List of 30 Gluten-Free Kids Snacks

Fun and flavorful ways to feed your little ones

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There are lots of homemade and packaged snacks that can make snacking fun for kids. Do your kids like "ants on a log"? Celery with peanut butter and raisins on top can make for a yummy after-school snack.

This article will outline fun ways to provide gluten-free snacks that may inspire your little cooks to help in the kitchen. You can help build positive associations while making memories when kids are part of the cooking process.

Think you've got a picky eater? Give it time. Kids might be overwhelmed with new scents, tastes, and textures. Researchers have found that children need about 15 exposures to a new food before it's considered something they trust and a few more before knowing that they like a particular food.

Lovely little Asian girl drinking a glass of healthy homemade strawberry smoothie at home, enjoying her favorite smoothie.

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Benefits of Gluten-Free Snacks

Eating gluten-free can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with celiac disease, an autoimmune response to gluten that causes the body to attack the small intestine, and gluten sensitivity.

Parents of kids with celiac disease, which can develop as early as 6 to 9 months, should be careful to read ingredient labels so that their kids don't experience the side effects of eating gluten.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten, which acts as a glue, is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that's used to help give foods their texture and shape. Lots of foods have gluten; everything from crackers to cereal to cookies to pasta. Becoming a label-reading expert is important when buying packaged goods.

These uncomfortable symptoms include:

Homemade vs. Packaged Snacks


Homemade snacks, like raw veggies and homemade dip, are great because you know exactly which ingredients are in them. However, you may not always have time to whip up something quickly.

Packaged snacks are time-savers for making lunches or for something quick on the go, however, they're not all healthy, many are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat.

Candy can have unexpected ingredients too.

Read the label even if it says gluten-free on the packaging. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some oats contain gluten. Avoid hidden ingredients like:

  • Einkorn
  • Emmer,
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Wheat starch
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat germ
  • Cracked wheat
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Stay away from emulsifiers, dextrin, monoglycerides and diglycerides, seasonings, and caramel colors because they can contain gluten. If any of these are on the ingredients list, put the item back on the shelf.

30 Gluten-Free Kids Snack Ideas

Gluten-free snacks can be very simple and fun. You probably already have some gluten-free ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.

  1. Apples with nut butter
  2. Blue Diamond Nut-Thins and cheddar cheese
  3. Skinny Pop popcorn
  4. Chex Mix (gluten-free)
  5. No-bake energy balls: almond butter, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, and sunflower seeds with mini chocolate chips
  6. Fritos
  7. Glutino chocolate vanilla crème cookies (an Oreo cookie knock-off)
  8. Pirate's Booty
  9. Sweet potato fries (cut up sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes)
  10. Veggies and hummus (mix two cans garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, drained, juice from two lemons, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, about a 1/2 cup or more to taste, 1 teaspoon salt, and, optionally, a sprinkle of pepper)
  11. Yogurt with fruit
  12. Turkey and swiss cheese wraps
  13. Veggie straws

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

There are lots of delicious gluten-free and dairy-free snacks you can make or buy for your kids.

  1. Berries
  2. Celery with nut butter
  3. Eggs hard-boiled with a sprinkle of salt
  4. Nuts
  5. Snapea crisps
  6. Soy yogurt with fruit
  7. Snyder’s gluten-free pretzel sticks
  8. Trail mix (a blend of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds)
  9. Veggies with hummus
  10. Veggie Pirate's Booty

Gluten Free, Dairy-Free and Nut-Free

If you have a child with a nut allergy, making food at home ensures that the ingredients are safe for your family, but they're also some safe foods you can get at the grocery store.

  1. Annie’s fruit snacks
  2. Carrot sticks
  3. Chickpea snacks
  4. Edamame (soybeans)
  5. Frozen fruit bars
  6. Popcorn
  7. Quaker Rice crisps

Let the Kids Help

Once you have all of the ingredients in your gluten-free kitchen, get the kids involved by having them make a colorful platter of fruits, veggies, olives, cheeses, and gluten-free crackers.

Toddlers can get in on the action too. Ask them to wash fruit and veggies, or pour and mix ingredients. Older kids can peel oranges, cut soft things like bananas, measure ingredients, scoop snacks, and set the table.

Summary

Snack time doesn't have to be boring! And it can be a team effort. Encourage your kids to get involved and make it a fun, family affair. After washing their hands they can jump right in. Besides easy snacks like veggies and dip, there are foods at the market, like pretzels that offer gluten-free options and popcorn which is gluten-free.

Become a label expert to be sure you are offering the safest options for your kids and their friends.

A Word From Verywell

Gluten-free snacks don't have to be complicated and can help offset celiac or gluten-sensitivity symptoms like inflammation and tummy aches. If you don't have time to chop up fresh fruit or veggies, there are lots of gluten-free items at the grocery store. Be sure to check the labels. If you have any questions or concerns, check with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to ensure you're giving the safest ingredients to your kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I be sure store-bought snacks are gluten-free?

    Read the label even if it says gluten-free on the packaging. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some oats contain gluten. Avoid hidden ingredients, like einkorn, emmer, spelt, Kamut, wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, and hydrolyzed wheat protein.

    Stay away from emulsifiers, dextrin, monoglycerides and diglycerides, seasonings, and caramel colors because they can contain gluten.

  • Which snack brands are gluten-free?

    The good news is that many gluten-free snacks are available. The following brands have gluten-free options: Annie's, Blue Diamond, General Mills, and Snyders.

  • Which gluten-free snacks are good for kids’ parties?

    You can have lots of tasty gluten-free snacks for a kid's party, such as:

    • Fruit skewers
    • Yogurt-covered gluten-free pretzels
    • Popcorn
    • Cheese and meat platter
    • Gluten-free chicken nuggets and hot dogs
    • Gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, or muffins (made with nut-based or gluten-free flour)
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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Healthychildren.org. 5 great reasons to cook with your kids.

  2. Scaglioni S, De Cosmi V, Ciappolino V, Parazzini F, Brambilla P, Agostoni C. Factors influencing children's eating behaviours. Nutrients. 2018;10(6):706. doi:10.3390/nu10060706

  3. Celiac Disease Foundation. What is gluten?

  4. Celiac Disease Foundation. Celiac disease in children.

  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dietary changes for celiac disease.

  6. National Institutes of Health. Getting kids in the kitchen.