Individually wrapped gluten-free snacks?


DeAnne

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I am trying to keep my 9-year old gluten free this year at school, and I need some individually wrapped snacks that I can send to school that they can keep for when an unexpected snack time (someone brings in cupcakes, etc) occurs. I send food other times, but I really want some backup food for him that is wrapped in individual servings and will keep for a while. I can't seem to find anything like that anywhere - any suggestions?

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Larabars and individual servings of dried fruit are probably your best bet. Most other prepackaged GF snacks are just crap that doesn't contain gluten, but still crap. In fact, sometimes they are worse than their gluteny counterparts given the things they do to make them "palatable". Freeze dried fruit (like Just Tomatoes brand items) sometimes has a little more fun factor than raisins or dried apples, and has no added sugar unlike most brands of cranberrries.

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Do they have to be individual servings? I understand that for a kiddo, it's Likely really important to him that his stuff seems less "weird". There are some individually wrapped GF brownies, and some packaged cupcakes. They are full of weird Ingred as mentioned, but sometimes it takes baby steps. If at all possible, learn to bake GF. Elanaspantry.com has great recipes, all super easy, and a couple cookbooks on the market.

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I agree that much of the time, for our kiddos, having tuna and celery for lunch is weird enough to draw attention. While I agree that they need a solid basis of understanding of what an everyday diet consists of, I think it's important that we teach them when it's appropriate to make a different choice as well. I would agree that times like this (birthday cupcakes, etc) are entirely appropriate (isn't that when we, as adults, generally choose to splurge?).

If you have any advance warning, I would agree with the baking suggestion. Then you have a little more control over the ingredients. There are also several decent GF cookie options (with all pronounceable ingredients) available. Schaar is one of our go to brands for that kind of thing.

For shorter notice, I have seen pre-packaged cookies in the natural section of our local HyVee store, but I imagine an Amazon or Google search would turn up a few options.

Hope that helps!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree that much of the time, for our kiddos, having tuna and celery for lunch is weird enough to draw attention.

Robin - I agree some foods might seem weird enough to draw attention to kids when they are eating with their friends in a school setting. The thing that I have noticed though - when the kids choose the food, it doesn't seem as weird or unsettling if other kids think it's odd. It's much different than having their strange Mom force them to have it. I have to make 3 school lunches at least 4 days a week. I ask my kids every afternoon what they want the next day. My 4 year-old started back to school last week and has asked for chicken caesar salad for 3 out of 7 days. Another day was salami and a cheese stick, plus veggies and fruit. The rest were PB and honey sandwiches plus veggies and fruit. I couldn't be more thrilled that he CHOSE the salad so many times. His 6 yr old sister asks for chicken caesar salad or shrimp cocktail frequently. I have been trying to make subtle changes to their diet all year, but now they are beginning to ASK for the foods I want them to have because they LIKE them. My 8 yr old is making progress too. They think it is fun to bring different lunches than their friends. It's almost a badge of honor to have the weirdest lunch. :)

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It's almost a badge of honor to have the weirdest lunch. :)

Isn't it awesome!? Plus, it makes you feel good as a parent for a) choosing great foods, and 2) teaching your kiddos how to choose great foods. My girls went back to preschool last week, and the school director asked me to circle the foods on the monthly menu that they COULD have. There were approximately 5 things. And those were conditional. My girls have had a different meal each school day (they go 3x/week) and have had a rainbow assortment of snacks. I'm pretty sure their Cara Cara oranges trumped the group's Cheerios and milk.

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Ugh. We are on day 6 of our Whole30, and my son burst into tears when he got into the car after school today. They were given chocolate cupcakes at school. He didn't eat one, but the kids around him did, and they went on about how good they were. I am SO MAD that the teacher gave them cupcakes! I'm trying to figure out how to handle it, but I think one thing I should be doing is sending alternative treats for him. A Larabar is a great idea.

My son has asthma, and I really want him to do the whole30 so we can see if we can figure out what food might be triggering the asthma. He's doing it, but he HATES it.

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Ugh. We are on day 6 of our Whole30, and my son burst into tears when he got into the car after school today. They were given chocolate cupcakes at school. He didn't eat one, but the kids around him did, and they went on about how good they were. I am SO MAD that the teacher gave them cupcakes! I'm trying to figure out how to handle it, but I think one thing I should be doing is sending alternative treats for him. A Larabar is a great idea.

