If you have a kid or know a kid, you've heard "I want a snack." at least 7,284 times in your life. I might be exaggerating a bit, but kids love snacks. Almost as much as asking "Are we there yet?". When your child is gluten-free, the need to have tasty gluten-free snacks on hand is always a must.
The good news is that so many brands offer gluten-free versions of the traditional snack everyone else is eating. And I know from personal experience that being able to provide a similar gluten-free snack is a huge accomplishment as a parent. It also helps avoid your child wanting their friend's gluten-filled snack. Without further ado, read on for ten "more please" gluten-free snacks for kids.
1) Graham Crackers
Ah, the good ol' days... I remember when kindergarten included naps, graham crackers and apple juice. While kids may be learning calculus in Kindergarten nowadays, the graham cracker is still a front runner in the kid snack world. Kids love eating these sweet crackers plain or jazzed up with peanut butter. Of course, the perfect gluten-free graham cracker is a must for s'mores!
PS - Planning on camping? Check out my "Happy Gluten-Free Camper - Tasty S'mores & All!" post for tips on getting your recreation on without getting glutened.
2) Cheese Crackers
A staple in snack cups and lunch bags across the country, cheese crackers (aka Cheez-Its minus the gluten), are a fab portable snack. These gluten-free cheese crackers don't look any "different" than the gluten version and taste just as great!
3) Animal Crackers
Who doesn't like to bite the head or butt off of rhinos? Ok, weird question and I meant rhino animal crackers for all of you who are judging me right now.
What's fantastic is so many brands recognize the need for easy gluten-free snacks for kids. Animal crackers are ideal gluten free toddler snacks! They're fun to play with and eat.
Looking for gluten-free dairy-free snacks for kids? All of the pretzel brands shared below (as of the time of this article) are not only gluten-free, but dairy-free as well for those that need to avoid other allergens.
Please remember to always read the labels (even if you've purchased the product before) as manufacturers can change their ingredients or processing at any time. Better to be safe than sorry!
Popcorn is a fabulous snack that's light and low in calories. If your kiddo has braces, sadly popcorn is off limits (at least that's what our orthodontist told us). Popcorn tends to be naturally gluten-free. However, keep a close eye on the seasonings.
If you want to pop your own for movie night, make sure you're using your designated butter that hasn't been cross contaminated. I like to label our butter with a giant GF written in Sharpie. This keeps the gluten-eating guys away from it.
6) Cheddar Puffs
I think we'll all agree that this snack is messy. Especially when your child opts to wipe his or her hands down the front of their shirt. Put cheese puffs are a rite of passage. Go traditional with the fluorescent orange cheese version or serve up a healthier version made from organic chickpeas.
Word of advice: DO NOT take your child to your Aunt Edna's house with all white decor and hand your kid a bunch of these as a snack. You won't be invited back.
7) Snack Bars
Gluten-free snack bars are so versatile. I covered them in "Gluten-Free Breakfast For Kids: Top Five Fun & Easy Meals", but they're not just for breakfast.
These gluten-free prepackaged snacks are an excellent addition to lunches, as an after-school snack, or if you need something quick and easy to bring along for the car ride.
As the Yoda of Sesame Street once said, "C is for Cookie". Apparently, Cookie Monster now pushes veggies, but we're going to stick with old school Cookie Monster.
Gluten-free cookies have come a long way -- from thin and crunchy to soft and chewy, cookies don't have to be off limits just because your child has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
9) Fruit Snacks and Strips
I should own stock in fruit snacks, roll ups, and strips. These were a staple in our household. Big box brands and smaller brands alike are changing up their ingredients to create healthier fruit snacks that aren't laden with high fructose corn syrup and other "non-fruity" ingredients.
For those parents and caregivers who want to make their own fruit leathers, there are plenty of recipes out there.
10) Fruit (naturally gluten-free!)
I know some of you are going, "Duh Maureen, we know fruit is gluten-free." But sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily lives, we can forget about the most obvious of choices.
Things like frozen grapes, a banana with peanut butter, and celery and cream cheese or peanut butter are yummy options.
If you can, shop locally and in season to get the most nutrients. If your kids are picky, sneak some fruit into a smoothie.
Gluten isn't always easy to identify. Hidden gluten can be lurking behind confusing ingredients (who the heck knew Triticum Boeoticum was wheat?). Sign up now to receive your FREE downloadable list!
Download your very own cheat sheet for Other Names of Gluten now. Print one for your fridge, keep one in your car, save one to your phone, tattoo it on your forearm (warning, tattoos hurt, and this list is a big one).
Important Note: at the time of this post, all products listed are gluten-free. However, ingredients can change, so always do your research.