If you have an allergy kid, or you’re going to be watching and feeding an allergy kid it can feel overwhelming to find snacks for them to eat that are no-bake, easy to find, and store bought. I’ve cleaned out my pantry and will show you all of the snacks my kids love and eat on the regular that are: gluten-free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, fish free, shellfish free, tree nut free and peanut free. Many of these are paleo, top-8-free and vegan friendly too!
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As if meals don’t often get you down, if you have kids–or just have a stomach–you realize there’s more to surviving than just breakfast, lunch and dinner. You need snacks, and often! It’s hard enough to find an enjoyable snack to eat, but it’s even harder when you have food allergies or dietary restrictions that limit your choices.
While I love to have baked goods, sweet breads and other homemade snacks on hand–sometimes it’s nice to just grab something off the pantry shelf.
None of these are sponsored, and are constantly eaten by my allergic children, so I hope that one or two of these will help you or your family whenever you have the munchies and need something to hold you over until your next meal.
I’d love to say that all of these are healthy, but there are some that are not. Sometimes it’s nice to have some bribery, sometimes you want something salty and greasy, and sometimes real life just gets at you. So, I’ve included everything–try not to ding me on mom points, OK?
All of these I’ve found at my local Wal-Mart, Target, Smith’s and of course Amazon. I’ve included Amazon links to each one in case you’re obsessed with Amazon Prime like I am.
*DISCLAIMER* I have not called on any of these to see what manufacturing processes are in place. I know many allergy families must do this to ensure that there is no cross-contact at the plant for other allergens. Please re-read all labels and make sure that these items are safe for your individual circumstances. Labels and ingredients can change without any warning. I want you to all be safe!*
Easy, Store-bought, Allergy-friendly Snacks for Kids:
- Apples, oranges, bananas–these types of fruit are almost always in season and inexpensive. I think most people forget that fruit is naturally free of the top-8 allergens. During the summer months you can of course switch it up to include more seasonal fruits (although those are often drip/mess worthy.) I do love that if these roll around in my diaper bag, their natural outside protective covering are pretty rub resistant.
- Kix Cereal–I loved this as a kid, and while my kids don’t like to have it with milk in the mornings, they love the lightly sweet, crunchy spheres. I like that it doesn’t get easy ground up in a baggie if I keep it in my diaper bag for awhile.
- Raisins or craisins–sweet, chewy and the best part–they come in individual boxes. Sometimes I’ll be cheaper and buy it in bulk and place it in my own baggie, but having it in small to-go boxes sure makes it a great travel companion. While Smith’s Kroger brand is featured here, I’ve only ran into a few brands that have “may contain” or other cautionary statements that make me stay away from them.
- Fritos–my kids love this salty snack. We often do regular corn tortilla chips as a snack too, but I like that these are more sturdy and don’t break into pieces as easily since they’re thicker.
- Cinnamon Rice Chex–while this does tend to crumble if you keep it in a baggie for too long, my kids are addicted to sweet-cinnamon type treats so they love to munch on this. Again, my kids are a bit odd and don’t eat it for breakfast, but love it as a light snack.
- Dole Fruit Cups–I like to make regular jello from the box, but sometimes for school snacks or on the go I’ll splurge and buy the individual cups. I feel better about doing it, if it has the fruit also in it, like the mandarin orange ones I linked to. Speaking of mandarin oranges–that is another staple at our house. Sometimes I’ll get the individual cups of mandarin oranges too. Since they’re canned they’re easy to find all year round!
- Original Lays Potato Chips–another salty chip my kids can’t get enough of. I don’t love how greasy they are, but my kids will never turn these puppies down.
- SunButter on-the-go cups–my kids will eat SunButter with a spoon, but this is much more convenient than carrying around a jar. I do have to remember to pack a spoon, but I feel that it’s totally worth it. When I’m on the ball, I remember to grab plastic ones, so I can just throw everything away after. My kids think it’s so fun to get an individual portion, that they always ask for these and I have to keep my kids away from them at home as I love saving them for school and trips.
- Popcorn–I love to make plain popcorn for my kids with just a brown paper bag in my microwave. We’re fancy like that! Sometimes I’ll splurge and put some coconut oil and salt on it, but because I started my kids out with plain, they have no problems munching on the simple popped kernels. This does take about two minutes to make, but I love how it makes a ton! I still count this as no-bake, since it only uses my microwave.
- Olives–Is it because they can stick their fingers in them, or because they have that great salty flavor–I’m not sure–but my kids eat these constantly. Most stores also carry individual cups you can buy, but they really do eat a ton of them so I’ll buy the cans and put them in a to-go baggie.
- Gluten-free pretzels–These do have soy, so they are the only non-top-8-free item, but my kids love them. We’ve found two brands: Glutino & Synders. My kids prefer Synders–but both are a huge help. They love to dip them in the SunButter or eat them plain.
There you have it–more than 10 items to help you run out the door and feel like you have something to sustain your food allergy children.
If your kids are like mine, even if I feed them well before we go somewhere they are bound to get hangry when we’re out. I don’t dare leave the house without an allergy-friendly snack to tide them over until we get home.
As an allergy parent, you can’t rely on just stopping off somewhere for a snack, so I feel it’s important to be prepared. I hope this helps you to to think outside the box and realize you don’t always have to buy “allergy special” treats from a specialty store to keep your kids full while keeping your sanity!
Feel free to leave in the comments some of your favorite to-go allergy-friendly snacks to help out other allergy families.
Do you need more ideas? Check out my other popular post: What in the World Do You Feed Your Kids: CANDY.
Or, my Homemade Nut Free Trail Mix
Be sure to pass this list onto grandparents, neighbors, friends, babysitters, teachers and anyone else who might need to feed your kid. Remember how it was before you had the learning curve. Many people want to be accommodating, but haven’t had to understand allergies before or know how to read labels. I find when I give them lists like this, it helps things be easier for everyone. This is also great for when teachers ask for peanut and tree nut free snack lists for the classroom!
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