Well the first week of back to school is behind you and now things are probably starting to feel a bit more organized. If you’re a parent, like I am, I’m sure there’s some excitement to have the kids cared for during the day and getting yourself settled back into a different routine. My new babe Deakon has started to do a few days in daycare each week and although it’s bitter-sweet to see his cute little bum go – it’s totally great to have some time for me (and my work!). What you might not be so excited about… is trying to hunt down some school safe, allergen-free, healthy and convenient snacks to add to your child’s packed lunch every day. And no, this does not have to mean that you’re stuck packing veggie sticks and dip forever!
Even if you aren’t the parent of a child with a food allergy, many schools are implementing school-wide peanut and nut free policies that may affect the selection of go-to snack ideas you keep stocked in your pantry. Your child may have friends that come over to play with allergies and intolerances, so it’s always a good idea to keep a few safe snacks at home. Luckily, food companies are catching on and many have come out with allergen-free snacks perfect for kids! My team tested out a few different options and reviewed their favourites to help you navigate the shelves at your local grocery store.
Low FODMAP Back-to-School Snacks
The following snack products are not low FODMAP, so if you or your child are dealing with IBS they may not be a good choice as they could cause some digestive discomfort. Navigating food allergies and other intolerances on top of the low FODMAP diet can be tricky, but it’s not impossible!
Our suggestions? Homemade snacks are best for now – until we start to see more low FODMAP choices on the shelves. Cheese and crackers is a simple snack that kids love – check out our post on low FODMAP cheese, and gluten-free crackers. Granola bars are also a popular snack for kids, and you can make them low FODMAP and school safe with my recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars. Lactose-free and peanut-free granola is another lovely and healthy treat, or make a big batch of my Chocolate Chia Avocado Pudding… And we can’t forget about cookies! An occasional treat is perfectly ok, and my Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies fit the bill 😉
Allergen-Free Back-to-School Snacks
Harvest Snaps Caesar Snapea Crisps
Harvest Snaps are a tasty snack perfect for kids looking for some crunch! These baked pea crisps come in convenient pre-portioned packets, but your kids may love them so much that buying the bulk bags may be a better option. We tried the Caesar flavored crisps and were thoroughly impressed with their light, crispy texture and mild Caesar flavor. With lots of tasty options to test out, you can keep your kids guessing what they will find in their lunch bags next!
More From Harvest Snaps:
- Lentil Snaps – Tomato Basil and Onion Thyme
Enjoy Life Cocoa-Loco Baked Chewy Bars
Milk-free, Peanut/nut-free, Soy-free, Gluten-free, Sesame-free
Enjoy Life is a wonderful brand to look out for if you have a child with many food allergies and sensitivities. Often times working around many allergies means you end up preparing snacks at home since it can be so difficult to find a store bought product that is safe. It is nice to catch a break and pick something up that’s quick and easy, and also appealing to little mouths. All Enjoy Life products are specially made to be free from the eight most common food allergens – wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. Their Cocoa-Loco Chewy Bars are the perfect little sweet treat. Packed with rich, chocolaty goodness and a soft and chewy texture, these bars are sure to impress your little ones and keep them coming back for more!
More From Enjoy Life Foods:
- Soft Baked Cookies – Chocolate Chip, Gingerbread Spice, Chocolate Brownie Cookies, Snickerdoodle
- Crunchy Cookies – Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Vanilla Honey Graham, Brown Sugar Shortbread
- No Nuts Seed and Fruit Mix – Beach Bash, Mountain Mambo
Looking for a homemade alternative? My dark chocolate coconut cupcakes are low FODMAP and peanut free too!
MadeGood Strawberry Granola Minis
MadeGood Strawberry Granola Minis are a wonderfully fun addition to the peanut-free granola options available in stores. These granola minis are fun to pop into your mouth and deliver a burst of strawberry flavour with every bite! In addition to being peanut-free, MadeGood Granola Minis are organic and even contain hidden veggies! They’re also made from whole grains, are non–GMO verified, and have a taste that kids love.
More From MadeGood:
- Granola Bars – Mixed Berry, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Banana, Apple Cinnamon
The Good Bean Fruit & No-Nut Bars
The Good Bean products harness the nutritional power of roasted chickpeas in their snack bars that are low in fat and also a good source of protein and fibre to keep your child full for longer in between meals. These crispy, chewy, fruity bars are a deliciously satisfying snack that is sure to please your little ones. With minimally processed ingredients, this school safe snack will definitely impress even the most health-conscious parents – you might even catch yourself sneaking one from the cupboard!
More from The Good Bean:
- Bean Chips (peanut/nut free) – Sweet Chili, Jalapeno Cheddar, Sea Salt, Cheesy Nacho, BBQ Bacon
- Roasted Chickpea Snacks (Soy, peanut/nut and gluten free) – Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, Smoky Chili & Lime, Sweet Cinnamon, Mesquite BBQ, Thai Coconut, Chocolate
New Moon Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut/nut-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free
New Moon Kitchen is committed to making all-natural, gourmet baked goods free from dairy and eggs, and their Chocolate Chip Cookies are peanut and nut free to boot! These unique cookies are made with spelt flour, giving them a soft and crisp texture that resembles an oatmeal cookie making them a totally delicious and kid approved treat! You might also love that these cookies are made without preservatives. New Moon Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great school safe alternative for kids with food allergies, and just as easy to pack as any other store bought cookie.
Hopefully some of these products will help give you some peace of mind when it comes to allergen-free and school safe snacking options. Just because your child may not be able to eat certain foods doesn’t mean they should have to sacrifice taste. Every product that made it on our list is delicious, so you really can have the best of both worlds. Cheese and crackers is always an option, but when you’re looking for a sweet treat to add to a lunch bag, or grab on the way to soccer practice, give one of these new options a try and up your snacking game – your kids will thank you!
If you have IBS and have been following the low FODMAP diet, some of these options may be fine for your digestive system. It’s important that you follow the low FODMAP diet until you are symptom free and when it’s time to re-introduce foods, you may find one of these options doesn’t cause symptoms at all. For more on packing allergen and IBS friendly lunches, check out our lunch packing survival guide.
Much love & good eating,
Stephanie and The Team