Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Nutritious Snack Ideas

Question: I’m always on the run and often end up grabbing chips or a chocolate bar for a snack. Can you help with some quick and nutritious gluten-free snack ideas?


When eating on the run it’s not always easy to find safe and healthy gluten-free options. But if you follow the Girl Scout motto – “Be Prepared” and plan ahead, healthy snacking is possible. Make sure your kitchen, car, workplace, briefcase, gym bag or back pack is always stocked with a variety of gluten-free items. With the growing number of gluten-free products on the market today, as well as many naturally gluten-free foods, snacking on the go can be both healthy and enjoyable. Remember to choose snacks from the different food groups- fruits and vegetables; grain products; meat and alternatives; and milk and milk products. Also many snacks can be a combination of several food groups. Here are some ideas…

Fruits and Vegetables

– Fresh or canned fruit (packed in water or fruit juice)
– Dried fruits (apricots, blueberries, cranberries, figs, raisins)
– Fruit or vegetable juices
– Frozen fruit juice bars (store-bought or homemade)
– Veggies and dip (made with yogurt/herbs or low fat GF salad dressing)
– Edamame beans (microwavable single serve)

Grain Products

– GF cereal (e.g., GF Chex, Enjoy Life Perky O’s, Glutino Cereal O’s) in zip lock bags
– GF muffin (use a GF mix or make from scratch made with a combination of nutritious flours such as almond, bean, brown rice, Montina ™, mesquite, quinoa, sorghum, teff. Include banana, pumpkin, pineapple, carrot, dried fruits and/or nuts)
– Air popped or low fat microwave popcorn
– GF granola (homemade or store bought – e.g., Bakery On Main, Enjoy Life)

Meat and Alternatives

– Nuts
– Cheese string
– Hard boiled egg
– Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
– GF deli meat

Milk and Milk Products

– Yogurt (plain or fruit flavored)
– Low fat milk
– Chocolate milk or hot chocolate (check to make sure there is no wheat starch or barley malt flavoring)
– Yogurt drinks
– String cheese or hard cheese
– GF puddings

Food Group Combinations

– Fruit smoothie (fresh, frozen or canned fruit; yogurt, milk or dried milk powder; crushed ice; optional – honey, sugar, or sugar substitute)
– Chex Almond Apple Bars
– Hummus and GF crackers (e.g., Blue Diamond Nut Thins, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Edward and Son’s Exotic Rice Toast, Glutino Crackers, Ener-G Crackers)
– Low fat cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit
– GF trail mix (e.g., GF Chex cereal, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, GF pretzels)
– GF crackers and nut/seed butters (e.g., almond, cashew, peanut butter, sesame seed, sunflower)
– GF corn tortilla chips, grated low fat cheddar cheese and salsa
– Ants on a log (nut or seed butter on celery with raisins)
– GF snack bars (dried fruits, nuts, seeds, GF cereals) e.g.,  Bumble Bar, Enjoy Life, EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars, Glutino, Kind Bars, Larabar, Orgran, PurFit.
– Avocado and Bean Dip with veggies or GF crackers
– GF soups (e.g.,Amy’s Kitchen, Health Valley, Imagine, Kettle Cuisine[frozen, microwavable single serve], Orgran soup for cups, Pacific Foods, Taste Adventure)
– GoPicnic shelf stable snack boxes (contain a variety of single serve snacks)


Many of the above ideas are from Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide- Revised and Expanded Edition, Shelley Case, RD, Case Nutrition Consulting Inc, 2008

Note: Ask Shelley Case is a feature of It is published the second Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.

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7 Responses to “Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Nutritious Snack Ideas”

  1. Elizabeth Locke Says:

    Great suggestions

  2. sharon hill Says:

    I am taking a camping trip with a friend and was wondering if there are any quick dinners that are gluten free that you just add water to? He has purchased his dinners for the week and I am at a loss.
    Thanks for any help you can supply!

  3. Shelley Case Says:

    AlpineAire Foods makes fully prepared items that are freeze-dried and specially packaged for a long shelf life but contains no MSG or preservatives. These instant foods are in re-sealable, lightweight, foil pouchese (stable for 1 year) and cn be prepared in the pouch by adding hot water. They have a variety of items that are gluten-free. Here is the link.

  4. Heather Says:

    My sister doesn’t think that celiac is harmful if you have no obvious symptoms. How can explain to her that even if she doesn’t have symptons like the ones my mother, my sister and I have. (We also have different sympatoms as well we there are not identical) that it is important to find out if she has it because of the long term effects ie. osteoprosis and cancer. Her doctor doesn’t feel she needs to be tested because she doesn’t have any obvious bowel problems and symptoms.

  5. Heather Says:

    Both my daughters have been diagnosed with ADHD. Medication does not work well. I have been diagnosed with celiac, my sister has been diagnosed and now my mother. Should I have them tested. My doctor doesn’t think it is neccessary, My sister took the blood test you can pay for and it came back fine but her doctor did an endoscopy anyway and it came back positive.

  6. Cindy Herald Says:

    Have you tried the new frozen smoothies made by Yoplait? They are in the freezer section (duh!) and the only ingredients are frozen yogurt and frozen fruits. They come out nice and thick and very berry tasting! Should be gluten-free.

  7. Healthy Food Says:

    Healthy Food…

    […]Be Free For Me Blog » Blog Archive » Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Nutritious Snack Ideas[…]…

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