Kellogg's announced plans earlier this year to add peanut flour to some previously peanut-free snacks, leaving fewer options for parents scrambling for quick and cheap snacks safe to bring along for trips, parties, and other events. While many consumers prefer fresh fruit, such as apples, bananas, and oranges, to packaged snacks, it's not always convenient or affordable. Buying in bulk or making snacks at home and filling individual bags can save money, but not all parents are comfortable with food that isn't labeled or certified as allergen-free. With these concerns in mind, here are 11 tasty, peanut-free snacks kids will love. (A word of caution: Manufacturers may change ingredients and processes at any time, so be sure to read package labels before purchasing.)
Ubiquitous Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers are a favorite of both kids and adults, and their ingredients are safe for those with peanut allergies. Grab a large 30-ounce box at Walmart starting at less than $8 and divide out portions for snacking on the go. Even in an unmarked plastic bag, the tiny fish are unmistakable and familiar to parents.
Many brands of fruit snacks, dried fruit, or fruit strips are contaminated with peanuts during the production process, but Target's Simply Balanced brand is an affordable exception. A package of 25 individually wrapped fruit strips costs about $6. Target also sells freeze-dried fruit under the Simply Balanced label. A 2-ounce bag containing eight servings costs $7 -- less than $1 a serving. Another peanut-free alternative, Welch's Fruit Snacks, come in a 22-pack for about $4 at Walmart, where reviews suggest kids love them.
Traditional graham crackers can be a bit messy, but Keebler's Scooby Snacks are a bit less so, making them ideal for kids' parties. Tasty and peanut-free, Scooby Snacks are also inexpensive. Walmart sells a 12-pack of 1-ounce bags for about $5. Prefer classic graham crackers? Try six-packs of Honey Maid Fresh Stacks grahams for just $3.
Granola bars make a quick, kid-friendly snack -- except many brands come with nut-allergy warnings. But the Hy-Vee grocery chain's store brand of chewy chocolate chip granola bars carry no such warning. A box of 18 bars costs about $4 (prices vary by location) and can be purchased online. Cascadian Farms chocolate chip bars are another alternative, although they cost a bit more.