Aug
20

Gluten-Free Animal Cookies

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Can you believe I found four different brands of gluten-free animal cookies at one grocery store? Not a specialty market, but a large grocery store chain? I know that the gluten-free market has changed a lot over the past five years, but I was still surprised!

This summer, my grocery shopping habit changed a little. Rather than doing a big weekly shopping trip, I did two or three short trips during the week. While the kids were busy with sports and/or activities, I took advantage of the time by getting my shopping done at the closest grocery store. It was not always ideal because I often ended up paying a little more for certain items. But considering I didn’t have to argue, bribe, or referee the kids, I’d say it was a bargain!

The biggest benefit of my new shopping style was finding a large variety of gluten-free items that have found a place at so many different grocery stores. Our local Giant and Target stores have recently expanded their selection of gluten-free items. While Target’s prices seem to be very reasonable, the prices at Giant seem a little high. In spite of the higher costs, I couldn’t wait to try some new products.

And knowing that school will be starting soon, I bought all four boxes of animal cookies. I wanted to try them all side by side, to determine which one was best. I wish I could say there was a clear favorite, but after all family members added their input they turned out fairly even. Even so, they all have unique characteristics, so I hope this helps you find your favorite without having to buy all four. I’m sure you can find one that meets your needs for gluten-free preschool snacks, snacks for the toddlers, light treats to send with lunch, after-school snacks, study breaks…you get the idea.

Annie’s Gluten Free Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies

Well, let me start by saying these Bunny Cookies are MY favorites. Love, love, LOVE the chocolate flavor combined with the vanilla. They are similar to the popular Teddy Graham cookies (which are not gluten free). They have a nice crunch, but aren’t too crumbly. And, because of the small size, there aren’t a lot of broken ones in the box. The rest of the family liked these, too. And, won’t these be fun at Easter time? Ingredient notes: All natural – no additives or preservatives, but plenty of sugar (cane sugar). Also contains rice, corn, soy and tapioca flours. Made in a peanut-free and tree nut-free facility. (Complete list of ingredients and nutritional facts at Annies.com.)

Kinnikinnick KinniKritters Animal Cookies

These were my husband’s favorites, not that I expect him to take these to work with him. :) My son liked these and Ian’s cookies the best. And I have to say that I preferred these over Ian’s. K-Kritters have a nice crunchy texture without falling apart. Like the bunny cookies, there were few broken ones in the box. No overwhelming flavor, just lightly sweetened. Ingredient notes: Of all the cookies we tried, these were lowest in sugar: 2 grams per serving of 8 cookies. However, they do contain sugar, and really aren’t lacking in sweetness. Another interesting note was that they contain pea starch, pea protein and pea fibre. They also have potato starch, rice flour, tapioca starch and soy lecithin. “Produced in a gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut free facility. May contain traces of egg.” (Complete list of ingredients and nutritional facts at Kinnikinnick.com.)

EnviroKidz Organic Gluten-Free Animal Cookies

These Animal Cookies have been available to us for a while now. In fact, you can usually find them at most large chain grocery stores, often in the natural foods or organic sections of the store. They are my 5-year-old daughter’s favorite.  I think the texture is a little grainy, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. Even though it is labeled as Vanilla, these cookies do have a subtle cinnamon flavor that we like. On the down side, there are often lots of broken cookies in the box. Ingredient notes: all organic ingredients with evaporated can juice; rice, corn, and soy flours. “This product is third-party certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI).” (More product information at Naturespath.com.)

Ian’s Animal Cookies

These were my least favorite Animal Cookies. My husband and I both thought they tasted stale. They were a little hard and slightly chewy without being soft. However, my 7-yr-old son thought they were great. He likes the animal shapes. And, I would think that these would make good teething biscuits because they aren’t too crunchy to cut delicate gums. These are very similar to Mi-Del’s Gluten-Free Arrowroot Cookies, which we used to buy. But, we haven’t seen those in the stores for a while, and so haven’t tried them in a while either. Ingredient notes: Sweetened with organic dehydrated cane juice and honey. Contains corn, soy, potato, and rice flours. Also contains soy, egg, and butter (milk). “This product is manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. This product is routinely tested using the ELISA method to gluten free standards as determined by the World Health Organization.”

So what will I be buying in the future? If I was ranking all the cookies above: Annie’s GF Bunny Cookies would win, with K-Kritters and EnviroKidz coming next. I probably won’t buy Ian’s again.  Anyone else have some opinions to share about these? Or, maybe you have tried some other brands I haven’t included here?

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Categories : Food, Product Advisory

19 Comments

1

Awh, you are Awesome. I was waiting for somebody to post something like this.

