Find the best gluten free recipes for kids that the whole family also enjoys! Family-friendly gluten free meals for kids includes a complete recipe resource with dinners, snacks, lunches, and breakfast that will please even those who aren’t gluten free!
Family Friendly Gluten Free Recipes
I know from experience it can be tricky transitioning to gluten free recipes when someone in the family needs those meals provided for them. No one wants, or has the time, for making two different meals so it’s important to make the whole family happy with every recipe!
Plus, buying speciality gluten free ingredients can be expensive. Therefore, utilizing affordable ingredients that are naturally gluten free and readily available is key. (Because no one has time for an extra speciality store shopping trip either!)
Although the purpose of this article is to find a collection of gluten free recipes for kids, they actually all keep the whole family happy. Make one delicious, family-friendly meal and save yourself time and money!
A Gluten Free Diet and What to Look Out For
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, malt, and brewer’s yeast. Gluten is the protein that gives dough its elasticity, holding it together, and giving it a soft, pliable structure.
When reading food labels you should look out for the obvious red flags, such as wheat, rye, barley, and malt. However, even if grains, like oats and rice, are naturally gluten free, they may have been processed on equipment shared with wheat products.
To be confident look for a “certified gluten free label” on the package or cross reference with the manufacturer’s website. Although first experiences shopping gluten free can be overwhelming and time consuming, it does get easier! Once you are familiar with “safe” products it’s easier to grab and go.
Important Tips to Remember When Shopping for Gluten Free Recipes:
- The label may just say a red flag ingredient, like malt, or have a descriptor after it like malt flavoring, extract, or flour. It’s all a no-no.
- Modified food starch and dextrin are only bad if they are made from wheat. Some certified gluten free products will include as an ingredient, but these versions are safe.
- Read the labels on anything packaged or seasoned.
- Even if a grain is naturally gluten free, like oats, they still may be processed on equipment shared with wheat products so there will be cross-contamination.
- When baking, most recipes can be adapted to gluten free by using a 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour. My favorite brand to use with the most consistent, best -tasting results is Cup 4 Cup. However, I did put together a guide on the best gluten free flour, to see how different brands compare with each other.
- Other flours made out of safe grains can also be used with great results. However, they are best used in recipes tested with that flour. Go to Best Almond Flour recipes to see all the dishes made with a gluten free and grain free flour.
- Gluten free kids deserve candy! Here is a great resource – gluten free candy list.
Gluten Free Meal Ideas for Kids and Families
Most recipes can be adapted for gluten using affordable ingredients. With a little creativity and savviness, you can avoid buying expensive gluten free substitutes and instead use what you already have!
Below are my go-to tips for making delicious gluten free substitutes kids and families enjoy!
- For breading proteins (like chicken nuggets!) think beyond breadcrumbs and flour. I use crushed potato chips, tortilla chips, crushed Chex cereal, ground nuts, and crushed gluten free pretzels.
- If a sauce or soup is thickened with flour, cornstarch or gluten free flour will achieve the same results.
- Any pasta dish can be transformed using gluten free pasta. My favorite brand is Barilla because it’s affordable and no one detects a difference. I use it all the time in our favorite creamy mac and cheese recipe.
- Use potatoes creatively because everyone loves them, especially kids! Tater tot casseroles (Ore Ida brand is GF), like Cheeseburger Casserole and Mexican Tater Tot Casserole, are huge hits at our house. I also use thinly sliced potatoes for crusts, such as in a Potato Frittata.
- Use oats as binders, instead of breadcrumbs, in meatloaf recipes.
Gluten Free Meal Plans for Families
I’m a huge meal planner because it saves me from unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Once a week I sit down and jot down the meals we’ll be having, plus sides, and build my grocery list off of that.
It also saves you from unnecessary stress at the grocery store because you can research ahead of time the gluten free brand to purchase. Check out these gluten free meal plans and you have all the work done for you.
Well..except grocery shopping and cooking, but hey, it’s a start!
Family-Friendly Gluten Free Dinner Recipes
Move beyond gluten free chicken nuggets! You can make a dinner that kids will enjoy right along with you with these gluten free family-friendly recipes.
Healthy Chicken Pot Pie (Dairy Free)
Easy 5-Ingredient Sweet Chicken (Dairy Free)
Chicken Stir-Fry Sheet Pan Meal (Dairy Free)
Beef / Pork Recipes
Pan Seared Pork Medallions (Dairy Free)
Sausage Bake Dinner (Dairy Free)
Gluten Free Hamburger Helper (Dairy Free)
Vegetarian / Vegan Recipes
Easy Pineapple Fried Rice (Dairy Free, Vegan)
Vegan Burrito Bowl (Dairy Free)
Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce (Dairy Free)
Best-Ever Vegan Portobello Mushroom Burger (Dairy Free)
Fish / Seafood
Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon (Dairy Free)
Slow Cooker / Instant Pot Meals
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin (Dairy Free)
BBQ Pulled Chicken (Dairy Free)
Turkey Chili (Dairy Free)
Cincinnati Chili (Dairy Free)
Instant Pot Honey Soy Chicken (Dairy Free)
Gluten Free Side Dish Recipes
Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans (Dairy Free)
Grilled Foil Potatoes (Dairy Free)
Sweet Potato Salad (Dairy Free)
Crispy Oven Fries (Dairy Free)
Best Gluten Free Snacks for Kids
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Dairy Free)
Microwave Caramel Corn (Dairy Free)
Homemade Gluten Free Granola (Dairy Free)
Hazelnut Oatmeal Golden Raisin Energy Bites (Dairy Free)
Nutella Puppy Chow (Dairy Free)
Homemade Gluten Free Goldfish Crackers (Dairy Free)
Homemade Nut Free Protein Bars (Dairy Free)
Gluten Free Lunch Ideas for Kids
Turkey Zucchini Sweet Potato Bites (Dairy Free)
Stuffed Pepper Soup (Dairy Free)
Mexican Hot Dogs (Dairy Free)
Homemade Spaghetti O’s (Dairy Free)
Socca Flatbread Pizzas (Dairy Free)
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (Dairy Free)
Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets (Dairy Free)
Gluten Free Breakfasts for Kids
Easy Applesauce Muffins (Dairy Free option)
Gluten Free Zucchini Bread (Dairy Free)
Fluffy Flourless Pancakes (Dairy Free option)
Almond Flour Pancakes (Dairy Free)
Chocolate Granola (Dairy Free)
Fluffy Gluten Free Banana Muffins (Dairy Free)
Chocolate Pancakes (Dairy Free option)
Banana Baked Oatmeal (Dairy Free option)
SAVE THIS GLUTEN FREE RECIPES FOR KIDS TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always sharing great recipes!
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