It’s hard enough raising kids without throwing allergies into the mix. Some are seasonal and can be tamed with medication, but others are food related. The dangers are lurking in a friend’s lunchbox or at a birthday party. Always be sure to alert your child’s school or childcare center to any allergies or sensitivities so the proper precautions can be taken in case of a reaction. While learning to share and make new friends, the urge to try a new food that is not safely packed in their own lunchbox might happen with the best intentions.
We are however very fortunate to live in a time of nutritional progress. There are new companies forming each year that address dietary needs. Here are some great companies and snacks that won’t make children feel like they are missing out because of an allergy…they taste great and area easy to bring with school lunches.
This certified non-GMO company is committed to making products free from the top eight allergens: wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish. To raise the bar even higher, they do not contain casein, potato, sesame, and sulfites. Some delicious products you might find on the grocery shelves are:
- Mixed Berry Baked Chewy Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookies (Soft, Crunchy, and Mini!)
- Plentils (a crunchy lentil chip that comes in several flavors like sea salt and margherita pizza)
- Rice Milk Chocolate Bars
- also Muffin Mix, Pancake Mix, Brownie Mix, Pizza Crust Mix…
Where to find it: You can find this brand locally in the gluten-free/natural foods section of Shaws and Stop and Shop. Target, Whole Foods, and Back to Basics Natural Foods in East Greenwich are also options with a wide variety. Rite Aid is a great place to run in and get selected products if you are in a rush.
This company pride itself on making plant-based goodness. They also try to make their products in recyclable packaging (which can’t hurt). If you are looking for more than just great snacks for your child, they have a great line of buttery spreads that are a staple in my house. On their website, you can look up back-to-school snack recipes using their products.
- Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares (think the best cheese-free Cheez-Its on the market!)
- Vegan Cheddar Flavor Kettle Chips
- Vegan Aged White Cheddar Flavor Popcorn
- Vegan Buttery Flavor Popcorn
- Vegan Aged White Cheddar Flavor Puffs
- Vegan White/Yellow Cheddar Mac & Cheese
If you have a child with allergies, food transparency is extremely important. You can go on Quinn Snacks’ web site to learn about what they are working on (since every company can still improve) in addition to meeting every member of their team. They have a strict policy to exclude GMOs, not use preservatives or flavorings, and ensure you can pronounce the ingredients on their labels. Some personally vouched for products:
- Classic Sea Salt Bagged Popcorn
- Organic Coconut Oil Bagged Popcorn
- California Olive Oil Popcorn
- Classic Sea Salt Pretzels (gluten, corn, dairy, and soy free!)
- Vermont Maple Kettle Corn Microwave Popcorn (this is a do it yourself product, you pop the popcorn, then add the ingredients second which is always fun for me)
Okay, not a school snack. But this could be an afterschool snack for sure. Having a dairy allergy is tough and this is quickly becoming one of the most credible and scrumptious dairy-free ice creams on the market. Nada Moo! is USDA Organic, Certified Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher, and contains Certified Fair Trade ingredients. It has finally made its way to Rhode Island and the following flavors are winning us over pretty quickly:
- That Snickerdoodle Dough
- Lotta Mint Chip (my personal favorite)
- Cookies and Crème
- Gotta Do Chocolate
- Sweet Cherry Lime
- and so many more…