After a couple weeks where my toddler barely wanted to leave the house due to the cold weather, we finally got out for our first hike with friends in a couple weeks. I was so jazzed to meet up with some other mom friends and get some good socializing in. As I was pulling into the parking lot (a whole 10 minutes early!), I saw the whole hiking group taking off. Apparently I had read the meetup time wrong in our Facebook group and showed up almost 30 minutes late! Womp womp.
Luckily, I had been to this trail a few times and it was a short and sweet walk. I hiked in with my son on my back (I love our current carrier – but have my eyes on this toddler-sized one next) and met up with everyone almost right before we decided to turn back. We had a great time, but once we got to back to the trailhead, my son wasn’t ready to go home. So we turned around and did the whole thing again on our own!
(Here’s a sweet candid photo a friend took of us at this same trail a few months ago when I carried him on my front!)
I’ve been hiking with my son now since he was about 10 months old. I love the time we have together out on the trails. But one of the big things I noticed was that our time outside started shrinking and shrinking as he got older and snacking more. That toddler hunger is no joke.
It wasn’t until another mom friend recommended that I start carrying snacks to get a little more time in that I was able to relax more and enjoy our hikes together. I could stretch our half-hour walks into over an hour by handing him back snacks when he asks for them (… and of course letting him down to explore when he wants to stretch his legs).
Being prepared with snacks has proven to be the easiest way to keep him up on my back – so I actually get some mileage and exercise in instead of just following him around (which is fun too – but not always what I’m after). Not only does it keep him occupied, but it keeps him from melting down from hunger before we get back to the car.
I’ve learned that keeping snacks around – not just for my son – but also for myself is the difference between keeping up with my GFDF diet and lifestyle, finding something that won’t make me feel great later, or going hungry until I can get home.
I’ve also heard from a lot of you that you are looking for some easy and quick-fix snacks that are gluten-free and dairy-free too. So I wanted to round up a few healthy and super easy snack ideas that you can integrate into your life right away.
When I started working on this post, I had a full list of snack ideas – but then I realized that while some are quick and homemade, others are straight from the grocery store – and even easier if you have busy lives and hectic schedules. I know I rely on the store quite a bit for snacks around our house.
With that in mind, here is a handy list of 21 snack ideas that are not only gluten-free and dairy-free, but are healthy AND store-bought.
- Coconut or almond milk yogurt – I like the So Delicious or Almond Dream brands
- Dried fruit or banana chips – Trader Joe’s has a great selection at decent prices!
- Raw or roasted nuts
- Nut butter packs – This brand is my fave!
- Fruit leather
- Popcorn (this is my favorite brand without any butter)
- Olives or pickles
- Crackers and hummus
- Gluten-free turkey jerky
- Sahale nut mix – You can even get this at Costco sometimes
- Tortilla chips + guacamole or salsa – The mini cups of guacamole from Costco are great for packing in a lunchbox or to take on-the-go
- Kettle brand potato chips – Maybe not an everyday snack, but still gluten-free
- Gluten-free pretzels – This brand is great!
- Kale chips – I tried these recently and really enjoyed them
- Apple chips
- Sugar snap peas – Get these in the produce department
- Granola – I like this brand
- Lara bars – Peanut butter chocolate chip is my son’s favorite
- KIND Bars (some varieties) – My husband lives for this flavor
- Rice cakes (plain or with nut butter or hummus on top)
- Applesauce pouches
You can see that some of these snack ideas are great for packing in a car or in your purse, while others are better to keep in your fridge for right before you want to eat them. Either way – there’s more than enough healthy snack options that you can get straight from the grocery store without having to do any extra work.
We try to keep Larabars, KIND bars, and applesauce pouchesin the trunk of our car for anytime snacks if we’re out of the house. Bonus points for these three since they easily fit in my pockets while hiking! Honestly, it makes the world of difference just simply being prepared for healthy snacking than having nothing ready for you when you need it.
>> GFDF Buying Tip: I buy all three of these: Larabars, KIND bars, and applesauce pouches through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service every month so I never have to check if we need any at the store – they show up automatically on our doorstep!
I hope if you’ve been on the hunt for some healthy gluten-free and dairy-free store bought snack ideas, that this list has been useful for you!
Now it’s your turn – tell me in the comments below what YOUR favorite GFDF store bought snack is?