10 Days of Gluten Free – Top Foods for a Healthy Lunchbox

Thank you to Linda @ Gluten Free Homemaker for putting together such a great event!  Linda has pooled together 10 experts who each have chosen an area to focus on for daily, brief tips relating to starting or maintaining a gluten free lifestyle. You will need to visit each individual blog to see their daily tips and advise. I am happy to be participating and will be sharing tips on lunchboxes and snacks!

Today is the very last day of our event!  I hope you have all garnered some new and helpful information!  To wrap my posts up, I want to leave you with a list of superfoods you should try and get into your lunchbox as often as possible!  Some of you may not have even heard of some of these things, but I encourage you to spread your wings and horizons and nourish your body well.

Here are the topics I’ve covered in this series of lunchboxes: Reusable Lunchbox Wares, Sweet GF Wrap Ideas, Packing a Balanced LunchboxStocking Up w/ an Oatmeal Snack Cookie, Lunch on a Stick, GF DF Dips & Spreads for a Lunchbox, 10 GF Wrap Ideas, Making Use of Leftovers, Muffins & Waffles for a Lunchbox?!, Top Foods for a Healthy Lunchbox.

Make the quality of your food comparable to the Rolls Royce and avoid the Pintos.  Some foods will actually do something for your body, while others will actually hurt it.

Today’s Theme:Top 5 Foods For a Healthy  (dairy-free/gluten free)Lunchbox

  1. Chia Seeds: If you only try one new food from this list, this should be it!  Chia seeds are nature’s perfect little seed.  I know, I know, is this the same thing as a Chia Pet?!!  It is…but these seeds pack powerful punch: High in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.  It also has good gelling qualities that help slow the absorption of carbs, and help cleanse the bowels.  Chia seeds have a very mild to non-existent flavor and can be added into baked goods, yogurt, or any liquid.  Some people just eat a couple of spoonfuls and go about their merry way!  Here is more info.
  2. Nuts & Seeds , whole or butters: Touted to boost brain power and mood, these are loaded with healthy fats, protein, and other nutrients.
  3. Coconut: Think oil, butter, milk, or dried & unsweetened.  Coconut is loaded with fats that are easily digested by the body and converted into great energy.  Coconut oil is easy to find now, I get mine at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  I also have several coconut products linked in my ‘Recommended Products‘ page if you’s like to see which products I use!
  4. Fresh Fruit & Veggies: We could all use more of these!!  The darker and brighter the color, the better!  Eat like a rainbow, it won’t steer you wrong!
  5. Whole Grain Flours: Teff flour is my favorite.  It has a mild nutty flavor that most people love.  Refer to my GF Flour Nutritional Comparison chart to decide which flours to use MORE of and which to use less of!

Top 5 Foods to avoid or minimize (foods that can actually harm the body)

  1. Refined Sugars: try to avoid cane sugar, agave nectar, as much as possible.  Our bodies can handle SMALL amount, but were never designed to handle the massive quantities we ingest in this country.  I’ve read a lot of books lately on the subject, if you’re interested, a great place to start to learn on the topic: The Bitter Truth.  It is what started me on my sugar free journey and I encourage you take the time to watch it ( I have the rest of the books I read on the subject in my ‘recommended products’ tab)
  2. Food Dyes: Although many are banned in Europe, they are still FDA approved here.  Many dyes have been proven to have dramatic effects on negative behavior and attention in some children.  If it is made in a science lab, good rule of thumb is to avoid them and not put an experiment in your body!
  3. White starches w/ no fiber(white flour, tapicoa, corn, arrowroot, potato, white rice, sweet rice): These are fillers and straight carbs…if it all white, it means it is all starch and no fiber = no nutrition for your body.  Think empty calories.  And these carbs are processed very quickly in your body (fiber and fat slow down the digestion), spiking blood sugars.
  4. Sweetened beverages: soda, juice, and CHOCOLATE MILK!  These beverages carry as much sugar as candy bars  (20 gram for chocolate, 27 for strawberry)and have almost no redeeming qualities.  Try to eliminate these from your family’s diet and stick to water and unsweetened milks.
  5. Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin are the biggies): Again, FDA approved, but these were created in a SCIENCE lab and have only been proven safe by the companies that make them (wow, there’s a shock!).  Independent studies testing the safety of these ‘sugars’ overwhelmingly have big concerns.

Don’t forget to visit each blog to see other helpful advise and hints!

Getting Started – Linda @ The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Resources – Wendy @ Celiacs in the House

Traveling – Karen @ Gluten-Free Travel Blog

Eating Out – Heather @ Gluten-Free Cat

Frugal Tips – Janelle @ Gluten Freely Frugal

Cooking – Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl

Baking – Jules @ Jules Gluten Free

Kids – Lynn @ Lynn’s Recipe Adventures

Shopping – Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry

“10 Days of Gluten Free” Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway!

For this series, I will be offering one lucky reader a $25 Bob’s Red Mill gift card!  Here are the rules:

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • You are allowed one entry per “10 Days of Gluten Free” blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog.
  • Enter by leaving a comment (WITH an email address to contact you) on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts).
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012.
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.
  • The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email.
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen!
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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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Posted in 10 Days of Gluten Free, Grain Free/Paleo
20 comments on “10 Days of Gluten Free – Top Foods for a Healthy Lunchbox
  1. Cara says:

    Thanks for the ideas. :)

  2. Susan says:

    Great lunchbox ideas! It’s better to eat more healthfully, especially when you’ve got ailments due to food allergies or intolerances.

  3. Lynn says:

    Thanks–and thank you for participating in the 10 days of Gluten Free…as always great tips–gotta try Chia seeds

  4. Jessica B says:

    Thanks for contributing to the 10 days of Gluten Free.

  5. Shari H says:

    I’ve loved all of your tips in this series! Thanks so much!

  6. Angel R. says:

    Chia seeds, huh? We’ll have to give them a try! Thanks for all the great posts!

  7. julie says:

    thanks for the tips. I’ve never had chia seeds before, I chould check them out!

  8. Natalie says:

    Great advice, both for what to eat and what not to eat. I am still early in this lifestyle change and need all the good advice I can get! This “10 Days of Gluten Free” has been a great learning experience for me!

  9. Pat says:

    I have been using chia seed for several years now. I really like what it does for my bread. I just started using the coconut oil though.

  10. Maria says:

    I am constantly on the search for more allergen free (gf df & sf) blogs and websites. You have som great Ideas here, I will definetly come back to your website :)
    Have a great day!

  11. meredith says:

    yummy gluten free! love to try this stuff!

  12. Amber says:

    Hi Tessa,

    You really outdid yourself! I enjoyed everything you discussed, suggested and shared. Great, great job friend. Now…time to rest!!!! :-) Enjoy your weekend.

    Hugs,
    –Amber

  13. these are great lists…and yay more things to try!

  14. Cindy W. says:

    Great advice.

  15. Stephanie Tsouloufis says:

    LOVE Bob’s Red Mill products! They are all I use now!

  16. Emma says:

    I started mixing my own flour blends specifically so that I could add more whole grains. I buy whatever is on sale, right now I have sorghum and buckwheat flour. I also always have corn flour on hand.

  17. Kim says:

    What a great list of ideas, Tessa!! And I love adding chia seeds to my kids pb and j sandwiches (actually we use sunflower seed butter since ours is a nut free school). But I always put about 2 tsp of ground chia seeds on each of their sandwiches! Such a fun event!

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!
My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!
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