If you read my August newsletter, I mentioned how I’ve been working with a lot more kids in my practice, which I really enjoy. I understand how it can be difficult living a life with dietary restrictions, especially with all of the social events many of us are constantly involved in. Helping people with the practical side of nutrition is something that I love! I’ve found these quick snacks below to be some of the favorites for the kids & adults with special dietary needs.
Never discount food as a trigger to any new or ongoing symptoms you are having. If you are someone that wishes to avoid medications when possible, consider the MRT test and LEAP nutrition protocol as a starting point, perhaps combined with allergy testing to get a full picture of what is going on. If you’re not ready to dive into testing, myself or another RDN trained in elimination diets could help guide you on a course to help you pinpoint food triggers.
Without further ado, here’s….
12 Quick Snacks For People With Food Sensitivities!
1. Roasted Chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans)
You can buy them (I love the Good bean, sea salt kind) or make them! To make, rinse a can of chickpeas, roast them at 400 degrees F for ~20 minutes and season them to your liking! Some people like them sweeter with a little spritz of oil then dash of cinnamon. I love them with sea salt, fennel, and paprika…Fresco Spice Blends have some great mixes I am obsessed with!
2. Hard-Boiled Egg
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy high quality protein. The yolks seem to have a bad reputation, but have no fear….the yolk of the egg provides nutrients like iron, biotin, calcium and zinc, which help keep your immune system strong. I also love them pickled with beets…what about you?!
3. Homemade or “Paleo” (soy-free/gluten-free) Jerky
Jerky provides iron, an essential nutrient especially for endurance athletes, growing kids, & pregnant women….all of which need a good amount of daily iron for growth & development. There are many varieties you can buy or make, with meats like beef, deer, pork, turkey and salmon flavored with spices, herbs, citrus, vinegar.
Somersaults are a nut-free, sunflower seed-based snack with a crunch you’ll love. These do contain gluten and dairy, however. Pumpkin, flax, chia and sunflower seeds all provide a good amount of protein for when you are ready for a snack! We love them plain, with yogurt, and topped on a smoothie as a “smoothie bowl”. They contain omega 3 fatty acids as well, so that’s a bonus! These are also something you could make at home, and could even make them gluten & dairy free if needed!
5. Nut-Free Bars
- The Good Bean, No Nut Bars
- Avalanche Bars
- Don’t GO Nuts Bars
(Let me know your favorite in the comments if they aren’t on this list!)
6. Dried Fruit, Fruit Leather, and Fruit Puree
You’re probably thinking “not high in protein!”, but add some pumpkin seeds or hardboiled egg on the side and this would be a nice gluten/dairy/soy/nut-free snack!
Better than a package of “fruit snacks” (which are often filled with added sugar or HFCS), dried fruit provides carbs for energy, without the added sugar. Try making up baggies with organic raisins/dried cherries/apricot/mango and add allowed nuts/seeds/coconut chip. Another handy option are the fruit puree packs that have various fruit combos, which (just like whole real fruit—you can also do this!) offer the carbohydrates needed to refuel muscles with glycogen for stored energy, so you’ll be ready for your next exercise routine!
7. Taco Pockets
- 1/4 cup canned organic black beans or refried beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup canned organic corn kernels, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp. grated organic cheddar cheese
- 2 slices avocado
- 1 Tbsp. salsa
- 1 10-inch tortilla
- In a small bowl, combine the beans, corn, cheddar and salsa, stirring to combine.
- Place filling into the tortilla, then add avocado slices. Then roll it up like a burrito.
- Toast with the seam side down, in a non-stick pan over medium heat until golden brown. As another option, I also like to broil them for a few minutes in the oven.
- Repeat on other side and refrigerate overnight. Serve with vegetable sticks and hummus, fruit and unsweetened kefir.
8. Spring Rolls
- 4 rice or tapioca paper wrappers
- 2/3 cup shredded, cooked skinless turkey
- 2/3 cup shredded cabbage or kale
- 2/3 cup carrots peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Re-hydrate the paper wrappers according to the instructions on the package.
- Lay a small pile of meat horizontally across the center of the wrapper, then top with the veggies.
- Roll up, egg roll style (there are often instructions on the package), and chill. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Serve with a small container of your favorite dressing, or some coconut aminos (similar to soy sauce) seasoned with a few drops of lime juice. Serve with some fruit.
9. Veggie Cornbread Muffins
A great way to pack in more veggies in this tasty little snack.
- A boxed cornbread/muffin mix or recipe
- 3/4 cup grated fresh zucchini or yellow squash
- 1/2 cup fresh cut kernels or canned corn, drained
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, from grass fed dairy ideally.
- Prepare the cornbread following the box instructions.
- Mix in the zucchini, corn and cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients before mixing in the wet.
- Make the cornbread the recipe as written on directions!
10. Honey Mustard Turkey Wrap
A great use for leftover meat!
- 1 T. stone ground mustard
- 1 tsp. local honey
- 1 organic whole wheat or brown rice tortilla (could also do lettuce wraps or Coconut Paleo Wraps)
- 2 thin slices cheese of choice
- 2 slices roasted turkey, thinly sliced
- In small container, mix together the mustard and honey.
- On the tortilla, lay out the two slices of cheese, then the meat on top. Roll, burrito-style (tuck ends in)
- Broil the wrap (unless using lettuce), seam side down, to seal. Repeat with remaining sides until golden brown. Serve with chopped vegetables, the sauce for dipping, and berries.
11. Rice or Corn Cakes with Colorful Sprinkles (Dried Fruit & Seeds!)
- 3 Tbsp. cream cheese or greek yogurt
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon
- 1 plain brown rice cake
- 1 Tbsp. mixed dried fruit, cut into small dice
- 1 Tbsp mixed seeds (hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds)
Mix together the cream cheese and cinnamon. Spread over the rice cake then sprinkle with the fruit & seeds…if packing with a school lunch, pack a little baggies of the fruit/seeds for sprinkling.
12. Egg Muffins
- Olive Oil
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup mixed cooked vegetables, diced
- 1/4c. finely grated cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-portion mini muffin tin with oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Stir in the cooked vegetables, salt, pepper and cheese.
- Divide the egg mixture between the portions of the prepared tin and bake for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and just set.
Extras: Add other ingredients of your choice; avocados, kale, spinach, chives, parsley, basil and cilantro all work well. Experiment with filling combinations and use leftovers up in these muffins!
I hope these ideas help you and your family ease out of summer with fun, enjoyment, & yummy food! I plan to continue to support & empower you to HOLD on to your health, through nutrition & wellness! Please continue to share your favorite ideas in the comments so we can all learn & support each other.