Trying to find gluten-free snacks for your kids?
It's not easy.
It takes planning and patience to make sure your kids have certified, gluten-free snacks in hand and in time for the hungry, afternoon meltdown.
Luckily, help is on the way with this giant guide for gluten-free snacks, specifically for the little ones in your life.
Table of Contents:
5 Tips for Picking Store-Bought Gluten-Free Snacks
The Best Lunchbox-Friendly, Grocery Store Gluten-Free Snacks
21 Easy, Homemade Gluten-Free Snacks for Kids
- Apple Tuna Bites
- 3-Ingredient Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
- Egg Muffins
- Kid-Friendly Fruit Kabobs
- Seed Crackers
- Homemade Gluten-Free, Vegan Goldfish
- Flourless Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Vegetable Fritters
- Baked Zucchini Tater Tots
- Simple Green Smoothie for Kids
- Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
- Avocado Baked Eggs
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Gluten-Free Snack Mix
- Apple Cookies
- Strawberry Banana Muffins (Gluten-Free)
- Gluten-Free Vegan Animal Crackers
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bars
- Allergy-Free Soft Pretzel Bites
- No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars
According to Healthline, gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale, can sometimes cause the following for children with celiac or gluten sensitivities:
- Joint pain
- Rash or eczema
- Nervous system issues
Moms, you already know!
It’s extra important to maintain a gluten-free diet when you have a child with gluten issues.
5 Tips for Picking Store-Bought Gluten-Free Snacks
A common misconception:
“Gluten-free” automatically means “healthy.”
Unfortunately, gluten-free products can sometimes come with loads of processed sugar, preservatives, and sodium.
But with the following tips, you’ll be ready to conquer the gluten-free section with confidence.
1. Familiarize Yourself With Trigger Ingredients
As always, check the ingredient list for the 3 main gluten offenders: wheat, barley, and rye.
If the packaging doesn’t say “gluten-free,” look for derivatives like durum, spelt, wheat berries, semolina, farrow, gram, malt, wheat starch, and brewers yeast.
Does your child have an extremely serious allergy?
Only use products with a “certified gluten-free” label to ensure gluten didn’t come in contact with the food during processing.
2. Check for Salt & Sugar
Pediatricians know best!
If your child’s doctor advises a specific amount of sugar intake, watch for the amounts on labeling– sugar can be super sneaky!
For example, say 25 grams is the recommendation per day. A snack with close to 15-20 grams is going to fill more than half the allowance.
Not to mention the horrible blood sugar spike and crash.
3. Strive for Filling Foods
Snacks and treats that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats will help to keep your kids full for longer and allow their energy levels to stabilize.
Look for a decent amount of each category if you can: protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The American Heart Association lists their recommendations for each age here!
Or combine different snacks to concoct the perfect, filling mini-meal.
4. Shop the Perimeter of the Store First
Fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, eggs, and legumes are always stored on the outer rim of the grocery store, which means these items are usually 100% gluten-free.
So if you’re ever in a snack pinch, shop the perimeter first.
5. Remember Ingredients Change
Keep in mind that manufacturers can change their ingredients and production processes quite often.
This means a product that you thought was gluten-free before can now include gluten or one of its derivatives.
If you’re ever unsure, you can contact the manufacturer with questions. You’re a consumer, so you have every right to know what’s in your food!
The Best Lunchbox-Friendly, Grocery Store Gluten-Free Snacks
What if it’s one of those days?
Those days where you barely have time to shower, so how are you supposed to find time to whip up a healthy, gluten-free snack?
I hear you loud and clear.
Here’s a quick list of gluten-free snacks that are both lunchbox and grocery store-friendly.
The Lara bars for kids only have 9 ingredients with 3 different flavors: chocolate chip, cinnamon swirl, and chocolate brownie. Of course, they’re all gluten-free.
You can even branch out to their other bars like blueberry muffin, banana chocolate chip, and apple pie.
Need a good fruit snack pouch without all the artificial?
Annie’s has you covered. They’re vegan/gelatin-free, gluten-free, and made with real fruit juice.
If you’ve got a fruit lover in the house, then Go Go’s applesauce needs to be a GO!
They’re like the perfect little smoothies with amazing different flavors: apple & grape, apple & peach, fruity four, and more!
Now I know you’ve heard of KIND bars before. But did you know they have a mini version that’s the best size for kiddos?
