Try preparing these tasty, gluten-free snacks for kids this fall.
1. School time oatmeal “sundae”
With a delicious dollop of coconut milk yogurt, this isn’t your average oatmeal. I’ve kicked it up a notch by combining the cereal’s “typical” accouterments like honey and cinnamon with coconut and chocolate for a bowl bursting with tastiness. Your kids will feel like they are getting away with something when they ask, “Are you sure this isn’t dessert?”
1/2 cup cooked gluten-free oatmeal, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons coconut flakes, 2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons coconut milk yogurt. Top cooked oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, coconut, chocolate chips and yogurt. Serve warm or chilled.
2. Snack time smoothie
Delicious, filling and hydrating -- you can’t go wrong with a fresh fruit smoothie at snack time. Adding healthy proteins like sunflower seed butter and yogurt creates a creamy and nutritious shake, while cilantro adds an unexpectedly savory flavor (full of vitamins!) that will have your kids begging for another glass.
1 cup apple juice, 1 cup organic yogurt, 1 cup fresh berries, 1 cup grapes, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter. In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Transfer to a glass; serve chilled.
3. Open-faced pesto grilled cheese
Going gluten-free does not mean you have to say goodbye to America’s favorite sandwich, thanks to the abundance of gluten-free bread brands on grocery store shelves these days. With pesto, fresh basil and organic cheese, this gooey treat is an appetizing and satisfying option for any meal.
2 pieces of gluten-free bread, 2 tablespoons pesto, 2 slices organic cheese, 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil. Top each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon pesto, 1 slice cheese and basil. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4. Quinoa with honey, berries and flax seeds
This oatmeal-alternative is a delicious parfait packed with flavor and nutrients -- the perfect brain food for breakfast, lunch or even dessert! It’s a fun snack food because your family will feel like they’re having ice cream, but you’ll know they’re eating a well-rounded diet. And if your family is quinoa-obsessed, here's another one of my favorite quinoa recipes: Honey Cilantro Soaked Quinoa.
1 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 cup fresh berries, 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds. Place cooled quinoa in the bottom of a parfait glass. Spoon the yogurt on top. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with berries and flax seeds.
5. Sunflower seed butter (nut-free) and apple bites
A lot of go-to gluten foods are great because they’re bite sized. Snacks like apple bites smothered in sunflower seed butter are the perfect gluten-free alternative so your little one doesn’t feel like they’re missing out on those mini munchies their friends are eating.
1 apple, 2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter. Slice apple into 6 pieces. Cut each slice into thirds. Spread sunflower seed butter onto each slice and serve.
Amie Valpone is a celebrity chef based in New York City and editor-in-chief of TheHealthyApple.com. Specializing in simple, gluten-free recipes, Amie has been featured in numerous magazines and on well-known websites, as well as TV. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.