12 gluten-free breakfast suggestions

Like all of us, my coeliac daughter’s favourite breakfasts seem to go in phases, so something will be the best-ever breakfast for a while, and then it will be something else. If you’re just diagnosed, though, working out what you can and can’t eat can be difficult. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Gluten free breakfast cereal. Favourites at the moment are Doves Farm Chocolate Stars – but we’ve also had Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise, Whole Earth Organic Maple Frosted Flakes and Nature’s Path Crispy Rice. We are avoiding cereals that contain barley malt – no matter how little the cereal contains.

2. Gluten free toast. Don’t use the same toaster as everyone else, unless you use a Toastabag, because of the risk of gluten crumbs from normal toast. Toastabags are available from various places, including Amazon. The best ones I’ve found, though, are from Lakeland Ltd. You can, of course cook toast under the grill – but please be sure that your grill pan is clean, to avoid cross-contamination.

3. Eggs. Boiled eggs are a favourite here, with soldiers made from gluten-free bread. Other options are scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelette or poached eggs. Poached eggs are wonderful on bread spread with Marmite.

4. Pancakes. My favourite recipe for pancakes (English style) is 4 oz of gluten free flour, one egg and 10 fluid ounces of milk. Beat these together until there are no lumps left. Often people say you should leave a pancake mix for at least half an hour – but we never have time in the mornings, and it doesn’t seem to matter much. Heat a buttered pan, and tip in enough mix to cover the base of the pan. Leave it for a few minutes until the top begins to set, and you see small bubbles – then you can flip the pancake over and cook the other side. My girls like this with sugar – I like to add a little lemon juice too.

5. Waffles. If you’ve got a wafflemaker, it will have instructions – but Lakeland have a recipe for waffles

6. Bought-in breakfast goods, such as croissants or danishes, bought from somewhere like Lifestyle. My daughter likes the chocolate croissants, and their pain au chocolat. Not cheap – but for a special treat, why not. Sometimes the other children complain – why does she get chocolate croissants, it’s not fair, she always gets the good stuff (etc., repeat till fade)

7. Grapefruit – or other fruits. Mix and match to your heart’s content. Just remember that fruit alone may not be very filling.

8. Porridge. Recent research indicates that adult coeliacs can have some non-contaminated oats every day. If you are catering for a child, or if you are super-sensitive, you might want to be careful about this. Please check the CUK list of acceptable foods for providers of non-contaminated oats. At the moment, these are available here in the UK from Mornflake, Rabbi E. F. Kestenbaum, Spoff and Tilquhillie Puddings. Oat-free and gluten free versions of porridge are produced by Barkat and Orgran, among others.

9. For meat-eaters, there is always the bacon or sausage option. Daughter 2 loves a sausage sandwich, like her father, but these only ever happen on very special occasions. Do check that it is a gluten free sausage.

10. Yoghurt. Obviously not with added biscuit bits or with gluten cereals in – but standard fruit-flavoured yoghurt should be fine.

11. Eggybread – sometimes known as French Toast. Beat an egg with a little milk, and then soak a slice of bread (or maybe two slices, since gluten free bread slices are often very small) in the mix for a while. When it is all soaked in, fry the bread gently in a little butter. It should puff up slightly – then turn it over and cook the other side. Probably 2-3 minutes a side, but this will depend on how hot your pan is. My son likes this with golden syrup – or maple syrup.

12. Or simply abandon the usual breakfast menu, and have whatever you feel like eating. After all, why be constrained by tradition? How about a gluten-free scone and jam? Or a ham sandwich? Or soup?

Whatever you feel like, do eat something – breakfast is an important meal, and shouldn’t be skipped altogether.

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Lucy is the mother of a coeliac, and has been managing a gluten free diet for her daughter for 20 years - though, to be fair, she does do most of it herself now...

26 thoughts on “12 gluten-free breakfast suggestions”

  1. Just curious-how do you figure out if you are allergic to gluten. I have been trying to diet-of course using whole wheat and wheat products-thinking I wa eating healthier but-lost no weight -may have even gained weight. have suffered for years with diarrhea and gastric problems. I think this may be it. And yes I am short also. I saw an article in women’s world.Could you direct me to a website that might answer some of my uestions. Thank you. janet

  2. Hi Janet – good to hear from you.

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell … have you been to see your doctor about this?

    There are blood tests that your doctor can arrange that will give an indication of whether you are celiac or not, though like all things, these tests can give a misleading result. The gold standard for diagnosis is a biopsy (not as bad as it sounds!) which examines the lining of your intestine to see if it has been damaged.

    However, I would recommend that you continue to eat gluten, if you are having these tests – I know this sounds horrid, but if you stop eating gluten, your intestine will start to heal, and the tests may be inconclusive. You do need to be eating gluten to get a true picture.

    You can (at least you can here in the UK, so I guess it would be the same in the States), but my suggestion would be to get a proper medical opinion.

