Ask Shelley Case: Breakfast Ideas You Don’t Want to Skip!

Q: I’m usually running late in the morning so I often skip breakfast. Can you give me some healthy and quick breakfast tips?

A: I’m sure you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It literally means break the fast. In order to jump start your day both mentally and physically you need to fuel your body with food. Healthy breakfast foods provide key nutrients such as protein, iron, B vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber. Many traditional breakfast items are made with gluten-containing grains, especially wheat and barley. But not to worry- there are plenty of great gluten-free breakfast options in the chart below.

The chart includes examples of products from various companies. There are many more products available, especially baked items from gluten-free specialty bakeries across North America. The Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelley Case, RD, features over 3100 gluten-free products listed by company name, product name and package size and a directory of more than 270 American, Canadian and international companies. The book has a chapter on gluten-free specialty bakeries in North America. It also contains detailed information about the gluten-free diet including safe foods/ingredients and those to avoid; meal plans; recipes; cooking hints; substitutions; nutrition information and practical strategies for healthy gluten-free living and resources. See

Breakfast Idea



Nutrition Facts, Quick Tips & Other Notes

GF cold cereal, milk or yogurt and fresh fruit

Puffed Amaranth

GoGo Quinoa, NuWorld Amaranth, Orgran

Learn more about amaranth at:

Buckwheat Flakes

Arrowhead Mills

For more information about buckwheat see:

GF Corn Flakes

Barbara’s, Barkat, El Peto, Erewhon, Nature’s Path

Regular corn flakes contain barley malt flavoring which is not gluten-free. It is important to purchase brands such as these ones listed that do not contain barley malt.

GF Rice Crisp Cereal

Arrowhead Mills, Barbara’s, Barkat, Erewhon, Kinnikinnick, Nature’s Path, Kellogg’s GLUTEN-FREE Rice Krispies

GF Granola

Bakery On Main, Enjoy Life*, Udi’s, NoNuttin’, Glutenfreeda Foods**

* Enriched with vitamins and minerals.

** Made with pure, uncontaminated GF oats.

Multigrain Cereal

Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise

Cornmeal, buckwheat, flax and amaranth.

Puffed Quinoa

GoGo Quinoa

To learn more about quinoa and recipes see:

GF hot cereal, milk, dash of cinnamon, brown sugar and sliced fruit


Birkett Mills (Pocono), Cream of the Crop

Cook hot cereals in the microwave in a large bowl so it does not boil over. Add some ground flax to the hot cereal. Flax is an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients.

Cream of Rice

Amy’s Kitchen, Arrowhead Mills, Bob’s Red Mill, El Peto, Lundberg

Choose brown rice for more fiber.

GF Oatmeal

Avena Foods (Only Oats), Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates (Lara’s), Gluten-Free Oats, Gifts of Nature, Glutenfreeda Foods, Holly’s Oatmeal, Bakery On Main

These companies produce or use pure, uncontaminated GF oats. For more information about the use of oats see:

Multigrain Cereal

Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal

Whole grain brown rice, corn, sorghum, buckwheat.

Quinoa Flakes

Ancient Harvest, GoGo Quinoa


Bob’s Red Mill, Teff Company

For more information about teff and how to use it see:

Toasted GF bagel, nut butter (e.g., almond, cashew, peanut) or GF low fat cheese spread or melted cheese and a glass of juice

GF Bagels

Udi’s, Gluten-Free Creations Bakery, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Mariposa Baking Company

Some companies enrich their bagels with vitamins and minerals (e.g., Udi’s, Gluten-Free Creations Bakery, Glutino and Kinnikinnick).

GF muffin, milk or GF yogurt drink

GF Muffins

El Peto, Foods By George, Gluten-Free Creations Bakery, Kinnikinnick,

Make your own muffins from scratch ingredients or buy a GF mix. Freeze in individual plastic zipper bags so you always have one ready for breakfast or a snack.

GF toast with nut butter or GF cheese spread

GF Breads

Celiac Specialties Bakery, El Peto, Ener-G Foods, French Meadow Bakery, Food For Life, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Mariposa Baking Company, Udi’s, Rudi’s

GF breads taste better toasted. Some breads are enriched with vitamins and minerals (e.g., Ener-G Foods, Gluten-Free Creations, Glutino, Kinnikinnick). Make your own bread from scratch ingredients or buy a GF mix. Here is a recipe for an ancient grains bread using a mixer or bread machine:

Scrambled eggs or an omelet with GF salsa and GF toast

Eggs (fresh or frozen or liquid egg products)

Some frozen or liquid egg products may contain seasonings with hydrolyzed wheat protein which must be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Several brands of salsa contain wheat flour, hydrolyzed wheat protein or barley malt flavoring.

