This post about the best gluten-free snacks contains affiliate links. It was last updated in Feb. 12, 2019.
It’s imperative that you carry gluten-free snacks with you wherever you go for several reasons.
For starters, you cannot depend on a vending machine, restaurant, airport or anyone to feed you something safe (or safe AND healthy). Not everyone carries gluten-free items, nor understands gluten-free like you do. So if you have something in your purse or briefcase, you’ll always have a snack to hold you over until you can find something more substantial.
Furthermore, if you’re like me, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. You need food now. You don’t want to be in a desperate, low blood sugar moment where you turn into a hangry monster. If you carry a stash of gluten-free snacks with you, you’ll always be prepared for when the hungry monster visits and you won’t grab something that might sabotage your diet.
Finally, gluten-free snacks truly can be delicious! I have spent a lot of time finding new and exciting snacks – all of which I personally look forward to eating. Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it can’t taste good.
What I Look For in Gluten-Free Snacks
When choosing gluten-free snacks to carry in my purse, I look for the following attributes:
Nutritionally Advantageous: I often look for gluten-free snacks that offer some sort of nutritional advantage. For example, I like to carry something high in protein like a jerky, or something that contains healthy fats, like nuts and seeds.
Clean, Quality Ingredients: I look for gluten-free snacks that offer quality, clean ingredient lists. I don’t want to eat something that has a million ingredients in it or ingredients I don’t recognize or trust. There’s no sense in filling my body with chemicals and preservatives.
Low in Added Sugar: I also look for gluten-free snacks that are low in sugar. If I need a sugar pick-me-up, I will grab an apple, which offers the sweetness I’m craving along with a variety of nutrients and fiber my body needs to more easily digest the sugar.
Quick & Easy: I also look for gluten-free snack ideas that are portable and require no-fuss preparation. The snacks on this list require no cooking, assembly or anything like that. These are snacks you carry with you – 100 percent portable!
Gluten-Free Clues: Most of these products are certified gluten-free too. There are a couple on this list that are not certified gluten-free but contain no gluten ingredients. Remember, you must read labels and judge for yourself if these gluten-free snack items are safe for your diet. Ingredient labels change all the time, so check and re-check each time before you dig in.
Top Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
So without further ado, I’m going to share with you my top gluten-free snack ideas that are perfect for on-the-go snacking.
(1) Meat Sticks and Jerky
For a protein rich gluten-free snack idea, try the wonderful world of meat sticks and jerkys. I highly recommend Tomer Kosher Beef Sticks. These savory beef sticks come in a variety of flavors – including original, hot, jalapeno and cajun, and of course, they’re Kosher certified and gluten-free. I also personally enjoy Wild Zora Meat and Veggie Bars. These meat and veggie bars are bursting with flavor and spices, and they’re paleo and Whole30 friendly too.
And finally, in the meat stick category, I enjoy Epic bars. These are super savory, chewy and come in many fun flavors like Chicken Sriracha.
(2) Snack Packs
There are several to-go portable snack packs that make gluten-free snacking easy when on-the-go. I enjoy snacking on Wild Garden Hummus Snack Packs. Each pack includes a hummus packet with some sort of gluten-free chip or cracker, and it requires no refrigeration. Another great snack pack is by Go Picnic. Each box contains a variety of foods that fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied (at least until mealtime).
(3) Enjoy Life
You can always count on Enjoy Life to help you safely snack while gluten-free. The company makes these perfectly packaged Seed and Fruit Trail Mix packs that are great for that much needed midday energy boost. Enjoy Life also makes the following Protein Bites. They are slightly sweet and, as promised, contain six grams of plant-based protein in each bite – score!
(4) Single Serve Peanut and Nut Butters
Peanut and nut butters are perfect for on-the-go snacking. I enjoy portable sunbutter cups from Sunbutter. They work well for dipping a cut-up apple or for scooping gluten-free pretzel crisps by SnackFactory. Something that is even easier to carry in my purse are these portable nut butter packets from Justin’s. They are light and slim… perfect as an emergency pick-me-up gluten-free snack. I’ll just smear the nut butter on an apple or banana, or even just eat it as-is from the squeeze packet.
(5) Mediterranean Foods
I love canned dolmas, which are grape leaves stuffed with rice, nuts and other ingredients and spices. You can find canned dolmas at your local grocery store, at Trader Joe’s and on Amazon. Just double check the ingredient list to make sure there’s no gluten inside. Most come with an easy lift-off tab (no can opener required) and work well to curb your hunger.
Another great Mediterranean and totally gluten-free snack idea is olives. Gaea makes portable olive snack packs (in black olive and kalamata). These will satisfy your craving for something salty, that’s for sure!
(6) Chips and Crunchy Things
There are many chips and crunchy things to choose from that make great gluten-free snacks. For starters, I love HIPPEAS. These are crunchy chickpea puffs that come in a variety of fun flavors, including my personal favorite, Sriracha Sunshine.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these grain-free sweet potato puffs from Jackson’s Honest. They are cooked in coconut oil and high in healthy fats (as well as addictively delic!).
The market is loaded with gluten-free bar options, so you’ll have to sample a few to find your favs. While a bar is not my go-to choice of gluten-free snack, there are a couple of bars that I do enjoy including RX Bars (Chocolate Hazelnut is my favorite) and Lara Bars (Cashew Cookie is my favorite). Both of these options are satisfying and Whole30 a-okay too. (Read my list of Whole30 snack ideas.)
(8) Apple Cider Vinegar Shot
I know this sounds crazy, but when I’m craving a snack, I often sip on an apple cider vinegar shot from Ethan’s. It weirdly helps to curb my craving and makes me pass on snacking altogether. Ethan’s makes portable shots for on-the-go swigs. (Read: My Daily Apple Cider Vinegar Shot Challenge)
Thank goodness popcorn is gluten-free! I love Trader Joe’s popcorn, but I also enjoy popped corn from Skinny Pop and love that it comes in portable to-go bags too. Yummy!
(10) Nuts and Seeds
You can enjoy snacking on almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or whatever you like because it’s all gluten-free. Just avoid buying from the bulk bin to avoid cross contamination with other grains, and always check ingredient labels for potential allergens. Go Raw is my go-to brand for all things seeds. And you can use these seeds to make your own trailmix too!
(11) Fruit and Vegetables
Of course, when that snack attack hits you, you can always reach for some fresh fruit, most of which comes perfectly packaged by nature. I often find myself reaching for a banana, apple or avocado (just sprinkle a little salt on top and eat with a spoon!). I also enjoy snacking on cut up cucumbers, jicama slices and sliced bell peppers.
Check out my three kid-friendly snack boards made with delicious gluten-free crackers and a variety of fun foods.