Kid-Friendly Gluten-Free Recipe and Food Ideas

From pizza to chicken nuggets, we've got you covered

It's important to know how to make tasty gluten-free food for kids, whether for your own gluten-free child or one who’s visiting you. (If you’re cooking gluten-free meals for a guest, be sure to review what’s necessary to prevent cross-contamination with gluten in your kitchen.)

Here’s a collection of kid-friendly gluten-free dinner recipes to keep up your sleeve, plus some store-bought options for when you're short on cooking time (or when you're not used to cooking gluten-free). If you haven't noticed, these meals would make great gluten-free comfort food for grown-ups, too.

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipes and Sources

kid-friendly gluten-free pizza
What kid could resist this gluten-free pizza?. James Jackson / Getty Images

Many people (kids and adults alike) fear they'll be forced to give up pizza when they go gluten-free. Not true!

Try all five of these gluten-free pizza recipes: Cheese Pizza, Smoked Turkey and Garlic Pizza, Margherita Pizza, Mushroom and Fresh Herb Pizza, and Pepperoni Pizza. Play around with shapes and toppings until you find a real crowd-pleaser (a great way to get the kids involved in cooking, too).

If you'd rather someone else make your gluten-free pizza, you can find gluten-free frozen pizzas at most supermarkets. My favorite is Fresh Market's house brand, but many others are good, too.

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Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets Recipe and Sources

gluten-free chicken tenders and salad
Gluten-free chicken tenders are a perennial kid favorite. James and James / Getty Images

The gluten-free Italian chicken nuggets in this recipe are incredibly crispy thanks to gluten-free panko-style breading. When it comes to gluten-free kid favorites, chicken nuggets and tenders run a close second to gluten-free pizza.

If you don't have time to make your own chicken tenders, you can find alternatives in the grocery store: Ian's Natural Food makes allergen-free chicken nuggets and tenders (free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts), and Saffron Road also offers certified gluten-free chicken tenders.

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Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese Recipe and Sources

gluten-free mac and cheese
Every kid loves mac and cheese. James and James / Getty Images

This creamy, delicious gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe is fast and easy, with a traditional rich and creamy cheese sauce.

Of course, homemade mac and cheese can take a while to cook ... not what you want when you're pressed for time and the kids are hungry. Fortunately, numerous companies now make both boxed and frozen gluten-free mac and cheese.

For example, Annie's Homegrown makes a boxed version (gluten-free to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten). And Udi's Gluten-Free makes a frozen Penne & Cheese that will serve one hungry child, plus a larger frozen Macaroni & Cheese. Udi's is certified gluten-free.

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Gluten-Free Tacos Recipe

gluten-free tacos
When making tacos, be sure to get gluten-free shells. Junghee Choi / Getty Images

This gluten-free taco recipe uses a homemade taco seasoning mix. Shredded baby spinach, red onions and avocado add vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids and color to this healthy version of an all-time favorite.

You'll need to add gluten-free taco shells (either soft taco shells or hard corn taco shells, whichever is your preference). Mission makes gluten-free hard and soft taco shells, and Udi's Gluten-Free also offers a soft taco.

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Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe

gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs
Spaghetti and milk - a perfect kid food combination. Paul Poplis / Getty Images

Gluten-free spaghetti is fast, easy and delicious, thanks to great gluten-free products. There are many pasta options to choose from, and you can add gluten-free meatballs (made with gluten-free bread crumbs) to spice up the dish. Just make certain to use a safe gluten-free spaghetti sauce.

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Deviled Ghoul Eggs Recipe

These high protein, dressed-up deviled eggs will be appealing to your children — and they're especially appropriate for Halloween, when it's so hard to get kids to eat healthy foods!

(Edited by Jane Anderson)

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