Back to School: Staying Healthy While Gluten-Free + 10 Healthy Snack Ideas!
It's pretty well known that many gluten-free products are not so healthy for you. Many products are full of sugars, fats, and carbs that make you wonder, "is it possible to go back-to-school gluten-free AND healthy?" You may think that packing a gluten-free lunch is already hard enough but packing a healthy and gluten-free lunch is still very possible! I was a gluten-free kid not too long ago and had to prepare for gluten-free school activities all too often. With the help of myself and Enjoy Life Foods, we can show you some back-to-school gluten-free snack ideas that are healthy too!
3 tips to keep you or your kids healthy while back-to-school:
Plan ahead of time - Bags and containers are your friend! - It's easier to put together healthy meals when you have time to prepare them! I recommend planning the week's meals on the Sunday or at least a few days in advance. That will allow you to make your own food instead of relying on packaged gluten-free products which may not be too healthy. Just remember to use bags or containers to keep everything fresh!
Include natural foods whenever possible - It's easy to forget that fruit, veggies, nuts, and many more foods are naturally gluten-free! There are hundreds of options when it comes to these types of foods that most kids are bound to love. Apples, grapes, carrots, trail mix, strawberries, and much more are all safe options to include in school lunches or after school.
Find products that "sneak" healthier ingredients into it - You'd be surprised that many products out there are actually full of healthy ingredients! Many Enjoy Life Foods products have sunflower kernels, cassava flour, sorghum flour, quinoa flakes and many more healthy ingredients that make them great options for kids! Just do some research and stick to brands that have good standards when you have to use packaged products every now and then.
10 Gluten Free Healthy Snack Ideas:
Nuts (any kind) - Any nut is a healthy option for a snack. Almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc. can all be options! Try finding nuts that have honey or other things added to them to add some sweetness too!
Enjoy Life Foods Chewy Bars - These Chewy Bars are perfect for school lunches and come in 7 delicious flavors! They are made with a gluten-free flour blend containing hulled sunflower kernels, cassava flour, sorghum flour and quinoa flakes. Definitely check out the 3 new flavors! Learn more here.
Gluten Free Pretzels and Nut Butter - Pretzels are something that most kids love! By adding peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter, you can instantly turn it into a healthier protein packed snack!
Multi-Grain Gluten Free Bread - There are many multi-grain gluten free breads that would be great for snacks like toast and jelly, toast and peanut butter, or just a PB&J that is a little bit healthier than white bread.
Enjoy Life Foods ProBurst Bites - These are delicious chocolaty treats that will taste like a dessert but they're actually filled with 6-7 grams of plant protein! There are four flavors to choose from but I think kids would love Sunseed Butter the best. Learn more here.
Apples & Nut Butter - What snack is easier than this! I don't know many kids who don't like apples and peanut butter or whatever nut butter you ant to use. It can be great for school lunches or after school!
Carrots with Daiya Ranch Dressing - If you or your child is dairy free then dairy free ranch dressing and carrots is a great option! Most people love this and it provides a little healthier of a snack as opposed to just regular ranch dressing.
Enjoy Life Foods Seed & Fruit Mixes - These mixes are a great way to add more nutrition to you or your child's diet. They include cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and a mix of sunflower seed and kernels to make a delicious gluten-free snack! Pair them with pretzels to make your own trail mix too. Learn more here.
Surf Sweets Gummies - Sure you can buy regular brand gummies but those are filled with tons of artificial sugars and additives. Surf Sweets Gummies are all organic and made with only natural ingredients so you know they're healthier!
Enjoy Life Foods Plentils - You can pair these plentils with hummus or just eat them plain! They come in great flavors like Margarita Pizza and Garlic & Parmesan that are among my favorites to eat by themselves. As always, they're top 8 allergy free and made from lentils too! Learn more here.
My final advice:
Whether you are a college student, a parent of a kid who is gluten-free, or whoever, you don't have to sacrifice health for being gluten free this school year. Sure, it does take a little more effort to make the meals or snacks both healthy and gluten-free but it is definitely doable! It's ok to have desserts and treats every now and then. It's ok to indulge if you feel like it. As for living an overall healthier lifestyle, that is definitely doable too. Enjoy Life Foods may be sponsoring this post but I've been eating their products since I got diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of 13 years old. I'd always recommend their products to someone who needs a healthier gluten-free snack since they have so many options too. Just try your best to be prepared this school year and know that no matter how you eat "healthy", it can be done and it's the effort that counts.