Are you stumped for snack ideas because your child can't eat nuts — or can't bring nuts to school due to a classmate's peanut allergy? Besides fresh fruit and veggies, learn some other easy, packable, healthy snacks that kids can bring to school for a safe, nut-free snack time. Just be sure to read the ingredients list and any notes below it on nutrition labels every time you purchase foods to confirm they are nut-free and not packaged in a facility that handles nuts. Manufacturing processes can change at any time. Take a look at our nut-free lunch ideas, too!
Whether your child likes to peel it or go straight in for the kill, string cheese is probably already one of your go-to snacks for kids. You'll be happy to know that most brands are on the safe list for nut-free schools and classrooms.
Most fruit snacks, including Sunkist and Fruit Roll-Ups, are also a safe bet as a nut-free snack. But all-natural fruit leather, like one of Stretch Island Fruit Co.'s seven tasty flavors, is a healthy option with no added sugars or dyes. Each fruit strip has a half a serving of fruit and just 45 to 70 calories.
Corn, Rice, or Wheat Chex Cereal
Most kids love cereal — morning, noon, and night! Corn Chex, Rice Chex, and Wheat Chex are low-fat, nut-free options that have a satisfying crunch. (Chex Mix, however, is not safe for nut-free snack time.) Krispix, a corn-and-rice cereal similar to Chex, is also generally nut-free. Original-flavor Cheerios — a classic family favorite — do not contain nuts, but (as with all cereals and snacks) check the label to be sure your batch wasn't manufactured in a nut-tainted facility.
Yogurt is all the rage these days. Fortunately, it's nut-free and packed with calcium, which all growing kids need. Compare nutrition labels, and try any brand or flavor that isn't loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. Stonyfield Organics YoKids yogurts and Chobani's new Chobani Champions Greek yogurts are great choices.
If your family hasn't tried this light and fluffy snack with the silliest of names, you're in for a treat. It's a puffed rice-and-corn snack powdered with white cheddar cheese — a tasty match, indeed. Pirate Brands makes several other low-fat, nut-free snacks, such as Veggie Booty, Tings, Smart Puffs, and Soy Crisps.
Phew! Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief? These cheesy, kid-friendly crackers make the nut-free list. All flavors of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish should be safe for nut-free school lunches, but try the kind made with whole grain for a touch of added fiber. As with all salty, packaged snacks, kids should eat these in moderation.
Applesauce and Packaged Fruit
Fresh fruit is always best, but any kind of real fruit is a good thing! Individual packages of applesauce, by Motts and other brands, and fruit cups, by DelMonte and Dole, are a sweet nut-free snack. Fruit cups made with real fruit juice, rather than too-sugary syrup, are the healthier choice.
Chips aren't the healthiest snack, but Sun Chips are among the healthier options in the chip aisle. They're free of heart-clogging hydrogenated oils, and they contain some heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated "good" fats. They're usually nut-free to boot!
Most granola bars — including Quaker Chewy, Nature Valley, and Kashi TLC — contain nuts or are manufactured near other products containing nuts. So what kind of breakfast bars or snack bars are okay for nut-free snacking? Nutri-Grain bars in the fruit flavors should be safe. Just double-check the label.
Whole-grain crackers, such as Wheat Thins, Triscuits, and Kashi TLC crackers, are a hearty, nut-free snack for kids. Try topping them with low-fat Laughing Cow spreadable cheese for some added flavor and protein since peanut butter is out of the question.