Dance Health

25 Gluten-free and Dairy-free Snack Ideas

By Emily C. Harrison MS, RD, LD of

Trying to reduce your consumption of gluten and/or diary? Here are some great, healthy snack ideas:





Nut butters (almond, peanut, sunflower)

“Blue Diamond” brand rice crackers  

Corn chips (always buy organic, never buy GMO corn)


Carrot sticks

Sweet pepper slices or mini-peppers

Edamames with a sprinkle of sea salt



Dried mango

All dried fruit

Banana chips

*All fruit *


“Lesser Evil” brand snack chips made from chia and beans (so good)

“Raw Rev” and “Lara” brand bars (all different flavors)

“Bobo’s oat bars” (those sensitive to oats can’t have these)

Rice cakes

Gluten-free cookies

Soy or coconut yogurt

Smoothies with soy/ almond/ coconut milk and frozen fruit

Going gluten free and dairy free is a hugely popular food trend that started because of a growing number of people who have genuine reactions to the proteins in these foods.

Some reactions are true allergies to either the protein gluten (in wheat and some grains) or casein (in dairy). Some people might have gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, fat malabsorption, eczema or skin issues. Other reactions can be more generalized and are harder to pin on food alone, such as fatigue, pain in the abdomen or joints, foggy thinking, and even increased anxiety. It’s hard to tell if these are a reaction to food or if something else is going on. There seems to be a spectrum of reactions from just feeling a little tired to full Celiac disease, and not all people are sensitive or allergic.

To learn more about gluten and dairy in a dancer’s diet read:

Should dancers avoid milk?

There’s gluten in that…don’t panic!

These days we see gluten and dairy free as a fad that supports a growing multi-million dollar industry. Not everyone needs to avoid food with these naturally occurring proteins. Avoiding these foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially in children, but for some people a gluten-free and dairy-free diet can be life changing.

Emily Harrison
Dance nutritionistEmily Cook Harrison MS, RD, LD
Emily is a registered dietitian and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nutrition from Georgia State University. Her master’s thesis research was on elite level ballet dancers and nutrition and she has experience providing nutrition services for weight management, sports nutrition, disordered eating, disease prevention, and food allergies. Emily was a professional dancer for eleven years with the Atlanta Ballet and several other companies. She is a dance educator and the mother of two young children. She now runs the Centre for Dance Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles. She can be reached at

Photo (top): © Citalliance |

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