2

I haven’t seen the Annie’s I would definitely try those. I loved their regular bunnies before we were Gluten Free. I have found the brand Mi-Del has a Gluten Free line of cookies, we’ve tried the animal shaped Arrowroot cookies, the Ginger Snap and the Chocolate Chip. My kids love all of them, but I really only like the Arrowroot. I found these at Walmart for $3.48 a bag. You have to look when you get them though because they have a NON gluten free line also.

3

You know what’s funny? My husband LOVES the Ian’s animal cookies (and he has even sneaked them to work with him, LOL!

I am personally not a big fan of any of the Ian’s gluten-free products I’ve tried, but that’s just me.

I do love Annie’s Bunny cookies and so do my kids, I am hoping that Annie’s will make a cheddar cracker soon so I can stop making gluten-free goldfish crackers, LOL!

My kids also like the Envirokidz and K-Kritters too (they really just like pre-packaged gluten-free cookies, period!).

Have you tried Kinnikinnick’s Smoreables (gluten-free graham crackers)? We love those those!!

4

Melissa – Thanks for the additional notes on Mi-Del cookies. The gluten-free bunny cookies by Annie’s are new, so keep looking. They might just be a little slow to show up on the shelves.

5

Heidi – Glad to see that there are others enjoying the Ian’s cookies, but I’m with you – not a big fan. I love the idea of the cheddar bunnies. At summer camp this year, both goldfish crackers and Cheezits were served. We brought our own GF alternatives, and it worked out fine. But I think the schools and camps need to start rethinking snacks, and start encouraging fresh fruit and vegetables instead of cookies and crackers. (But that’s a whole other topic, I guess.)
I’ve seen the Smoreables online, but haven’t purchased any to try. They do look fabulous. Thanks for the additional cookie notes!

6

I’ve never seen the bunnies before, but they’re cute. and I agree on the fruits and veggies for snacks!

7

I tried all of the ones you reviewed and also the Orgran and Josef vanilla ones. Both the Orgran and Josef ones are very good, but since they aren’t readily available in Giant, I buy Kinnikinnick for myself. I like that they are very low in calories and fat. My gluten eating daughter liked the gf Annie’s bunnies, but I didn’t care for them. As for the new Ian’s ones, when I first tried them, I didn’t think I liked them, but then I kept eating more and even bought another bag – I guess the taste and texture seems weird at first, but it grew on me.

8

Thank you for your review on the cookies! I just ordered the Annie’s ones as it looks like even I could eat them. I am disappointed that a lot of gluten free items now have pea flour, starch, protien etc in them considering I have a SEVERE allergy to them. The kids will be excited to see the Annies Bunnies in their school lunches! :)

9

Erin – Great! Hope they work out for you.

10

That is surprising that you found four brands at one store! Great review. Thanks for linking it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

11

We like the Mi Del Arrowroot animal cookies, but I had been thinking about trying Annie’s. I also like TJ gluten free ginger snaps.

Have you found a good animal shaped cheese cracker that is gluten free? I have looking for something along the lines of goldfish, but have not had any luck.

12

Alea – Thanks for the comments. I haven’t tried the Trader Joe cookies. I’ll have to look for them.
No, I haven’t found a goldfish cracker substitute either. I’m hoping Annie’s will make some gluten-free cheddar bunnies, but I haven’t seen any yet.

13

Have you checked the label of Ian’s “gluten-free” cookies? The chocolate chip variety states clearly on the package that they share the same equipment and facility as wheat-based products. I have been wondering why all of Ian’s products made me ill, and this would be why. I am extremely sensitive, and I’d worry about others who may not show symptoms of gluten poisoning…

And don’t say to me the usual- it may be soy, or corn, or any number of OTHER things that made me ill. I’m not new to this thing, okay? I just want to tell others about Ian’s so they don’t become ill, too.

14

Char, I actually stopped serving my daughter Ian’s. They make her react and I could not figure out why. Thanks for the heads up.

15

Char – Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’m so sorry the Ian’s products have made you ill. I know what it’s like trying to figure out what’s causing the problem. I personally haven’t purchased Ian’s cookies since this post because they are not one of our favorites. But, they didn’t make us sick either.

To answer your question: Yes, I did check the label. You will see in my review that I quoted their statement that says they are “manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.” The bag I purchased also said that they routinely test the product “using the ELISA method to gluten free standards as determined by the World Health Organization.” At one time that standard was 200 ppm, which today is not considered safe enough. So, perhaps they haven’t revisited the standards, and improved it to today’s standard of 20 ppm. Either way, I’m glad you figured out what was causing problems for you. Thanks again for taking the time to share your story with us and caution other readers.

16

Does anyone happen to know it the Annie’s cookies are both gluten and dairy (casein) free???

17

Diana – I did look at the store, but they didn’t have the same cookies. I did, however, find Annie’s gluten-free snickerdoodle bunny cookies. They did not have any dairy listed in the ingredients or in a separate allergen statement.

18

Heather- thank you so much for your help those are the ones I was trying to figure out :0)

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