If you have a child in school, you have probably been asked to only bring in peanut free or safe snacks. Those of us who don’t have kids with allergies might be wondering what exactly is a “safe snack” and how to tell when one is or isn’t. A safe snack is one that is free from the most common allergens in children: peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. According to F.A.R.E (Food Allergy Research & Education) Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children and can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Allergy to peanuts appears to be on the rise in children, especially those in school and is a problem that must be addressed.
In order to keep school safe for all students, many schools have adopted peanut-free practices for both in class snacks and lunch room areas. Because there are so many foods that can contain peanuts or trace amounts of peanut products (pastries, cookies, chili, egg rolls, Asian and Mexican dishes, salad dressing, etc.) it is extremely important to know what your children are bringing and consuming while in school.
How Can You Find Peanut Free Snacks for School?
As a parents, we know how hard it is figure out what to send to school for lunch and snack without having to worry about the allergies of other students (especially those with picky eaters!) The good news is, there are great resources online to help keep your child and others “snacking safely.” One of our favorite guides comes from www.snacksafely.com. This comprehensive guide provides an up-to-date list of peanut free snacks and covers everything from pretzels, crackers and cookies to peanut butter alternatives, nutrition/cereal bars, flours/mixes and more. Once you know what is peanut/allergen free, keep snack time fun by creating custom-made snack mixes like these pinners did:
A word of caution. It is advised that you ALWAYS read the labels to check for allergens each time you purchase prepared or pre-packaged food. What is peanut/allergen free one time might change the next. When in doubt, skip the snack. It is just not worth the taking a chance.
Wishing you and your children a happy, healthy school year!