This was one of my top struggles at the beginning of our Strange, New Dietary Journey.
We have two young, growing boys here at the Yankee Homestead. They eat a lot. So does their mom. Unfortunately (or fortunately, in light of our health) most of our old snack stand-bys had gone out the window.
What’s a GF/SF/etc-F mom to do?
Our favorite high-protein, gluten-free snacks:
(also sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free)
- Crispy Nuts–Our favorites are almonds and cashews. I’ve also done walnuts, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. They taste so good! Because the nuts are so dry, I generally add fruit to the boys’ snack cups (usually grapes). Find the recipe and more info here.
- Crispy Trail Mix–A combination of Crispy Nuts and other fun mix-ins, like Coconut Oil Popcorn.
- Beef Sticks–[Pictured below.] It would be really hard for us to live without these. The whole family likes them and they’re easy to transport in a small lunch cooler with a slim ice pack. I buy them from US Wellness Meats. I always order 16-20 packs at a time, to get the best price, and often try to order with a friend in order to split the handling fee. Sometimes, just for kicks, I cut (with scissors or just break with my fingers) them up into small pieces to fit in the boys’ snack cups or bowls. Again, we usually add some sort of fruit. These are a great high-protein, non-messy option for situations where you need to be nut-free (like at church or school).
- Fruit, usually grapes–Fruit is not an adequate source of protein and fat, so I try to avoid serving it alone. We usually add nuts or beef sticks.
- Apple slices with almond butter for dipping–We have these nifty little divided bowls with lids, which we use for on-the-go purposes. Apple slices go in one side; almond butter in the other. This is obviously a messy snack, especially for a 2yo, so I often reserve the nuts and beef sticks for on-the-go, and do messy snacks like this one at home. But we have done it on the go, with baby wipes on hand.
- Small carrot sticks with hummus for dipping–Ditto the remarks above. Our favorite brand of hummus is Tribe, and sometimes I make my own (in the Vitamix, of course).
- Quinoa Banana Nut Muffins (see recipe here)–this is MY favorite snack to keep on hand, and a great way to use up old bananas. They travel well, too, and are easily frozen.
- Blueberry Muffins–We LOVE these muffins. They’re great as breakfast on-the-go, too, and they freeze well.
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Why are high-protein (and high-fat) foods important?
If you’re like me, you probably bought into the whole LOW-FAT thing pushed by mainstream health and diet “experts.” You know, if you eat too much fat, you’ll gain too much fat. Guess what? It’s simply not true!
Rather than reinventing the wheel here, I’ll recommend this post over at Keeper of the Home. It’s well-written and mentions many of the things I’d want you to consider. She also provides links to many sources and additional reading, if you’re interested.
Fats are a tough subject, with so much controversial information and conflicting advice out there. I’ve dug through the research as much as was reasonable for a busy mom and wife, and what I present to you here is a compilation of the kinds of questions that I am most frequently asked when it comes to the fats that we should eat for good health, and my own answers, as thoroughly as I can give them… [Read more]
I’ll also recommend Nina Planck’s excellent books Real Food and Real Food for Mother and Baby. Real Food is a must-read, in my opinion, for anyone who truly desires to understand what to eat and why. Real Food for Mother and Baby is essential for moms, moms-to-be and potential moms-to-be. [Click here to see a list of foods Nina recommends for good health]
BABIES AND CHILDREN NEED LOTS OF FATS AND PROTEINS! We all do, but especially our little ones who are growing and developing. Nina has much to say about this in Real Food for Mother and Baby.
I’ll recommend one more book on this topic: Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon. More on this particular book another time, but for now I’ll mention that it’s an easy, helpful read with many recipes.
And since we’re on the topic of snacks,
I have to mention this…I used to require frequent snacks. I was actually sort of (in)famous for it. In fact, at the beginning of our marriage, Mr. Native Texan sent me to the doctor (twice!) to find out if I was anemic.
They always told me No, you’re not anemic. Just eat when you’re hungry. Carry crackers with you.
Well, thanks. Thanks a lot.
I could say a lot about this topic. For now I’ll just say what I’ve discovered to be true (to borrow the words of Joel Salatin):
Folks, this ain’t normal!
It is not normal to require (desperately, I might add) frequent snacks. I’ve since learned that many things were amiss in my body and have set about doing the best I can to remedy those things. I still carry snacks (like crispy nuts and beef sticks) sometimes when I’m out and about, but I need them far less frequently than I did before.
And even when I do feel hungry, I don’t get nearly as grumpy and irritable. Now, I just feel hungry. As opposed to the Bottomless-Ravenous-Pit-Feed-Me-Now-Or-Someone-Will-Pay feeling I used to experience. (Just ask Mr. Native Texan).
Any other high-protein GF snacks to add to the list? Share them below…
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…