Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gluten-Free Vegan Snacks THEY LOVE

I have been asked by several other health minded mommies if I would share the snack menu I use with my kids. The Gluten-Free, Red Dye Free, Vegetarian concept can be done- it just requires a little more pre-planning and the constant reading of labels. Trader Joe's, Costco and Whole Foods are regular stops for me.

We have three little foodies who are fairly critical of new things. When we experiment with a new recipe or buy a new product I get plenty of feedback. Some good, some not so good, and some that are an outright NO WAY! The kids enjoy it when I serve them snacks in little dixie cups- the kind you use for mouthwash. The novelty of that cup allows me to give them things they may not try otherwise- the cup of snacks is cool so they go for it.

The following snacks are all time favorites here at the Silly Slutskys. Our daily snack menu always includes fresh fruit and veggies ad naseum- it goes without really saying that bananas, berries, kiwi, clementines and mango hunks are crowd pleasers. We also have just started putting out a small serving dish of fresh veggies and dip. The kids love being able to just help themselves and I find that they graze on stuff at will. If they ate the whole platter so be it- if not we just recycle the items for later.

Some of these snacks are pre-packaged as shown and are ideal to keep in the van or a backpack for on the go consumption. We also have ziplocs with raisins, nuts, and dried fruits that I pack myself after buying them in bulk. I will link the products to the company website when available, so double click the purple food choice for all the good stuff you want-need to know.
These are Mrs Mays Trio bars- made from fruits, nuts and seeds- like a granola bar but way nuttier- it takes the kids forever eat a whole one, which sometimes is a good thing.Crackers and Hummus are messy but good, especially with Mary's Gone Crackers which have no added oils or fats and are organic as well as gluten free! Right now Costco has a two pack box for less than the price of one bag elsewhere. These crunchy freeze dried Asian Pears and The Fuji Apples are addictive. They are from Brothers All Natural foods and have 40 calories, no fat and an amazing satisfying snap to them- also at Costco for buying in bulk!Another fruity Costco snack are these tasty fruit leathers by Stretch Island Fruit. These are chewy, sweet and take up very little space in the diaper bag or car.Cherry Pie and Apple Pie Lara Bars are a gluten free cookie bar that are made from dried fruit and ground nuts- The Cherry Pie Bar tastes like a slice of tart cherry pie, I swear! All the varieties of Pirate Booty are delicious. The veggie booty has spinach and kale, and the others are equally snack worthy.
This summer my tomatoes went wild- the cherry tomatoes could not be harvested often enough, so my salsa became a regular offering. I use the fresh tomatoes, crushed cilantro and garlic from DOROT (in the freezer section at Trader Joes), Lemon or lime zest and juice, chopped vidalia onion, minced jalepenos and crushed red pepper flakes.
The kids have become little dippers and this salsa is how it all got started. We serve it with the Riceworks Salsa Fresca Rice Chips (triangle chips as they are called round here) or blue corn chips- (circle chips). Any gluten free chip will do!


Bon Appetit!

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