It is harder than you might first think to find packaged infant and toddler foods that are gluten free. And while there is a great movement towards making your own food (check out this great site for delicious recipes www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com), in today’s hustle and bustle this isn’t always possible.
So here are some of our favorites for when you have passed that plain rice cereal and the “first” fruit and veggie stage:
- Annie’s Homegrown: www.annies.com
I have only met one toddler who never went through a mac and cheese period and he ate peanut butter and jelly for most of that year. Finding good, quick gluten free options to replace that notorious blue box has now been made possible by Annie’s. With regular and deluxe gluten free options (both in turquoise blue boxes), these are a celiac parent’s savor! And tasty too. We also like the new gluten free bunny cookies and assortment of naturally gluten free fruit snacks.
- Baby Mum-Mum: www.mummums.com
Baby Mum Mums are all natural rice rusks and are a great “first” solid finger food for parents trying to avoid gluten for their baby. The rusks come two to a package so are easy for taking with you or feeding at home. They can be given whole or broken into pieces. Available in plain or vegetable. Visit their site for a retailer near you — and for good health information and the occasional gluten free recipe.
- Gerber Graduates: www.gerber.com
With so many Gerber infant and baby foods, you have to read the ingredients on each one to determine if it is gluten-free…
In a statement on the Gerber website, they note that they will list ingredients such as Wheat, Barley and Rye on the nutrition / ingredient label…and they note that they will also list any gluten containing ingredients…see below.
- Ener-G Foods: www.ener-g.com
If you are looking for a good GF pretzel, Ener-G foods has some. These are available at most health food stores and are often sold in convenient small packages. These are for toddlers able to chew harder items.
- Envirokidz (Nature’s Path): www.naturespath.com/
From gluten free cereals that kids love, like Whole O’s and Koala Crisp, to their crispy rice bars, EnviroKids products are now a staple at our house. Whole O’s are a great finger food for little ones and truly do look like their more common place wheat filled counter parts. The crispy rise bar are great for diaper bag snacks (or at the office!).
- Glutino: www.glutino.com
Glutino’s original crackers are a great gluten free alternative to Ritz or Wheatstone or whatever gluten filled crackers you might otherwise have offered your growing infant/toddler. They are the right size for little hands and have a nice buttery taste and good texture for new eaters. As always be sure your child is sitting when feeding these.
- Happy Baby: www.happybabyfood.com
This company makes “premium” organic food for your entire family. They started with frozen baby foods and have since branched out in to a wide array of things. While not everything they offer is gluten free, they do a great job with labeling and have a good selection of healthy gluten free items.
One of their most recent additions which we are happy about are the Happy Melts which are an organic freeze dried fruit and yogurt snack. These are a gluten free mom’s healthier alternative to the popular wheat containing “puffs”.
- Outside the Breadbox: www.outsidethebreadbox.com
This gluten free Colorado Springs bakery is a favorite of ours but the toddler friendly products worth checking out are their selection of tasty crackers. Older toddlers especially seem to like to have foods that look like their friends foods, which makes sense as eating is such a social, communal thing and they are starting to be more aware of that. We especially found our kids love their cheddar crackers and graham crackers. The cheddar crackers can be given instead of gluten containing items like Cheese-its, Gold Fish or Cheddar Bunnies and graham crackers seems to be a staple in some kids’ diets.