Since so many common childhood snacks are off limits to children with peanut and milk allergies, finding an appropriate snack for an allergic child can be difficult. If you stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade treats and packaged foods made specifically for allergy sufferers, you will be able to provide your child with a host of safe and healthy snacks.
1. Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables offer allergic children simple, healthy and most importantly safe snacking options. Fruit is sweet, full of vitamins and nutrients and is snack-ready after minimal preparation. Offer your child cut-up bananas, apples or pears; sliced melon or mango; or freshly washed grapes and berries. Veggies can be a tougher sell on kids, but sweet snap peas, carrot sticks and sliced cucumbers are all tasty and child-appropriate. Instead of providing a traditional dip that may trigger allergies, try a dairy-free garden tomato and bacon salad dressing for dipping vegetables.
2. Homemade Treats
One way to ensure that your child's snacks are allergen-free is to make them yourself. Prepare your own cookies, cakes, ice pops and granola bars to be 100-percent sure that the snack does not come into contact with peanuts or milk proteins. When baking your own treats, you can substitute dairy-free margarine or applesauce for butter to keep the snack safe. Buy an allergen-specific cookbook for interesting recipe ideas that do not contain milk or peanut products.
3. Milk and Nut Alternatives
Children with milk and peanut allergies can enjoy snacks that mimic the same childhood favorites that their friends eat if you buy alternative milk and nut products. There are soy-based yogurts and cheeses available that mimic the taste and texture of their dairy counterparts. You can also find mock peanut butters to spread on toast or celery sticks that will make your child feel like he is eating the real thing. Be sure to read ingredient labels to be certain that the milk alternatives do not contain peanuts and the peanut alternatives are dairy free.
4. Packaged Snacks
When buying packaged snacks, beware of hidden milk and peanut ingredients. Even foods that seem to be safe may contain traces of allergens. Read all labels and avoid anything that includes the phrase "may contain traces of peanuts" or any items made in a facility that also produces peanuts. When in doubt, look for granola bars, crackers, cookies and cake mixes that are specifically marketed to customers who suffer from milk and peanut allergies.
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