Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Days, the Gluten-Free Way

The calendar has turned over to May, and that means summer is not far behind! With the heat of June, July and August comes summer break for our kiddos, and what a fun time that can be. But, all those warm-weather activities can sometimes be a challenge for gluten-free kids (and parents!).

At the pool, the park, camp or wherever, two things are a near constant for children in the summertime: snacks and sunlight! Swimming can make you hungry, the park was made for picnics and the hot sun is not usually something you can escape if you’re enjoying outdoor activities in the summer.

Luckily, there are so many easy-to-make (and ready-made, too) gluten-free snacks out there, that your child’s summer snacking and sun exposure can be seamless. Here are some gluten-free edibles that are perfect for the hot, on-the-go days of summer:
  •   Fruit leather – A healthy version of the fruit rollups that kids love so much, and go so well with fast-paced summer fun. Learn more here 
  •  Fruit and cheese kabobs – A fun twist on two popular snack foods, with cool visual presentation.
  •  Trail mix – So easy to transport and eat, and the taste possibilities and different combinations are nearly endless.
  • Salsa – What’s more refreshing and filling in the short term, than a homemade salsa paired with gluten-free tortilla chips?!
  •  Homemade gelatin – This stuff is nearly irresistible to kids! Click here for more on this cool, fruity, jiggly treat: 

And of course, these are just the outside-the-box snacks; simple standbys like a fresh apple or crisp carrots can be perfect summer day go-tos!

Like makeup, your favorite coconut-scented sunscreen can be a gluten smuggler, and that can be dangerous. The good news is, gluten-free folks have been blessed with lots of options in recent years. Two of the brands that are confirmed to be gluten free across the board are Coppertone and Up & Up, which you’ll find at Target stores nationwide. My personal favorite is made by Bare Belly Organics, and BONUS - they make bug spray too! 

With a little bit of effort and research, a gluten-free summer can be a hassle-free summer, too! Below are some links with more information about gluten-free snack recipes and sunscreens, to help ensure your family’s summer break is memorable for all the right reasons.

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