By Tiffany Janes, Delight Contributor
When you’re new to the gluten-free diet, one of the best lessons to learn quickly is that you always need to have safe food options available when away from home. It’s not as easy as you might think to find something safe to eat in any given situation. If you don’t plan ahead, you might find yourself noshing on a candy bar or potato chips a lot more often than you want to. Therefore, it’s best to never get caught off guard. Always have gluten-free snacks on hand and you’ll never have to stress about going hungry no matter where you are.
Gluten-free bars are one of the most obvious gluten-free snacks available and they’re also easy to keep on hand at work or school. Slip them into your backpack, laptop case or purse and you’re good to go! There are more gluten-free bars on the market than we have room to list here, but some of our favorites are from Larabar, Luna Bar, Bakery on Main, NoGii, KIND Bar and Pamela’s Products. For gluten-free fruit bars, options from Glutino and Betty Lou’s offer nice alternatives to fresh fruit.
It’s a good idea to have several shelf stable snacks on hand so you can and enjoy what you’re in the mood for when snack time arrives. Small bags of chips, gluten-free pretzels or nuts work great for salty cravings and all store well in most environments without issue. Individual snack pack sizes of peanut butter (or other nut butters) and applesauce are easy to store in an office desk, but they don’t always hold up when stored in a car in warm climates. Some of our favorites to check out include Snyder's of Hanover Gluten-Free Pretzels, Glutino Bagel Chips and Pretzels, Crunchmaster Crackers, Mary's Gone Crackers and Blue Diamond Nut Thins.
For more economical gluten-free snacks, you can make your own granola bars or even Rice Krispies treats, but those types of items must be eaten fairly quickly and should not be stored in a car. Some homemade bars freeze well so you can just take one out of the freezer at a time as needed. Check out Delight’s amazing new recipe database for many gluten-free snack recipes!
If you have access to a microwave, popcorn is always a great snack. There are even inspired popcorn flavors available from Quinn Popcorn in flavors like Parmesan Rosemary, Maple Sea Salt and Lemon Sea Salt. If you have access to a refrigerator at the office, string cheese or yogurt both provide healthy options. There are even non-dairy cheese alternative snacks available these days. Alpina Foods makes yogurt with a gluten-free granola topping! As always, read the ingredients carefully when something isn’t clearly labeled gluten-free.
Many whole fruits store well at room temperature for at least a couple of days. Apples, pears, oranges and grapes are easy to pack and snack on most anywhere. For something you can stock up on and store longer, try fruit strips. Kids really tend to love these fun snacks and they offer an easy way to get them to eat fruit if they don’t enjoy eating whole fruit.
Regarding kids with food intolerances, everyone at their school involved in feeding them needs to be informed on what they can and can’t have. These days more schools are aware of food allergies and intolerances than ever before, but more awareness is still needed. Check out Delight’s back-to-school guide (Fall 2012 issue) for great tips on how to handle this important issue.
At the end of the day, it’s always better to have more food on hand than you need than to have nothing at all. When that all important snack time comes at work, school or even on a play date, no one wants to be left out. Thankfully, these days there are so many gluten-free options to choose from – no one has to be!
Posted on Tue, September 4, 2012
by Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod filed under