This article has been sponsored by Zego Foods, maker of gluten free and allergy friendly protein powder, meusli, purity protocol oats, and more.
Today I’m going to be sharing some easy gluten free snacks, dairy free snacks that are toddler and kid friendly. These snacks are also free from the other US Top 9 allergens (egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, and sesame), and there are some vegan options too. Many of the snacks I’m sharing can be purchased, but I’ll also be sharing ideas you can make at home as well.
Some of the Best Dairy Free and Gluten Free Snacks (also Top 9 Allergy Free)
There are several dairy free snacks you can purchase for your toddlers that are also gluten free and allergy friendly. Let’s start with the gluten free snacks in the photo, which are some of my faves.
Free Yumm Foods Soft Baked Bars – Gluten Free + Top 9 Allergy Free. What I really like is that they own the facility so you don’t need to worry about cross contact with major allergens. This Canadian company also sells free-from crackers that look super cute for kids.
The bars come in a range of flavours, and they also have little cookies too. My kids first tried Free Yumm products in their teenage years and LOVED them. You can check out their review of some of the bars here.
Freeze Dried Fruit – Freeze dried fruit can be purchased in a wide range of flavours including apple, banana, blueberry, cherry, mango, raspberry, and strawberry. Some brands even sell freeze dried vegetables such as peas and corn.
Freeze dried snacks can be put in easy-access containers for your toddler and will provide them with a delightful crunchy texture to enjoy.
Fruit & Vegetable Pouches – You can purchase pouches in a range of flavours. You’ll need to call about cross contact with major allergens for all pouch manufacturers. Case and point: one of my fave pouch brands (was top 9 free) recently introduced a major allergen into one of the products, so you can never be too careful.
In my opinion, applesauce is a great starting point where pouches are concerned. According to the GoGo Squeeze website, their applesauce pouches are made in a top 8 free facility. Alternatively, check out the applesauce from Vermont Village. If it works for you, purchase reusable pouches like this one online, then fill it yourself. For some of you reading, that will be the only safe version of a pouch you can provide for your child- one that you make yourself.
The great news, should you choose to make your own pouches, there are cookbooks available that are purée focused and you can adapt them for your needs. It’s also a low-cost way to provide nourishing snacks for your toddler.
Puffs – My favourite puff brand, hands down, is Spudsy. They make sweet potato puffs that are gluten free and top 9 allergy free. They also have other products available you might enjoy. Their cinnamon puffs with a milk of choice is like the cereal you didn’t know you were missing. The kids have reviewed some of their products here.
10/2023 Update: Spudsy is no longer using dedicated equipment. You can read more in their FAQ.
My runner up puff choice is Serenity Kids, however, they use shared equipment with some major allergens. Be sure to contact them before trying the products if shared equipment is an issue for you.
Cheese Crackers – Made Good Foods has branched out into a new product line that’s a cross between a cracker and puff. My own kids have sampled them and don’t love them, but think they’re GREAT for toddlers. They also think these cracker puffs are good with chili. You can get these as a plain cracker and cheese cracker.
Everybody Eats also makes a cheese cracker. They’re gluten free and top 9 allergy free. Whilst my kids don’t love their products (review here), I’m glad they’re a viable option for families who need them. On the flip side, I have free-from friends who eat this brand and really enjoy them.
Puffed Rice Bar – For toddlers who are able to eat crunchy foods, the Friendly Grains Crunchy Rice Roller could be a great option. The company says their product is made in a top 8 free facility. However, some of you will still need to reach out to them to confirm ingredient sourcing to make sure the product is a good fit for your toddler.
If you find that this bar isn’t a good fit for you, look online and see if you can source a clean puffed rice, quinoa, or millet. If so, then you can make a wide range of puff snack bars for your toddler to enjoy.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Top 9 Allergy Free Snacks to Make at Home
As you can see in the photo, I love muffins for toddlers. You can purchase muffins that use organic and better-for-you ingredients. Alternatively, you can make them at home, which is what I do. You can safe a lot of money making free-from muffins at home, but you can also create a huge range of flavours for everyone in your household to enjoy.
The muffin recipes I create for RAISE, our membership site, are all gluten free, dairy free, egg free, top 9 allergy free, and vegan. They’re usually refined sugar free as well. If you’re not up for joining a membership site, check out my Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly Muffin Bundle eBook. Get all the muffin recipes in one go. Plus, they’re freezer friendly too! You can rotate through your stock and be a seriously happy camper.
Fruit Sauces – I love making applesauce and other fruit sauces at home. I usually combine fruit with apple when making said sauce. Some of my fave combos:
- Apple + Pear
- Apple + Strawberry
- Blueberry + Strawberry
- Strawberry + Rhubarb
- Apple + Raspberry
When making a fruit sauce, if a fruit has lot of seeds such as blackberries, I blend it, strain it, then use it as part of my sauce.
