Snacks fuel kids between meals, giving them energy to complete daily tasks, but food allergies limit the options for some children. If the allergy-free snack selection is getting boring, expand your child’s options by experimenting with new snack recipes. Many snacks allow easy substitutions to eliminate the potential allergy-inducing ingredient.
Shakes or smoothies work well for kids with nearly any allergy. Customize your child’s smoothie with ingredients that are safe for her to eat. A smoothie typically includes a milk or yogurt base along with frozen fruit and some type of sweetener. If your child has a milk allergy, use soy, rice or almond milk in the smoothie. If she has a reaction to a particular fruit like strawberries, simply add alternative options for the fruit portion of the mix. Ice cubes added to the smoothie create a thicker texture if you find your ingredients are too runny.
Creamsicle drinks are easy to replicate at home if your child tolerates citrus. Mix together equal parts of orange juice and vanilla-flavored soy milk. Another option is to freeze the mixture to create a frozen creamsicle. Use frozen pop molds or pour the mixture in paper cups with sticks for handles. Freeze the mixture until it is solid and remove them from the molds.
The trail mix option is another one that allows you to customize the ingredients to fit your child’s dietary restrictions. Ingredient options include popcorn, dried fruit, seeds, cereal and crackers. Nuts are also an option if your child is not allergic to them. If your child has a gluten allergy, choose cereals and crackers that are gluten-free. You can mix up a large batch of trail mix to keep on hand or make a small batch each time your child needs a snack.
Several companies offer specialty baking mixes to accommodate people with food allergies. Cherrybrook Kitchen, The Really Great Food Company and Bella Gluten-Free offer several different specialty mixes that eliminate gluten, nuts, dairy and eggs. The options in allergy-free mixes typically include cakes, brownies, cookies and pancakes. Mixes offer a convenient way to make allergy-free baked goods without the trouble of hunting for a scratch recipe that doesn’t include any offending ingredients.
Peanut allergies often result in severe allergic reactions. Many companies are expanding their lines of nut butters to include a variety of nuts. Other options include nut-free butters, such as soy butter and sunflower seed butter. Check with your child’s doctor before trying a different type of nut-free butter to assess the possibility of a potential reaction. These butters work well with rice cakes or crackers.