are lunchables gluten free

Lunchables are a popular lunchtime option for many, especially for kids. But for those who have gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, determining whether Lunchables are gluten free can be a crucial question. In this article, we will explore the gluten-free status of Lunchables and provide you with all the information you need.

Ingredients in Lunchables

Lunchables typically consist of several components, including crackers, meats, cheeses, and treats. To determine if Lunchables are gluten free, it’s essential to examine the various ingredients. The presence of gluten-containing ingredients, such as wheat, barley, or rye, can make a product unsuitable for individuals following a gluten-free diet. Here are some typical ingredients found in Lunchables:

  • Crackers: The crackers included in Lunchables are typically made from wheat flour, making them unsuitable for those avoiding gluten.
  • Meats: Most Lunchables include processed meats like turkey or ham. While these meats are generally gluten free, it’s essential to check for any additives or seasonings that may contain gluten.
  • Cheeses: The cheeses found in Lunchables are typically gluten free unless flavored with gluten-containing seasonings.
  • Treats: Lunchables often come with treats like cookies or candies, which may contain gluten. It’s crucial to read the labels of these treats to determine their gluten content.

Based on these ingredients, it’s clear that Lunchables are not inherently gluten free due to the presence of wheat-containing crackers and the potential inclusion of gluten-containing additives or seasonings.

Gluten-Free Alternatives

While traditional Lunchables may not be suitable for those on a gluten-free diet, there are alternatives available. Many brands now offer gluten-free options for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. These alternatives replace the wheat-based crackers with gluten-free alternatives and ensure that all other ingredients are also gluten free. Here are some gluten-free alternatives to Lunchables:

  • Gluten-Free Crackers: Choose gluten-free crackers to replace the wheat-based ones found in traditional Lunchables. These crackers are often made from alternative flours like rice or corn.
  • Gluten-Free Meats: Look for gluten-free deli meats or cook and prepare your own gluten-free meats to ensure they are free from gluten-containing additives or seasonings.
  • Gluten-Free Cheeses: Many cheeses are naturally gluten free. However, it’s important to ensure they are not cross-contaminated during processing or contain gluten-containing additives.
  • Gluten-Free Treats: Select gluten-free cookies or candies to include in your homemade gluten-free Lunchables.

By using these gluten-free alternatives, individuals can still enjoy the convenience and variety of Lunchables while adhering to a gluten-free diet.

Dietary Restrictions and Cross-Contamination

Even if a Lunchables product contains gluten-free ingredients, it’s crucial to consider potential cross-contamination during production. Cross-contamination can occur if gluten-free and gluten-containing products are processed in the same facility or on shared equipment. This risk of cross-contamination might make a Lunchables product unsuitable for individuals with severe gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It’s essential to read labels carefully and look for certification symbols or statements indicating the product is produced in a gluten-free facility.

Reading Labels and Packaging

When determining if a Lunchables product is gluten free, always read the labels and packaging thoroughly. Manufacturers are required to disclose any potential allergens, including wheat and gluten, in their ingredient lists. Look for statements such as “gluten free” or “made in a gluten-free facility” to ensure the product meets your dietary needs. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact the manufacturer directly for more information.

Additional Gluten-Free Considerations

While Lunchables themselves may not be suitable for a gluten-free diet, it’s essential to consider the overall gluten content of your meals and snacks. Individuals on a gluten-free diet should monitor their gluten intake from other sources throughout the day. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Gluten-Free Beverages: Pay attention to the gluten content of beverages accompanying your Lunchables, such as juice boxes or flavored drinks.
  2. Condiments and Sauces: If you include condiments or sauces with your Lunchables, ensure they are gluten free. Some may contain hidden gluten in the form of added thickeners or flavorings.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables: Round out your Lunchables with fresh fruits and vegetables, which are naturally gluten free and provide added nutrition.

By carefully considering all components of your meal, you can ensure that your Lunchables and accompanying items are suitable for a gluten-free diet.


While Lunchables may not inherently be gluten free due to the presence of wheat-based crackers and the potential for cross-contamination, there are gluten-free alternatives available. By selecting gluten-free crackers, meats, cheeses, and treats, individuals can customize their own gluten-free Lunchables. It’s crucial to read labels carefully, check for potential cross-contamination, and consider overall gluten intake from other sources. With these considerations in mind, individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease can still enjoy the convenience and variety of Lunchables while maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle.