Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back To School Essentials: Allergy Friendly Snacks

Back to School Essentials: A list of Allergy Friendly Snacks
So for some of you, school is just beginning this week (or next)! Today is Eliana's fourth day of school! With Back to School in the air I have been sharing my Back to School Essentials lists. I've covered lunchboxes, lunch bags, fun food cutters and now I'm going to cover allergy friendly snacks.

With Eliana's allergy we have to have allergy friendly snacks-- whether I make them myself or we purchase them.  However many schools have nut free and peanut free classrooms and regulations so this list can be helpful for anyone.  To begin, I am going to say that this is most definitely not a full compilation of ALL the allergy friendly snacks out there.  We need to stick with peanut free and nut free snacks, so this list will reflect Eliana's allergies and what we need for her.  I'm just sharing our personal favorites and telling you why we love them :)


In all honesty, Allergy Friendly snacks are not difficult to come by! Some classrooms ask for prepacked snacks only, while others do not--but either way it is not difficult to accommodate. Especially when the safety of a child's life is at stake. 

It is important to always check the labels to see for allergen information and for cross contamination warnings.  Some snacks may not have peanuts or nuts in them, but may be processed on the same equipment or in a factory that does have peanuts and nuts in them.  These are label warnings that are very important to check before sending in the snack to school.

Peanut Free/ Nut Free Snacks:
Fresh fruit*
Fresh vegetables*
Popcorn
pretzels
crackers
rice snacks
rice cakes
goldfish
cereal bars
yogurt (Eliana loves her yogurt tubes to be kept in the freezer as an after school snack)

*while fresh fruit and veggies are always safe, dried fruit and vegetables can have cross contamination issues, so it is especially important to double check the label.

Of course there are plenty more snacks that are peanut free and nut free that I could list.  These are some of the most common snacks, and they are all easy to access at your local grocery store. Aside from all the snacks above, I decided to highlight some of our favorite brands and snacks below.

Peanut Free/ Nut Free Spreads: Wowbutter, I.M. Healthy and SunButter
All of these spreads work perfect in lunches as well as they do for snacks.  Homemade granola bars or cookies? Make them with one of these spreads. Ants on a log? Use one of these spreads instead. They are the perfect substitution for peanut butter in any sandwich, lunch, snack or recipe.
pictured above: (what I have in my pantry at this exact moment)

Wowbutter and I.M. Healthy Soynut Butter are soy "nut" butter spreads.  They are both made from Non-GMO roasted soybeans, and both are peanut free, nut free, gluten free, egg free and dairy free.  There are many varieties and they are both brands are delicious.  We use soy "nut" butters the most in our house. You can read my review on WOWBUTTER HERE and you can read my review on I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter HERE.

SunButter is a "nut" butter spread made from sunflower seeds. SunButter is peanut free, nut free, gluten free, dairy free and egg free. Note: If you are baking with SunButter, it is important to know that it can turn green due to the sunflowers reacting with the baking powder/baking soda.  This is completely normal and is harmless. While I like SunButter, my father is highly allergic to sunflower seeds so for us we opt to not use SunButter in case he ever made the mistake of using it.

Everything by Enjoy Life Foods is FREE from the Top 8 Allergens, which is why I love their brand so much.  You can rest assured there is no cross contamination or allergens in anything they make. Not to mention we love everything they make!  They have trail mixes, granola, cookies, chewy bars, cereals, etc and we love it all. The Soft Baked Bars are pictured above and you can read my full review on them HERE.

We also love their Baked Chewy Bars too! They come in yummy flavors such as: Caramel Apple, Coco Loco (our favorite!), Mixed Berry and SunButter Crunch! You can see my full review on the bars HERE.

Eliana LOVES their granola, especially the Very Berry Crunch Granola one.  And let me tell you. Granola is very difficult to find without peanuts, nuts or any cross contamination issues. My favorite granola is peanut free, but has almonds in it. From Eliana's first allergy test almonds did not come up as a nut that she was allergic to.  However when I gave her some of that granola (this happened over a year ago), even though she did not eat the almonds her tummy hurt after she ate it.  I looked at the label and saw it had possible cross contamination issues with peanuts. That was one of my rookie mistakes when we were first figuring out her allergy. I'm thankful all she had was a tummy ache that went away quickly, and from that point on we were much more diligent about avoiding ALL nuts and reading the labels. Interestingly in her allergy test this year almonds did come up that she was allergic to them. I'm glad we had previously decided to be completely nut free with her.  We may have prevented reactions and incidents from happening.

We also LOVE their Enjoy Life Foods trail mixes and chewy bars.  Trail mix and granola bars are nearly impossible to find without peanuts or nuts so we love to have these on hand.

I mentioned previously we love to use I.M. Healthy SoyNut butter spreads.  Our favorite variations are Honey Creamy, Original Creamy and Chocolate SoyNut Butter. However I.M. Healthy also has granola!  I would love to see if they put their granola on Amazon at some point but right now you can only currently buy from their online store. To see my full review on this granola please see HERE.

...And did someone say chocolate?
Peanut Free & Nut Free Treats
So for her snack every day I send Eliana healthy snacks-- not cookies or candy. However for special occasions, and every once in a while, if you want to send in a peanut free and nut free treat what can you send?  I make plenty of peanut free nut free treats myself, but its nice to have prepacked treats too. If you need some to keep on hand, these are a few of our favorites:

Enjoy Life Foods -- cookies, chocolate bars (Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Bars)
Home Free -- cookies
Skeeter Snacks -- cookies
Mary's Gone Crackers -- cookies
Jelly Belly -- jelly beans
Dum Dums -- lollipops
Tootsie Roll -- (all Tootsie roll brand candy are peanut free and nut free) Andes mints, tootsie rolls, tootsie pops etc
Sun Cups (pictured above) --  chocolate candy. They are the perfect substitute for peanut butter cups.  They have Dark chocolate Sunflower seed cups, Milk Chocolate sunflower seed cups, caramel cups and mint cups.


Additional Available lists of Allergy Friendly Snacks and Treats:
Safe Snack Guide by SnackSafely.com --  Downloadable list, 8 page catalog of snacks free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. It is regularly updated as well. AMAZING resource!
Peanut Free Planet -- Online store where you can literally buy anything peanut and nut free! (please be warned that some of the snacks and treats look similar to ones in the U.S., but many are made in Canada in actual peanut free facilities.  However if you buy in the United States they are not necessarily peanut free)

And please check out this awesome list of Allergy Awareness Gear (wristbands, ID Tags, clothing, medicine cases & bags, stickers and labels and more) by my amazing friend Keeley :)

So I have gone over all my Back to School Essentials! 
✔ my personal favorite lunchboxes 
✔ my favorite lunch bags                  
✔ my favorite fun food cutters        
✔ allergy friendly snack list             

I think now I am officially ready for this school year :)

**Disclosure: I was not compensated by any of these companies for this post. 
I created this list to share our favorite allergy friendly snacks and treats with you**

For more Creative Fun Food stay connected!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful post and the whole series! I've really enjoyed it! Now I am off to find WOWbutter and cherry cobbler Enjoy Life bars ~ yum!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Nina!! I haven't had the best of luck finding them in stores by me. I hope you can find them!! :)

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