Add chopped peppers (green, orange, red or yellow), green onions and/or broccoli to the scrambled egg or omelet for extra nutrition.

Fruit smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit (e.g., bananas, blueberries, peaches, strawberries), yogurt or milk or non-dairy substitute and honey or other sweetener.

Low or non-fat milk or yogurt

For those with lactose intolerance, a special type of milk that has been treated with lactase enzymes can be substituted for regular milk. Another option is to use a non-dairy substitutes (e.g., almond, potato, rice or soy beverages). Choose brands that do not contain barley malt flavoring. Also look for ones that are enriched with calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.

For more information about lactose intolerance and suitable products see:

Here’s a recipe for Very Berry Breakfast Shake

Non-dairy beverage

Blue Diamond, Imagine, Pacific Foods, Silk, So Good, So Nice, Vances

The above information was excerpted from Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelley Case, RD. See

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18 Responses to “Ask Shelley Case: Breakfast Ideas You Don’t Want to Skip!”

  1. Cynthia van der Smissen Says:

    The challenge I find with most of the GF cereal & bread products is that the calorie count is incredibly high. How about sorting them out for us by this criteria? Also, even GF oats can cause digestive problems for some of us due to previous intestinal damage.

  2. Ginger Bohannan Says:

    I am reading the question about quick and easy gluten free breakfast and all the stuff you mention you have to buy at a health food store. We are on a limited budget and health store food is very expensive. Can you give me any ideas with food from Wal-Mart. I know there are books I can buy but as I said I am on a very limited budget. Thanks

  3. D Seeman Says:

    I make Homemade GF pancakes and waffles, then freeze them on cookie cooling racks. I then pop them into my toaster on low to warm up for the kids. Make big batches and it is an easy homemade breakfast that is much cheaper than buying store bought items.

  4. Jennifer R. Says:

    I don’t see GF waffles or pancakes on the list. I like buying the Van’s blueberry waffles. I cut up some fresh organic fruit, put it on top of the waffles, and then pour some light yogurt over the top. I also enjoy buckwheat pancakes. I put ground flaxseed in the batter along with some fresh fruit. They are very filling and nutritious. I eat these more on the weekends since they take a little time to make, plus I like to make some turkey bacon to go with them.

    I, too, am very aware of my calorie intake. My main go-to weekday breakfasts are Bob’s Red Mill GF oatmeal with ground flaxseed and fresh fruit mixed in, or scrambled eggs with one slice of toast. Since GF bread products aren’t the most nutritious or low calorie (or cheap, either!), I always have only one piece of bread for breakfast or for sandwiches. That helps to save money, too, since a loaf will last longer.

    To Ginger, I am budget conscious as well, and here are some things I do to save money:
    * Focus on foods that are naturally GF, such as eggs or fresh fruit. These foods are usually more nutritious, too.
    * Keep an eye out for GF product coupons.
    * Contact the food manufacturers directly to tell them you’re on a budget and they may be generous enough to send you coupons or samples.
    * Purchase bulk GF food from Amazon.
    * I was reading a GF blog yesterday and the author said she saves a lot of money by going to an outlet grocery store. You may want to check online to see if there is one in your area.
    * Check sales flyers for all stores, even for health food stores. You can find some good deals sometimes. For example, Whole Foods recently had Blue Diamond crackers on sale for $2/box and they had $1/1 coupon in their flyer, which made them $1/box. My local grocery store sells them for $2.79/box. Don’t assume that health food stores are going to be expensive no matter what. Don’t assume that Wal-Mart is always cheaper. Sometimes grocery stores are the cheaper option and many have a decent GF section nowadays. Bottom line is, make sure to research and shop around.
    * Check clearance areas in your store because you never know what you might find. Items are marked down all the time because they are approaching their expiration date or because the store is discontinuing them.

  5. betsyb Says:

    For a cheaper bread, try corn tortillas–Mission’s are gf. You can use them to wrap scrambled eggs, omelets, and so on with, or without, added salsa, cheese and other ingredients. Making a frittata or crustless quiche are also economical and can be sliced and frozen. Breakfast casseroles made with potatoes are economical too.

