11 Best Kid-Friendly, Gluten-Free Snacks


It’s tough to raise a child with a food allergy or sensitivity. Wheat is one of the most common culprits. Although slightly over 1% of the population has celiac disease – a disorder in which they become severely ill from eating products made from grain – another 6–7% have a sensitivity.

Often, people don’t get tested unless the problem becomes severe; they observe their symptoms and choose accordingly. However, growing kids want foods they crave and many commercial brands’ gluten-free products leave them wrinkling their wee noses.

You can’t live at the Mayan Cafe, despite their friendliness toward the gluten-sensitive. What can you give your wheat-sensitive little one that they’ll love? Here are 11 of the best family-tested, popular gluten-free kids’ snacks.

1. Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Kids with gluten sensitivities often exhibit symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Along with these signs, they often are more tired than their age-mates. It makes sense; kids need the energy in foods to thrive, and gastrointestinal disorders hinder absorption, leaving them devoid of necessary nutrients.

Put the pep back in their step with these peanut butter energy balls. They don’t require baking, making them ideal for summer days when you don’t want to run the oven. However, you might reserve them for school breaks, as some districts have issued restrictions on peanut butter because of other potentially fatal food allergies.

2. Homemade Goldfish
Goldfish are nearly as ubiquitous in diaper bags as Cheerios. Toddlers adore these tiny crackers, but they’re brimming with gluten. Plus, the store-bought variety has preservatives you don’t necessarily want to feed your little ones.

Instead, bake up these gluten-free homemade versions. Guess what? They’re also grain-free and vegan, making them ideal for multiple dietary restrictions. The cruelty-free moms in your playdate circle will beg you for the recipe – make plenty to share.

3. Healthified Fruit Roll-Up
Fruit roll-ups can’t possibly be healthy for you – can they? After all, they barely resemble fruit. It’s true that many store-bought versions are full of sugar and additives.

However, this homemade recipe calls for nothing but strawberries and water. You can add stevia or monk fruit if you like for extra sweetness. However, there’s no need for sugar, so save the extra calories and prevent cavities.

4. Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch
Most varieties of Chex cereal are gluten-free. They also make a tasty snack without milk. However, they’re even better when you jazz them up a bit.

You can make this snack in the microwave, so invite your kiddos into the kitchen with you. They can help you stir the coating mixture, including licking the spoon (of course!).

5. Sour Frozen Grapes
Grapes are a delightful snack. However, did you know that you can make them into a healthier version of those sour gummy candy treats you see in the checkout aisle? It’s a piece of cake with this recipe.

Best of all, you don’t need any sugar. You avoid cavities and prevent a blood sugar spike by substituting monk fruit sweetener. That means you can feel good feeding your little one these treats for a before-bed snack, as they won’t keep them up all night like candy.

6. Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars
Baking is overrated. You can often get moister, chewier treats without the oven, and it’s safer for tiny tots to press them in a pan that doesn’t require mitts to touch.

These treats are good all year but particularly tasty in winter. Why? Cashews are high in magnesium, a vital mineral for beating the seasonal blues. Bananas add a healthy dose of potassium to counteract all the salty and hearty meals many families enjoy as the holidays approach.

7. Smoky Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a delicious, high-protein snack. They make a fabulous alternative flour, but you can also eat them whole. However, these legumes contain toxins when uncooked. Make them safe with this recipe.

This dish comes in handy for more than a kid-friendly, gluten-free snack. These pint-sized pearls also make a lovely substitute for croutons in dozens of salads – so toss a handful on yours as you pack your lunch.

8. Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
If you’ve carved a jack-o-lantern, you might know that pumpkin seeds are delicious when tossed in olive oil, dusted with sea salt, and baked in the oven. Guess what? They no longer have the only claim to fame.

Roasted butternut squash seeds help prevent food waste the next time you spiralize the fruit for a spaghetti alternative. They’re also delicious with little more than olive oil and salt. However, you can spice them up with a taco version or go savory with cayenne and cinnamon.

9. Sesame Honey-Roasted Almonds
Almonds are another nut to eat more of as the weather cools. They have a ton of magnesium and antioxidants like vitamin E to protect you from winter’s harsher environment.

These sesame honey-roasted ones also make a delightful addition to salads. Alternatively, make a trail mix containing this treat, some raisins, dried cranberries, and a few well-chopped dried apple rings.

10. Dried Apple Rings
You can’t do much better than feeding your kids pure fruit. This recipe calls for nothing but fruit – no sugar, no water, just apple and lemon.

You don’t need any sugar because the oven does the magic. Baking concentrates the natural sugars in the fruit, making the resulting snack tantalizingly sweet. Sprinkle them with cinnamon for a bit of extra tang.

11. GF Animal Graham Crackers
Can vegans eat animal crackers? They can if they’re in the form of these cruelty-free crackers that don’t rely on milk, butter, or eggs – not a single critter or their potential offspring was harmed in their making.

Substitute powdered monk fruit if you want to go a step further and reduce the sugar content. The granulated form tastes the same without spiking your glucose levels.

Make Your Gluten-Free Snacks List Today
Kentuckiana might be chock-full of restaurants with gluten-free options, but your little ones get hungry between meals. What can you give them that delights their taste buds but won’t hurt their tummies?

Treat them to these 11 popular gluten-free kid snacks. They’re sure to pick a favorite you can rely on to be their favorite lunchbox go-to.

Beth is the Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is passionate about writing about parenting, nutrition, mental health and fitness. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs with her dog and trying out new recipes.


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