Saturday, November 1, 2008

50 GFCFSF Snacks

At the beginning of Summer 2008, I had a poll on this blog asking people what they thought I should do for my summer project. Choices included (1) holding a milk sub taste test with kids; (2) learning how to make coconut yogurt; (3) teaching my son how to swallow capsules/pills; or (4) coming up with a list of 50 GFCFSF snacks. The snacks won out, so here is my list.

Note #1: I have not included the "obvious" ones like taking an apple and slicing it up, or putting some grapes on a plate. I thought you all would get mad if my list was composed of those types of things!

Note #2: Both my kids need to take their GFCFSF snacks to school, so for the most part, these are snacks that could be transported easily and don't require special preparation. Some are hot or cold so would require a thermos and would only work for morning snack time. I do keep a bin of "legal" snacks at school for them, so not all of the things you see below would be easy to bring in to school every day. But I did create this list with the school-going child in mind (although it will be useful to anybody).

Note #3: This list is GFCFSF. I did at one point consider indicating which things were egg-free or corn-free or rice-free or whatever-free, but I thought that would take too much time and I'd never get the list done. So if you have other issues besides G, C, and S, you'll need to check for those for yourself.

Note #4: I am pretty vigilant about cross contamination (CC) issues, so this list only includes those things that I have checked with the company on and KNOW are free of CC issues, or those that I feel comfortable with the allergen control practices of the company. If you try anything on this list and have a CC issue, though, please do not get mad at me because I'm doing my best, but I would LOVE for you to send me an email (click HERE) or make a comment on the blog so that I can check it out.

Note #5: Some of the items in the list have a link to a recipe, another post about them, or to the product as listed on Amazon, so be sure to click as needed.

Note #6: At the bottom of the list are photos and links to some of the items that are available on Amazon. I buy lots of things in bulk on Amazon and love it. In the interest of full disclosure, I *do* receive a small commission from Amazon if you click on something and buy from Amazon, but it does *NOT* increase your price or affect you in any way.

Okay, here goes!

1. Tapioca pudding made with coconut milk
I use "Let's Do...Organic" brand tapioca and Whole Foods brand coconut milk, although I'm open to switching my coconut milk due to my concerns about cross contamination.

2. Finger veggies with hummus
Hummus is basically chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) blended with olive oil, sesame tahini, garlic, and lemon (or lime) juice. You can easily make or buy it. "Finger veggies" would be anything like baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, snap peas, baby tomoatoes, or celery sticks.

3. Corn chips with guacamole
Note that not all corn chips are equal. You must check with the company regarding cross contamination issues. I feel most comfortable with Garden of Eatin' brand, although I do not do corn chips very often because I worry about CC issues. Note that Fritos have CC issues, read my post HERE.

4. Miss Roben's donut holes
These take some prep time to make then fry individually, but the package makes a TON of them, so they would be good if you need to make snacks for a large group of kids. We usually end up eating them entirely too much, for breakfast, in lunchboxes, and as snacks whenever I make them. I've found they do freeze, but not *too* well.

5. Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal with milk sub
My kids call this "crackle crackle" because it makes that noise when you pour in the milk. We are using Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bliss as our milk sub.

6. Ener-G Wylde Pretzels
These are the only pretzels I know of that are soy-free.

7. Mini loaf of Breads from Anna with nut butter spread
I make 1 bag of Breads from Anna into 3 mini-loaves. Slice 1 and put little bits of wax paper in between each slice then freeze it. Use 1 mini loaf for dinner, and send the other mini loaf into school for snack time. It will stay fresh for only 2-3 days then starts to smell funky. Pull out the frozen slices and toast for breakfasts later on in the week. I get the one that is GFCFSF and also rice-free, corn-free, yeast-free, and I make it egg-free. For nut butters, I rotate between peanut, almond, cashew, macadamia, and sunflower seed.

8. Terra Chips
From my contact with the company, I believe these to be safe based on their allergen control procedures. Not all versions are casein-free, though, so read labels. I personally love the "Sweets and Beets" which are sweet potato and beet chips.

9. Breads from Anna banana bread made into mini muffins
More Breads from Anna, I make the banana loaf into 1 mini loaf + 24 mini muffins OR 2 mini loaves and 12 mini muffins. They all can be frozen for breakfast at another date. These are good ones to keep in the school freezer.

10. Cashew rice krispy treats
These are easy to make. Cut them into squares and keep them in snack-sized baggies. You can use these for breakfast too since they are packed with protein. Also good for car snacks after OT or swim lessons or whatever.