  6. Big Momma Holly Says:

    Ginger, the easiest, healthiest, cheapest breakfast my family does is smoothies:

    I stuff my blender full of fresh spinach (about 4 cups) and orange juice. I blend until smooth, then I add a banana, some frozen berries, sometimes an apple, maybe some yogurt, depends on what I have onhand. I’ll also add ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil, protein powder, blackstrap molasses (makes it taste like a ginger cookie). It’ll be green, but I get my three year old to eat it by calling it “superman smoothies”. It tastes like whatever fruit you use. And the spinach is a great source of calcium when used with a citrus fruit or juice. 🙂

  7. Mary Lovig Says:

    I, too, live on a tight budget – both financial as well as AM hours! I happen to LOVE to cook, but just don’t have time in the AM while trying to get to work on time. I traditionally spend week-ends cooking items that will freeze well, or other items that will last one week in the fridge. The miracle we have in today’s society of a microwave in almost every kitchen makes these make-ahead items a great time saver. I find that what I make myself not only saves $$$, but is much more nutritious!

    My favorite bfst is a recipe I found for a side dish called “Brown Rice, fruit and nuts”. I now make it without a recipe, so will share what I do. Steam together 2 cups water and 1 cup brown rice (not instant). While it cooks, saute in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 apple, diced; 1/2 onion, diced; handful of raisins (for variety, substitute another dried fruit); and a small handful slivered almonds (again, change the nuts for variety, or leave out if there are nut allergies). Sprinkle liberally with ground cinnamon. Combine fully cooked rice and fruit/nut mixture. This makes 4 servings and keeps well in the fridge for a week. Nukes quickly and tastes great in the AM. Good source of fiber, only healthy fats and the wonderful benefits of cinnamon!

    My second favorite is a quick and easy “smoothie” that I can drink in the car driving to work. I use only powdered skim milk and no yogurt. You can change this according to tastes as well as what’s on hand. I buy ripe bananas when they are on sale and take them home, peel them, and freeze them (separated on a cookie sheet and later bagged in zipper bags). In the morning I put 1 cup water in my blender and add 2/3 cup powdered skim milk (this gives both the nutrition of 2 servings of milk as well as a somewhat thicker smoothie). I drop one frozen banana in the blender as it is running. If you have any other fresh or frozen fruit, add that for additional flavor. For a good source of protein and for satiety, I add 1 serving (2 Tbsp) peanut butter (or Nutella for a chocolate shake)! This is very economical, healthy and quick!

    Hope some of these help.

  8. Stephanie Says:

    My go to breakfast is hard boiled eggs. I usually boil up a half dozen, then shock them in cold water and store in the fridge in the shell. Makes a very portable and nutritious breakfast. Nature’s Path makes a great line of GF cereals, and any that I have purchased are low calorie and contain ingredients such as flax and quinoa, making them a very healthy choice.
    If you look around and read labels, it is possible to find healthy and reasonably low calorie GF bread. Try El Peto brown rice bread and McKinnick Raisin/nut bread.
    Finally, I have found that Winners/Home Sense is a great place to find GF snack foods. They are marked down from what you would pay in a specialty shop and they tend to have unique and very tasty products.

  9. Mark Says:

    You want to know what you can get at Walmart, Chex cereals like Rice,Corn,Cinnamon and Choclate but not the Wheat they will say Gluten free right on the box and there is Cream of Rice hot cereal.General Mills has been helping us out I hope they will come to our rescue.I also discover that some cereals don’t have Gluten but have been processed with cereals that do have Gluten like the pebbles (fruity and cocoa) they don’t bother me and Trix changed their shapes that might be a little safer Kaboom didn’t bother me either.You can try these to see if they bother you if they do leave them alone.

  10. Monica Says:

    My latest quick breakfast is using quinoa to make a hot cereal. You can make a big batch and then reheat everyday. I’ve been using coconut milk instead of water to make the quinoa, which makes it extra creamy. It takes about 15 minutes to cook quinoa. Once it’s cooked, I throw in some frozen blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla, nuts and a sweetener of your choice. A 16oz box of quinoa costs $3.99 at Trader Joe’s. It’s even cheaper from a bulk bin, but I avoid bulk bins because there could be cross contamination.

