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Menu Ideas for School Lunches, Quick Dinners, and Sports Snacks by Danna Korn

The key to gluten-free cooking is simple: take a little bit of homework on your part, a dash of extra effort, and dump in a whole lot of creativity - voila! You're a gluten-free gourmet! But some of the greatest culinary challenges are for those meals-on-the-run, which seem to be the most common kind sometimes. Kids with Celiac Disease has extensive menu suggestions for all meals and snacks, but the following is a short excerpt of on-the-go snack ideas:

  • Chips
    • There are many flavors of gluten-free chips available at grocery stores!
  • string cheese
  • Taquitos, quesadillas, tacos, tamales (made with corn tortillas - they travel well)
  • Nachos
  • Corn Nuts
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Chex mix
    • There is a gluten-free cereal available at many grocery stores or health food markets thats just like
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      Chex--make the mix as you would Chex mix.
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese cubes with toothpicks in them and rice crackers
  • Fruit rolls
  • Lettuce wrapped around ham, cheese, turkey, or roast beef
  • Rice cakes (check with the manufacturer; not all are gluten-free)
  • Hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Apples dipped in caramel or peanut butter (if youre sending apples in a lunchbox, remember to pour lemon juice over the slices; that will keep them from turning brown)
  • Individually packaged pudding
  • Jello
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit cups (individually packaged cups are great for lunchboxes)
  • Fruit snacks (like Farleys brand)
  • High-protein bars (e.g., Tigers Milk, GeniSoy)
  • Nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Trail mix
    • Combine peanuts, M&Ms, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and other trail mix items for a great on-the-go snack.
      - Beware of commercial trail mixes--they often roll their date pieces in oat flour.
  • The occasional candy bar or other junk food treat (see the next chapter for information on safe junk food) welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

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8 Responses:

anjay r meyer
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said this on
04 Feb 2008 12:47:50 PM PST
It's nice to know all of the stuff you can buy in a store and not on line thank you.


said this on
22 Mar 2008 5:44:58 PM PST

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said this on
02 Jun 2008 12:36:04 PM PST
I need to know more. We just found out last week that our son has Celiac and I'm learning as much as I can.

Kim G.
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said this on
09 Jun 2008 1:31:46 PM PST
Great info. for those of us just starting our kids out on a Gluten Free diet! Thanks to Danna for making this transition so easy!

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said this on
12 Oct 2010 8:27:09 AM PST
Wonderful insight and ideas! Thanks so much for making it even seem fun and doable.

Alison K.
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said this on
22 Oct 2011 5:14:25 AM PST
Thanks for the ideas for snack foods - we just found out that our 21 month old has celiac and it's nice to see so many common foods that are gluten free.

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said this on
16 May 2013 3:16:48 AM PST
I don't understand this. I've looked at lots of blogs and homepages for gluten-free lunchbox ideas but haven't found anything I can use. I find it strange to give a child things like popcorn and candy bars for lunch. Apples in caramel, marshmallows and chips? Schools here forbid sugary snacks. They can't even have fruit yoghurt unless it's homemade, because of the extreme amount of sugar.

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said this on
25 Oct 2013 11:30:45 AM PST
Great list! GF can be overwhelming at first, but time and patience is showing me that it's really not difficult.

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