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Snacks are a must when traveling with kids. But what if your kid has a gluten or dairy sensitivity or allergy? No matter if you’re in the car, checking into a hotel or onto your next theme park destination, you can be prepared with this list of 30 gluten and dairy-free snacks.
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Gluten and Dairy-Free Snacks for Kids on the Go
From a young age, my son has had a sensitivity to some gluten and dairy products. As an RV traveling family, I always have to be well prepared for any trip to ensure that we have a snack on hand that he can eat.
Has Your Child Experienced a Food Reaction?
Experiencing your child reacting to food is scary. Finding the cause can be tough, especially when it comes to trying to discover which item they ingested caused the reaction.
Symptoms from my son consuming a product his body doesn’t agree with have included:
- eczema on his face
- stomach pains
- flu-like symptoms
It wasn’t until we switched what he was eating that all of his symptoms cleared up, and fast! This experience led me to source yummy snacks that accommodated his new sensitivities.
Today, his body can tolerate a larger variety of foods without causing a severe reaction. But, we remain mindful of his body’s response and keep his snacks free from food allergies. I pay attention to which foods wreak havoc on his system. One of them is milk chocolate chips. We switched to dark chocolate chips, which he loves.
Prefer the Grab and Go?
On the road, our stops are often unplanned. They can range from quick gas station run-ins to scouting out limited food options. This means having a good supply of gluten-free, dairy-free snacks right in our car.
I like to keep our road-trip-snacks ready-to-go by packing them all into a separate travel tote bag. Getting out the door is often rushed when we are packing up the RV for a long drive to our next destination.
Most of my suggestions can easily be tossed into a tote bag. Others can be quickly prepped the day before and placed into reusable snack bags.
Have You Ever Forgotten to Pack the Snacks?
We took a trip that required only an hour’s drive.. and you guessed it…I forgot the snacks! If you have ever been in the car (or anywhere) with a hungry toddler, you know they escalate quickly.
My toddler went from asking for a snack to being very hungry — and angry — in a very short amount of time. Panic struck as I looked for a place for us to grab something for him to eat. No luck. We had to wait until we got to our destination. Needless to say, I will never forget to pack the snacks again.
Do All Gluten and Dairy-Free Snacks Taste Good?
No! As a mom, I’ve been at this for a while. We’ve tasted the good, the bad and the dry to see which ones are “snack approved” by my son. He has spit out (all over the place) some snacks, while others he will attempt to eat the whole package in one day.
Knowing that all allergy-friendly snacks are not created equal, traveling without our own on hand can become a problem.
Don’t Places Like Disney Offer Allergy-Friendly Substitutes?
Disney does a good job for kids with allergies and sensitivities. But when it comes to other attractions I’m often left staring at the menu trying to decide between a bunless hotdog or wondering if we could get away with the buttered up popcorn. They will always have candy but forget about finding a dark chocolate bar!
If a place offers an allergy substitute, it doesn’t mean they’re all going to rate high on the flavor scale (or be a healthy snack for my son). For example, gluten-free bread varies drastically in taste (insert the dry taste testing we’ve done). Often I bring our own bread when we go out for meals. That way I don’t have an unhappy toddler!
Where Can I Buy Items on This List?
When I first began the search years ago, gluten and dairy-free snacks were hard to find. Today, most grocery stores carry an array of choices. We regularly find them at Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I usually buy multiples of each snack when I shop. That way, I’m stocked up on snacks I know my son favors.
When we travel and those stores aren’t available, I head to the local grocery to see if they have a gluten-free section. Web ordering is another option. Amazon carries most of the items on my snack list, even the ones from Trader Joe’s.
30 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Snack Ideas
It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to the beach, the zoo, or checking into a hotel, my snack list is convenient and toddler approved. Below are 30 gluten and dairy-free snack suggestions, from sweet to savory.
The best part? Most of these snacks are healthy and easy to find! I recommend copying and pasting this list. Then you can print it or save it into your phone’s note section so you can easily access it when you’re shopping.
- Trader Joe’s Roasted Plantain Chips
- Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels
- Hail Mary Cups (preferred flavors: chocolate peanut butter, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, and chocolate almond butter)
- GoGo Squeeze Organic Applesauce on the go packs
- SO Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Organic Crunchy Rice Rollers
- Chocolate Almond Milk Pudding
- Fresh Fruit. If I can find the pre-sliced packaged fruit I will pick up a couple of packages.
- Trader Joe’s Dried Fruit “Just Mango Slices” unsulfured & unsweetened
- Vans Gluten Free Blueberry PB&J Bars
- Wholly Guacamole (avocado) Minis paired with veggies
- Vegan Rob’s Cauliflower Puffs
- Gratify Gluten-Free Cinnamon Baked Bites
- Hummus and veggies
- Nuts (Pecans or Walnuts)
- Dried Apple Chips
- Schär Gluten-Free Artisan Baker White Bread for sandwiches
- Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
- Surf Sweets Gummy Worms
- Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips
- Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
- Popcorn (popped at home in coconut oil)
- Fruit Strips or Trader Joe’s Fruit Leather Buttons
- Nature’s Bakery Gluten-Free Fig Bar
- GoGo Squeeze Blastz Pouches
- Almond butter or Cashew Butter paired with gluten-free crackers (We prefer Gratify Gluten Baked Bites)
- Trader Joe’s Seasoned Kale Chips
- Dark Chocolate (Chocolate chips or bars)
- Vans Blueberry & Peanut Butter Sandwich Bars
- Gluten-Free Granola or granola bars
No matter if you’re on the lookout for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo-friendly, keto, soy-free or nut-free snack ideas, this variety-filled list will be a fantastic place to start introducing some new yummy treats!
About the Author
Stacy Simmons explores the USA full time with her family in their travel trailer. She and her husband road trip non-stop with their 4-year-old son, Grey, to experience new and exciting places. She loves to share where they have been, and what they experience through her travel and lifestyle blog, Modern Day Witch and also designs websites, interiors and runs her own business, Feminine Tribe.