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Quick Snacks
Implementing a Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Diet

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Often the most difficult task is finding something to send in a school lunch or to hand a child for a quick, yet nutritious and delicious snack. Here are a few easy (and inexpensive) suggestions:

PUDDING: It isn't terribly difficult or time-consuming to make homemade pudding. Almost any pudding recipe can be adapted by using a gfcf milk substitute. My cookbook contains a recipe for chocolate tofu pudding--a nutritious alternative. Or see my recipe for vanilla pudding on the "recipe" page of this web site. We especially like tapioca pudding made according to directions on Minute Tapioca. For a special treat, we add a touch of peppermint flavor and some green food coloring. Just prior to serving, we stir in some gfcf chocolate chips or grated unsweetened chocolate. Place some in a small plastic container to send in a school lunch!

POPCORN: Make it in an air popper, on the stove, or in the microwave. Just make sure it's the dairy-free, "natural" variety. If you're adding "butter flavor," use gfcf margarine such as Fleishmann's Unsalted, or Willow Run Soy Margarine. Salt is fine, too!

FRUIT: For added interest, try dipping a banana in gfcf chocolate sauce (such as Hershey's), or spreading peanut or soy butter on apple slices. (Make a "smile" with two apple slices, sandwiching peanut butter and mini marshmallows between them!) Marshmallow Fluff makes a sweet addition to any fruit, too! Raisins are also a good choice (just check the label to make sure the manufacturer doesn't add flour to keep the raisins from sticking together). **If a child has trouble with yeast, he or she may not be able to tolerate much fresh fruit or fruit juices. Some fruits such as bananas, apples, and citrus, can cause similar symptoms to gluten and casein consumption in people with these sensitivities.

APPLESAUCE: Serve cold or warm, topped with cinnamon for added flavor.

VEGGIES: Yes, even these can make a delicious snack! Mini/baby carrots, celery topped with peanut butter, raw broccoli or cauliflower, tomato slices...be creative! Since many kids don't particularly like vegetables, you can try dipping them in a gfcf cream cheese or sour cream, or encourage them to eat a couple of bites of a vegetable before they get a sweet treat.

CHIPS: The majority of corn chips (either tortilla chips, or Fritos variety) are acceptable, as are potato chips. Just avoid flavors such as cheddar and barbecue, and remember to READ LABELS FIRST!

BOILED EGG: It seems an unlikely snack, but it's packed with protein and other nutrients. Place eggs in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, or refrigerate before serving. Add a dash of salt if desired after peeling. **Deviled eggs can be made by removing the yolk, mixing it with gfcf mayonnaise (such as Kraft regular or Hellmann's), and putting it back in the egg white.

NUTS: **Use this snack with caution, since many nuts are common allergens and/or can cause choking.
Walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, and others are nutritious nibbles! **Although not truly a "nut," roasted soy beans (or "soy nuts") are probably some of the healthiest around!

TRAIL MIX: Have your child help you put together a fun mix of gfcf treats such as gfcf pretzels, nuts (if tolerated), gfcf cereal, raisins, gfcf chocolate pieces, etc. to nibble on.

"YOGURT": There are a couple of delicious kinds of gfcf yogurt available (soy-based). One is made by Silk, the other by Stonyfield Farm (O'Soy)**although this latter one states that it "may contain traces of milk," so USE WITH CAUTION. My kids enjoy snacking on these at home or in their school lunch. Check your local health food store to see if they carry these.

MUFFINS: We eat a lot of muffins. They are easy to make, freeze well, and are a quick addition to any meal (including a school lunch!). Often I make a batch early in the morning, providing a nice addition to our cereal for breakfast, and a fresh treat in the boys' lunches. Leftovers are frozen for future use (when I don't feel like baking!) My cookbook contains all of our favorite muffin recipes, including Banana, Molasses Bran, Cinnamon, and Quinoa (similar to oatmeal). Quick breads are also included, such as Orange Blueberry, Pear, Banana, Pumpkin, and Cinnamon.

FROZEN TREATS: We enjoy sorbet and gfcf ice cream. Check the gfcfdiet.com web site to see if your favorite sorbet is acceptable. Our favorite ice cream alternative is Soy Delicious, available in several wonderful flavors, including Chocolate Velvet, Mint Marble Fudge, Peanut Butter, and Vanilla. You'll never miss "regular" ice cream again! Try topping a warm brownie with ice cream. It's delicious! (There is a brownie recipe in my cookbook).

See my cookbook for easy-to-make, delicious cookies, bars, breads, muffins, and other snacks. My cookbook also includes name brands of acceptable gfcf pretzels, crackers, Gummy Bears, chocolates, etc. that work well as snacks and treats. If you have additional suggestions, please contact me and I'll continue to add to this list!

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