Celiac disease: Healthy gluten-free snacks

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Balanced snacks are a healthy and nutritious part of a gluten-free diet. Discover how to choose naturally gluten-free foods, practise mindful eating and plan ahead to support healthy snacking. 

Key points

  • Healthy gluten-free snacks provide nutrients that support your child’s health and development and help keep energy levels up. 
  • Offer a variety of naturally gluten-free foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and dairy products. 
  • Encourage your child to practise mindful eating. 
  • Include your child when planning and preparing gluten-free snacks.

Balanced snacks are a healthy and nutritious part of a gluten-free diet. Choosing naturally gluten-free foods and planning ahead can help you build delicious and satisfying snacks for your child with celiac disease. 

Why healthy snacks are an important part of the gluten-free diet

Healthy gluten-free snacks:

  • can help keep your child’s energy levels up
  • provide vitamins and minerals your child needs for growth and good health
  • can satisfy hunger between meals

How to practise healthy snacking

Choose a variety of naturally gluten-free foods

Choosing a variety of naturally gluten-free foods such as vegetables and fruits, gluten-free whole grains and protein foods can make for a balanced snack. It can also help your child meet their intake of important nutrients such as fibre, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.

Packaged gluten-free snacks such as granola bars, pretzels and cookies may offer convenience but can be costly and high in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt.

Practise mindful eating

Mindful eating means focusing on and enjoying foods without distraction. Encourage your child to eat slowly and listen to their body’s hunger and fullness cues. Limit distractions such as television, toys or screens during snack time that can get in the way of your child’s ability to listen to their body. Practising mindful eating when snacking can also help your child develop positive relationships with food.

Plan and prepare snacks ahead of time

When planning out your family’s week, consider what snacks to include and add them to your grocery list. Involve your child by asking what snacks they would like to include with their school lunches or after school.

Make healthy snack choices easy by preparing naturally gluten-free foods in advance. Encourage your child to help by including them in age-appropriate kitchen activities. The following are some ideas for preparing healthy snack options in advance:

  • Chop vegetables and store them in water in a clear container in the fridge to keep them fresh and easily accessible.
  • Make a large batch of crunchy oven-roasted chickpeas.
  • Make homemade dips using Greek yogurt.
  • Bake gluten-free oats with nuts for a homemade granola that can be used to make snacks such as yogurt parfait.

More gluten-free snack ideas: 

  • canned tuna with gluten-free crackers
  • gluten-free puffed quinoa cereal with gluten-free granola on sliced fruits or berries
  • cheese slices with gluten-free rice crackers
  • apple slices with peanut butter
  • gluten-free corn tortilla chips with salsa or smashed avocado
  • turkey pinwheels with cheese and spinach in a gluten-free corn tortilla
  • hard-boiled egg with chopped raw vegetables such as carrots sticks or cucumber coins
  • fruit smoothie with added silken tofu or hemp hearts
  • homemade energy bites with gluten-free quinoa flakes or rolled oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, ground flaxseed and chocolate chips
  • chia pudding with strawberries
  • broccoli and baby cucumbers with a homemade Greek yogurt ranch dip
  • homemade trail mix with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds and dried raisins
  • cottage cheese with peach slices
  • gluten-free banana bread with almond butter
  • a handful of walnuts with pear slices
  • fruit salad with cherries, melon, clementine slices and yogurt
  • edamame and snap peas
  • frozen Greek yogurt with figs and honey
  • baked egg muffin cups with tomato, red pepper, onion, spinach and cheese
  • cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese strings
Last updated: May 7th 2024