Gluten-Free Breakfast Foods for Kids
Breakfast continues to be most important meal of the day. Children need to go to school with healthy food in their stomachs to help them pay attention and do well.
Busy households need easy-to-prepare breakfast items that will be eaten without too much squabble. When my picky daughter was put on a gluten-free diet, my husband and I groaned, thinking, "No bagels, no cereal, no muffins . . . what will we do? What can we get this child to eat?"
After a few bumpy mornings with gluten-free duds, we found some options that she likes and that fit our quick morning routine!
Ideas and Product Reviews
Simple to make and full of vitamin C and other nutrients, fruit smoothies are great morning options for those avoiding gluten. Just mix strawberries, bananas, gluten-free yogurt and some orange juice in the blender for a delicious healthy beverage.
Most cereals are made with oats or wheat. Chex Apple Cinnamon, my daughter's favorite, is made with whole grain rice and has no artificial favors or colors. Chex cereal comes in six gluten-free varieties. The Apple Cinnamon is sweet tasting, but only has 8 grams of sugar—not bad for a kids' cereal.
King Arthur's Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
Finding gluten-free breads and muffins that taste good is a bit of a challenge. The absence of gluten usually leaves the texture of these items a bit grainy. This particular muffin mix pleasantly surprised my whole family. It consists of rice and tapioca flours and is manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Providing 12% of daily recommended dietary fiber (not including your add-ins), these muffins are healthy and delicious. Plus, you can add in your own ingredients like raisins, chocolate chips, nuts or berries. Make it the night before, so it is ready for your busy morning.
Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free Chocolate Donuts
Frozen in a box, these donuts are no comparison to Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but for a kid who wants a special breakfast treat every now and then, it is a good option. Just pop the donut in the microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy! Caution—overcooking is not recommended. Be sure to serve it with yogurt or a fruit smoothie for added nutrition. This particular brand of donuts is found at Whole Foods in the freezer section.
Maple Grove Farms Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
We have been making waffles using Maple Grove Farms natural mix for years. I was so excited to find the gluten-free version. It tastes slightly inferior, but not too different than the regular mix. I find the waffles a bit quicker to make on school mornings than pancakes, but both are good breakfast options. Leftover pancakes and waffles wrapped and stored in the refrigerator reheat nicely in the microwave too. Be sure to use pure maple syrup as many other varieties contain gluten used as a thickening agent.
Van's Gluten-Free Waffles
If you are short on time, Van's frozen waffles are a good option. They come out of the toaster crunchy, not soggy. Though not quite as sweet as the traditional Kellogg's Eggo waffle, the flavor is good and the consistency is excellent. If shopping for this product in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, make sure you pay attention to the package. There are several varieties, but not all are gluten-free.
Homemade Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Another family favorite in my house is homemade banana chocolate chip bread. Made using gluten-free flour, it is a delicious breakfast item we can all eat.