How to Buy Gluten Free Snacks

Three Methods:Read the Ingredients ListFamiliarize Yourself with the Layout of Your Grocery StoreUse Online Resources

Eating gluten-free can be a challenge, even if you take the time to carefully plan your weekly diet and grocery list. Whether you have a medical condition requiring you to avoid gluten or you have made a personal choice to restrict your diet, follow the tips below to make gluten-free snacking an easier task.

Method 1
Read the Ingredients List

Perhaps the most time-consuming part of shopping for gluten-free snacks is reading the ingredients list of each item. Unless a product is specifically marked “gluten-free,” you should check for any indications that the food or drink may contain gluten.

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    Know the sources of gluten.
    • Avoid buying any snacks with barley, durum, farina, graham flour, kamut, rye, matzo meal, semolina, bulgur, triticale, wheat, and spelt on the label.
    • Do not buy bread, crackers, cookies, muffins, chips, sweets, snack bars, or other grain products unless they have “gluten-free” on the label.
    • Dips, dressings, and sauces may also contain gluten unless specifically labeled otherwise.
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    Beware of unnamed food additives. Certain starches, sugars, and added flavors may contain gluten, such as malt flavoring or modified food starch.
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    Avoid snack foods processed on shared equipment. Even if an ingredient label does not specifically list a source of gluten, check for a notice that indicates whether the food has been processed on equipment or in a facility that also produces foods that contain gluten. Cross-contamination can make those with wheat allergies or celiac disease ill even when the food contains very small amounts of gluten transferred from other products.

Method 2
Familiarize Yourself with the Layout of Your Grocery Store

Find the gluten-free section in your local grocery store. If none is available, request that the manager assemble one with the help of the Internet or gluten-free resources that list common gluten-free foods by name brands.

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    Memorize brands and food types that provide gluten-free snack options. Many potato chip brands are gluten-free, as are many “all-natural” snacks such as sweet potato chips, some corn tortilla chips, or chips made of different vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, or tomatoes).
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    Record your favorite gluten-free snacks. Keeping a personal list of gluten-free foods you enjoy when you find them can make future shopping trips easier. As a bonus, having a list of gluten-free snacks available can provide plenty of creative snacking ideas when you are unsure what to eat.
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    Choose creative snacks from multiple food groups.
    • Vegetables with hummus, nut butters, flavored cream dips, salad dressing, or chunks of cheese can offer healthy gluten-free snack options.
    • Whole fruits, nuts, rice cakes, and salads are healthy, filling, and often gluten-free.
    • Applesauce, fruit cups, and other pre-packaged snack-size foods are also often gluten-free.
    • Certain name brand rice and tapioca puddings may also be gluten-free, and even certain candies, chocolates, and energy bars come naturally gluten-free.

Method 3
Use Online Resources

Researching gluten-free options has never been easier. Many websites are specifically devoted to listing gluten-free recipes, snack and meal ideas, name brands, and vendors to help people avoid gluten.

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    Search for lists of gluten-free foods at common stores. For large chain stores, such as Walmart or Walgreen’s, gluten-free dieters have already cataloged “commonly available” food brands that are gluten-free snack options, such as Post Cocoa Pebbles cereal, available at most grocery stores.
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    Get involved in online gluten-free communities. One of the easiest ways to learn which foods are gluten-free or how to eat well on a gluten-free diet is to communicate with other people eating a gluten-free diet.
    • Ask questions on online discussion boards about good snack ideas, or post comments on gluten-free blogs to generate responses on creative gluten-free snacking.
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    Follow websites that track gluten-free brands. In many cases, other gluten-free dieters have already done the work for you, and you will likely find some of your favorite snack brands on pre-compiled lists of gluten-free snack options. Checking back regularly can also alert you to new options or changes in popular brands.
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    Buy an “App” for gluten-free eating. If your mobile phone is capable of running applications, consider investing in a program that will help you navigate ingredient lists and name brands to identify safe foods for gluten-free snacking.
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    Browse a gluten-free recipe database. Consider preparing or customizing gluten-free recipes as snacks. Buying gluten-free ingredients will allow you to snack on the components or mix up the entire recipe. Recipes for side dishes may also be great opportunities to mix up a batch of “snacks” that can last all week.


  • Fresh, unprocessed foods are more likely to be gluten-free. Perhaps the easiest way to buy gluten-free snacks is to buy fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free spreads or dips. The variety of combinations you can make will keep your snacks healthy and interesting.


  • If you are not sure whether a product contains gluten, ask the manufacturer or simply do not eat the food.
  • Gluten-free diets may carry health risks for those who do not have a medical reason for avoiding gluten. Consult with a health professional before trying a gluten-free diet for a non-medical reason.

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Categories: Food and Entertaining