My son has asthma, and I really want him to do the whole30 so we can see if we can figure out what food might be triggering the asthma. He's doing it, but he HATES it.

Moms (and Dads) hurt when their kid hurts. I'm so sorry for the bad experience.

A student in my daughter's class has a dairy allergy/ intolerance and the teacher said she has alternate snacks for the student. I asked about the allergies before sending in frozen strawberry fruit and juice bars for my daughter's birthday treat at school. Since she was going to have birthday cake at her party, I told my daughter we should send in a treat all her friends could have. My son's class has someone with a nut allergy so they will probably get ice cream for his birthday.

Now if my kids were doing a Whole30 and I wanted to send in a compliant treat for the class I am not sure what I would do. Fruit kabobs are fun. Dried cinnamon apples have been a hit with my children and their friends. Organic fruit leathers are another choice. How old is your son?

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He's 8, in third grade. I mentioned larabars as an option and he nixed it because he doesn't really like nuts. A fruit kabob would work if I knew ahead of time, but we usually have no warning, so we need to send packaged things that can be stored for a while. He does love fruit, though.

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Could your daughter have access to a microwave?

If so, Pamela's makes individual packets of brownie mix that requires 2 T of oil and water mix and pop in the microwave for a minute and she could have a warm gooey brownie. Not health food, but if it for when other kids are having cupcakes or other goodies.....

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He's 8, in third grade. I mentioned larabars as an option and he nixed it because he doesn't really like nuts. A fruit kabob would work if I knew ahead of time, but we usually have no warning, so we need to send packaged things that can be stored for a while. He does love fruit, though.

Darien - I have a 3rd grade son too. :)

Since you want stuff you can leave at school with your son's teacher, here are a few suggestions:

Trader Joes has Organic Strawberry or Apricot fruit leathers. 59 cents each and the Strawberry ingredient list is short - dried fruit from fresh pulp (apple, strawberry, plum and black currant), ascorbic acid (vitamin C),

Clif Kid Twisted Ropes have a longer ingredient list because it looks like more vitamins are added. My kids like them.

http://www.amazon.co...&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

They are pricey, but freeze dried fruit is something my kids like from time to time too. I think they have them at Costco sometimes in individual bags or you can order online. My kids love apple the best, although the freeze dried mango at TJ's is a particular favorite with my kids. Almost $3 for a bigger bag and my 3 kids can split one and finish it in just a few minutes. They get so excited when I open a bag!

These bags of dried fruit are very small (I think about 40 calories per bag), so it would probably take two or three to make your third grader happy. I really want to get some of these for my kids school lunches. I am seriously thinking about asking Santa to bring a big box of them for Christmas!

Apple

http://www.amazon.co...d_sim_sbs_hpc_4

Variety pack

http://www.amazon.co...l-Natural%C2%AE

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I have an 8 year old son as well. We homeschool, so this is not an issue with school per se, but I was trying to think of what I'd do if it was. Does the school have a freezer space they could store a treat in? Because I was thinking homemade ice cream might be perfect. You can make it with just coconut milk and bananas and/or berries and it can be stored in a small jelly jar in the freezer, which would be about right for a single serving. We have a Donvier Ice Cream Maker which is really, really easy to use.

I hate feeling like the meanest mom in the world every time I say "no" to a store clerk offering my kids a lollipop. On the one hand, I feel good about it, because I *know* it's the right thing to do. But I still feel bad because I don't think the kids totally understand why I do it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whatever you choose to send, be sure the teacher understands that you expect your snack to be made available to your child on those special occasions, and under no circumstances is your child to get what everyone else is eating. When my twins were in elementary school, the teacher refused to acknowledge that they had celiac disease and absolutely could NOT eat food with gluten. Anytime there was a birthday party, she'd give my kids the cupcakes. When my daughter argued that she wasn't allowed to eat them, the teacher said it would make the birthday child feel bad and that it was a group activity and all the kids had to eat the same thing. I was livid and kept fighting it, getting the kids doctor and principal involved, but the teacher insisted that I was just a "helicopter parent," so she ignored all arguments to the contrary. The situation wasn't resolved until I pulled the kids out of school and homeschooled for the next seven years.

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Oo, ladies, try some of these recipes, I am wrapping them in foil and sending them to school with my kid as cakes or cookies. They do have coconut flour and honey, but that is the worst of it. I think they are good snacks. Please let me know what you think!

http://cigarettesandmeltedchocolate.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/healthy-baking-for-kids-with-real-whole-foods/

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