As a former food allergy parent, at the beginning of each year I typically receive inquiries as to which snacks are safe for kids to have in the classroom, to serve at parties, and to give out on Halloween. It can be nerve-recking to look at a class allergen list and wonder how to throw a party while keeping everyone safe.Last year I wrote about the folks at SnackSafely.com, who have put together a comprehensive list of “commonly available snacks free of peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs.” Though I am not affiliated with SnackSafely in any way (see the disclosure below), I thought it might be a helpful guideline for parents and educators alike.
As you prepare to purchase safe snacks, it is import ant to remember that you should always read the label each time you purchase an item, as manufacturers may change their ingredients and processes at any time. Unfortunately, food manufacturers are not required to disclose traces of potential allergens that may be introduced as part of the manufacturing process. Though it can feel like an inordinate amount of detective work, it is always up to the purchaser to consult with the manufacturer and make a final determination whether a snack is safe for a person with food allergies or intolerances.
If you are in need starting point for purchasing safe snacks for school or another event, go to http://snacksafely.com/snacklist.pdf. It is important, however, to not refer to the items on this list as “allergen free snacks” as there are many, many children with severe food allergies or even food sensitivities beyond an egg, tree nut or peanut allergy. For example, those with a milk intolerance or a wheat allergy are not covered by this list, even though it does provide a helpful guideline for parents and educators.
Also note that brand new on store shelves is a great new treat for kids by Stonyfield Organic. It’s so new, in fact, that it may not even be on the radar of SnackSafely.com yet, which is why I have included it here separately. These sweet new bite-sized gummy fruit snacks are made without the use of any artificial flavors or preservatives, any pesticides or GMOs. Just simple organic ingredients that include real fruit and vegetable juices. They come in mixed berry and strawberry flavors, and I must admit that the strawberry ones are a new favorite of mine as well.
The Stonyfield Organic fruit snacks make a great snack to send to school that gives kids all the sweetness and fun they desire, without the artificial junk that so many parents dislike. (And hooray for a gummy snack with no gelatin or high fructose corn syrup!) I love that you can still be a cool parent who sends in a sweet treat, that also happens to be a treat you can feel good about packing in their lunch bag.
These are perfect for Halloween too. As someone who tries to offer a variety of options so that all children can be included, I will definitely have these on hand come October 31st! I am certain that there will be quite a few parents who are grateful to see them at my door.
Disclosure: Please use the SnackSafely website only as a guideline and read their disclosure carefully. Do not rely upon the SnackSafely list as a sole resource for protecting a person with food allergies or intolerances.
I am proud to be a paid ambassador for Stonyfield Organic. If you have questions about Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks, please call Customer Relations at 1(800) 323-1768.
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