Eating gluten-free is easier than ever these days, with increased awareness from companies and the general public, but it’s still hard to navigate when you’re new to this dietary restriction. Eating at home is enough of a challenge, let alone getting hungry while out and about or while traveling. Luckily, there are plenty of gluten-free snacks you can pick up just about anywhere.
Please note that gluten does lurk in certain ingredient lists, so read carefully. Companies change their recipes from time to time, so what might have been safe last week might make you sick now. Fried foods are normally off limits due to shared oil in fryers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Also Read: 10 Easy Gluten-Free Recipes for Breakfast
FAST FOOD CHOICES
Just about anywhere you go these days, you’ll find gluten-free choices. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Red Robin, PF Changs, Five Guys, and many more all have gluten-free options like hamburgers without buns, salads, or soups. If you have a couple of chains that you enjoy, check their website ahead of time to learn what your choices might be. Always let your server know that you’re gluten-free, so they can prepare your meal accordingly. You can get a Butterfinger Blizzard at Dairy Queen, for example, but you’ll need to politely ask them to clean the machine before mixing yours. At In-N-Out, no other items are fried with the french fries, so you’re probably safe. Be sure to ask.
Available at any convenience store, grocery, and easy to travel with, the simple egg is an easy snack to tide you over with protein. And there’s practically no chance of cross-contamination if you peel it yourself!
PLAIN CHICKEN BREAST
Grab chicken or another plan meat from a grocery deli to pair with some other items on the list for a picnic lunch or snack. Be sure there’s no breading or sauce.
Yes, friend and baked Cheetos are currently gluten-free! They may be processed in the same facility as items made with wheat, so be careful.
And Corn Chex, and Vanilla Chex, and a few other varieties. They all have “gluten-free” in bold print across the front, so you’ll know which ones are safe.
And plenty of other candies, too. Be sure to check the websites and the labels for the most up-to-date information.
You can always count on a plain old apple, banana, or any other fresh fruit. As long as it hasn’t been processed in any way, it doesn’t contain gluten. Currently, popular Del Monte fruit cups are also free of gluten.
Same thing for vegetables! Celery, carrots, and bell peppers are all quick and easy gluten-free snacks. Just don’t cut them with the same knife that was used to cut bread or other items containing gluten.
Plain old nuts are naturally gluten-free. Trail mix can be gluten-free, too, but be sure to read your labels. Dates can be rolled in oat flour that might be contaminated.
(SOME) POTATO CHIPS
Many popular chip brands are completely gluten-free. Check ahead of time, and then dig in! You might even be able to find gluten-free dip as well.
Popcorn by itself is a satisfyingly starchy snack that doesn’t contain any gluten. Watch out for additives, especially in caramel corn or other specialty popcorn snacks.
Most rice cakes are ready for gluten-free snacking. Top them with sliced cheese or gluten-free lunch meats for quick, hearty snacks without spending a lot of money or consuming a lot of calories.
That’s right – you can go nuts on the salsa and guacamole, because corn chips don’t have gluten. Unfortunately, you’ll have to skip the chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant, because they’ll probably be fried with items containing wheat.
These days, you can find KIND Bars, Larabars, South Beach, and plenty of other gluten-free snack bars just about everywhere. Check the package to ensure it’s certified gluten-free, of course. Some “healthy” convenience bars have an ingredient list a mile long, and the ingredients change all the time.
Need we say more? You’re in luck, because Nutella and most peanut butter brands don’t have any gluten.
Yogurt, by itself, is gluten-free. The only time you need to worry is if they have added ingredients and flavorings.
VEGETABLE CRISPS AND PUFFS
With most of these brands, there are just a couple of ingredients. That makes it easy and fast to check to make sure it’s something that won’t upset your stomach or make you sick.
Also Read: 10 Easy Gluten Free Recipes for Lunch
KOZY SHACK PUDDING
Need a comfort food? What’s more comforting than a pudding cup?
One of the easiest ways to start a gluten-free picnic or party spread is to start with rice crackers. They have a great snap, flavor, and crunch, so you won’t miss the wheat.
Almost every cheese other than blue cheese is safe, as long as you’re able to tolerate dairy. String cheese and small packets of cheese are easy to pick up just about anywhere you go, and help you feel full.
Lunch meats make an easy snack or take-along meal, though keep an eye out for sauces, glazes, and processed meat like bologna.