How many times in a day are you asked if it’s snack time yet? I’m almost positive that I have heard that question at least 1 million times in my life. Immediately after the breakfast chair is pushed in, repetitive echos of “is it snack time,” radiate throughout the house from my three year old.
If you have a child under the age of 5 (or 18) snack time is probably just as important as breakfast, lunch or dinner, if not more important. The truth is, I love snacking too! I want to set a good example for my children by providing healthy and delicious snacks we can both enjoy. When families find themselves in a position to have to go dairy or gluten free (or gasp BOTH) finding the right ready made snacks can be HARD.
At first, when going gluten free, snack options can seem completly overwhelming. All of your “normal” snacking options (pictured above) are typically full of gluten (and often times dairy).
Dairy Free Snacks
When my daughter was just a few weeks old she was diagnosed with a dairy allergy (and later an egg allergy). By the time her snacking mits and cups were ready to be filled with delicious treats, the obvious snacking friends were off the table. We couldn’t partake in those delicious aquatic cheese crackers or blueberry snack muffins, etc. It took awhile to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
Because of our family going dairy and egg free we were forced into eating healthier snacks. Somewhere along the way I was designated as the go-to “what is your kid eating for snacks these days,” mom. My daughter was always delighted to be eating fruits and veggies and spinach filled “fruit bars.” and I guess other moms were getting sick of pretzels and gold fish crackers.
My approach to snacking and all food in general is low sugar, real ingredients wherever possible, no added dyes, fiber added wherever and whenever possible, and all things in moderation.
Recently, my own dietary needs have shifted into removing gluten and dairy from my diet. Snacks aren’t just loved by our littlest kiddos, but also adults as well.
All of the snacks that I have included in my snacking round-up are dairy free, gluten free, and most of them are nutritionally wholesome. These snacks are also easy to buy from places like Amazon and Thrive Market. Make sure to always check food labels as ingredient lists can shift and things can change.
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Dairy-free and Gluten Free Snacks
The ONLY ingredient in this snack is organic mangos. The texture is similar to beef jerky (I realize that sounds weird) but one bite of these mango strips and you will be hooked. It is my 3 year olds favorite after preschool snack. I have almost all of my family and friends hooked on these.
The perfect amount of flavor and crunch. The price tag on these mango strips is higher than I would pay for most snacks, but we can not keep a bag of these on the shelves in our house. This is the ONLY brand of mango strips I personally would recommend as most others come with a hefty dose of added sugar.
These are a fun delicious “puff” alternative. In fact we started using these for my 10 month old son as a “snack” since they are loaded with fiber. I get this specific brand at Meijer, but have seen them at Aldi as well as many other grocery stores. Make sure to check labels to make sure they are truly dairy/gluten free and there aren’t tons of added oils and additives.
If your child loves tortilla chips, they will love beanitos. Beanitos are “tortilla” like chips that are actually made from beans. They have tons of fiber, real ingredients and are absolutely delicious. I love pairing them with a cashew queso dip or salsa.
These fruits and greens Larabars have tons of flavor. The ingredients are simple: strawberries, spinach and cashews. They have the perfect flavor and make a great snack for my three year old daughter. She has no idea she is devouring spinach and calls these her dessert bars.
If you are sick of snacking on potato chips, consider plantain chips. Here’s the deal, plantain chips still have a lot of fat and don’t have many more nutrients than your standard potato chip, BUT they do have fiber which most “regular” chips lack. Plantain chips can be found in most grocery stores. Just make sure the ingredient list is short and there is no added sugar, plantains are sweet enough on their own.
Lesser Evil Himalayan Sea Salt Puffs
Cue my FAVORITE new snack of 2019. These Paleo puffs are absolutely delicious. I actually had to check the bag several times to ensure they were dairy free because they tasted so buttery! The first few bites are almost sweet, thanks to the coconut oil, and then become savory. My toddler now asks for these puffs often. I find the Paleo puffs cheapest at Thrive Market.
These Forager “tortilla” chips are delicious! And are loaded with tons of nutrients and healthy goodness. Since I personally can’t have corn I love these as a tortilla and chip alternative. They also work great paired with Trader Joe’s Almond dip!
Gluten Free Crackers & Nut Butter
Sure store bought PB crackers are much easier, but making your own can be just as delicious and also more affordable. Find whatever cracker your kids love and plop a big blob of peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter on top. Easily throw another cracker on top to make it a peanut butter sandwich. I love this amazing-life-changing cashew butters whose only ingredient is cashews. The price tag is HIGH on this cashew butter in most stores but I get it at Thrive Market for 50% off.
Strawberries and Chocolate Hummus
If you don’t think your child will like “traditional” hummus try it’s chocolate BFF. These typically have more sugar-but I swear it tastes just like brownie batter. We love dipping fresh fruit and gluten free pretzels in the chocolate hummus.
Brown Rice Cereal
Cereal and nutrition are two words that don’t usually mix. I found this gluten free brown rice cereal, and it makes an easy portable snack. It has real ingredients, no dyes, no major additives, and NO corn syrup. I’ve even made these into “rice crispy” treats.
Other Snack Ideas
- Sweet And Salty Kettle Corn Popcorn
- Homemade Trail Mix
- Almonds. Cashews, and Peanuts
- Homemade Applesauce Pouches
- Veggies and Individual Hummus
- Almond Crackers
- Cauliflower Crackers
- Gluten Free Sesame Crackers
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