Snacking has become more popular for children over the years. Whether your child is at school, daycare, a church or gym nursery, dance, or even soccer practice, snacks are everywhere! When your child has food allergies, finding allergen-friendly replacements for your child’s favorite snacks is difficult. Processed snack foods are often full of ingredients and allergens you would never expect. Why does a seemingly nut-free cookie contain peanuts? Do your favorite chips contain milk? And sometimes your favorite snacks are processed on machines from a facility that has other allergens.
When in doubt, go back to the basics with these ideas:
- Try whole foods like fruits and vegetables. You can even create fun fruit kabobs or veggies with an allergen friendly dip.
- Yogurts that suit your dietary needs including soy and coconut yogurt for those with a dairy allergy. Try filling ice pop plastic bags with yogurt and freeze for a snack on the go.
- Make trail mixes using ingredients such as Cheerios, gluten-free pretzels, Chex cereal, dairy-free chocolate chips, and dried fruit such as cranberries and raisins.
- Other great snacks like popcorn, corn chips and salsa, granola, and pureed fruit pouches.
With 15 million Americans, specifically 1 in 13 children having food allergies, several companies are creating foods especially for families like ours. These brands are an excellent source for easy, on-the-go snacks.
Some of my family’s favorites are:
- Enjoy Life Foods – Their snacks are gluten-free, free of the top 8 allergens, non-GMO and contain no artificial ingredients. Products include cookies, bars, baking mixes, flavored lentil chips and seed and fruit mixes.
- Free2B – snacks that are vegan, gluten-free, free of the top 12 allergens and non-GMO. Their plant-based products include chocolate bark with tasty add-ins such as dried fruit and seeds and sun cups – think peanut butter cups but with roasted sunflower seed butter!
- MadeGood – products that are vegan, gluten-free, free of the top 8 allergens and non-GMO. Granola bars as well as crispy squares – those yummy rice cereal bars sans the dairy.
- Gratify – pretzels and crackers that are gluten-free and free of wheat, egg, and dairy.
*As always, be sure to check all food labels prior to consumption to ensure they are safe for your child and comply with their dietary needs. And don’t forget to check labels often as ingredients may change.
– Suellen Lester, Springible Contributor