Gluten-Free Snacks: 18 Ideas to Take with You for When You Get Hungry

Many snacks will stash and travel well without refrigeration

gluten-free trail mix
Gluten-free trail mix with M&Ms makes a great take-along snack. Nancy Nehring / Getty Images

One of the challenges of the gluten-free diet is being able to get your hands on a healthy, tasty snack when you need one. Although you'll find many snacks these days labeled gluten-free, finding something can be tricky when you're at work or school, unless you plan ahead.

Here are some ideas for snacks you can keep on hand for when you get the munchies, and for places you can go to find a gluten-free snack if you're caught hungry and empty-handed.

Gluten-Free Snacks that Don't Need Refrigeration

These snack ideas are shelf-stable, which means you can stash them in your car, desk or bag and pull them out when you need them.

If you have access to kitchen facilities (or plastic cutlery, for that matter), you can get more inventive. Consider:

  • canned fruit with flip-top lids
  • individual cups of applesauce or fruit cocktail
  • snack packs of nut butter (Justin's offers gluten-free single serving packages) plus crackers

If you have a microwave and/or can store foods in the refrigerator, you can broaden the list to include:

    You also can pack yourself a cooler with a freezer gel pack to keep food cold, if you're going out for the day and want something that needs refrigeration.

    Gluten-Free Snacks from Restaurants and Coffee Houses

    Those of us with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity need to make a special effort to make sure we have enough safe food to eat with us, since it can be difficult to find something on the spur of the moment.

    However, some fast food and coffee houses now carry gluten-free snacks, ranging from safe french fries at some burger places to pre-packaged gluten-free chips at Starbucks. Learn more:

    Snacking While Traveling

    Travel, of course, requires some additional considerations.

    If you're traveling by airplane, you'll have significant restrictions on what you can legally bring through airport security. Unfortunately, many of the above snacks — especially the refrigerated snacks — will get tossed in the garbage by security personnel because they're considered liquids or gels.

    Fresh fruit and chips, crackers and cookies are allowed, as are energy bars (on one trip, I packed an entire case of Larabars in my carry-on luggage, and they didn't cause any problem).

    Car trips are easier, since you can plan entire meals and take a large cooler. But if you're planning a long road trip, you might want to consider booking an Airbnb or hotel room with a kitchenette, so that you can cook along the way. Alternatively, you can take a camp stove.

    Regardless of your mode of transit or how long you plan to be out and about, it never hurts to stash something edible in your bag or car. You never know when you'll get delayed ... and hungry.

    (Edited by Jane Anderson)

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