Nowadays, more and more families are making the switch to a gluten free lifestyle. As a growing amount of research finds that a gluten free diet can be very beneficial to your health, parents are having their children switch to a diet that avoids gluten as much as possible. For children with a gluten deficiency, even a morsel of gluten in their diet can spell trouble. A new diagnosis called gluten sensitivity is given to an individual who has the physical symptoms of celiac but none of the intestinal injury, or antibodies against gluten. According to the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral, it's estimated that as many as 6 percent of the population has a gluten sensitivity without even being aware of it. For many parents with children who suffer from debilitating stomach issues, changing their diet to a gluten free one has proven to work like a charm. At PBH, we pride ourselves on providing all our customers with some outstanding gluten free desserts!
One thing is for sure, it can be quite difficult as a parent to find foods that are gluten free and that your children will also enjoy. For children that must follow a gluten free diet, any normal event can mean feeling left out and settling for lunch at home. Whether it is a birthday party, holiday, sleepover, or field trip, being gluten free can be tricky for these kids. As a parent, you want your kid to feel like they are just everyone else, but just a little more special. The following recipes are amazing gluten free lunch and snack ideas for kids!
To begin with, I have a personal favorite that I know any child will be happy to indulge in. This gluten-free mac and cheese recipe will have any child licking their fingers and smiling from ear to ear. All you need is a few wholesome ingredients, and of course, a pinch of love.
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add your favorite kind of gluten-free macaroni, a tablespoon of coconut oil and allow to boil for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The coconut oil should help to keep the gluten free pasta from sticking together.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt a stick of butter in a skillet over medium to low heat. Once your butter is melted, sprinkle about ¼ cup of rice flour on top of the butter, and whisk vigorously to combine. After a minute, add a cup of milk (or cashew milk) to your mixture and continue whisking, for about 8 minutes. Add salt to your sauce to taste.
- Drain your pasta and add it to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta and add 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Gently stir everything to combine. If you are too rough, your gluten free macaroni can become somewhat of a mushy texture.
- Finally, pour your mac and cheese into a well greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle a cup or more of Parmesan cheese on top of the macaroni and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until your cheese is melted and bubbly.
This scrumptious gluten-free mac and cheese can be warmed up and placed inside a thermal container for your child to enjoy at school, or at a playdate with friends. This gluten-free mac and cheese recipe is also very flexible. You are welcome to let your creative juices flow by adding in some chicken, or your favorite green veggies. This can be the birth of an epic gluten-free mac and cheese dish to serve at a dinner, or bring with you to a potluck gathering.
For the next gluten-free recipe, I will be sharing another wonderful, kid friendly favorite: chicken tenders. This chicken tender recipe is so full of flavor, and is easy to pack into a lunch box with some Heinz gluten-free ketchup. If your kiddos are on the younger side, you can even cut chicken pieces into nugget shapes. Before you begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit!
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, this will stop the chicken tender cracker crumbs from getting soft on the bottom. Add a box of Lance Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers to a small zip bag, close it, and crush them gently with a rolling pin into small pieces. You don't want to turn them into dust so go easy.
- Beat 2 large eggs in a large wide bowl with a teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix the gluten free cheese cracker crumbs with ¼ of a cup of parmesan cheese and place them onto a bowl.
- Use one hand to dip a chicken tender in the egg mixture, then place it gently into the cracker crumbs. Dry your hands, and press cracker crumbs firmly onto the surface of the chicken. If you do not dry your hands, the cracker crumbs will stick to your hands rather than the chicken tenders.
- Place your chicken tenders on your sheet pan, and add a wire rack if you have one at home. Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and fully cooked through with an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit.
I was able to find this mouth-watering recipe on Noshtastic, an insightful blog for families who are sticking to healthy eating. This recipe is very simple to make, and can be a fun family activity to do together on Sunday, before the week begins. Meal prepping is an excellent way to make sure that your kids are not exposed to gluten filled snacks.
The toughest part about having your kids stick to a gluten free diet is that they have to constantly see other kids enjoying a variety of desserts and sweets. Many schools encourage parents to bring cupcakes, candy, donuts, and more, during events and birthday celebrations at school. Here at PBH we have the perfect solution for this issue. If you head to our website you will be able to review our amazing selection of gluten-free goodies. From gluten free Cinnamon Rolls to gluten free Everything Bagels, we are experts in gluten free baking. At PBH, we are here to make sure that your child with a celiac sensitivity can still enjoy a couple of gluten free donuts, or gluten free cookies. There won’t be any need to worry about a stomach ache, or a bad reaction to our sweet treats. All our gluten-free donuts are made using almond flour, or coconut flour, which are both gluten free. I recommend ordering a box of our yummy gluten free Walnut Brownies, they are a huge hit among all our youngest customers.
Next time you are preparing some healthy gluten free lunches for your kids, don’t forget to slip in one of our individually wrapped gluten free PBH goodies. Enjoy these amazing recipes, and don’t forget to let us know what you think of our gluten free sweets!