Happy May, everybody! In addition to the blooming flowers, ditching of winter coats and anticipation of summer vacations, May is also the month we talk about food allergies. Hooray for Food Allergy Awareness Month!
Okay, not “hooray” about food allergies, but hooray about spreading some awareness around and talking about how to keep everybody safe and happy this month, and the other 11 months as well. I’ve partnered with Direct Eats, a fab online store that sorts out your groceries as well as beauty items, by allergen. I know, it’s awesome. Their prices are pretty dang good too, which is a bonus when you’re stocking up those cabinets.
Given that it is about time to wrap up school days and kick off road trips and summer camps, it’s the perfect time to talk about snacks. You know, those things that get you through your afternoon slump and what your kids are begging for all the time. If by begging, I mean (car doors opens, seatbelts snap), “Moooommmm! I’m starving!!! I need something in my snack hole RIGHT NOW!!!”
Or maybe that’s just my kids.
Still, if you have a food allergy, or are preparing food for someone with a food allergy, you’re probably already stocked up with your go-tos when the children begin to yell or your stomach starts to rumble. These lists below are designed to expand your repertoire, while also offering 8 main allergen free options in case your peanut allergy is hanging out with a wheat allergy.
While it’s always great to serve naturally allergen-free snacks, life oftentimes requires pre-packaged snacks that do not require refrigeration and can spend an afternoon by the softball field without destroying your snack bag, or survive a care package mailing. (Hint: frozen fruit kebobs do not travel well. Learned that the hard way.) In fact, I would highly recommend providing 8 allergen-free snacks anytime you’re serving a group of kids, or sending it off to a summer camp where many allergic kids may mingle. Don’t panic! It’s really not as overwhelming as you may believe. After all, 2 of the 8 main allergens are fish and shellfish, and let’s just assume we all know neither of those are great ingredients for kid snacks.
So here are two different snacking options, the homemade and the made-for-you. Enjoy!
Frozen Fruit Kebobs — Just like it sounds, you simply find your favorite fruit (we like grapes or cut up plums), stick them on a bamboo skewer and freeze. You can put them in lunch boxes and let them stay chill for a few hours, or eat them right away. Easy peasy, kebob.
Sugar-Free Fruit Fizz — Again, grab your favorite fruit (I pick strawberries or raspberries for this drink), puree the heck out of it and add a tablespoon to a tall glass of seltzer. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime if you prefer, stir, and everyone has a refreshing healthy summer drink.
Popcorn of the World — From Himalayan pink salt to chili powder, dress up your popcorn so it’s allergy safe (which means no butter, sadly) and serve. I like to toss hot popcorn in a small amount of olive oil and a larger amount of spice. Other spices include: sugar-cinnamon, wasabi powder, and black pepper.
Yum Chips — Slice up all the root vegetables in your house and fry ‘em up! Layer some sea salt on top and you’ve got some fresh chips to chomp on.
Berry Sorbet — An ice cream freezer is a must in my world, and it should be in yours too. A general measurement for sorbet is 4-5 cups of berries of your choice, 1 cup sugar dissolved completely in 1 ½ cups water over high heat. Puree the mixture together, add juice from half a lime or lemon, and then freeze in your ice cream maker.
Enjoy Life Plentils — These lentil chips come in a variety of yumminess, and are safe for all. I’m a fan of the sea salt, but the new margherita pizza flavor has my kids begging for more.
Cybele’s Chocolate Chip Cookies — An advocate and chef, Cybele Pascal has perfected the allergy-friendly sweet. Reach for her cookies when you’re feeding a crowd of cookie lovers. Which is to say, any crowd.
Chile Picante Inka Corn Chips — Like the “corn nuts” of our youth, these Inka Corn Chips have a satisfying crunch and the spicy kick will give those Flamin’ Hot Cheetos a run for their money in the number one tween snack spot.
Tasty Fruit Gummies — I admit to swiping little bags of Tasty gummies when I buy these for my kid’s lunch boxes. They’re delicious, and free of basically everything but goodness. They’ve quickly become my household’s favorite treat for any occasion.
Enjoy Life RiceMilk Crunch Bar — As a celiac I have missed the crunchy rice cereal in chocolate bar options for many years. This allergen-free chocolate bar hits the mark and satisfies all.
You can find more homemade 8 main allergen-free recipes and snack tips in my upcoming book, Bake Sales Are My Bitch: Win the Food Allergy Wars with 50 Recipes to Keep Kids Safe and Parents Sane coming from Rodale in 2017.
Note: I was compensated for this post by Direct Eats.