Fruit Leather – Making fruit leather at home is SO easy. The key is to either have an oven that can hold a steady temperature low enough (one of our two ovens can’t do this) or to have a dehydrator. You can see the one I use in the Amazon shop. What I like about the unit I have is that it’s all metal.
Making fruit leather is a simple as blending up fruit with a little lemon juice and optional sweetener. Place on your trays and cook/dehydrate for as long as needed. I like to make mine on parchment paper, then cut into strips and roll up for a homemade fruit roll up experience.
When making fruit leather, if a fruit has lot of seeds such as raspberries, I blend it, strain it, then use it as part of my fruit leather.
Smoothies & Smoothie Popsicles – Smoothies are hands down one of the easiest dairy free, gluten free, allergy friendly snacks you can make for toddlers. You can start with a base of ingredients they love and add smaller amounts of new ingredients or vegetables. Frozen zucchini works as an amazing ice replacement.
Once everyone has had their fill of smoothie, pour the leftovers into popsicle molds to have a fun treat later in the week.
Answering Your Free-From Toddler Questions
How Do I Choose Dairy Free Snacks?
This is a question I see a lot. First, start by reading the label. Milk (dairy) is a major allergen here in the United States and abroad. It needs to be called out on the label. It will usually either be in bold, or in the “contains” statement.
If your child can tolerate food made on shared equipment with milk, then reading the label should suffice. If your child is in the estimated 30% group of people who can’t do shared equipment, you’ll need to contact the company to ensure the product is safe. This free Food Allergy 101 Help course can help, as well as some of the articles below with the additional resources.
In terms of where to start, fruit based packaged snacks might be a good area to look in. Milk can be used in just about every packaged food category, so make sure you’re reading labels well. If you need help in this area, enroll in the free course Food Allergy Help 101: Hidden Allergens.
What are Some Dairy Free Snacks to Make?
There are a lot of snacks you can make at home that are dairy free. Some of my faves include fruit leather, muffins, refined sugar free cookies, waffles, and power balls. I also really enjoy making granola bars at home using the Granola Bar Pan for an authentic shape and size.
What Can I Feed my Toddler That’s Dairy Free?
There are a lot of options for dairy free toddlers. You can feed them animal protein such as jerky or shredded meat, produce (fruit and vegetables), grains such as rice, pasta, and quinoa; legumes such as beans and lentils, and seafood.
You’ll want to avoid products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Eggs are commonly grouped with dairy, but the good news is that if you’re only dairy free, eggs are still on the menu. If you grew up in a world where your mom or dad mixed in milk or cream to your scrambled eggs, skip that step and have straight eggs.
Here’s a helpful resource: Free-From Toddler Food for a Day. Download that file to get an idea of what you could feed your milk free toddler. Also check out the website Milk Allergy Mom. Jamie has some great resources, and a support group too.
What Common Foods are Gluten Free?
There are a lot of foods that are naturally gluten free. Some of these include legumes such as beans and lentils, eggs, milk products such as cheese and yogurt, produce (fruit and vegetables), seafood, animal-based protein, and grains such as rice, cassava, and quinoa.
With those food categories, you can make a LOT of delicious food at home. There are also gluten free noodles/pasta and other convenient gluten free foods you can purchase to make life a bit easier.
Be sure to double check vegan products, as MANY use wheat or gluten. Additionally, just because something is certified gluten free doesn’t mean it’s made on wheat/gluten free equipment, so be sure to do your due diligence before trying new products.
What are Some Healthy Gluten Free Snacks?
If by healthy we’re talking produce driven, or snacks without a lot of added sugar, here are a few of my personal faves:
- Homemade Fruit Leather
- Ants on a Log
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Fruit Salad
- Guacamole + Grain Free Chips
- Strawberries + Homemade Chocolate Spread
- Hummus + Veg for Dipping
- Apple Donuts (Apple Ring + Yogurt)
- Homemade Smoothies with Added Veg
It’s important to remember that the term healthy means something different to everyone. You’ll need to figure out what it means for you and what kind of foods you want to encourage your kids to eat.
What are Gluten Free Foods for Toddlers?
The great news is that there are lots of gluten free foods to choose from for your toddler. The bigger categories include:
- Animal Protein
- Produce (Fruits + Vegetables)
- Rice, Quinoa, Potatoes
With those categories and the hundreds of ingredients within them, you can make a huge range of toddler friendly foods. Check out this Toddler Meal Inspiration file. It’s the mini version of what’s available to RAISE Members. It serves as a good way to SEE awesome gluten free, allergy friendly foods to make for your toddler.