New adventures are bound to come your way with the beginning of a new school year. Along with this exciting transition there can also be new challenges when it comes to eating right: having less time for breakfast, lunch away from home, and snacks on the run before your after school activities. But we’ve got you covered! Here are some ideas to keep you gluten-free, well nourished, and satisfied too.
Even though corn itself is gluten-free, lots of corn flakes contain malt extract, which is not gluten-free, since malt comes from barley. Cereals made from whole GF grains like amaranth, buckwheat or teff are higher in fiber and other important nutrients than corn flakes anyway, and have a delicious nutty flavor!
Having some protein in the morning (like you get in eggs) will keep you feeling satisfied longer. Eggs can be hard-boiled ahead of time so they’re ready to go on a rushed morning before school.
Pancakes don’t taste so great if they’ve been made ahead of time, but that’s not the case with waffles! Make GF waffles with your family on a lazy weekend morning, and make extras to have during the week. Keep them in the freezer, and all you need to do is pop them in the toaster. (Let cool completely before freezing, and separate with wax paper so they don’t stick together.)
For extra flavor and nutrition, spread your waffle with almond butter (or your personal favorite nut butter) and top with slices of banana.
There are tasty GF breads available now, so all you need to do is swap out the bread! Choose varieties made with whole gluten-free grains like sorghum, millet or teff, for the best nutrition. Just make sure your fixings are GF – most usually are. Another tasty version of a GF “sandwich” is to use lettuce leaves in place of bread – adds a great crunch factor. And don’t forget the “roll up” approach – just choose your favorite GF tortilla around your usual fillings!
Just because sandwiches are traditional lunchbox items, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way to go! What’s important is fueling up in a healthy, gluten-free way. Think outside the box and outside the sandwich!
Sometimes when we think “snack”, treats like candy and chips come to mind. And having some of these less healthy items now and then is just fine. But really, snacks can be an important way to fuel your body, especially if you have physically active things to do after school. So think of snacks more like “mini-meals”, and include foods that will provide good quality fuel for your body. Some healthy snack items to mix and match: nuts and dried fruit; fresh fruit and cheese; hummus and carrots; GF crackers and peanut butter; yogurt topped with GF cereal and dried fruit.
Sure, there are plenty of good GF brownies out there, and having one now and then is great. But reaching for a granola bar instead will give you better fuel for your after school fun.
Most potato chips ARE gluten-free, but surprisingly some contain wheat, so always read the ingredient list if they’re not labeled or certified gluten-free. Even if the ones you have around are GF, crackers and cheese will give you more staying power for your after-snack activities.