Finding snacks for your kids to eat can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re on the hunt for something that’s delicious, but relatively healthy. Kids are fussy eaters and they won’t always like what you give to them. But finding the right snacks for your little ones is even more difficult when they need to be on a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or a gluten sensitivity.
Although it’s becoming easier to find a range of gluten-free treats at the local grocery store and speciality chains such as Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, you still might wonder what specifically you should be buying for them. These days guessing just isn't going to cut it because there are so many options. Lucky for you, we’re here to make the task a little easier! Today we’re sharing 25 of the best gluten-free snacks for kids. These tasty treats are perfect for packing in lunchboxes, backpacks, or even grabbing on-the-go before soccer practice.
Granola can be quite tricky to purchase at the store for those that are gluten-free and looking for a healthy snack. Right off the bat, you’re probably thinking it’s good for you because it contains oats, dried fruits, etc. However, many store-bought granolas contain a ton of sugar and additional ingredients. You’ll want to pay close attention to what you’re actually getting before making your choice! Here are a few suggestions:
- Annie’s Gluten-Free Chewy Granola Bars: You may already be familiar with the Annie’s brand, as they have a wide range of products. They now have a selection of gluten-free options that are perfect for both kids and adults. These granola bars contain chocolate chips for a little sweetness, but there are no artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup.
- My Super Snack Soft Granola Bites: This granola snack also has delicious chocolate chips, but it comes in a convenient bite size. They’re chewy, making them easy for kids to enjoy. Plus, they contain whole grain oats, omega-3 rich flax seed, and amaranth. With added the nutritional benefits, you can actually feel good giving these to your little ones.
- Nature’s Path Gluten-Free Granola Bar: For kids that love the combination of peanuts and chocolate (and let's be honest, who doesn't?) they’re going to go "nuts" for this granola bar from Nature’s Path. They’re made with Fair Trade dark chocolate chips, ancient grains, crispy brown rice, and whole grain, gluten-free oats. They’re the perfect packable and grab-and-go treat!
- Nature Valley Chewy Granola Bar: If you’d rather skip the chocolate, you can opt for this protein-packed granola bar from Nature Valley. These bars are chewy, unlike some of their other products. And they come in a coconut almond flavor that your kids are sure to enjoy. Plus, they have 10 gram of protein with each bar.
Sometimes you just need a little sweet treat in your life, right? Well, your kids feel the same! And just because they’re gluten-free, it doesn’t mean they have to avoid tasty cookies altogether. If you don’t feel like baking some at home, check out these pre-made options to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings:
- Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies are made with only natural ingredients. And they taste so good you might want to sneak a couple yourself! Tate's makes these cookies in a dedicated gluten-free facility, so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination. They also have a variety of other gluten-free flavors you’ll want to check out.
- KNOW Foods Better Cookie in Chocolate Chip: KNOW Foods is a brand that makes a variety of gluten-free products, but one you’ll want to check out is their cookies (read our full review here). They contain only four grams of net carbs, they’re made with superfoods, and they’re low on the glycemic index. Not only do they have a variety of nutritional positives for those who are gluten-free, they also taste too good to be true. We have to hide these cookies in our house because they're so addictive!
- Schär Chocolate Dipped Cookies: For a chocolatey, gluten-free, non-GMO treat, check out these cookies from Schar. The chocolate is dark rather than milk so your child will be getting the additional cacao, which has a variety of different health benefits.
- Schär Gluten-Free Custard Creams: If your kids are aren’t big on chocolate or you try to limit their intake, you can also try out these Custard Creams. These cookies contain a succulent vanilla cream inside and can be enjoyed on their own. Or if your kids prefer, they taste great dunked in milk.
- Schär Chocolix: These Chocolix bars from Schar are the closest gluten-free alternative to Twix candy bars! They’re milk chocolate-coated bars with a caramel filling inside. They make for a great tasty after-dinner treat.
- Schär Sch’nacks Chocolate Covered Snack Cakes: These snack cakes are basically like a gluten-free version of Little Debbie’s cakes. They’re filled with cream and dipped in German chocolate, making them a nice treat for dessert for your little ones.
- Schär Chocolate Thins: Another decadent treat from Schar is their Chocolate Thins. These are also covered in German chocolate. Not only are they gluten-free, but they’re non-GMO and preservative-free.
If you have kids that love to munch on jerky, we have a few options for you to consider! Jerky is a great treat for kids to eat because they're usually packed with protein and not much sugar or carbohydrates. They also make for the perfect grab-and-go snack too, which is a major plus for when they're at school or after-school activities. One thing to keep in mind is that you want to purchase quality jerky to ensure your kids are enjoying better snacks. Here are a few you’ll want to check out:
- Snack Mates Classic Turkey Sticks: Created with kids in mind, these jerky treats are perfectly sized for the little ones in your life. Plus, there’s no artificial preservatives, added sugars, or gluten. All of the turkey is free-range, comes from family-owned farms, and never receives antibiotics or animal byproducts.
- Snack Mates Classic Beef Sticks: Snack Mates doesn’t just do turkey jerky, but they do beef as well. They’re still made from free-range meat that isn’t treated with antibiotics or animal byproducts. The main difference, beyond flavor, is that the beef version has a bit more calories.
- Nick’s Sticks 100% Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks: Another option to take a look at are these beef jerky sticks from Nick’s Sticks. They’re made with 100% grass-fed beef that’s never treated with antibiotics or hormones. There are also zero nitrites, MSG, soy, or sugar in this jerky. On top of all that, they’re 100% gluten-free. Just toss a pouch in your kids backpack and they're set with a high-protein snack stick whenever they're hungry.
