When you face a number of food allergies, some things are slightly harder (like dinner) while other things are a lot a harder. In our case, the egg and dairy allergy have put a real damper on our breakfast options. The other thing that allergy families understand is that snacks and convenience foods can be a challenge.
I'd love to say that our go-to snacks are fresh fruits and vegetables, and my child gobbles them up — even without the ranch dressing he can't have. But that would be a big fat lie. I eat a lot of bananas and fair amount of apples, and every few weeks, we have a fruit smoothie as a snack. I also pack a lot of fruit in my son's lunchbox for daycare. They tell me he consistently rejects it.
But even if you and your child enjoy a good piece of fruit, sometimes it's easier to travel with something less ... perishable. And sometimes, you just want something crunchier or sweeter or saltier. And when you can't have peanut butter or trail mix or a piece of cheese, it can be hard.
So, I thought I'd share a few favorite allergy-friendly (depending on the allergy, obviously) snack options.
1. Graham crackers & sun butter
Not gonna lie. I like peanut butter SO MUCH better than sun butter. But with my son's allergies, that hasn't been an option. So, sunflower seed butter and Annie's graham crackers (no soy) are a fine option.
My son's still a little young for popcorn, so we spend a lot of time picking through the popped kernels to find the perfect pieces for him. But the good news is you can pop your own (or, in my case, have an awesome mom who does it) or buy a pre-popped butter-free variety.
3. Beef Jerky
This stuff is off-limits for my kiddo at this point, but it's a filling allergy-friendly snack for me.
4. Bunny cookies
Traditional animal crackers aren't in our allergy profile. But these chocolate bunny "crackers" (Who are we kidding? They're cookies!) are. My son loves them. And while they're on the sweet side, I'm just thrilled to have found something that's soy-free. Score.
5. Complete Cookies
Rest assured, I do not find this cookie to be "healthy." A piece of broccoli it ain't. Regardless of the marketing claims, this is still a cookie (and not a cheap one). But it's also pretty filling and easy to transport. And when I've needed an egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free (and recently, soy-free) snack option, these do the trick.
6. Chips and salsa
A friend recently asked how I've "survived" so long without being able to have things like cheese. One answer is salsa. I flavor lots of things with salsa or hot sauce. And my son has recently taken to dipping (with plenty of caution — BBQ sauce is still a no-go), so chips and salsa are a great snack option for us.
7. Snapea Crisps
I'm going to be honest: I don't like these. But my son loves 'em. I suppose they're better than potato chips, right? We can't have any of the fancy flavors, but he doesn't know any better. So plain it is.
If you have food allergies in your family, you're probably familiar with Enjoy Life. Their Plentils are a pretty popular snack option around here.
9. Crackers and dip
The good news for food allergy families is that there are a lot of cracker options out there. We've tried several. Gluten-free and not. Egg-free. Soy-free. Lots of options. What to put on top? I love bruschetta toppings — artichoke, olive, tomato — as well as hummus and guacamole. So, even if you'd rather have cheese (as I would), there are plenty of alternatives for a delicious snack.