The idea of reaching for a snack between meals is often met with mixed reviews. While some experts claim that snacking leads to increased calorie consumption, others claim adding a few healthy snacks can actually banish mid-afternoon grogginess and provide much needed fuel to get through active days. Additional noted benefits of snacking include keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day, keeping your metabolism running, helping to prevent overeating during mealtime, and making you feel more alert. The key is to reach for healthy choices to maximize the benefits.
For gluten intolerant folks, however, healthy snacking options could feel limited. A gluten free diet eliminates the protein gluten which is found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. People who have symptoms of celiac disease experience inflammation of the small intestines and severe pains. Most people can find alternatives to gluten dishes for the three main meals but usually have a hard time when it comes to snacking.
We’ve compiled is a list of some gluten free snacks that you and your family might enjoy.
Gluten Free Snack Ideas for the Whole Family
Fruit, veggies, and beans (such as garbanzo beans) are all naturally delicious snacks that are easy to grab and go. Chopped up carrots and celery with quick gluten free dips such as honey mustard, avocado hummus and black bean dip can be easily packed up for those mid-day glums (here is a great list of gluten free dips to choose from). Fresh fruit such as apples, bananas and pears are the ultimate go-to. Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) provide a boost of protein making you feel fuller, longer. You’ll love this Crispy Roasted Chickpeas recipe!
More great ideas for going fresh are to nosh on homemade sweet potato fries, veggie chips, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and homemade trail mix (a mixture of peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, gluten free cereal, and chocolate chips).
Think outside the box
Some more gluten free snack ideas may be something you’ve never tried before. Have you ever tried rice cakes with peanut butter, jello, fruit leather or pickles? Rice cakes are surprisingly filling, low in fat and are easy to jazz up when you top with a nut butter. Jello – either homemade or prepackaged – is a super simple snack that’s also fun. Pickles may often be thought of as a main meal accompaniment, but eaten alone they can be an excellent treat.
Get your protein
High protein snacks have been linked to increased satiety – it takes less to feel satisfied. Some ideas for a high protein snack include: tuna salad wrapped in lettuce, a hard boiled egg, low-sodium beef jerky, cottage cheese, and greek yogurt. You could also pre-make chicken salad, and enjoy it with cut up gluten free bread (toasted), have a handful of almonds, a deli meat rollup or a protein shake.
You may enjoy: Unexpected Benefits of Good Nutrition
Whole grain goodness
According to WebMD.com, “Whole grains are packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.” Needless to say, a whole grain snack is a smart snack!
Three Bakers new Snackers are an excellent choice for a whole grain gluten free snack. Not only are they lower in fat, calories, sugar and salt than their mainstream counterparts, they are gluten free, and delicious, too. Choose from Savory Cheese, Honey Graham, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Learn more about our Snackers here.
Gluten free snacking doesn’t have to be daunting. With a little research and preparation, you’ll be ready to go with healthy choices when tummies start to rumble and afternoon slumps hit.
What are your favorite gluten free snack ideas?