  11. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Hi Everyone-

    Thanks for your posts to this blog! They are all great – thanks for helping support others and offering your advise.

    Shelley Case sent me the following reply to some of the points / questions that were asked by the BeFreeForMe members. I hope this reply also helps with questions:

    Thanks to all those who shared creative and economical ideas for breakfast! I forgot to include waffles and pancakes in my list so appreciate Jennifer for pointing that out. I also like toaster waffles from Van’s, Kinnikinnick and Nature’s Path topped with nut butter and fresh fruit.

    Cooking from scratch to make gluten-free items such as breads, muffins, pancakes and waffles is cheaper than buying ready-to-eat products. And using naturally gluten-free items such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, flax, brown and white rice, fruits and vegetables are readily found in grocery stores.

    Not all of the ideas I suggested need to be purchased in a health food store. A growing number of gluten-free products are now available in grocery stores, Walmart and Costco. Items can also be purchased online from or other gluten-free distributors such as and Some of these online stores have free shipping or deals on shipping.

    Don’t forget about non-traditional items for breakfast like gluten-free pizza. Or try leftover baked potatoes that can be chopped and fried in a non stick pan and served with an egg done however you like. The important thing about breakfast is to eat something to jump start and fuel your body for the day!

  12. Christie Says:

    I have another great breakfast idea they are Vegtable quiche Cups to go, you can make them on the weekend and they are great in ther freezer until ready to eat. 10oz frozen spinach ( or fresh), 4 eggs, 3/4 C shredded cheese, 1/4 C peppers, 1/4 C onions, any combo of meats, mushrooms, green onion, or garlic. What ever you wnat to add really. Use parchemnt paper or FOIL cupcake holders in muffin tins and cook at 350 for 20 min. Cool and freeze.

  13. Jack Freitas Says:

    A number of the natural homemade remedies to cure bloating are pop in some seeds of celery and chew on them. You can also take some chamomile, prepare some tea with it and drink it. This will give instant relief to your bloating. Such teas can be made from other things like ginger, peppermint and ginger. As these teas are made from the natural products they are very healthy and they have no side effects at all.

  14. heather Says:

    Can you buy Chex cereal in Canada?? I often eat yoghurt with mixed berries and bananas with slivered almonds and some flax seeds.

  15. Melissa Hammons Says:

    I LOVE quinoa for breakfast. I cook it with 2 bay leaves (gives it a savory flavor) then add my soy, coconut or almond milk in vanilla. Throw in some fresh fruit and I’m ready to go. I don’t have to add any sweetner because the vanilla flavored milk is plenty sweet for me (especially with ripe fruit).

    I also do homemade yogurt with fresh fruit in it as well. Easy peasy and flavor-full!

    I try to stay away from carbs for breakfast and stick to nutrition packed foods for the morning meal!

  16. Veggielicious Says:

    I love all the ideas. I’m thinking we need a breakfast pot luck social! I agree don’t discount Health Food Stores there are some that are very competitive and they offer products that are usually more nutritious and offer choice. I sign up for their flyers and stock up when my foods are on sale.

    One of my best investments was a good waffle iron. Make the pancakes and waffles up and freeze them in large Rubbermaid food containers. Then they are ready to pop into a toaster oven or GF toaster. My daughter with Celiac eats them on route to school because she isn’t a morning person.

    Brown Rice Porridge is also yummy for breakfast or a snack. Make extra brown rice, millet and or quinoa up.
    Chop an apple or pear and put it in a medium saucepan on medium or medium-low heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup depending on your liking. Cook the fruit for about 4 minutes then add 2 cups of brown rice ( I do a combination of brown rice and millet) 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk or milk alternate. Stir and heat up the grains. The add some cinnamon.

    I also make my own muesli and granola which started because I refused to pay $9.99 for a 375 gram bag of granola. I know there are cheaper ones on the market now but it’s hard to find a tasty one. Again I make a big batch and store it in mason jars in the fridge. You can use this is muffins, with fruit and yogurt or just on its own. I’m getting hungry!

  17. Weighty Matters: Weight Management and Celiac Disease Part4: How to Gain Weight on a Gluten Free Diet | Gluten Free Fitness Says:

    […] eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese or protein powder and you’re good.) Shelly Case just wrote an article on breakfast foods on the Be Free For Me blog. My recommendation is that you try to have a decent protein, […]

  18. Charles Faux Says:

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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