Whether you’re eating grain free for health or medical reasons, stick to your healthy eating plans even when you’re busy with grain free snack ideas!
If you’re eating paleo or mostly grain free, then you know how challenging it can be to find good snacks, especially when you’re traveling. I have been eating *mostly* grain free for a couple years now to help with IBS and other health issues. It’s going good so far, but now I’m also experimenting with low FODMAPs now…that’s a topic for another day 😉
Last summer I wrote a post about creating your own healthy snack packs for traveling, so there are some really great ideas in that post, too. The snacks on this list are grain free, but not strict paleo so keep that in mind. These options also happen to be dairy and egg-free, and lower in sugar too. Here are my top picks for grain free snack ideas for busy people:
Jerky & Jerky snack packs
Natural jerky that doesn’t have MSG or hydrolyzed soy or corn proteins may cost a bit more, but it’s better for you in the long run. Find jerky that is natural, has less sodium, and has little sugar in it. Some jerky actually has up to 8 grams sugar per serving if it’s coated with sugary syrups, so you want to watch out for that. Ostrim and Kooee! Super Snacks makes snack packs that have jerky, nuts, and dried fruits together in one pack so they are nice for hiking trips, too.
Green juices are a great choice, if you read the label and choose ones that are fairly fresh, cold-pressed, and low in sugar. This particular juice from Suja (Suja Twelve Essentials) only has 4 grams of sugar per 8 oz, or 8 grams per bottle. That’s really good compared to the Naked Juice Kale Blazer, which packs 18 grams sugar per 8 oz (36 grams of sugar per bottle). A typical 12-ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar.
The juice might have natural fruit sugars, but it’s still a lot of sugar to drink in one sitting, especially if you’re not also eating protein, fat, and fiber with it. Naked Juice isn’t a brand I would recommend for a variety of reasons, but here’s some really good info from Food Babe on picking the right juices. If you are thirsty and have no great juice options, stick with water: your blood sugar will thank you for it.
Packable fruits and veggies
Portable fruits and veggies are an awesome way to eat grain free and stay balanced while traveling. Portable fruits and veggies include apples, oranges (especially small clementines), carrots, bananas, mini cucumbers or cucumber slices, mini bell peppers or bell pepper slices.
These are a little higher in sugar (the vanilla bean one has 7 grams), but this makes a nice sub for sugary desserts if you’re craving something sweet and creamy. If you’re taking a short trip, you can make up your own chia pudding and pack it in a small container. If you’re a chia fanatic, you can also buy small packs of chia seeds to take with you anywhere. I found some of these portable and resealable chia packets at Wal-Mart for 99 cents. I have also found similar travel packets for flax seeds as well!
Almonds & nuts
These are a given shoo in for grain free diets, but watch portion sizes with nuts since 1) they are calorie dense, and 2) too many fats and nuts in one sitting can cause abdominal upset if you have IBS or have inflammatory bowel disease.
Choose nuts that are raw or roasted without oil, and watch the salt. Too much salt can make you retain water, and if you’re traveling you are likely going to be dealing with water retention anyway (especially on a plane), so keep tabs on the salt. I really like the Oven Roasted almonds with Sea Salt, but they are addicting, so I usually buy raw almonds so I won’t overeat them.
Larabars or other grain-free snack bars
Larabars are great grain-free options, but if you’re looking to cut back on sugars, check out the low-sugar KIND bars. Those aren’t completely grain free (some have rice crisps), but they have less than 5 grams of sugar per bar compared to the higher sugar content of date-based bars.
If you’re looking for fuel for very active days, the fruit sugar is a good thing, but if you’re sitting on a plane or in a car all day the extra sugar isn’t something you’ll need.
I tried the Flackers crackers a month or so ago and really liked them! I had a Tomato Basil flavor so hey reminded me of pizza 🙂 One thing to keep in mind with flax crackers is that reaping the most benefits from flax requires milling, so you won’t get all the omega-3’s possible from this snack. But these are still a healthy grain-free cracker option with plenty of fiber to keep you full.
Other grain-free snack ideas:
- Kale chips
- Kettle Baked potato chips: made with whole potatoes that are baked, not fried
- Seaweed snacks (I love these! another favorite of mine)
- Apple chips (un-fried with no added sugar)
- Freeze dried fruit crisps
- Zevia calorie-free soda
- Fruit flavored sparkling water
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist