While many of us grew up eating ants on a log, that’s not always a safe snack for kids these days.
- Tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, etc.)
1 in 13 children has a food allergy, and 30% of kids who have food allergies are allergic to more than 1 food
So what’s a parent to do when it comes to safe party planning, snacking or lunch packing?
Here are 6 foods all kids can enjoy:
1. Fruit with flavored dips
Fruit is a good choice for obvious reasons: it’s healthy and easy to eat. It’s also good for allergy-sensitive kids because it’s easy for them to identify what they’re eating, which safeguards against additional allergies such as strawberries or peaches. The easiest way to make it irresistible: fun dipping sauces. Try classic vanilla or chocolate or mix it up with flavors like mint, lemon or coconut. Party tip: Make 3 flavored dips and ask the kids to vote on their favorite.
2. Flavored popcorn
Popcorn is always a hit with kids, especially if you add the word “Ranch” or “Taco” or “Cheese” in front of it. This ranch recipe is safe for most kids because it’s homemade and doesn’t include dairy. “Nooch” popcorn is also a great choice, and not just because of its fun name. It’s made using nutritional yeast, which gives it a cheesy, savory flavor without the dairy. For a sweet option, try vegan caramel popcorn.
3. Toasted pumpkin seeds
Leaving out wheat and soy can make it hard to find crunchy snacks. Toasted pumpkin seeds are a great alternative, especially in the fall. Get older kids involved in carving the pumpkins and picking seeds out of the “slime” to roast.
4. Fruity popsicles
Homemade popsicles are easier to make than you might imagine. Putting them together yourself also allows you to avoid any fruits your kids can’t have. This layered fruit popsicle uses kiwi, blueberries and grapes, so it’s full of vitamins and pretty to boot.
5. Baked potato chips
Lots of store-bought chips contain allergens. Read the ingredients carefully or use online search tools to weed out allergens, or just make your own. Use a baked recipe like this one instead of frying your chips to maximize healthiness without kids being any the wiser.
6. Chocolate oatmeal cookies
Dairy-free milk and sunflower seed butter are the secret weapons in these sweet, chewy, chocolatey oatmeal cookies. Bonus: they’re no-bake and can be cut using your favorite cookie cutter.
To learn more about food allergies, check out our Childhood Food Allergy Guide.