Gluten-free, low glycemic index (yes please, to no blood sugar tantrum), kosher, low sodium, and delicious flavor profiles.
Try peanut butter dark chocolate, salted caramel dark chocolate nut, and dark chocolate cherry cashew.
You just can’t go wrong with chips. The crunch is too good.
And Bare Natural’s apple chips are exactly how they sound: chips made from apples.
You can bet they don’t carry some of the nasties around typical potato chips and instead, all the benefits of yummy fuji and granny smith apples.
Gluten not the only allergy in your household? Freeyumm has your back.
Their products are notoriously school-friendly because they’re always free from the top 9 allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk (all dairy), eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, as well as sulfites and sesame.
The Blueberry Soft-Baked Bars are a must-try– all-natural and all delish!
Messy Monkeys’ snack rings are like scrumptious, gluten-free flavored cheerios.
Kids love them, especially for their cheese, chocolate, pizza, or apple flavors.
Write me down for a pizza, please!
P.S. You’ll have to buy these guys through Amazon, but you can do that directly through their website.
Sometimes, you just need a cookie in the afternoon– even kids.
Enjoy Life’s soft-baked cookies are the perfect place to start.
They’re gluten-free and vegan with a surprisingly decent amount of sugar for a yummy cookie.
Try the chocolate chip or double chocolate brownie!
Want a chip substitute that isn’t fruit or veggies?
Beanitos are the answer!
These chips are made from white beans and pack a whopping 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber with a crazy amount of flavors to boot.
Kids will love Party Ranch and Restaurant Style.
P.P.S. You’ll probably have to find these through Amazon as well. But again, you can do this directly through their website.
21 Easy Homemade, Gluten-Free Snacks for Kids
While being cautious of ingredients is great, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as making your kids’ snacks yourself so you can add that bit of extra love (and no gluten!).
But which gluten-free snacks are kid-friendly enough to put on the table?
Each of these 21 easy, homemade gluten-free goods.
Think apple slices with a cute little serving of tuna salad on top.
The best part?
You’ve got protein from the tuna and fiber from the apples. Super filling and delicious!
Reeses, move out of the way.
These 3-ingredient peanut butter cups are so much better for you and super easy to whip up.
Remember to go for a natural peanut butter without any added sugar!
You can also use maple syrup instead of honey for a vegan switch-up.
3. Egg Muffins
I’m a firm believer that breakfast is an all-day affair, and these egg muffins prove why.
They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and sneakily include nutritious veggies like broccoli– perfect for picky eaters.
The eggs provide an awesome amount of protein to keep your little ones satisfied until dinner.
What a way to make it fun!
If your kids won’t touch anything unless they can relate it to shapes or faces, these kabobs are for your sanity.
Honestly, though, it’s okay if you don’t even use cookie cutters to shape them.
Just the fact that they get to eat fruits off of a stick is exciting enough.
Here comes the crunch!
It can be difficult finding healthy, gluten-free snacks that offer that satisfying bite usually from wheat-based snacks, like cheezits, wheat thins, and saltines.
However, these seed crackers know what they’re doing when it comes to crunch.
Seeds are also a great source of all the filling foods: protein, healthy fat, and fiber.
Unfortunately for gluten-free kids, they can’t enjoy the classic goldfish kids’ snack…
Or can they?
With this homemade, gluten-free, and vegan goldfish recipe, they can!
And it’s not even as complicated as you might think:
Just a little mixing, rolling, cutting, and baking.
Then you get to see the pure joy on your child’s face when they see these adorable, edible fishies!
Peanut butter and chocolate is an undeniable combo, and usually, kids are the first to agree.
That’s why I’ve included not only chocolate peanut butter cups but these flourless mini peanut butter chocolate chip muffins, too.
The word “mini” says all though. There’s nothing cuter than your mini-me eating a mini muffin!
To top it off, you can mix these in the blender for a quick fix with less cleanup.
Want to learn more about gluten-free baking? Check out this article!
If your kids are caught off guard by the word “vegetable,” call these rainbow fritters instead.
It just might make the difference between nose up or mouth open.
The corn, zucchini, carrot, and red bell pepper offer up a healthy serving of veggies, while the chickpea flour and eggs amp up protein levels.
Appetizer or kids snack?
