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Great “Just in Case Snacks” for Gluten Free Kids

Posted by: Marissa on Sept. 9, 2010

The school year has officially started. This means our kids have a lot on their minds. Math, science, language... Hey, a mom can dream, right? We all know that our kids really only have two things on the brain; friends and (of course) food. We can’t do a whole lot about the friends, but food we can cover.

Today is all about “just in case snacks”. Parents are usually told about big party days at school, but there are also times that munchies hit the classroom without warning. Well meaning students and teachers bring in donuts, cupcakes, cookies and other goodies pretty often. Where does that leave our gluten free little ones?

In a fine place, if you’ve planned ahead of time :) See, knowing that the surprise snacks are inevitable makes it easy to provide a little something extra for your little one. Every year I take in a box of goodies for my daughter to keep in the classroom so the teacher has something to give her on these special occasions. She’s pretty young, so I leave the storage up to her teacher. Older kids may need to keep snacks in their backpacks or lockers.

We’ve been doing this long enough now to know which snacks work, and which ones don’t. For instance, D.D.’s eyes light up when gazing at a box of soft, chocolate filled cookies. Unfortunately, the moisture content is so high in those that they go bad before she ever gets the chance to eat them.

I’ve learned to look for long lasting, individually wrapped gluten free snacks. This way, they have a longer shelf life and can be easily distributed as needed. Here is a list of suggestions that I have compiled- just for you! Keep in mind that the focus of this list is on providing sweet treats without resorting to pure sugar. No child wants to be munching carrot sticks while everyone else eats cupcakes, but no teacher (or parent really) wants children to munch on candy all day. These snacks are a great compromise.

  • Ian’s Cookie Buttons- These 100 calorie packs of mini cookies come in chocolate chip and crunchy cinnamon flavors. There are a lot of them in each package so kids feel like they are getting a big treat. Be careful when purchasing, though, Ian’s also makes these in a gluten filled version.

  • Ian’s GoBars- Choose from gluten free apple pie or cinnamon bun flavors. Again, make sure to check the label before you buy.

  • Schar Chocolate Sandwich Cremes- I love these! They are little bitty, but so good. Each serving (two cookies) is individually wrapped. These are great for young kids and lighter snackers.

  • EnviroKids Bars- Flavors range from berry to just about any combination of chocolate and peanut butter. The bonus to these is that they are larger in size than most gluten free snack bars.

  • Glutino Organic Bars- These are pretty small, but organic is always good :) Look for chocolate and banana, wildberry and chocolate and peanut flavors.

  • NuGo Free Bars- These are more like adult nutrition bars, but come in yummy flavors like chocolate and caramel.

  • LaraBar- There are a lot of flavors to choose from in these healthy fruit-based snacks. The portions seem small, but they are surprisingly filling.

  • KIND Bars- These are mostly made from fruit and nuts. There are many flavors to choose from, and all of them good for the kiddies... I won’t tell if you won’t.

Just for fun, here are three more great choices for gluten free just in case snacks that don’t come with an extra gluten free cost.

  • Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks- Gushers, Fruit Roll-ups, Fruit By the Foot, and about any other flavor or shape you can think of. Bonus: They have a super long shelf life.

  • Jello Brand Gelatin- All flavors, all the time :) Don’t forget to provide spoons as well.

  • Pudding Cups- Swiss Miss, Snack Pack and Jello brands are all gluten free. Always check the labels to make sure the ingredients haven’t changed. Again, spoons are a must.

I am certain that there are snacks which are missing from the list, but this gives a good idea of where to start. If you have any more to add, please do so in the comments- we can all benefit from the insight :)

Here are a couple more tips before I leave you to go find my own snack.

  • Just in case snacks are not just for school. Try leaving some at the homes of friends or relatives that your kids visit often. Believe me, everyone will thank you.

  • Mark the expiration date of any snacks you leave out and about on a calendar or day planner. That way, you always know when it is time to say out with the old and in with the new.

  • Even better, mark the date a week or two ahead of time so that you can bring the snacks home and finish them so they don’t go to waste.

  • The snacks on this list also travel well, making them perfect for lunches or office treats.

  • Make sure that in addition to providing these gluten free snacks, you also have a plan worked out with teachers, friends and relatives about serving the snacks.

That’s all I have for now. Happy snacking, everyone!

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