Top Convenient, Allergy Safe Snacks for Back to School

It’s back to school time! We are all familiar with the back to school lists calling for glue, crayons, your life savings, tissues, the works. Now, with the exponential increase in food allergies, many of us are receiving notes from school to avoid certain foods that contain presumably common food items such as nuts, peanuts, and maybe even dairy, just to name a few.

Yes, it is an inconvenience. Trust me, as a person who grew up on foods that had triple coupons and the grocery store owed my mom money because of all of the coupons, we were all about the convenience factor. So when I found out that I acquired the status of allergy mom, it was a huge learning curve. What? No goldfish? No peanut butter? No cupcakes? How is this normal childhood?

But, this is the new normal for many families. Did you know that 1 in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy? That’s roughly 2 students in every classroom. And, food allergies are on the rise. Childhood peanut or tree nut allergies have more than tripled between 1997 and 2008. {More staggering food allergy facts here.}

There is a child behind those food restrictions that are imposed at school. There’s also usually a set of “normal” parents/guardians behind them, too. Most of them did not sign-up for special diets. They just won some sort of autoimmune lottery. These children have the possibility of really severe medical consequences if there’s a possibility of ingesting foods that they are allergic to, and immediate medical attention is not provided.

While any food can cause an allergic reaction, there are 8 foods that cause the majority of reactions. Milk, egg, and peanut account for most allergic reactions in young children.

  1. Peanut
  2. Milk – cheese, yogurt, Goldfish, some deli meats
  3. Egg – found in bread, baked goods, creamy sauces
  4. Tree nut – walnut, almond, cashew, pistachio, etc.
  5. Wheat – crackers, Play Doh
  6. Soy – edamame, tofu, processed snacks
  7. Fish
  8. Shellfish – crustaceans {shrimp, lobster, crab}

Even though food allergies require special attention, our wish is for our children to grow-up normally despite their food constraints. It’s an aspect of who they are, but it does not define them. Like any parent, we want our kids to be included and loved.

With that in mind, it is possible to find allergy safe foods at various neighborhood grocers! Below are the Houston Moms Blog allergy moms’ top picks for allergy-safe snacks. We clearly aren’t strictly going by organic, non-GMO, massaged-by-unicorns standards over here. We’re just going for survival.

Top Convenient, Allergy Safe Snacks for Back to School | Houston Moms Blog

YOU CAN BUY ALL OF THESE AT A STORE.
NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED!

READ these important notes!

  • Always check the labels prior to purchasing. Contained allergens will be in ALL CAPS and BOLD {i.e. “CONTAINS: WHEAT”} and will be noted under the Nutrition Facts.
  • Please also note when we are particular on the brand. While other brands may be safe, we have also found that some are better than others with cleaner facilities and avoiding cross contamination during processing and packaging.
  • Consult with the allergy parent! {1} it will really lift up their heart in solidarity; {2} some of these seemingly safe snacks may still elicit a reaction given the facility in which they were processed. Different children, different allergies, different autoimmune responses.

Snacks FREE of top 8 food allergies

  • Fresh fruit {apples and grapes are really great}
  • Raisins and Craisins
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks
  • Cheerios
  • Live G Free Pretzels – Aldi, Amazon
  • Home Free Vanilla Cookies – HEB, Sprouts, Amazon
  • Made Good Granola Bars – Whole Foods, American Airlines
  • Central Market Original Veggie Sticks/Chips/Straws – HEB, Central Market
  • Lays Original potato chips
  • Earth Balance vegan buttery flavor popcorn – Whole Foods
  • Enjoy Life snacks {cookies, bars, Plentils / lentil chips} – Amazon, CVS, Kroger, Randall’s, Whole Foods :: varies by location; store locator here

Contains wheat

Contains soy

  • Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzels

Contains wheat, soy

  • Oreos
  • Thin Mints

I am so grateful for our food allergy allies among our family, friends, school, and our greater community. The allergy life can be lonely but I am thankful for rockstar parents like you who are fostering inclusive environments!

If you want to learn more about food allergies, here are a few really great resources.

Food Allergy Research & Education

Kids with Food Allergies Foundation

Texas Children’s Hospital Food Allergy Program

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One Response to Top Convenient, Allergy Safe Snacks for Back to School

  1. Breana Davis September 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    Great blog!

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