Allergy-Friendly Snacks For Even The Pickiest Kids
My toddler is starting school for the very first time this month, and in the enrollment and orientation process we learned something very interesting: his school was previously a peanut-free facility, but is now entirely nut-free! For me, the mother of a child with multiple severe food allergies, this was fantastic news. But for others, I can imagine that this might come as a bit of a frustrating surprise. If your kids are anything like mine, they know what foods they like and may be quick to turn their noses up at anything new.
I’m here to help!
I’ve had a couple of years of experience finding allergen-free snacks that even my very particular toddler will eat, so I thought I’d save you a little trouble by compiling a helpful list.
1. Fruits and Veggies
Okay, this one is annoying. The kids that are always down to snack on raw veggies are a rare and special breed. But fruits are sweet, portable, and come in so many different textures, you’re bound to find something for everybody. If you’re like me and dread the idea of half a forgotten banana turning up in a dark corner of a school bag a week too late, there are always some less-perishable options. My son goes crazy for freeze-dried varieties of fruit, especially berries. We’ve even found bags of crunchy broccoli that taste so good we go through them faster than potato chips.
2. Sunflower Seed Butter
If you’re a lifelong peanut butter-lover, like I once was, it can be hard to imagine replacing it with something else. While it doesn’t taste the same, I can assure you that sunflower seed butter tastes just as good. Because of his allergies, my son enjoys his on rice cakes or gluten-free bread or waffles, but it also tastes great on sandwiches, apples, celery, in oatmeal or smoothies… pretty much anywhere you’d usually put peanut or almond butter.
3. Madegood Granola
I am SO incredibly grateful to have discovered this brand shortly after my son was diagnosed with his allergies. They’re easy to find (we get them at Target) and they offer a huge selection of snacks completely free of the top 8 food allergens. They all taste so good you’d never guess that they’re missing the delicious dairy and nut ingredients found in most granola bars, cookies, and snacks. These are perfect to pack for snack time or for tossing in your purse or diaper bag as a healthy just-in-case snack.
4. Good old reliable Cheerios
Did you know that all varieties of Cheerios are now gluten-free? This came as a pleasant surprise to me! In our house we like the taste of the multigrain flavor, but personally, I’m a big fan of all of them. Just be sure to avoid any of the nut options (honey nut, banana nut, chocolate peanut butter, etc.) if you’re going to send them to a nut-free campus.
I hope I’ve helped to make your life a little easier and a little more allergy-friendly. You really can’t go wrong as long as you always remember to check food labels. If your family has favorite go-to allergen-free snacks, please share them in the comments!