Gluten-Free Grab & Go

Last updated May 2024

Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month!

I’m a huge fan of naturally gluten-free food. It’s usually healthier, usually cheaper, and IMHO, often tastier, too. That’s especially this this time of year, when we can start to get locally grown veggies and fruit. A 2024 list of markets in Northern Virginia is here.

And yet…there are so many reasons packaged foods do absolutely come in handy from time to time, whether it’s because of job demands, travel, or you just need to have something shelf-stable and portable in the car in case of emergency.

I’ve put together a updated list of some of my favorite healthier options among packaged products, with an eye out towards ones that are lower in sugar, higher in fiber and protein, and on the less processed end of the spectrum. I’ve noted which are GF certified, Kosher certified or vegan, according to the manufacturer’s claims, and I always encourage you to double-check, because ingredients and processing protocols change.


What do I consider a healthier gluten-free bar? In a nutshell, mostly ingredients your grandmother would recognize, enough protein and fiber to keep you fueled, and of course, gluten-free. These bars also avoid artificial sweeteners and soy protein isolate.

Snacks:nut butters

Quick meal options

Soups & etc.

Frozen: In the NoVA area, you can generally find these at MOM’s, Wegman’s, Whole Foods and Earth Fare

  • Amy’s Organic® Kosher has frozen entrees, with vegan and vegetarian options
  • Beetnick frozen foods–certified GF, lots of options
  • Dr. Praeger-(choose GF check mark)veggie burgers, veggie patties, fish sticks & more.
  • Garden lites® Kosher soufflés and muffins, vegan and vegetarian options.
  • Glutenfreeda® has a wide variety of options. Nutritionally speaking, the burritos are healthier than the ice cream sandwiches, of course
  • Primal Kitchen–they’ve now got frozen bowls and skillet meals

Shelf-stable options:

  • CookSimple® has a variety of boxed meals (some gluten-free, some not)oatmeal
  • GoPicnic® has pre-packed meals that are shelf-stable. (some vegan options)
  • St. Dafour® has tinned meals (some gluten-free, some not)

Cereals: (other great breakfast options here)


Ah, the task of finding a g-free bread with enough fiber. Try these:wonderbread

Did I leave out one of your favorites? Leave me a note in the comments.
Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, all sorts of GI issues and more.  Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.

Something Local in Season


Locally grown resources, Farmers’ Markets, Farms & CSAs and note to BCBS clients

I’m a huge fan of growing some of my own veggies and herbs when possible, because it’s so much fun to see them grow. We’ve lived in several different spots in Virginia, and my gardens have ranged from small gardens in containers to much larger spaces.  Of course, the deer have sometimes used the garden as a buffet, and space can be an issue in this area, too. I’m lucky enough to have a garden bed this year, but also have a few things in Earth boxes, which are wonderful in places with more limited space. The picture above is kale and broccoli starts I planted a few weeks ago, and they’re huge already. There are also local community garden plots, and this link has listings in the DC Metro area.

Gardens are a great way to get sunshine, exercise, and some yummy food, if you’re lucky. It’s also great for kids to get them interested in fresh foods.grilled aspar

If growing simply isn’t possible, or if you’re looking to supplement your garden, May is when most of the Farmers’ Markets start to open. While most of the fruits and veggies won’t be around until June or July, we got to enjoy the 1st asparagus of the season.

Farmers’ Markets

Whether you have a nice big garden or even just an available window, it’s a great time to get growing. Even a sunny window should work for herbs like basil.

Organic Grocery Delivery Services

Both offer boxes of local, seasonal veggies and fruit

  • Washington’s Green Grocer— organic fruits, veggies and herbs to DC, VA and MD
  • Hungry Harvest local produce boxes delivered to the DC area. Bonus–helps feed the hungry! Down side–not yet available in all of N. VA (thanks, Jonathan!)

Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave me a comment!

Note to BCBS clients:
As of June 2016, I’m formally ending my contract for BCBS. While I’ll still be seeing clients, including BCBS clients, I’ll be  an out-of-network provider. It’s been a difficult decision for me. In brief, after many months and many requests, BCBS claims from December and January (6 months ago) are still unpaid. I love my job; I also expect to be compensated for work without ongoing battles. Longer version here, and if you have questions, do feel free to contact me directly.

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax & Alexandria, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, GI issues, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.