Snacks… Some parents may call this the hardest meal(s) of the day. For some, snacks are a breeze. For others, it can be hard to have something that your kids enjoy that’s also safe. While there are plenty of packaged snacks available (see the Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Guide), you may want to have other options as well. RAISE also has a whole section on snack recipes. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite snacks with you that your kids can help make.
This article is full of ideas that you can tailor to the needs of your family. We’ve also included alternative ideas, as well as suggestions for picky eaters.
Related Article: Cute Food & The Power It Holds
Chips & Dip
This is one of the easiest snacks out there. We like to use grain free chips since there’s no corn, however, any chip will do. Kid Two loves chicken chips, and Kid Three loves regular potato chips and Kid Four loves sweet potato chips. Luckily for me, they all enjoy the same guacamole.
Related: Chocolate Hummus Dip Recipe
Guacamole is full of healthy fats and loaded with nutrients. You can make a simple guac at home, or purchase one as well. The one we purchase from Costco is made on top 8 free equipment.
If your kids aren’t guac fans (yet), other awesome dips include queso, hummus, salsa, and custom layered dip. (Kid Three wanted me to tell you “Make sure there’s refried beans too.”)
These. Are. SO. Cute. Seriously, I can’t get over how cute and fun Apple Donuts are. If you can’t do apples, this also works well with pears. You could also get away with using mango, melon, and pineapple. Kiwi would make super cute mini donuts too.
Once you have your fruit, slice it, then use a cookie cutter to put a hole in the middle so it’s shaped like a doughnut. I like to use a metal cutter with some elbow grease. If you opt for mango, pineapple, or other fruits, you may need to use a large cookie cutter as well to make sure the overall shape is a circle.
Freeze any edible scraps you may have for smoothies 🙂
Top your doughnut shaped fruit with a safe yogurt. The Dairy Free Swaps Article talks about yogurt. Then, top with safe chocolate chips and/or safe sprinkles.
I’ve seen little kids go wild for this snack because it feels like they’re having an amazing treat. Seriously, never underestimate the power of 5 chocolate chips or a few pinches of sprinkles.
An oldie but a goodie. I’ve found that when people are first diagnosed with any kind of food restriction, they genuinely forget all of the foods they CAN have. The focus is so trained on the can’t list that everything else is a faded memory.
Many people can enjoy fruit. If you have OAS, you’ll need to cook and cool your fruit to enjoy it in the salad format. If you have a severe corn allergy, you’ll need to source safe produce.
Fruit salad is a great way to introduce your kids to new fruits. You can use several of their favorite fruits, and add a few pieces of a new fruit to try. You can even use mini cookie cutters on the new fruit to make it extra appealing.
Related: Quality, Top 8 Allergy Free Snacks
If you have a child that doesn’t like food touching (for any reason), serve your fruit salad deconstructed in a muffin pan. Then, sit down with your child to enjoy it together. Take a few pieces of each fruit and show them how you like to eat your fruit salad. They can help you make your fruit salad, or even have a little taste of yours. Either way, you’re modeling the behavior you want them to see, and hopefully move towards one day.
Grain Free Cookies
I love making double batches of grain free cookies and freezing them. The kids can pull several at a time and enjoy them for a snack. These are also a fantastic snack for lunches and when you’re on the go. We also make double batches of this Reduced Maple Sugar Cookie which is the bomb dot com.
Related: Nutrient Dense No-Bake Cookies
Folks, I’ll never stop saying this: Food tastes better on sticks. It just does…
Slice a watermelon and place the slices on short skewers. Now you have popsicles. For fun, you can freeze your watermelon slices, then drizzle melted chocolate and top with sprinkles. The kids will fight for those…
This works with any fruit that will hold up well on a stick: Apple, Banana, Berries, Kiwi, Papaya, Pear, Pineapple, and more.
Additionally, you can have a faux fondue session with your fruits. Dip them in safe yogurt for extra fun.
Ants On a Log
Cut celery into small pieces and top with a safe nut/seed/legume/veg spread, then add raisins. You can also use cranberries and call them fire ants. The Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Guide has details on different spreads based on your needs.
If celery isn’t an option, you can make a log from apple or zucchini.
More Thoughts & Ideas on Snacks
What I love about the snacks above is they’re mostly package free. When you’re dealing with a restricted diet, packaged food can be incredibly difficult to source. There are just so many ingredients to trace.
If you’re a fan of baking, you can make all sorts of homemade treats for snacks, and they don’t need to be excessively sugary. In addition to the grain free cookies I make for the kids, I also like making fruit & oat based cookies. The fruit is a great natural sweetener, but the fiber is still in tact.
Easy Snack: Cranberry Oat Cubes
Snack-time can also be a great opportunity to have your child finish any portion of their lunch that has gone uneaten. Homemade granola and trail mix is another easy option that you can make using your favorite ingredients.
I want to leave you with one final thought: ANYTHING can be served for snack. One of the hardest things to do when you live with a restricted diet is break out of the traditional mindset. So many people think eggs/toast/pancakes must be served at breakfast. Lunches need to include a sandwich, and so on. This mindset can be incredibly limiting if you don’t have access to different food groups.
I want to encourage you to make an awesome snack plan for your family that they will love. Happy snacking!
Delicious Snack: Nut Free Chocolate Oat Bars