Food allergies continue to be on the rise—with nut allergies only second to milk as the most common food allergy in children. But that doesn’t mean snack time has to be stressful, complicated, or boring!
If you have a child or family member living a nut-free lifestyle, then we’ve got you covered with kid-friendly nut-free snack ideas and practical tips to help little ones manage their nut-free journey with ease.
Here’s where to start:
- Teach kids about allergy safety. First and foremost, teach kids how to manage a nut allergy. Explain what they should do if they’re unsure of whether or not certain items contain nuts—as well as what steps to take in the event of a possible reaction.
- Let kids know they’re not alone. It’s important for kids with allergies to not feel left out at birthday parties, school picnics, sports practices, and other snack-filled moments. Explain that there are other kids like them that need to eat different allergy safe snacks, such as dairy free snacks, gluten free snacks, and more.
- Help them become savvy about ingredients. Explain the importance of avoiding ingredients on the tree nut free food list and teach them how to check labels to look for language like: “snacks made in nut-free facility.” Explain the difference between peanut-free snacks vs. other tree nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, pecans, and more.
- Encourage them to ask questions. Kids are curious, and chances are, they’ll have questions about embracing a nut-free lifestyle, such as: “What can kids eat with a nut allergy?” or “What snacks are tree nut free?” Asking questions will empower kids to be more independent and help them better understand their options for allergy safe snacks.
- Reassure kids they can still eat fun treats. Kids with newly diagnosed nut allergies may be concerned that they’ll need to give up some of their favorite goodies when looking for nut-free snacks for kids. They may have questions like “What candy can I eat?” or: “Are fruit snacks peanut free?” They’ll be happy to know that Welch’s® Fruit Snacks and Welch’s® Fruit ‘n Yogurt™ Snacks are delicious nut-free options!
- Involve kids in the process of choosing nut-free foods. Similarly, let kids pick out nut-free snack recipes or school lunch ideas that look good to them and feature their favorite foods. Kids will appreciate feeling like they have some control over the types of things they eat.
- Make nut-free snack recipes together. While there are many snacks with no nuts you can buy at the store, it can also be fun to make nut-free snack recipes with kids at home. Making nut-free snacks for kids together can give you better control over the ingredients you use and provide an opportunity to bond in the kitchen while encouraging creativity, learning about nutrition, and even boosting kids’ math skills.
- Look for smart swaps. Cooking meals and making school lunches together is also a great way to teach kids about swapping nut-containing ingredients for nut-free options—like using seed butter instead of peanut butter for sandwiches or making a fudgy homemade alternative to chocolate hazelnut spread.
Nut-free snacks for kids
Parents are always looking for kid-friendly, portable snacks for school, sports practice, playdates, car trips, and beyond.
We’ve rounded up kid-friendly nut-free snack ideas and treats that are helpful to have on hand as you navigate gluten-free living with your child.
Remember: For packaged snacks, make sure you always check labels, refer to the manufacturer’s website, and/or check with your doctor to ensure there are no allergy-containing ingredients in the snacks you choose.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of nut-free snacks for kids:
- Cheese sticks. Any type of cheese is always a great, kid-approved way to deliver protein and calcium. We recommend string cheese since it’s fun for little ones to peel and easy to take on the go.
- Pretzels. Try different shapes for variety and pair them with hummus or seed butter for dipping.
- Yogurt. Top with honey, fruit, or cinnamon in place of nuts or granola.
- Rice cakes. These nut-free snacks for kids offer a satisfying crunch and make a great base for toppings like jelly or cream cheese.
- Welch’s® Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks. Made with real fruit surrounded by creamy yogurt, these mouthwatering, nut-free snacks for kids offer a fun surprise for the taste buds. Plus, they’re an excellent source of Vitamins A & C, and a good source of Vitamin D and Calcium.
- Granola bars or protein bars. There are so many varieties out there! Be sure to check the labels to make sure they’re nut-free.
- Fresh fruit. When looking for easy nut-free snacks, you can’t go wrong with nature’s candy. We like to keep a fruit bowl on the counter to encourage easy access. Reach for what’s in season for peak freshness.
- Marshmallow squares. These classic treats can be made at home with just a few ingredients. They’re the perfect snacks with no nuts for school events and classroom parties.
- Veggies and dip. Put crunchy veggies like carrot sticks, celery sticks, and colorful bell pepper strips in a cup and serve alongside ranch dressing for dipping. You’ve got to love allergy safe and peanut-free snacks that are also undeniably healthy.
- Hard-boiled eggs. Let kids add salt, pepper, paprika, or any seasoning of their choice.
- Nut-free trail mix. Create a custom trail mix using ingredients like sunflower seeds, raisins, dried apricots, and other nut-free foods.
- Muffins. Choose nut-free muffins with ingredients like chocolate chips, blueberries, raisins, oats, and other items on the tree nut free food list.
- Cookies. From classic chocolate chip cookies to vanilla wafers to animal crackers and beyond, there are plenty of delicious, nut-free cookie options for kids.
- Smoothies. Blend fruit, yogurt, and milk to make a yummy and nutritious smoothie. We love to use a frozen banana and protein powder for a creamy and filling treat.
Stock up on worry-free snacks kids will love
Whether you make allergy safe snacks at home or buy easy nut-free snacks at the store, it’s clear that there are plenty of different nut-free snack ideas available.
Keep your little ones safe and satisfied with delicious nut-free snacks for kids from Welch’s Fruit Snacks. Explore our many options today!