- Vermont Smoke & Cure Jerky Sticks: These jerky sticks are made with beef and pork that has been raised without antibiotics or added hormones. There’s no MSG, sodium nitrite, nuts, dairy, gluten, or artificial preservatives. The best part of these jerky sticks is that they stay good for a long time. That means even if your kid leaves them in their backpack for a week or two, they'll still be able to enjoy them. It makes for the perfect emergency hunger snack!
If you’re looking for the perfect gluten-free snack idea for kids, you have to make sure you have some crispy chips on hand. What kid doesn’t love a good chip? However, it doesn’t mean you have to resort to feeding your little ones something that’s greasy or overly salted. For gluten-free options you can feel good about, check out these:
- Thrive Market Plantain Chips: These chips are made with plantains, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, and a little sea salt. They’re not only gluten-free, they're vegan as well. Plus, they pair perfectly with gluten-free dips or can be enjoyed on their own.
- Quest Nutrition Protein Chips: If you’re trying to sneak some more protein into your kid’s diet, these chips just get the job done. The best part is that they come in a BBQ flavor that packs a little extra kick. They also have zero sugar, they’re baked instead of fried, and they have high-quality whey and milk protein isolates.
- Beanitos Mac n’ Cheese White Bean Crunch: If your kids are big fans of a certain cheesy snack, you might be on the hunt for something a little healthier they can munch on. Fortunately, Beanitos has you covered. These are actually made with whole navy beans, which allows you to sneak some plant-based protein into their diets. Like the Quest chips above, they're also 100% baked, contain no trans-fat, and they have two grams of fiber per serving.
- Dang Toasted Coconut Chips: For something completely different, give your little ones coconut chips instead. These Dang coconut chips surprisingly only contain two ingredients—coconut and sea salt (because they are lightly salted for added flavor). They’re also non-GMO, provide more fiber and less sugar than an apple, and they’re gluten-free. You can also purchase them in a few different flavors like caramel sea salt and chocolate sea salt.
From muffins to cupcakes, we have some great choices for your kids (and you) to enjoy. Whether they want to eat them plain or dunk them in some milk, these bread-based snacks are more then just gluten-free... They're delicious!
- Udi’s Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Muffins: Whether your kids enjoy them as a post-dinner dessert or as a weekend breakfast treat, they’re sure to love these double chocolate muffins. Plus, you can serve them with a glass of milk or some fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries to keep it a bit healthier.
- KNOW Foods Gluten-Free Cupcakes: Your kids would never know it, but these cupcakes from KNOW are actually filled with good-for-you ingredients like almond and coconut. Not only that, but they’re natural, non-GMO, and of course, gluten-free. For once, you can not feel bad about giving your kids cupcakes.
- KNOW Foods Gluten-Free Breadsticks: Just like the cupcakes from KNOW, these breadsticks also contain almond and coconut. They’re perfect as a snack on their own, but they can also be dunked into some delicious dip for a great afternoon treat. You might want to steal a couple for yourself!
- FlapJacked Peanut Butter Mighty Muffin: Another muffin option comes to us from a brand called FlapJacked. It actually comes in a portable cup, which has all the ingredients you need to whip up your muffin in just 35 seconds. Pretty impressive! All you have to do is add water, stir, and microwave. The muffin contains tasty gluten-free rolled oats and real peanut butter.
Lastly, if you're looking to give your kids a portable and protein-packed snack, nuts are one of the best choices. Plus, there are so many varieties to choose from, you’re sure to find something your little ones will like.
- Sunshine Nut Company Cashews: These cashews from Sunshine Nut Company are the ideal savory snack. They contain only three ingredients, which includes cashews, sunflower oil, and salt. It’s worth noting they’re peanut-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. What's unique about this company is that 90% of its net proceeds are donated to orphan care and farming community upliftment, so you’re also giving back with each purchase.
- Sahale Snacks All Natural Nut Blends: For a grab-and-go snack, these nut blends are a must-have for your family. They come in individual pouches, which makes them easy to bring when you or your kids are about and about. Plus, there’s an assortment of flavors to try out. This variety pack contains: Cashews with Pomegranate and Vanilla, Almonds with Cranberries, Honey and Sea Salt, Classic Fruit and Nut Blends, Berry Macaroon Almond Mix, Raspberry Crumble Cashew Mix, and Mango Tango Almond Mix.
- Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mix: One of the things that’s worth noting about Enjoy Life is that they’re a dedicated allergen-free company. Their products are free from gluten, wheat, peanuts, dairy, tree nuts, soy, casein, sulfites, egg, lupin, sesame, fish, mustard, crustaceans, and shellfish. Inside these snack pouches, your kids will find sunflower kernels, roasted pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and dried apples.
- Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs: And for the kid who just loves to snack on peanut butter, these Justin’s pouches will really come in handy. They can be enjoyed directed from the pouch or added to apples or bananas for a delicious snack.
- KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Caramel Almond & Sea Salt Minis: These mini bars are the perfect nutty snack for your kids. You’ll receive two different flavors that each have 100 calories per bar. Plus, they’re gluten-free and low in sodium. The best part is they’re low in sugar with only three grams total in each bar.
Have you or your kid tried any of the snacks above? Did we miss a favorite gluten-free snack of yours? Let me know in the comments below!