11. Mock graham crackers
I make these using Miss Roben's mix available on Allergy Grocer. They are very easy to make. You roll them out then cut rectangles or squares or whatever with a knife, use a spatula to put them on a baking sheet, then bake.

12. Animal crackers
These are also Miss Roben's mix from Allergy Grocer. I really like these. They do take some time, but they make a lot (especially if you use small cutters). You can fill up a couple tupperware-type containers with these and keep them at school.

13. Rice mixed with quinoa in a thermos
If you have a stainless steel thermos, it's easy to take hot food to school, either for lunch time or morning snack. Rice is easy to make, and if you mix it with quinoa, it increases the protein factor. This is a good one to do if you have some left-over quinoa from dinner; just make up some rice and mix them together. (Note: if you make your rice with GF chicken broth, coconut milk, and garlic, you'll add some protein, yeast fighters, and heft-packers to the snack.) Because it's warm, this is a nice snack on a cold day.

14. Nut butter & rice krispy balls
The recipe for these is on the back of the Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal box. Very easy to make and yummy too. Make a container-full and pull them out as needed for snack, dessert, lunchbox, breakfast, etc.

15. Pear bar
These are made by Gorge Delights and are available on Allergy Grocer or on Amazon. No added sugars, nothing artificial. I think I read somewhere that they have 2 whole pears in each bar. (Pears are low yeast feeders too.) Good fiber too, if you are dealing with constipation. I've only listed the pear bar, but they also have Apple/Raspberry, Strawberry, Apple/Blueberry, Blueberry, Pear/Blueberry, Cranberry, and Apple/Cherry. These are good to have on hand at school, especially since they don't require refrigeration or anything. They are quite substantial and chewy. My 3 year old has a hard time biting into them, so for him I use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the bar into smaller pieces or thin strips.

16. Pumpkin muffin
I like Sarah's recipe on her site, Autism Share. It is easy and yummy and was the first GFCFSF thing I ever baked. Alternatively, you can use Breads from Anna pumpkin bread and make it into mini muffins.

17. Sweet potato muffin
This is the same thing as Sarah's pumpkin muffin above, except that you use sweet potato baby food instead of the pumpkin.

18. Applesauce muffin
If you can't find cranberry applesauce, you could use regular applesauce, I'm sure.

19. Carrot muffin
These are made similar to the other muffins here (all based on Sarah's pumpkin muffins at Autism Share). For this one, you use carrot baby food.

20. Teff carrot muffin
These are a little bit on the dry side due to the teff. You may be a better cook than I and could figure out how to make them better. But, as is, they are fine. Teff is high in protein.

21. Winter squash muffin
Okay, I feel bad that I have listed so many muffins. But I think muffins are great because you can put a lot of stuff into them (veggies/protein) and they're still yummy. You can also cook a bunch at one time and freeze the rest for breakfasts at a later date (or snacks, or lunchboxes, or etc). Anyway, you guessed it! The winter squash muffin uses winter squash baby food! EASY!

22. Hard boiled egg with slicer
Obviously this one ain't egg-free. But if you can do eggs, this makes a very easy, very portable, very high-protein, and very fun snack (if you use the cute egg slicer). Lets little kids feel like big kids when they slice their own egg.

23. Amaranth Cereal Snapsbaked with agave nectar
Nu-world amaranth snaps are slightly funky-tasting, I think. But dear Christel on the GFCFKids group taught us that you can mix them with agave nectar and bake them for a bit, and it helps with the taste. So, if you do this, then you can put them in a baggie and have them like a dry cereal snack or kind of like a chip.

24. Snack mix of Amaranth O's, raisins, marshmallows, and chocolate chips
This is kind of like a snack mix or trail mix. I used Amaranth O's, raisins, Eleyon marshmallows, and Enjoy Life chocolate chips in a baggie, but you can really throw in any dried snacks (dry fruits, chips, crackers, pretzels, etc) and make it a snack mix. The addition of the Eleyon marshmallows and chocolate chips makes sure my kids will eat the other stuff. (smile)

25. Teff pancakes with agave to dip
Lovely Melinda on the GFCFKids group taught us all how to make teff pancakes, which are now a staple in our house. They are easy to make and yummy. For snack time, I cut the big pancakes into small bite-sized pieces and serve them with some agave on the side. My kids really like this, and I know it's healthy.

