April 1, 2011

Allergy-free Snack Lists - What's in your backseat?

If my kids could have it their way, they would graze on finger foods all day and never sit down for any of their meals.  Snacks have always been thought of as special treats, maybe because it's food the kids like combined with the absence of the usual "wash your hands at the sink" and "stay-in-your-seat" rules.
With Spring Break, long weekends, and (gasped!) summer vacation not too far in the future, we thought it would be nice to find out what favorite allergy-friendly snacks are in your tote bags and purses.

A sample of our regular carpool buddies
Following are favorite snack lists made by your GAW friends and other readers, many of whom have kids with multiple food allergies.  Different food-allergic kids can have different levels of severity -- for example, some gluten-allergic kids can eat oats without problem while others have such severe reactions that certified gluten-free is necessary; some soy-allergic kids can tolerate soy lecithin and some can't.  As with all products and recipes we post here, please always double-check ingredient labels yourself before giving any new snacks to your little eaters.  And always have your allergy meds ready in case of a reaction. 

GF = gluten-free   MF = milk-free   EF = egg-free   PF =peanut-free   TNF = tree-nut-free   SF = soy-free  FF = fish-free   SHF = shellfish-free

Snacks for James (GF, PF)
Mommy Jane says, "We don't travel very far so the snacks are simple. I usually offer protein first, then veggies, and then he gets his fruits and carbs for dessert."
  1. Hebrew National Hotdogs - boiled (reduces salt), sliced to bite size.
  2. Steamed mix veggies or steamed broccoli - easy-to-prepare finger food
  3. Bite-sized fruit - grapes, strawberries, mandarins, bananas, whole blueberries or raspberries
  4. MI-DEL gluten-free arrowroot animal cookies - the vanilla and chocolate ones are good
  5. Envirokidz organic crispy rice bar (berry blast) - individually wrapped so easy to take anywhere
  6. Kidney beans or black beans
  7. Odwalla Choco-Walla Bar (contains soy and almonds) - more for mommy but James likes it also
  8. Diced tomatoes - just to add more veggies and it's also finger food

    Snacks for Charlie and Claire (TNF, PF, SHF, EF)
    Mommy Julie says: "Since Charlie and Claire recently have been given the green light to eat eggs baked into snacks, that has opened up so many new things to us. For snacking, honestly, my criteria are things not too messy, reasonably healthy, and things my kids will eat on the go."
    1. Fresh fruit (strawberries and raspberries are the most requested these days) 
    2. Enjoy Life Cocoa Loco Chewy Bars - free of all 8 most common allergens
    3. Freeze-dried fruits and veggies (apricots, peaches and peas are favorites)
    4. Pringles Baked Wheat Stix (comes in individual packs) 
    5. Squeezable applesauce (Revolution Foods brand is organic and also the kids' favorite, but they also have the Trader Joe's Brand) 

      Snacks for Tristan, Logan, and Addison (MF, EF, PF, TNF, SHF)
      Mommy Sarah says, "Our old standby snacks are ones that all the kids plus myself will enjoy (since their snack bags often become my snacks), have little or no prep (ziplock bag and go!), are readily available, and travel well.  In an ideal world, the list would only contain fresh fruits and veggies, but in my reality, those need to be supplemented with other stuff..."
      1. Honey wheat pretzel sticks (TJ's) 
      2. Roasted seaweed (TJ's) - GF
      3. Lite Popcorn or Lite Kettle Corn (TJ's) -GF
      4. Back to Nature chocolate chip cookies (Whole Foods)
      5. Trader Joe's Fruit Leather (or to anticipate an emergency situation like an unexpected airline delay, we go for fruit snacks) - GF
      6. Bags of favorite cereals (in our house, these would be Cinnamon Life, Crispix, Kix, and Multigrain Cheerios) 
      7. Edamame (TJ's) -GF 
      8. Veggie Sticks (TJ's)

      Snacks for Ryken and Callan (MF, PF, TNF)
      Mommy Irene says, "I try to stick to snacks that aren't too messy for car rides.  I tend to favor fruits and fiber-rich foods.  The less processed, the better!"
      Cookies don't meet the low-mess criteria for our car snacks.
      1. Fruit such as sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and bananas
      2. Barbara's Bakery Shredded Oats Cereal -  5 grams of fiber per serving; it's a little too sweet but the kids love it
      3. Trader Joe's Fiberful Fruit Bars - 6 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar
      4. 1 quart carton of Soy Dream Original soy milk- shelf-stable so doesn't need refrigeration
      5. Bagels - snack or lunch-worthy
      6. Trader Joe's Crunchy Green Beans - 4 grams of fiber, 15% RDA of vitamin A, 100% delicious.
      7. Sunflower seed butter and jam sandwiches - I love Trader Joe's sun butter and their Superfruit spreads which are packed with vitamin C
      8. Smart Dogs - easy, neat, the kids and I love them

        There are an endless array of snacks out there.  Fill us in about your own family's favorites!

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