10 Allergy-Friendly Snacks for Kids

Mar 1, 2015 //

Even if your child doesn’t have food allergies, he’s still
likely hang out with at least one – if not more – kids who do. According to
FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), “this potentially deadly disease
affects one in every 13 children (under 18) in the US. That’s roughly two in
every classroom.”
Some children’s allergies are so severe that common
allergens, such as nuts, aren’t allowed in classrooms at all.

The top eight allergens that account for 90 percent of all
food allergic reactions are fish, eggs, dairy, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree
nuts and wheat. Finding snacks that don’t rely on these ingredients doesn’t
have to be a hassle. We’ve pulled together 10 munchies for your kid’s lunchbox
that avoid most common allergens. Bonus: they’re great for the whole family, so
double up the recipes and tote some with you to the office. (As always, read
labels carefully to make sure the foods don’t contain unsafe ingredients for
your child’s particular allergy.)

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Teachers appreciate parents sending children in with healthy
snacks because it gives them an energy boost to instead of a sugar crash. That
doesn’t mean cookies are off-limits, though. Check out these delicious and,
yes, healthy ones! 


  • 2 1/3 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup Sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup dark or semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips

See the full recipe at SallysBakingAddiction.com.

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Goodbye potato chips, hello garbanzos. Roast these for a
satisfying sweet treat that offers a nice mid-day protein boost!


  • 1 15-ounce can chick peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or light/dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

See the full recipe at SallysBakingAddiction.com.

Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

These are much better for you than a fried option. Pair them
with salsa for a flavorful, low-fat snack.


  • 5 gluten-free corn tortillas
  • Salt
  • Optional toppings of your choosing, such as onion powder,
    garlic powder, cumin or cinnamon and sugar

See the full recipe at Food.com.

Stovetop Popcorn

Skip the so-so microwave stuff and make your own with nothing
more than kernels and a regular old heavy pan.


  • 1/2 cup unpopped kernels
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil

See the full recipe at JollyTime.com.

Gluten-Free Granola Bars

You probably know store-bought granola bars have about as
much sugar and as little nutrition as a candy bar. Instead, try these instead!


  • ¾ cup Sunbutter
  • ½ cup coconut sugar, Sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and mashed
  • ½ cup butter or dairy-free butter substitute, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 2 ½ cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup dried fruit, raisins or a combination – if using larger pieces of dried
    fruit, chop them roughly
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or chips
  • (optional: up to a cup of additional ingredients such as coconut flakes, flax,
    chia, sunflower or sesame seeds)

See the full recipe at SimplyGluten-Free.com.

Homemade Fruit Leather

Incredibly easy prep, but make it on a day when you plan to
be home, as it needs hours and hours in the oven. Let your children choose
their favorite fruits to create their fruit leather, and they’ll be even more
eager to devour it.


  • 3 cups ripe chopped fruit
  • Sweetener, to taste (agave, honey or granulated sugar)

See the full recipe at TwoPeasandTheirPod.com.

White Bean Hummus and Vegetables

Fresh vegetables with dip is a snack staple. Play around to
see what flavors your kid responds best to. White beans are a tasty alternative
to chickpeas.


  • 1 (24-ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

See the full recipe at FoodNetwork.com.

Sunburst Energy Smoothie

Add a few ice cubes to this smoothie recipe, then pack it in
a thermos, and your child will have a cold, creamy drink to enjoy on a warm


  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple cubes
  • 3/4 cup frozen mango cubes
  • 3/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • Big handful of spinach (optional)

See the full recipe at SuperHealthyKids.com.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter with Mini Rice Cakes

Don’t let the name fool you; there’s no dairy in apple
butter. But it’s a smooth, creamy spread that kids tend to adore. Spread it on
mini rice cakes or any non-allergenic cracker or bread.


  • 6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

See the full recipe at BrownEyedBaker.com.

Vegan Goldfish Crackers

All the fun of store-bought crackers, without any of the
processed, unnatural stuff! This is a fun recipe to make with your kids – it’s practically
impossible to mess up! If someone in your family has a wheat allergy or celiac
disease, swap out the regular flour for a gluten-free option. 


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional, but recommended)
  • 5 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • (Allergen alert: contains wheat)

See the full recipe at ChefChloe.com.

Andrea Pyros

Andrea Pyros is a writer and editor based in New York’s Hudson Valley region. She is also the author of the middle grade novel, My Year of Epic Rock, about food allergies, 7th grade crushes, and a band named The EpiPens.

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