Cooking gluten free is difficult enough on its own. So what happens when your child wants to cook up their own meals? Don’t panic. It’s easy to make gluten-free recipes for kids together. Start by teaching them what foods do and don’t have gluten. Depending on your child’s abilities, use pictures or boxes of food to explain what’s safe and unsafe.
Amy Roskelley, the founder of Super Healthy Kids, a blog to help parents and caregivers feed kids simply, suggests scanning cookbooks and websites for gluten-free meals. Divide findings into categories such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, desserts and snacks. House the gluten-free recipes for kids in a book or on the refrigerator, she says.
Roskelley adds that she makes eating gluten-free a positive experience by not making it restrictive. “For us, gluten-free cooking has never been about substitutions,” Roskelley says. “Many snacks and meals don’t have flour or need a flour replacement.”
Jeanne Sauvage, creator of Art of Gluten-Free Baking and author of the upcoming “Gluten-Free Wish List: Sweet and Savory Treats You’ve Missed the Most” and “Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats,” says she gives gluten-free a positive vibe by creating satisfying and yummy food. “There is no reason to eat food that doesn’t taste or look good.”
Below, you’ll find 30 simple gluten-free recipes for kids to make themselves:
- Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins
Kids will have fun mashing the bananas before they gobble these muffins up at breakfast.
Enjoy it as a cereal or a snack.
- Corn Muffin Mix
Have your little ones measure and incorporate the wet ingredients into the muffin mix.
- Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Six ingredients are all you need to make this kid favorite.
- Almond Crusted Fish Sticks
Start an assembly line to bread these flavorful fish sticks.
- Mexican Pizza
What child doesn’t like rolling pizza dough?
- Macaroni and Cheese
Kids will love making this rich and creamy dish.
- Spaghetti Hot Dogs
After your kids skewer hot dogs with spaghetti, they’ll be thrilled at the transformation after it’s cooked.
- Slow-Cooked Shredded Mexican Chicken
Have kids dump all the ingredients together before building their own tacos when dinner is ready.
- Easy Chili
Little is in this classic comfort food, which means it’s simple to prepare.
- Avocado Cucumber Salad
Soft avocados are easy for small hands to slice.
- Hummus Burgers
Have kids form the patties into fun shapes before you cook them.
You may not envision jambalaya as a quick meal, but this one-pot version is simple to make.
- Pizza Rolls
Satisfy pizza cravings with this grain-free version — kids will love rolling the balls before baking.
- Skillet Cornbread
Serve with a soup, stew or chili, or enjoy it on its own.
- Baked Corn Chips and Scoops
Roskelley says her family loves making these chips and serving them with homemade guacamole, salsa or hummus — just ensure your masa harina is packaged in a gluten free facility.
- Granola Bars
Begin the day with these no-bake bars.
- Goldfish Crackers
Ditch the store-bought crackers — with only six ingredients, these fish are healthy and easy to make.
- Ice Cream
Everyone will salivate over this rich and creamy treat, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker.
- Cherry-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Your kids just need to push “blend” to enjoy this fruity treat.
- Berry Parfait
This pretty recipe comes together quickly, and can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert.
- Apple Pie
Kids can dice and mix before serving up this crustless variety of the American classic.
- Chocolate Milkshake
This shake uses fruit — not ice cream — but is still thick, creamy and satisfying.
- Strawberry Sage Popsicles
The hardest part of making these refreshing treats is waiting for them to freeze.
- Rice Krispie Ice Cream Bars
This no-bake dessert just needs to be assembled, which means your kiddos can take charge from start to finish.
- Cookie Dough Bar
Experience the taste of a store-bought chocolate chip cookie, minus the gluten.
- Energy Bars
Three ingredients comprise this bar that is perfect for a compact and portable meal.
- Animal Crackers
Make this snack as a family and have kids use their favorite cookie cutters.
- Broccoli Smoothie
Fiber-rich ingredients give this smoothie a healthy punch, but fruit and juice make it a sweet snack.
- Apple Pops
These pops offer a fun way to serve apples.
Want more ideas? Try these 8 Easy Gluten-Free Recipes for Families.
Stacey Feintuch is a seasoned print and digital writer and editor with loads of experience and two journalism degrees under her belt. She has worked at numerous health and parenting websites and magazines. She likes to cook with her kids though she is a terrible cook.