids contain harmful substances that are known to cause disease, ADHD, energy depletion, depression, arthritis, constipation, diarrhea, emotional behaviors and more.
Now go ahead and whip together some healthy snacks and put them in a baggie yourself! Everyone’s gut will thank you! Here’s the scoop on what to make!
Healthy Snack Ideas to Make At Home:
Sliced vegetables such as:
- carrots, celery, cucumbers, grape and cherry tomatoes, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes sliced, celery, red or orange bell peppers, green bell peppers
Roasted vegetables such as:
- carrots, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, zucchini fries or crisps, kale chips
Fresh seasonal fruit (seasonal is best because our bodies crave these foods at different times of the year):
- Berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, raspberries
- Stone fruit like apricots, peaches and plums
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, papaya fruit
Homemade dips and sauces such as:
- basic hummus, beet hummus, tahini hummus, Greek yogurt dip, avocado cilantro dip, cashew cheese and dips, salsa, organic ranch dressing
Baked goods such as muffins and granola bars.
Gluten free crackers and gluten fee tortilla chips.
Vegan no churn ice cream made with natural sugars and canned coconut milk.
Fruit and veggie packed smoothies and homemade popsicles.
To make it easier- here are a few of our families favorite recipes to get you started….
20 Quick & Easy Homemade Gluten Free Snacks For Kids:
No Bake Homemade Breakfast Bars – This one wins the ultimate healthy gluten free snacks for kids award! I call them breakfast bars because my kids love to eat the on-the-go on the way to school in the mornings or as a healthy snack in the afternoon and even as a dessert treat in the evenings after dinner.
One reader said “I carry these everywhere, they are so easy to make and my kids absolutely love them!”
Tropical Bliss Smoothie – freeze in Popsicle molds and turn into healthy homemade popsicles!
Creamy Cashew Cilantro Dip – We serve this on grilled kebabs and grilled vegetables – this dairy free dip is so delicious!
Avocado Cilantro Sauce – Perfect as a fish taco sauce or to serve as a dip with chips and salsa!
Almond Flour Cookies – Not your ordinary cookie! Made with healthy fats, flax seed meal, no eggs, sweetened with dates, dairy-free and such a delicious grain free paleo cookie!
Crispy Rice Date & Cashew Bars – (the printable recipe is below)
Tips for Creating Healthy Gluten Free Snacks:
- When eating healthy make sure to use flours such as gluten-free flour mix, almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour and potato starch. Sugars should be natural sugars such as maple syrup, honey, dates, applesauce, Xylitol and Stevia which do not spike sugar levels or offset hormones like white sugar does.
- Chop and prepare all fresh vegetables in advance. That way you ‘ll have healthy vegetables to grab quickly when hunger strikes!
- Save “washing” fruits such as strawberries and blueberries until right before you eat them. They will get mushy if they are washed and then stored in the refrigerator.
- Make any dips ahead of time and have them ready for dipping vegetables in or gluten free crackers. They will store for about 5 days and can also be used as dressing for salads or a dip for meats and tacos for another meal.
Lots of recipes can be substituted with gluten free flour mix in place of wheat flour or maple syrup instead of white sugar. Coconut milk or almond milk is great to use in place of dairy milk and cream in recipes.
And last, here is a new favorite household snack the boys have been loving lately! You can totally skip the chocolate coating in these crispy rice date and cashew bars or roll them into balls. Soak the cashews for a creamier consistency but if time is limited you can totally skip that process.
Enjoy, lovely friends!
- 1 cup of cashews
- 1 cup of pitted Medjool dates (about 18 dates)
- 2 cups crispy rice cereal
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
- ½ cup chocolate chips (use vegan for dairy free)
- Soak the cashews in water for about 2 hours.
- In a food processor add 1 ½ cups of crispy rice and process for about 10 seconds to form it into a flour. Next, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to the rice flour along with the dates, salt, cinnamon, vanilla. Process for about 30 seconds. Add the coconut flour and remaining ½ cup of crispy brown rice and process for 10 more seconds.
- Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and press the date mixture throughout until it is flat and covers. Work with it with your hands to squish it down. Pull out the parchment paper and flip out bars to a flat surface.
- Add another fresh sheet of parchment paper in the 8x8 inch pan. Melt the chocolate chips for about 45 seconds in the microwave and mix to fully melt. Pour the chocolate in the pan and with a spatula spread it so it covers. Get your date, cashew square in set t on top of the chocolate as it is the exact size. Press down to evenly spread the chocolate underneath then place the refrigerator to harden for about 10-15 minutes or longer.
- Set out to room temperature 5 minutes before cutting into slices to prevent the chocolate from breaking.
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