Monday, September 24, 2012

Peanut Allergies in Preschool

          As a parent it can be challenging to find snacks that are peanut free. As more and more schools lean toward being completely peanut free this makes packing lunches and snacks difficult. Of course we want to include things that our children enjoy eating but we would also like those same snacks to offer some nutritional value. Here at The Children’s Center of Austin this is something we see our parents struggle with so we decided to investigate and find some peanut free snacks we know children love.
            As children continue to be diagnosed with severe peanut allergies many companies have begun to create peanut free snacks. Although it is possible to find processed snacks without nuts we have had great success at snack time when we offer fresh fruits and vegetables. These are a staple of The Children’s Center of Austin’s menu and the children continually enjoy everything from carrot sticks to strawberries. Not only do these snacks have the benefit of being nut free but the also provide fiber and many essential vitamins. Yogurt and cheese sticks are also always appreciated at our snack table. These healthy snacks offer a boost of calcium and protein that keeps our children going all afternoon.
            In the event that you need a snack on the run, sometimes fruit is not a viable option. In this event you can always use an easy on the go snack. We have found that our children love Goldfish and, lucky for us, these fish are made without any nut product. There are also many crackers that are nut free. Some of these include Ritz crackers, Nabisco saltines and Keebler Club crackers.
            If you’re looking for a sweeter on the go snack, we have found that many of our children love fruit snacks. They come in every size, shape, color and cartoon character you can imagine and many of them are made with 100% fruit juice. Some of the nut free brands we have discovered include: Fruit Roll Ups, Gushers, Scooby Doo fruit snacks, and Hi-C fruit snacks.
            There are many other options out there so if you need some new ideas for snack time try looking at We love snack time so we know our children do to and none of us want to eat the same things everyday. Variety is the spice of life so be sure to add some spice to your snack time.There are even fun, healthy kid inspired recipes like this one:
Allergy-Free Dessert Recipe: MockBuckeyes 
A peanut-free version for chocolate lovers!

Recipe Information  
Category: Candy
# of Servings: 30 candies
Recipe Created By: Cristi Schwamb

       Tbs  softened margarine or softened (or melted) coconut oil
       1/2  cup  sunflower seed butter such as Sunbutter®
       1  cup  sifted powdered sugar
       1  cup (approx)  semi-sweet chocolate chips

       Stir margarine, sunflower seed butter and powdered sugar together. If the mixture is too sticky to handle, you can knead in a little extra powdered sugar, one spoonful at a time, until the consistency is a bit firmer and doesn't make a mess all over your
       Divide dough into small balls. Refrigerate (or freeze) for a while so that they aren't so sticky. Put a glass measuring cup full of chocolate chips into microwave for a minute or so -- stirring every 30 seconds. Dip balls into melted chocolate and place on waxed paper. Chill until firm.