Either way, these baked zucchini tater tots taste just as good as the normal white potato frozen tots, except with even more health benefits and fewer (to none!) preservatives.
For a fun in-the-kitchen project, you can even employ the little helpers in your house to help you roll the tots together.
Yes, there’s a system for making green smoothies specifically for kids.
The key is to cover up the taste of the greens with other strong, fruity flavors, like banana and pineapple, and to make sure you don’t use darker fruits like blueberries to avoid turning the smoothie into a poop color.
Or, you can just follow this Simple Green Smoothie for Kids recipe.
Sip back, relax, and watch your kids eat their greens!
These 5-ingredient, vegan energy bites are about to become your snack BFF.
In 20 minutes or less, you’ll have perfect, ready-to-eat almond butter chocolate chip balls that your little ones will love and stay full from with its healthy fat and fiber contents.
Make extra and freeze the rest for one of those busy “no time to shower” days!
Avocado baked eggs aren’t just for adult breakfasts!
They make great kid snacks, too, especially if you add some creativity by making a face out of the egg yolk.
They’re so colorful, too when topped with chopped red bell pepper.
Just scoop, crack, and bake!
The tiny snacks that you can just pop in your mouth are the best, and roasted chickpeas are no different.
Easy, tiny, portable, tasty, and fun, and you can even mix up different flavor variations like cinnamon, maple syrup, rosemary lemon, and spicy roasted.
Chickpeas are also full of protein and fiber in true legume style, giving your kids the energy they need to play through the day.
Use the leftovers to make hummus!
Fries are meal staples for children everywhere.
But this recipe takes it to a whole nother level by using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.
It makes for a more nutrient-dense snack while still satisfying that hungry fry craving.
Serve with ketchup or your kid’s favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy!
You can’t talk snack without talkin’ mix, amiright?
There should always be a snack mix in your pantry waiting to be gobbled up by tiny fingers, and this gluten-free snack mix is great for learning how to include various ingredients like peanuts, dried fruit, gluten-free cereal, popcorn, gluten-free pretzels, and seeds.
If you’re feeling fancy, throw in some mini chocolate chips.
16. Apple Cookies
Ultimate mom win:
Spreading peanut butter on an apple slice and calling it a cookie.
And this apple cookie recipe takes it another step further with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, but you can top it off with anything you want: crushed nuts, chia seeds, or raisins being a couple of ideas.
It’s basically the boujee version of ants on a log.
Strawberry banana is another one of those can’t-go-wrong kiddo combos.
And these muffins are super simple with typical ingredients like oat flour, bananas, and strawberries.
You can even switch out the strawberries for chocolate chips, blueberries, or raspberries if you feel like it.
They’ll be a hit!
How about some animal crackers free from the top 8 allergens?
I promise they’re not super complicated, but keep in mind they’re not very sweet. To amp up the graham cracker feel, you can chuck in a couple tablespoons of coconut sugar.
This is another one of those recipes that’s really exciting for kids to help make, especially with the animal-shaped cookie-cutter process.
PB&J in an oatmeal breakfast bar coming right up!
What a fantastic way to mix up the typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
This recipe even includes easy instructions for how to make 3-ingredient homemade grape jelly, then the rest is peanut butter and oat history.
You can also try these Vegan Blueberry Oat Bars– just as yummy!
Pretzels are, unfortunately, another one of those no-go snacks for kids eating gluten-free.
But they don’t have to be!
These allergy-free soft pretzels bites fix that conundrum in a cinch using gluten-free flour.
As you’d expect, making pretzel dough isn’t the most time-sensitive affair because of the yeast, so this is a great project for a lazy afternoon weekend.
The recipe is very simple, however, and you should already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
I know, I know.
Granola bars aren’t the most exciting of all snacks.
But, they’re super convenient and easy to store, which are huge wins for busy moms.
And not to worry, these granola bars are different from most by being no-bake, having a fantastic taste, and being relatively cheap to make since they don’t include nuts.
Winning the Gluten-Free Game with Kids
How’s your gluten-free snack stress level?
Better I hope!
From buying store-bought snacks to making your own, now you know everything you need to keep your gluten-free kids happy when the afternoon snack drive kicks in.
Need some help when it comes to dining out gluten-free? Check out our post "How to Eat Out Safely if Your Gluten-Free [Must-Read Tips]"