Easy Peanut- and Nut-Free Snack Ideas for School
When your child has a peanut or tree nut allergy, you don’t have the convenience of grabbing any snack and tossing it in their school bag. You’ll have to stay away from the peanut crackers, nut granola bars and similar snacks. But as long as you’re careful, it’s really not so hard to come up with nut-free snacks. There are plenty of snack foods that are free of nuts and easy to turn into a ready-to-eat school snack.
Of course, you’ll want to check ingredients on pre-packaged and processed foods to make sure they’re free of any peanuts or tree nuts and manufactured in a peanut- and nut-free facility. But for the most part, your child could enjoy these nut-free snacks:
Fruits and Vegetables
You’ll steer clear from peanuts and tree nuts while giving your child a healthy snack if you serve them fruits and vegetables as a snack. You could slice apples, oranges, pears or your child’s favorite fruit. For veggies, consider cutting up broccoli, cauliflower or celery.
If you need to keep things simpler and skip the slicing, you have easy options you can just grab and add to your child’s bag. You could toss a whole apple, banana or other whole piece of fruit into your child’s school bag to keep it simple. You could easily add berries or baby carrots to a reusable container or snack bag. Or choose pre-packaged applesauce, fruit or olive cups. Fruit smoothie squeeze tubes give another convenient option.
Bars and Grain Snacks
Many granola bars are based on grains and fruit, but make sure you don’t pick one with nuts included. In this category, you could also pick from Rice Krispy treats and Pop-Tarts. Other grain-based snacks include baked goods and dry cereal.
Designated Snack Foods
Plenty of regular snack foods are free of nuts. You could give your child snack bags of potato chips (not cooked in peanut oil), pretzels or similar crunchy snacks. Crackers are a great option, and you could even provide cheese and crackers. Crackers include snacks like Cheez-Its, Goldfish and animal crackers. You could also give popcorn, rice cakes, cookies, pudding cups and many other types of snack foods.
Meat and Dairy
Consider convenient school snacks that are made of dairy products or meat. Some of these include:
Yogurt cups, squeeze tubes or yogurt drinks
Cheese strings or squares
Salami, cold cuts
If you want to be extra sure your child’s snacks are free of allergens, without spending time on reading labels, go for allergy-friendly snack brands that make it their mission to make their snacks free of top allergens. You can order snack box subscriptions based on avoiding peanuts and tree nuts, or choose allergy-friendly brands in the supermarket or health food store. These brands let you know that they keep their foods free of specific allergens or of the top eight allergens, which includes peanuts and tree nuts.
You might need to go this route if your child has another allergy on top of the peanut or nut allergy. For example, it would be a lot more difficult to avoid wheat as well as peanuts and tree nuts, so these brands could make life easier for you.
For the most part, it can be easy to find peanut-free and tree nut-free snacks to include in your child’s school bag. Many regular snacks that other children enjoy are free of these allergens. Plus, brands make snacking easy with pre-packaged options. If you find certain options your child likes best, you can stick to them and make getting ready for school that much easier.