All of these gluten-free recipes are snacks that are healthy, tasty and free of uncommon ingredients like xanthan gum or tapioca flour.
These nine kid-friendly after-school snack recipes are great for those who are starting out in gluten-free nutrition due to intolerance, or for those who want to reduce gluten consumption for other health reasons.
1. Buried treasure yogurt: Dig your favorite frozen fruit out of the freezer and top it with some plain or vanilla yogurt. We use homemade yogurt, but organic no sugar-added varieties from Stonyfield, Horizon and others are great, too. The frozen fruits freeze some of the surrounding yogurt and turn it into an ice cream-like treat. Plus, the kids love searching for the hidden fruit treasures at the bottom of the yogurt and watching the fruit juice stain the yogurt “like a rainbow.” A few of our favorite fruits to hide are blueberries, cherries and strawberries. If your kids like their treats a little sweeter, pour a bit of honey on top. Feel free to call that honey an oil slick or a yo, ho, ho rum spill.
3. Fruit and cottage cheese: Apparently, I called cottage cheese “college cheese” when I was a kid. So, one of my all-time favorite after-school snacks was sliced peaches and “college cheese.” Give your kids a variety of fruits to choose from: balled melon, sliced pineapple, pears and apples all pair well with cottage cheese. And, the cheese makes the fruit snack more filling so your tiny ones can make it to dinnertime.
4. Homemade granola bars: Be sure to use gluten-free certified oats for these bars to make a delicious treat for your kids. The most exciting part of making these granola bars is letting your kids pick the mix-ins! Giving kids a choice in the ingredients can give them a bit of pride in the outcome and make them enjoy their treats all the more. My kids love raisins and walnuts in their bars. Wrap individual bars in parchment paper to let your kids grab these bars on the go.
You can also savor Angela’s gluten-free recipe for better than Nutrigrain bars filled with your favorite gluten-free jam or jelly. If you can’t find gluten-free certified oats in your area, try quinoa flakes to make your granola bars instead or order gluten-free oats online.
5. Breakfast cookies: Choose from any of these four gluten-free recipes for vegan breakfast cookies; they’re great for after-school snacks, too. Whether your kids crave banana, pumpkin spice, apple spice or chocolate chip, craft these beauties with gluten-free certified oats for a healthy after-school pick-me-up.
6. Two-ingredient almond butter cookies: These cute cookies are crazy easy, and naturally gluten free. Almond butter + egg = bake and done. It couldn’t be simpler. And the protein punch these cookies pack will bridge your school-goers over the after-school slump so you can avoid tantrums before dinnertime. Each small cookie holds two grams of protein, is low in sodium and sugar and is high in manganese and magnesium.
7. Guacamole and chips: Avocado is a wonder fruit full of healthy fats, protein and fiber. Homemade guacamole that can be ready in two minutes—or even just chunks of fresh avocado—is sure to be a treat for your kids. (Be sure to verify your red chili flakes are gluten-free for the guacamole.) And, eaten with your favorite gluten-free tortilla chips or crudite veggies, guacamole makes the perfect after-school snack.
8. Baked apples: Angela’s slow cooker baked apples are an experience you and your children will all love. Not only are they delicious, but they’ll make your home smell amazing! I use coconut oil instead of margarine, and it is fantastic.
9. Smoothies: Let your kids savor the taste of the tropics with gluten-free recipes like pina colada smoothies made with coconut milk and either mango or pineapple. Or, if your kids are a little more adventurous, let them slurp on green tropics smoothies filled with healthy spinach, pineapple, yogurt and coconut milk.