26. Popcorn
I know many have corn issues, but if your child can do corn, popcorn is a very cheap and easy snack to do. I do this maybe once a month and they love it. Buy the organic popcorn kernels. You really only need 1/3 cup of kernels each time, so your bag of kernels will last a long time.

27. Nut butter and jelly sandwich on GF bread cut into shapes
Really, it can be any kind of sandwich your child likes. But once you cut it into shapes using a sandwich cutter, it takes on a whole new life, and what used to be a boring sandwich is now a cute, bite-sized, fun snack.

28. GF bagel with cashew cream cheese
I use the Enjoy Life bagels. They are in the frozen section at our Whole Foods. I think they are very hard and difficult to chew, but I only serve them maybe once every two weeks or once every month, and my kids eat them. Be sure to toast them first. The cashew cream cheese is easy to make but it certainly isn't like the cream cheese you and I know and love. Whip some up and see if your kids will eat it. If not, you can always schmear coconut oil, jelly, fruit butter, or nut butter on the bagel and be just fine.

29. Rice cake with GFCFSF cheese slice
My kids aren't really fans of the rice cake, but I know many kids out there are. Just be sure that the rice cake you use is truly GFCFSF. I *think* Lundberg brand is okay, but if you know otherwise, please post a comment here and let us know!

30. Meat roll-ups
My daughter is a HUGE fan of deli sliced meat. I use Wellshire Farms and Applegate Farms brands. Just roll it up and secure with a toothpick, and that is a snack for my daughter! Sometimes I will spread some jelly on the meat first - she seems to like sweet meat.

31. Enjoy Life Sunbutter Crunch
My daughter loves these. We just discovered them a couple of weeks ago. They are available on Allergy Grocer and sometimes on Amazon. They also have a berry one.

32. So Delicious cultured coconut milk
This is GFCFSF yogurt, made from coconut milk. They have plain and fruit flavors. Tastes great. It *is* expensive, though. For a snack by itself, you could do the whole cup. For lunchboxes, I divide the container into two smaller tupperware-type containers and get 2 days out of it.

33. Orgran Blueberry Cereal Bar
In speaking with the company (Orgran), this cereal bar is one of four products they have with *possible* soy cross-contamination issues. I do not give this to my son (who is GFCFSF for SPD reasons), but I do give this to my NT daughter on a 4-day rotation; she tested mildly sensitive to soy on an IgG test.

34. Ener-G cinnamon crackers
These are really yummy, I think, and my son agrees. I get these on Allergy Grocer. For Christmas last year, I melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips and dipped each side of the cracker into the chocolate then froze them. That was one of our desserts.

35. Ener-G Seattle crackers
These also are available on Allergy Grocer. They're kind of like a Wheat Thin cracker. Hearty/savory, not sweet. Back in our egg days, my son liked these with a slice of hard boiled egg on top. You could also spread a nut butter on it, or a slice of GFCFSF cheese (Galaxy brand). They're good plain too.

36. Sharkies Organic Energy Fruit ChewsThese are great, I think. Not the most healthy things in the world, although not *un*healthy either. These are organic gummy-type fruit chews in the shape of sharks. They have a few different flavors. I think they are great to have in the car or to slip into your purse or take to the park. This is our "after-swimming-lesson" and "after-OT" snack. They're available on Allergy Grocer or on Amazon.

37. Zanzibar Cake (Namaste Spice Cake)
I now call this "Zanzibar Cake" after making this for "Africa Week" at my kids' summer camp. (Zanzibar is known as The Spice Island.) It's just Namaste Spice Cake. I like to make this in mini muffin tins so that I can freeze them and have them ready for future breakfasts and snacks. You can also add carrot baby food to these (or shredded carrot) to add some nutrition. The recipe calls for 3 eggs. We don't do eggs anymore, and I've heard that you should only use egg replacer for 2 eggs. So because I don't know how to do the 3 eggs, I just divide the bag into two portions. Cut all the ingredients in half and just make half the recipe (ie, 1 1/2 eggs to replace); put the other half of the mix in a ziploc bag (don't forget the directions) and save it for another day.

38. Dalmatian pudding
My kids had a Fire Prevention week at summer camp this year, and one of the snacks was vanilla pudding with chocolate chips, which they called "Dalmatian Pudding." I didn't have vanilla pudding so I did an inverse Dalmatian -- Oetker Organic Chocolate Pudding with Elyon's mini marshmallows.

39. Chocolate-drizzled pretzels
If your child is into animals like my son is, call these "Zebra Pretzels." This is easy, just drizzle some melted Enjoy Life chocolate chipsonto some Ener-G Wylde Pretzels and freeze.

