I’m pleased to announced that I’m working once again with Udi’s Gluten Free! It’s perfect timing as I have some terrific ideas for gluten free back to school breakfasts that don’t require a lot of planning, expense, or much of a recipe either! Many of these ideas are based on “mix ins” – adding things like nuts, dried or fresh fruit, and seeds, to naturally gluten free foods you already have in the refrigerator or pantry. Most of these can either be prepared quickly or ahead of time and are made full of healthy, gluten free ingredients that will give your child a good start in the morning and prepare them for their school day.
1. Hot cereals with mix ins
It may be a bit warm where you’re at to eat hot cereals, so you may want to start this in a month or two. Remember for us gluten free folks, the only oatmeal that should be served is certified gluten free oatmeal. While oatmeal is naturally gluten free, it may be processed on machinery with foods that contain gluten, so be careful!
Also, some folks swear that steel cut oats are more nutritious, but after talking with the folks at Quaker, I was told that instant oats are just oats that are finely cut and flatten up so they cook up quicker. Nutritionally they are no different. It’s totally up to you to decide what types of oats you like to cook up, but many kids prefer instant oats because they’re creamier.
Hot oatmeal is terrific because you can add fresh or dried fruit, nuts, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and even a dollop of yogurt as your “mix ins.” Oatmeal is a great way to use up dried fruit and nuts you may have leftover from baking recipes, too.
There are other types of hot cereals such as quinoa (both the stuff you serve at dinner and finely ground hot cereal), grits (which is corn), amaranth, buckwheat, cream of rice, and more. You may want to visit your health food and grocery store, check out the aisles, and see what your kids like. Personally, I love grits and cream of rice, which are inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. You can add chopped up hard boiled eggs, pieces of ham or bacon, pieces of cooked vegetable, and cheese to these type of cereals for a savory breakfast dish.
Another easy to make hot breakfast cereal is rice pudding. Place already cooked rice (like leftovers from the previous night) in a sauce pan, cover with your favorite type of milk, add an egg (or egg whites), some raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, and stir over medium heat until the rice absorbs the milk and the rice pudding thickens.
You can also reheat quinoa from dinner in the microwave with a little bit of butter, egg and cheese, if your child likes savory over sweet dishes for breakfast. (My kids do!)
2. Muffin slices and a schmear
This is one of my favorite ways to eat Udi’s Gluten Free muffins. I slice the muffin in half, spread some sunflower butter on each half, and add slices of banana. You could do this with cream cheese and strawberries. Or peanut butter and blueberries. Or raisins and cream cheese. Or almonds and peanut butter. The variations are endless!
For younger kids with smaller appetites, they could split one muffin, making a pack of Udi’s Gluten Free muffins last longer. (Which will also save you a little money.) Or half the muffin could be saved for an afterschool snack. Again, play around and have some fun with your choice of muffins and a schmear!
3. Yogurt parfaits
This is another way I like to use “mix ins” like dried or fresh fruit, berries, nuts, Udi’s Gluten Free granola, dried cereal, or even some broken gluten free cookies. Sure you can eat yogurt out of a cup, but it’s so much more fun if you layer the yogurt and your favorite healthy gluten free mix ins in a bowl or parfait glass. You can also save a little money by buying the big contain of plain yogurt (instead of flavored yogurt by the cup) and mix in honey, stevia, flavored extracts like almond or vanilla, and/or no sugar fruit preserves to sweeten and flavor as you see fit.
If you have fussy eaters, layering the gluten free mix ins and yogurt in a pretty glass may actually get them to eat their yogurt parfaits with a minimum of complaining. Presentations counts! (And don’t forget, you can use alternative yogurts like goat milk, soy yogurt, or coconut yogurt for those kids who cannot tolerate cow’s milk yogurt due to food sensitivities.)
4. Gluten free pancakes or French toast
No, you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to slave over a hot griddle! Instead, during the weekends, make double or triple batches and freeze the leftovers into weekday morning sized portions. (Udi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread makes awesome French Toast!) Heat the gluten free pancakes or French toast in the microwave and add your favorite toppings like maple syrup, fresh fruit, or a dollop of yogurt, and serve. (Microwave tip: I like putting the syrup on the pancakes and French toast, then zapping it. I find that the food doesn’t dry out that way. Add the fruit and yogurt afterwards.)
If you have a pizza slicer, use it to precut the pancakes and French toast into strips. The kids can then use their fingers to pick up and eat the strips, which may help them to finish their breakfast a little quicker so they don’t miss the bus. Every second counts!
5. Cereal with mix ins
These days the variety of gluten free dry cereals is amazing. You no longer have to go to the health food store or aisle now that main stream brands have come out with gluten free versions of their cereals. Best of all they’re affordable! I especially like the Chex cereals, though I find their flavored cereals overly sweet. So I take their plain rice or corn cereal and mix it with their sweetened cereals and then add my favorite alternative milk, like coconut or rice milk.
Sometimes I do a reverse yogurt parfait, which is mostly cereal with a little yogurt. Other things you can add to dry cereal include fruit, a sprinkling of protein powder, nuts, granola, dried fruit, grated coconut, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and flax seed.
What’s your favorite gluten free weekday morning breakfast?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GF Kids & Family. The opinions and text are all mine.