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Gluten-free

Wellness Blog

Healthy Lunch Box Essentials

Welcome back to early mornings, packing lunches and carpooling! While we can't ease traffic or stop toddlers from kicking your seat, we can offer some advice when it comes to packing a healthy lunch. Here are our top must-haves for every kid's lunchbox this year. 

Made Good Bars 

MadeGood Granola Bars are the peanut and tree nut free organic snack that really hits the spot. Not only do they contain the nutrients in one full serving of vegetables from six different sources, they’re also made from whole grains and are non–GMO verified. These wholesome bars come in four delightful flavours and make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up at school or on the go.

Enjoy Life Plentils

Plentils are chips with benefits. From ancient times to the present, the lentil has been one of the best sources of plant-based protein and is a staple in diets throughout the world. Enjoy Life Foods has captured the essence of this vital legume’s all-natural goodness and turned it into a unique, protein-packed, crunchy experience. 

Kiju Juice Boxes

Kiju Organic 100% juices are premium, certified organic juice blends with no added sugar. The fruits used to make Kiju Juice are grown and processed naturally for maximum health and great taste – that means no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Plus, they are non-GMO project verified!

Chia Pudding

Swap processed pudding cups for a tasty homemade version. We really love this overnight chocolate chia pudding recipe by Minimalist Baker. Chia seeds are filled with fiber which will help to keep little tummies feeling full. Try topping your pudding with fresh fruit, nuts, crunchy cereal or So Delicious coconut whipped topping

S'well Bottle

Eliminate plastic bottles from your child's lunch box and try S’well instead. It's the only reusable bottle that looks great (with a variety of great colours and patterns) and does good. It keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. S'well is the fastest growing woman-owned company in the USA and a proud partner of UNICEF. 

Smart Sweets

We would never recommend adding conventional candy to your children's lunch box, but Smart Sweets could definitely be an exception! Each package contains 24g of fiber and only 2g of sugar. They're available in two fun flavours - Fruity and Seriously Sour. 

Simply Protein Kids Bars

This kid-friendly snack is filling and nutritious with 4g of protein and 4g of fiber in each bar. They're also free from peanuts, gluten, GMOs and are 100% vegan. Find fun flavours like Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Vanilla at your local Kardish!

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You may also be interested in top 4 allergy-friendly school snacks. Share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter and in the comments below.

Wellness Blog

Going Gluten Free?

What is gluten anyway?

 

Gluten is found in all varieties of wheat, barley, tritical and rye. It gives dough its elasticity and bread its soft and fluffy texture. Gluten can sometimes be found in other products as a result of cross-contamination, this is why people with celiac disease (medically diagnosed allergy to gluten) must be mindful of the “may contain” ingredients on food labels.

Why do folks go gluten-free?

 

People stop eating gluten for a variety of reasons. It is very important that anyone who has been diagnosed with celiac disease remove this protein from their diets. Celiacs that continue to eat gluten are at a higher risk of developing other serious health issues including cancer.  

 

Some individuals may experience negative symptoms when they consume gluten, and decide to eliminate it from their diet. Non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity is when a person experiences symptoms of celiac disease like digestive upset, fatigue etc. without testing positive for the disease. Many people simply feel better when they stop consuming gluten. There are als some people who choose to go gluten-free as a weight loss strategy.

So, is gluten bad?

 

The short answer - no. There are very few foods that are inherently “bad” (except maybe Cheez Whiz, what is in that stuff?). It’s really about choosing foods that make you feel nourished and energized. Whole grains like spelt and barley are filled with important minerals and satiating fibre along with gluten. On the other hand, cheez whiz is gluten-free and has very few redeeming qualities.

Where do I start if I want to go gluten-free?

 

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or you are gluten-sensitive, there are some things to keep in mind when eliminating gluten.

 

Just because the label says ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Like Cheez Whiz, there are plenty of cookies, chips and even sodas that contain absolutely zero gluten. What these food do contain however is sugar, preservative, colours and other non-so-healthy ingredients. Choose naturally gluten-free products like fruits, vegetables quinoa and eggs. Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to start eating processed, packaged foods. It could mean that you incorporate more fresh veggies, locally-made products like Zengarry cashew cheese, nuts, seeds and legumes.

 

Gluten free doesn’t mean you have start eating dense, heavy breads made with rice flour and starch either. Brands like Little Northern Bakehouse make breads that taste and feel like their glutenous counterparts. Maybe you don’t eat bread at all? Whole grain rice cakes and baked sweet potato slices can easily replace toast.

 

If you are struggling to fill lunch boxes or find gluten-free treats for special occasions like birthday parties and holiday celebrations, then there are plenty of great brands like Enjoy Life and Daiya that have you covered.

 

Want to learn more? Ask the gluten-free expert, Kathy Smart!

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Are you thinking about going gluten-free or have you already? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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