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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Handy Gluten-Free Foods to Take Along When Traveling

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Avoid getting stuck without reliable gluten-free food or snacks with Celiac.com's handy list of gluten-free foods and snacks to take along in your travels.


    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--SloopRiggedSkiff

    Celiac.com 11/28/2019 - Traveling gluten-free can be a challenge. Airports, train stations and the like are not famous gluten-free food destinations, and often feature few to no gluten-free options. For that reason, it's good practice to bring your favorite gluten-free food and snacks, just to be sure.

    Here's a quick, handy travel guide to great gluten-free food and snacks to have on hand when you're traveling, especially if you're traveling long distances by train, boat, or air.

    Handy Gluten-Free Foods to Take Along When Traveling

    1. Snack Bars - Carry a few of your favorite gluten-free snack bars.
    2. Nuts - Carry a plastic bag of your favorite nuts, like almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc.
    3. Trail Mix - Trail mixes with dried fruits and nuts can come in handy, and they also give you some protein and fiber.
    4. Fresh Vegetables - Carry a plastic bag of carrot, and celery sticks for some nutritious, portable food realness.
    5. String Cheese - String cheese travels well, and often comes in individual servings. 
    6. Crackers - Pair your favorite gluten-free crackers with some cheese and vegetable sticks, and you've got a small meal that can help keep you going between gluten-free meals.
    7. Cheetos, Corn-Nuts, Doritos, and Other Snacks - Here are several lists of popular, readily available snack brands, like Cheetos, Corn-Nuts, Doritos, and the other snacks that are gluten-free, or gluten-safe, and might just save you in a pinch.
    8. Chinese Fried Rice - Most airlines will allow you to bring in outside food, and one of our favorite options is our favorite, trusted Chinese fried rice. Buy a takeaway box before you head to the airport, and prepare for jealous fellow travelers to admire your gluten-free ingenuity, and culinary good sense. Make sure it's gluten-free and has no soy sauce, or gluten-free soy sauce.
    9. Yogurt - Yogurt usually travels well, and can be supplemented with blueberries, raisins, nuts, or other treats for a more robust snack
    10. Fresh Fruit Slices - Toss some sliced apples in lemon juice to prevent browning, and toss them into a plastic bag for a tasty, nutritious on-the-go snack.

    Also, here are some tips from Celiac.com's Gluten-Free Forum that talk about how to eat gluten-free in restaurants

    Also, here's a List of Twenty Foods You Might Be Surprised Are Gluten-Free


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    I would advise against relying on anything with nuts as I have often flown unable to eat my snacks because someone on the flight had a nut allergy.  No gluten-free snacks were provided by the airlines either.  Numerous hungry travels as a result.  Also, check with your destination if you are allowed to bring any produce on board as often against custom regulations.

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    We travel with those sealed pouches of tuna or salmon (flavored or unflavored). They don't take up much room, and they provide a heartier addition to the above mentioned snacks. You do need some kind of utensil, but it's not hard to find a plastic fork if you don't have one on you. 

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    Before I went on a recent trip,  I had read about how so many people had their gluten free meals messed up by airlines. I was scheduled to fly 17 hours on Qantas and I requested the 2 gluten free meals each flight, was confirmed both ways and, surprise, they didn't have one of my 2 meals on one flight. But I had ordered and brought in my carry on bag 2 shelf stable meals from Good To-Go that I bought from LLBean. When they didn't have my meal on board,all I had to do was ask the stewardess to prepare this meal (add water, stir and wait 15 minutes) and it worked. (I believe it would have been better if they waited a few minutes more than the directions said because of the altitude.) But bottom line, I got food on board!

     

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    Beware the Doritos!  I have regularly broken out (can you tell I really, really want them to be gluten free?  'regularly'? )  attempting the 'Simply Doritos' that are supposed to be gluten free.  I believe they have cross contamination from running on shared lines as the company spokesperson informed me.  I also noticed when they first appeared (to me) on the market, the packaging said gluten free.  It does not anymore - a good indication that there were problems in my opinion.  They also told me this held true for their other Doritos - all can be run on shared equipment. 

    So, so, disappointing - I miss them a lot.

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    2 hours ago, Ging said:

    Beware the Doritos!  I have regularly broken out (can you tell I really, really want them to be gluten free?  'regularly'? )  attempting the 'Simply Doritos' that are supposed to be gluten free.  I believe they have cross contamination from running on shared lines as the company spokesperson informed me.  I also noticed when they first appeared (to me) on the market, the packaging said gluten free.  It does not anymore - a good indication that there were problems in my opinion.  They also told me this held true for their other Doritos - all can be run on shared equipment. 

    So, so, disappointing - I miss them a lot.

    There are a few other options Siete Foods makes grain free gluten free chips. I think other companies make rice versions and I know Beanitos used to make some.

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    I’m surprised they are recommending fried rice...almost all the time it has soy sauce in it, and often times soy sauce is not gluten-free, unless they are using Tamari. I would not say that’s a good gluten-free option at an airport. 

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    I picked up a small 8 oz container of Greek Yogurt before my flight but it was removed from my take-on bag because it is considered a liquid.  I was planning on using it for lunch on the plane.  We also found problems in some airports in buying gluten-free foods.  The smaller airports have nothing I could eat.

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    53 minutes ago, Tucson member said:

    I picked up a small 8 oz container of Greek Yogurt before my flight but it was removed from my take-on bag because it is considered a liquid.  I was planning on using it for lunch on the plane.  We also found problems in some airports in buying gluten-free foods.  The smaller airports have nothing I could eat.

    Next time try shelf-stable yogurt by GoGoSqueez.  It is only 3 oz. and meets TSA standards.  It can be found at big grocery or big box stores.  I also take a collapsible cooler.  Pick up food while traveling and big lots of freezer quart-sized bags that I fill with ice.  i dump the ice while going through TSA and the. Ask a restaurant to refill my ice bags.  

    And if you live in Tucson, I hope you have found Gourmet Girls or Dedicated restaurants.  Yum!  Nice treats to take on your departure flights. 

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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