Last night, on our way home from dance, Paprika said, "I am starving! Mom, do you have a snack?" The best I could offer was a gluten free granola bar that had been smashed into oblivion from riding around in my purse for who knows how long. At least it was something.
Being gluten free requires you to be prepared. Usually, I am prepared, but I guess I let the ball slip on that one a little. Sarah recently wrote and asked about snacks, so I thought I would share some ideas with you. Please, if anyone out there has some new ideas, share!! We would all love to hear them!
First of all, when dealing with snacks, remember fruits and veggies are naturally gluten free. I try to have apples, bananas, pears, or celery and carrots on hand. I also use a dehydrator to make apple, pear, and banana chips. I occasionally buy dried fruit like mangoes or apricots from Costco. I also buy fruit cups and applesauce cups for quick travel-ready snacks. Raisins are also good plain or in a homemade trail mix. I keep trail mix in a air tight container in the cupboard. You could also put them in snack bags ready to go if you have younger children.
If you are not dairy free (I am the only one dairy free in this house), cheese sticks are great. We have found the most cost effective way to purchase string cheese is through Costco. Cheese and crackers are another friendly snack. Other dairy snack ideas could include yogurt or snack pudding cups. I buy all of these at Costco. The cheese is about 20 cents a stick, the yogurt is 46 cents each, and the pudding is about 20 cents each.
Lately, my kids have been munching on popcorn which is inexpensive! Sometimes I will buy the microwave kind, but lately we have just been popping it ourselves. Some snacks we tend to eat in phases. A few months ago it was Chex mix. I make it using Glutino Pretzels and Earth Balance Butter. Just make sure your Worcestershire Sauce is GF. A few months before that, it was muffins. I bake muffins and keep them in the freezer. They are a great accompaniment to a cup of tea; or so I hear.
Eating snacks when you are at home can be easy enough, but what about when you are out and about.
What about on the go? Well, if you are prepared, any and all of the above can go with you. What about when you are not prepared? I have a gallon ziplock bag in each car, except the one I drove last night, that is filled with snacks. That little problem will be alleviated soon. I fill it with snacks like fruit snacks, granola bars, nuts, and fruit bars. We also never leave the house without a reusable water bottle. Snacks and water can save you having to buy a quick convenient munchie or drink which is usually quite expensive!
Here is a look at the contents of my new snack bag ready for the car!
Larabars: These can be a little more expensive at about a dollar a piece, but they are very filling and come in a variety of flavors like Gingersnap, Blueberry Muffin or Pecan Pie. My favorite is Cherry Pie. They are made with nuts, so beware if you have nut allergies.
Trio Bars: These are also made with nuts. I found them at Costco. The pack has four varieties: Strawberry, Tropical, Blueberry, and Cranberry.
Envirokids Bars on hand. Cinnamon also likes the Nature Valley Almond Crunch bars.
Stretch Island Fruit Strips: These are like fruit leather and come in a lot of varieties. This is one of Cinnamon's favorite snacks. I purchase these at Costco.
I also occasionally add other snacks like packs of almonds and peanuts or even trail mix. I guess the best way to be financially savvy when it comes to snacks is to be prepared. It is cheaper than the alternative!