7 kid-friendly gluten-free staples

There’s no doubt about it–going gluten-free is expensive!! And frustrating! And often disappointing. When a new gluten-free product makes an appearance on our grocery store shelves, I grab it like it’s the last iPhone on the store shelf. Which is crazy, because it’s not like there’s a horde of people fighting me for it.

Here’s how the scenario often plays out. I run home and tell Nora I’ve found a new cracker (or whatever) for her to try. She eagerly takes a hearty bite with a light in her eyes. Then her chewing slows, the light fades, and she shakes her head “No.” And into the trash it goes. Sometimes, I force myself to keep it, thinking it will get better by turning stale in our pantry. Trust me, it doesn’t.

Through our countless trial and error episodes, we have found many products that we love, sometimes even more than the original. Here is our first list or recommended kid-friendly foods. These products are ones that I buy regularly now and they have been taste-tested by some of the most picky children (and adults) I know.

1. Udi’s Sandwich Bread
I didn’t want to select just one particular kind of bread because I know there are some kids who will only touch white bread. Our current favorite is Omega Flax & Fiber.

2. Gluten-free Corn Pasta
I haven’t found a brand I don’t like yet. Since we discovered it, corn pasta is preferred over all others in our house for it’s nearly normal texture, taste, and “chew.”

3. Annie’s Gluten-free Rice Pasta and Cheddar
The one exception to my corn pasta rule is this box macaroni and cheese. Preferred over the creamy frozen version, this was gobbled down by a slew of kids who didn’t know it was your regular blue-box mac-n-cheese. And they came back asking
for seconds.

4. Rudi’s Gluten-free Plain Tortillas
Bring back taco night! With these, we never have to worry about the tortilla crumbling apart or tasting like cardboard. And we are happy to have quesadillas back on the menu!

5. Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking & Pancake Mix
OMG. I think that was our actual response when we first tried these heavenly pancakes. Now we cannot live without this mix in our house. Make pancakes, crepes, or use it for baked goods in a pinch. So delish.

6. Gluten-free Honey Nut Chex
Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat. But one year ago the gluten-free cereal choices were much more limited for us. Now, several brands have started to adorn the GF label. Honey Nut Chex brought a bit of normalcy back into breakfast.

7. The Great Organic Beef Hotdog by Applegate
Never fear, Applegate hotdogs are here to save your summer BBQ. We brought these to all our summer gatherings, and never had to worry about mystery ingredients. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and casein-free, but also full of flavor and snap!

If you happen to shop at Whole Foods, I do know that they have a policy that you can bring back any food, even if it is opened, if you don’t like it. I haven’t inquired to see if other grocery stores honor the same policy, because quite frankly, I’m one of those people who say they will return something and then I never do.  If you are thrifty and more organized than me, check with your local grocery store to see if they have a similar allowance. It could save you from throwing your money away on food you
don’t enjoy.

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