    Here are some sites with more information:

    discusses the tests involved
    discusses celiac disease
    discusses diagnosis

  3. I’m in the united States and only 1% of persons with celiac disease are actually diagnosed, thus leaving us with limited options for gluten/wheat free diets. The stores and restaurants tend not to carry any of these products, and I’m a diabetic. Is there any simple solution to figuring out what I can eat for meals since this would be one week since I found out from my dr. that I have this disease?Thank You for any help..Heather

  4. Hi Heather – thanks for visiting.

    Can I suggest that you visit this messageboard? I know very little about diabetes, but I know that there are people on that board who either have both CD and diabetes, or have children who have both, and they may well be able to set you off in the right direction.

    It is a UK based board, but is visited by people from around the world. I hope someone there can help.

    Have you been given the name of a dietician who could help advise you?

    Do come back and let me know how you get on.

  5. Hi,
    I just wanted to make a quick comment regarding your point about yoghurt above: in the U.K. you do have to watch the wheat/gluten content, particularly where calcium has been added to the product.

    I am dairy, lactose, egg, wheat and gluten intolerant, so my diet is pretty limited. When I rang Alpro’s helpline to ask them about their products, I was told that some of their lines may contain wheat/gluten because of the source of calcium. I was told that their Organic yoghurt is calcium-added free. The person I spoke to was very helpful.

    I’ve been using that particular yoghurt for a while, and so far have had no problems at all: it hasn’t made me ill! I just tried making fruit lollies today with it, so how it freezes I’m not sure, but I’ll see how it goes.

    Now, if only I could master making an edible loaf and biscuits. OO, I miss biscuits. :) ;) Great site, by the way.

  6. Hi Tree – thanks for the point about added calcium. Did Alpro say what the source of the added calcium was, to make it not wheat/gluten free?

    Hmm – tricky to make biscuits without egg, I should think. Have you tried sites like http://www.dietaryneedsdirect.co.uk? They do let you know which items are dairy free, gluten free, egg free, nut free, vegan, casein free, kosher, organic …

  7. Hi Lucy,
    they did say at the time, but it was last year now and I have forgotten. *blush. Perhaps they have changed their calcium source now, I’m not sure. I guess I should’ve checked that before posting, heh. ;) Their phone number is usually printed on their milk cartons etc. It’s worth keeping in mind though because calcium is added to a lot of brands and I had no idea about it. You really have to be vigilant with this stuff it seems.

    On the lollies: made banana and strawberry: they froze pretty well. I personally didn’t like the banana, so will add more yogurt, or, just freeze a smoothie recipe, but it worked great if anyone else was interested.

    Thanks for the DND link Lucy – that looks very, very helpful. :)

  8. I’m not sure I’d have gone for banana lollies either – just berries would be nice, though. Or melon and stem ginger …

  9. You can buy flaked rice usually in the dessert section of supermarkets (eg Tescos, Sainsbury’s – I’d not seen it in Australia). I use this to make porridge or as a muesli base, depending on my mood. Generally I just stick milk (soya in my case) on it and leave it for a while and call that muesli, or stick it in the microwave for a minute, leave for a while, and call that porridge … You do have to leave it for a while or it is too tough to eat! But 20 minutes while getting dressed for instance works nicely.

  10. Hi Elisabeth. I’ve never tried using flaked rice as a porridge/muesli, but since I do make rice pudding, I should have thought of it. We might try that!

  11. I have gluten, soy, mould, yeast, corn and egg allergies. So I am really trying to get a variety in my diet. I have tried to make a loaf of bread, without success. anyone has any suggestions?

  12. Hi SSAM – I don’t know if you’re in the UK or not, but I like the Wellfoods flour mix available here. It acts pretty much like a normal plain flour.

  13. Just picked up on a comment above about making biscuits without eggs… try banana. Great for binding and if u make it with oats and some fruit like grapes or raisins… use oil to bind and bake in oven… plenty of recipes out there for banana based treats

  14. Hi, random question, but do you happen to have come access any good Australian sites on gluten intolerance? I’m fairly sure I am dairy and gluten intolerant and am waiting for test results and want to be prepared!

  15. My son who is soon to be 18 has been a coeliac for 4yrs now. He has been great – or so we thought in looking after himself. when he started college over a yr ago I gave him lunch money, he knows what he can have (jkt potatoes, rice dishes meat and potatoe (no sauce). He recently went for a check up at the hospital to be told he has malnutrician and he has gluten in his bloods. I am really careful at home – no cross contamination, I have learnt he was not buying lunch but cans of monster, skittles and pringles. prob a diet of many 18yr olds but this is now causing problems. I found your site while looking for breakfast and packed lunch ideas. I will try and make pancakes but he hates all the bread and refuses to even try the rosemary and garlic ones. aggghhhh.

  16. Oh dear! I have heard that teenagers can become “non-compliant” for a while, especially if they’re not getting distressing symptoms. I guess I might have that to look forward to. Perhaps the checkup results will act as a wakeup call?

    I think it must be really hard to be a teenager with CD, as it takes all the spontaneity out of things. Plus, we’re struggling with breakfasts a bit at the moment; do let me know if you find something new that he likes! Pancakes have worked for us in the past, but are out of favour just now. My daughter eats a lot of yoghurt for breakfast; at least that will have calcium in.

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