This summer we’ve been enjoying lots of outings, such as the theme park, water park, and the pool at the YMCA. This year, however, preparing for outings takes a little more planning than in years past. My daughter is currently on a gluten-elimination diet until the end of October. That means we can’t eat at the parks or grab snacks at the pool like we’ve done in the past.
This summer, before we head out for the day, I have to prepare our lunches and snacks. There are a handful of restaurants at the theme park that serve gluten-free foods, but I don’t want to risk cross-contamination. The pool and waterpark don’t have gluten-free options.
So, I’ve compiled a list of our favorite gluten-free snack ideas that will be our go-to items this summer. Honestly, though, these ideas will work all year long for any kind of outing or road trip.
Easy Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
For lunches, we’ll do wraps and sandwiches with chips for the kids, and I’ll take a salad. I buy snack-sized boxes of chips for my family. They’re convenient, and easy to take on the road with us. I pull out the gluten-free chips (Lays, Fritos, Cheetos) for Em and me, and I save the others for my boys who aren’t eating gluten-free.
We’ll stock up on fruits and veggies, as well. They’re naturally gluten-free, of course, and good for us. Sometimes, however, we just want a special treat. Here are some of our favorite gluten-free snack ideas and others we can’t wait to try!
Pretzels and chocolate chips – This is one of our favorite pool-side treats. I fill a small container with dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chips. I take the container out of my cooler when we get to the pool, and let them begin to melt in the heat of the sun. By the time we are ready to eat lunch, the chips are melted and ready for us to dip our gluten-free pretzels
Celery or apple slices with peanut butter – We do the same with our peanut butter as we do with our chocolate chips. Dipping celery or apple slices is so yummy. Of course, this would work for pretzels, too.
Frozen Go-Gurt – I don’t buy Go-Gurt very often, but I love them for summer treats. They’re perfect in our lunch boxes. I freeze them, and I put them in the cooler frozen. By the time we’re ready to eat them, they’ve thawed.
Fruit – Grapes (try them frozen!), apples, peaches, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are very convenient lunchbox snacks.
Veggies – We like carrot sticks, celery sticks, and sliced bell peppers with gluten-free dressing to dip them in.
Homemade Pastries and Bars – Granola bars are filling, but store-bought bars are often filled with unnecessary ingredients. I’m excited to make some of these homemade gluten-free strawberry oatmeal bars with my daughter. Or, maybe we’ll try these gluten-free raspberry cream cheese crumble bars. Or, even these homemade gluten-free granola bars.
These peanut butter and jelly bars look scrumptious, too! Yum! If I purchase granola bars, I like to buy KIND bars. They’re a little pricey, but they’re so good and packed full of protein.
Gluten-Free Cookies – Our favorites are the Snickerdoodle cookies from Enjoy Life. I don’t buy them often, but they’re very convenient to have on hand for outings.
If I have time, I prefer to make cookies from scratch (they’re not full of yucky ingredients, and they’re much cheaper.) Here’s a recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies that Em and I are anxious to try. Here’s another chocolate chip cookie recipe we’re looking forward to trying.
Cheese Sticks – I have these on hand for my nephew. My daughter and I are dairy-free, but if you eat dairy, you can’t go wrong with cheese sticks.
Chips – Because I have kids in the house, we keep snack-sized bags of chips on hand for on-the-go eating. Fritos, Cheetos, and Lays are all gluten-free. We save the other chips for the guys in my house who don’t eat gluten-free.
Popcorn – Popcorn is a staple in our house. My son would eat it daily, if I’d let him. We love my husband’s homemade kettle corn, but it can get a little sticky on the road. I recently discovered a fun Healthy Dorito Flavored Popcorn that I can’t wait to try!
Hummus – I love hummus! It’s a perfect dip for the veggie sticks and chips we bring along. I just fill a few lidded plastic containers with hummus, and we’re good to go!
Trail Mix – I like to buy gluten-free dried fruit and mix it with nuts for a homemade trail mix.
Pepperoni and Crackers – I like to make little sandwiches out of pepperoni and crackers. Before going dairy-free, I also added cheese to my little stackers.
Hard-boiled Eggs – This is one of my daughter’s favorite snacks.
Apple Sauce – My daughter likes apple sauce cups, but it’s cheaper to buy a large jar and divide it into lidded containers.
Mini Muffins – When I make a batch of muffins for breakfast, I like to make a second batch of mini muffins for snacking.
All of these snack ideas work for those of you not eating gluten-free, as well.
What is your favorite kid-friendly snack to take on an outing?
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