Being gluten-free isn't that difficult when you are in the comfort of your own home. However, when it comes to going back to school, things can get a bit complicated. Between work, after-school activities and sports, and homework, it is go, go, go! These tips should help you stay on track (or get back on track) with your gluten-free lifestyle, even after school starts.
Gluten-Free Back to School Tips
Stay healthy. While it's easy to buy pre-packaged snacks, they're usually filled with things that we don't necessarily need to eat (even though they're gluten-free). Stay healthy by keeping a list of gluten-free lunch box ideas by the refrigerator or pantry. Keeping these items on hand will reduce stress and save time while packing gluten-free lunches!
Always be prepared. Ask your child's teacher if they'd be so kind as to keep some gluten-free snacks on hand that you provide for your child. At snack time, or for birthday parties, your kiddo can eat their safe foods while everyone else eats theirs. Just say no to birthday treats, unless they're labeled gluten-free. Having snacks on hand will ensure that your child still participates in all the festivities, and doesn't feel left out - but stays safe.
Plan ahead. My crock pot is my saving grace, especially in the fall. We are so busy, that throwing food into the crock pot in the morning sometimes is the only way we get a decent dinner! Plan ahead by writing out a weekly gluten-free menu for the family, and go shopping on the weekend so you're all stocked up for the week ahead. Using the crock pot will save you time, money, and most of all... stress! Be sure to check out our gluten-free crock pot recipes for ideas!
Another great way to plan ahead is to spend one weekend day cooking meals that can freeze and reheat well. Some of our favorites are:
Think simple. The kids rush home after school, just dying for a snack. Instead of handing over easy junk food, keep it simple: fruit and veggie slices, hummus, and other gluten-free snacks such as:
- Cocoa Rice Treats
- Deviled Eggs
- Veggie Chips - Homemade Zucchini Chips
- Trail Mix
- Gluten-Free Granola Bars
- Gluten-Free Muffins (bake ahead and freeze)
- Fruit Salad
- Homemade Larabars