40. Orgran Outback Animals
These are my new favorite find. They are available on Allergy Grocer or Amazon. They come in vanilla and chocolate, and they are Australian animal crackers, in the shape of koalas and wombats and such. My kids love these. These are great to have on hand for when NON-GFCFSF kids come over, or to take to a party. I brought them in for my son as a snack, and the summer school director sampled them and wanted them for "Australia Week" at camp. So I got 10 boxes or so, and ALL the kids at camp (100 or so kids, all NOT GFCFSF) ate them for snack. (Yes, that was the happiest day of my summer because I didn't have to plan ahead for a separate snack for my kids!)

41. Orgran CrispiBites crackers with or without nut butter
Another Orgran find for me this summer, these are corn-based crispy crackers. Very airy and light and crispy. They remind me a bit of styrofoam, but my son likes them, so I'm cool with it! I spread nut butter on them and top with another CrispiBite to make a little "sandwich."

42. Today's Farm freeze-dried fruit snacks
I got some free samples of these from the owner, Rusty Justus, after I inquired about their GFCFSF status. They are freeze-dried strawberries or apples, and Rusty is planning other fruits in the future. They are really yummy (and, yes, they are GFCFSF with no cross-contamination). They are very crispy/crunchy and would be a nice addition to cereal or trail mix-type things. Note: The strawberry version is JUST freeze-dried strawberries, but the apple-cinnamon has some sugar in it too.

43. Smoothie
This one would be harder to do as a portable-bring-to-school snack (although you could use a thermos). But smoothies are great. Just blend up some frozen fruit of your choice (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries), a banana, some milk substitute (coconut milk is good), and some agave nectar (optional). The frozen fruit makes it cold. You can throw in some protein powder of your choice too, or some nut butter, to add protein.

44. Wellshire Farms turkey ham steak cut into cubes (hot or cold)
Both my kids (and hubbie and I) really like this turkey ham steak. It's pre-cooked so you just need to heat it up. Cut it into cubes and serve with Zoo Sticks.

45. Indian Pappadums
I found these at our Whole Foods (they were new there), and it looks like they have some on Amazon too. They are made from lentils. I fried mine, and it was pretty cool. Get the oil really hot, then drop one in, and it puffs up right away. Takes only a few minutes to make a bunch of them. They're big and cool-looking too. You can fit a few in a storage-sized ziploc bag. Eat by themselves or dip into hummus or anything else. These would be good crumbled and on salad like a crouton too, I think.

46. Homemade popsicles
A very basic summertime snack is homemade popsicles. Get a cheap popsicle mold anywhere. Fill with juice, juice + coconut milk, juice + water, chocolate hemp milk, or even GFCFSF ice cream and freeze. Yummy!

47. Kettle Valley Fruit Snacks
I got these on sale on Allergy Grocer; Amazon has them too. We've only tried the Wildberry version, but it looks like they have others. One full apple in each stick. These are thicker and chunkier than other fruit leathers, but I like them. Most importantly, my kids like them. This is actually the first fruit leather my son has ever eaten. He has some sensory food issues, but I've learned that he likes it when I take the stick out of the wrapper then wrapp the wrapper around the bottom of the stick and secure it with a paperclip. So he holds it by the wrapper at the bottom.

48. Ants on a log
This is a pretty basic one, sorry. Cut some short pieces of celery. Put nut butter in the hollow part, then line up some raisins on the nut butter. Looks like ants on a log. Note: Your kids might enjoy participating in making this one!

49. Applegate Farms hot dogs
We really like the "Great American Hot Dog" in the blue package. No nitrates. Organic. Grass-fed beef. (Click HERE.) Put them in a thermos and serve with Zoo Sticks.

50. Nut/seed mix (or Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Trail Mixmix)
If your child can have nuts and/or seeds, it's easy enough to make your own mixed nuts. Buy a few different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and parcel them out into little snack baggies. Keep them in the pantry, and you're good to go! Easy to throw in your purse for on-the-go snacking. And if you can't do nuts, Enjoy Life makes a no-nuts trail mix available on Allergy Grocer or Amazon.

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DISCLAIMER. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I'm just a mom who has been implementing the GFCF diet since October 2007 (and soy-free about 5 weeks thereafter). Please do not rely upon my blog as your sole source of information or advice. I only offer my personal experiences for your consideration and can not be held responsible for any adverse reaction or experience you or your child may have should you choose to try something I have tried. Remember that every child is unique, and what works for mine may not work for yours.