NUT ALLERGIES SHOULDN'T RUIN SNACK TIME
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.
SIMPLY BALANCED OR WELCH'S FRUIT SNACKS
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.
Another popular snack brand, Pringles makes chips that are safe for gatherings where kids with peanut allergies might be present. An 18-pack sells for less than $7 at Walmart. The compact canisters come in a variety of flavors: BBQ, pizza, and cheddar cheese.
These popular cheese crackers are another snack kids love and schools include on lists of permitted snacks. Walmart sells variety packs containing 12 individual bags in three flavors -- original, cheddar jack, and white cheddar -- for less than $5.
Although not recommended for anyone with wheat, milk, egg, or soy allergies, Nilla Wafers are peanut-free. Target sells a box of 12 1-ounce packs for about $5, making the cookies an affordable alternative for those who prefer sweet to salt.
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.
Fans of these miniature doughnuts were disappointed when the company that made them went bankrupt and halted production several years ago. But Hostess Donettes are back and as affordable as ever. Target sells a bag of 20 in the chocolate-frosted or powdered flavor for about $2.
BARNUM'S ANIMAL CRACKERS
Many brands of animal crackers aren't safe for kids with peanut allergies, but these venerable snack crackers from Nabisco are an exception. Affordable and widely available, 8-ounce Snak-Saks of Barnum's Animal Crackers can be found on Amazon and elsewhere for about $2.
HY-VEE GRANOLA BARS
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.