16 Gluten-Free breakfasts that kids will love
Is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care / GI Care for Kids, whose books on nutrition for parents led him to start Nutrition4Kids with his co-founders.
Gluten-free kids don't have to miss out on the benefits of a healthy breakfast.
Making and enjoying a delicious and nutritious gluten-free breakfasts doesn't have to be a challenge. But it's just as essential for kids who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to have the benefits of a healthy breakfast as for those without those issues. So, here's some quick and tasty gluten-free breakfast options that will keep kids satisfied and energized throughout their morning, providing an energy boost, improve their mood and the ability to perform better at school.
Understanding gluten-free eating
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. For kids with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can lead to digestive problems, discomfort, and other health issues. Therefore, it's crucial to provide them with safe and nutritious gluten-free breakfasts, balanced with the healthy food groups they need (chocolate isn't one of them)
- Fruits and vegetables: Naturally gluten-free and packed with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are an excellent foundation for any gluten-free breakfast. They also serve as an important source of fiber (which can be lacking for some gluten-free eaters).
- Protein: Incorporate lean proteins like eggs, yogurt, and nuts into breakfast to help keep kids feeling full and satisfied.
- Dairy or dairy alternatives: Dairy products like milk and cheese are gluten-free, but some kids with gluten sensitivities may also be lactose intolerant. In such cases, opt for dairy-free alternatives like pea-protein milk or soy yogurt. Almond and other nut milks don't have the protein levels kids need.
- Gluten-free grains: Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten-free grains available, such as rice, quinoa, corn, and oats labeled "gluten-free."
Processed foods: Be cautious with processed foods as they may contain hidden sources of gluten. Always read labels carefully.
Gluten-free breakfast ideas
Now, let's explore some delicious and gluten-free breakfast ideas that kids will enjoy.
- Fruit and yogurt parfait:
Layer dairy or dairy-free yogurt with fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and banana slices. Top with gluten-free granola or chopped nuts for added crunch.
- Omelet with veggies:
Whisk eggs and pour them into a heated, non-stick skillet. Add diced bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach. Cook until set and fold in half for a delicious omelette.
- Gluten-free pancakes:
Make gluten-free pancakes using a mix specifically labeled as gluten-free or create your own with gluten-free flour blends. Serve with pure maple syrup and fresh berries.
- Smoothie bowl:
Blend together frozen fruits, a banana, and dairy or dairy-free yogurt to create a thick smoothie. Pour it into a bowl and top with gluten-free granola, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of honey.
- Peanut butter banana toast:
Spread peanut butter (or another nut or sunflower butter) on gluten-free toast and top with banana slices. A drizzle of honey adds extra sweetness.
- Scrambled eggs and sausage:
Scramble eggs and serve them alongside gluten-free breakfast sausage or bacon. Add a side of sautéed spinach or sliced avocado for extra nutrients.
- Yogurt and fruit parfait:
Layer dairy or dairy-free yogurt with diced peaches, mango, or pineapple. Top with gluten-free granola and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Prepare gluten-free oatmeal by mixing gluten-free oats, almond milk, honey, and your favorite toppings like nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate chips. Bake until firm and golden.
- Rice cakes with cream cheese and berries:
Spread cream cheese on rice cakes and add fresh berries on top. Drizzle with a bit of honey for extra flavor.
- Chia pudding:
Mix chia seeds with pea-protein or lactose free milk and a touch of honey or maple syrup. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and serve with fresh fruit in the morning.
- Breakfast burrito:
Scramble eggs with sautéed veggies and wrap them in a gluten-free tortilla. Top with salsa and avocado slices.
- Rice porridge:
Cook rice with milk (or plant-based alternative) and a pinch of cinnamon until it reaches a creamy consistency. Top with sliced bananas or cooked apples.
- Quinoa breakfast bowl:
Cook quinoa and top it with sliced strawberries, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of honey. Add a splash of almond milk for extra creaminess.
- Fruit kabobs:
Thread fresh fruit pieces (like grapes, melon, and pineapple) onto wooden skewers for a fun and portable breakfast. Add gluten-free toast or a sausage patty as a side dish.
- Nut butter and banana wrap:
Spread nut butter on a gluten-free tortilla, add sliced bananas, and roll it up for a quick and satisfying breakfast wrap.
Make a frittata with eggs, diced potatoes, and sautéed vegetables like bell peppers and onions. Bake until golden brown and slice into wedges.
A gluten-free diet should never mean sacrificing flavor or nutrition, especially when it comes to breakfast. These gluten-free breakfast ideas offer a variety of flavors and textures that will appeal to kids while providing the essential nutrients they need to start their day right. Whether it's a fruit and yogurt parfait, scrambled eggs and sausage, or gluten-free pancakes, you can create delicious, safe, and gluten-free breakfasts that kids will love.
Celiac Central – www.CeliacCentral.org/kids
- Online community of families impacted by celiac disease
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness' Healthcare and Patient Services programming
Celiac Disease Foundation
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