5 gluten-free back to school snacks

Try preparing these tasty, gluten-free snacks for kids this fall.

1. School time oatmeal “sundae”

(iStock)

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?”

Recipe: 
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.

(iStock)

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.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Recipe: 
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.

Recipe:
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.

Recipe: 
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.

Recipe: 
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.