Oct
19

Van’s New Gluten-Free Products

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VansGFA while back I was sent a box of gluten-free food items from Van’s Natural Foods. They don’t just make gluten-free frozen waffles anymore! (That was one of the first items we were able to buy in the stores over eight years ago when my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.) Van’s has really expanded their gluten-free line of products. Maybe you’ve already seen some of these products in the stores and wondered what they taste like. If you haven’t seen them in the stores and want to try them for yourself, you can check out the Store Locator on their site. You may also want to check out the Coupons and Specials page on their site. I found them available at Walmart stores. If you’ve already tried some of the Van’s gluten-free products, please add your thoughts about them in the comments below, so we can all benefit from your opinions, too.

vanbarMy favorite product in the box was the Cranberry Almond Snack Bars. I bought these this summer for a quick snack while out running errands. I didn’t want to stop for a meal, and this was just what I needed. Even before the weather started cooling down around here, I didn’t have to worry about it melting in my car or purse. They aren’t overly sweet, and are great to refuel for after-school sports and activities, too. They are a soft, chewy bar, so if you’re looking for some crunch, this isn’t the one for you. They have some other flavors, too  — Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate — but this one is my favorite.

VansCrackersEveryone will enjoy these crackers whether they follow a gluten-free diet or not. If you’ve been gluten-free for several years, you may remember how difficult it was to find crispy snack crackers. Well, not anymore. Van’s crackers are very light and crispy. The Fire-Roasted Veggie crackers paired with my Corn and Black Bean Salad made a delicious, quick lunch.

My husband got to try the cheddar crackers. He’s the only one in our house who eats cheese anymore. He said they were good and really appreciated the individual packaging so he could pack it in a suitcase for traveling or simply grab it for a quick snack at work. Kids’ lunches, anyone?

CinnHeavenSpoonAnd finally, we tried Van’s new gluten-free cereals. My son loves cinnamon, so he was anxious to try the Cinnamon Heaven cereal. He thought it was great. It was a good crunchy cereal, but I personally prefer a crispier texture. I also bought the Honey Nut flavored cereal to try. The texture was the same, and the consensus was that we liked the cinnamon flavor better.

Overall, I’d say I was pleasantly surprised by the crackers and will buy these for entertaining this holiday season. And, the snack bars will also have a place in my pantry and purse.

So, what do you think? Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Categories : Food, Product Advisory

14 Comments

1

We love the new Van’s products! The Cranberry bars are a favorite, and the crackers–yumm! The Honey cereal is our favorite of the cereals. I appreciate that the new products don’t have soy like the waffles (the chocolate chip bars might, but I haven’t looked at them).

2

I actually tried the Cinnamon Heaven cereal and ate two bowls on two separate occasions. I had a gluten reaction. I was a little unsure that was the cause after the first bowl because I decided to try it as an evening snack and we’d eaten out earlier, but when I had the same reaction the second time around, I threw the rest of the package away. Of course, since I’m one of the most sensitive people on the planet it seems, it’s highly possible that product was gf per current standards. I did think the cereal was tasty, although it could have been crunchier as you said.

Shirley

3

Dana – Thanks for your input!

4

Shirley – Thanks for your feedback. Sorry to hear you had a reaction to the cereal. I didn’t notice a reaction at our house.

5

Shirley-
I just tried the Van’s cereal for the first time today and am totally having a reaction as well. Any idea why this is? I’e been gf for about 6 months now due to gluten sensitivity (not celiac as far as I know) and am still figuring things out. Thanks for any input!
Sarah

6

Sarah–Well, the most obvious answer is that the product contains gluten. I know their products are tested, so it’s possible that they contain more gluten than you or I can tolerate, but gluten below the “gluten-free” level–less than 20 parts per million. Those who have gluten sensitivity don’t necessarily react less than those with celiac disease. Some with NCGS react far more strongly and some with celiac disease have no visible reaction at all. As someone who has been gf for over 10 years, all I can advise is that when you find a product that you react to, you simply don’t buy it any more. Best of luck in your new gf life, Sarah. I find that sticking to non-processed products is best. As much as I love cereal, I have issues with most of the gf ones, so I’m back to fruit, smoothies, eggs, bacon, sausage, leftovers, etc. as breakfast options.

Shirley

7

Thanks so much, Shirley. I really appreciate your response. I guess I didn’t think about the fact that to be gluten free, products don’t really have to be 100% gluten free. That explains some other less intense reactions I’ve had to supposed gf products. Great advice about sticking with the basic, non-processed stuff! Thanks again.
Sarah

8

I thought I’d leave a comment as well, my 8 year old daughter is on a gluten free, casein free diet and loved this cereal! I thought, slam dunk, this is great because it’s the first gfcf cereal we’ve found that actually tastes good. Well no more…she’s definitely having a bad reaction to this. I wanted to not believe it when I noticed her reaction, but after the 4th try and having a major meltdown, we are throwing out the box and I’m returning the others I bought. I don’t understand why she’s reacting and it’s so disappointing, and the worst part is that she is so upset that she can’t have it anymore. Glad I found other reviews that confirmed other people having problems too. thanks for your website!

9

Susan — Sorry to hear it didn’t work for your family. But I appreciate you taking the time to comment with you/your daughter’s experience.

10

I’ve tried the Chocolate Chip bars (labeled as “gluten-free”) twice and twice I’ve had a bad reaction. The first time I thought there was a cross-contamination issue with the leftovers I brought from home to eat at the office. But by the second time it was too much to be a coincidence. Typical gluten reaction: bloating, sores in mouth, pain on left abdomen, extreme tiredness. I only ate gf food today but it was only after eating the bar that I had the reaction.

11

I have also found that I have a reaction eating Van’s Gluten Free Crackers. Within the hour of ingesting, had to throw them out.

12

Damaris — Thanks for sharing your comments and experience with us. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with these products.

13

Terrie – Sorry the crackers didn’t work for you. We haven’t noticed any problems at my house, but thanks for sharing your experience with us.

14

I had a gluten ataxia reaction to the cranberry almond bar. It was delicious but the severe reaction I had wasn’t worth it. I wish the FDA would change their guidelines to be 100% gluten free for labeling.

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