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Allergen Free Foods: Snacks Ideas for Common Allergies

Written by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD on February 16, 2024

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According to the American College of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology, over 5% of children have food allergies. Food allergies, particularly to peanuts and tree nuts, are becoming more prevalent, having more than tripled in the United States. If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy or work in a school, keeping kids safe is a significant concern. 

Allergy Friendly Foods

There are eight foods that are considered the most common food allergies. These include cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. In 2023, sesame was also added to that list. While nut allergies are the most common, many people struggle with allergies to more than one food. 


The nine allergens listed above are required to be labeled on all foods. But let’s be honest, this doesn’t make finding tasty allergen-free foods that your kids will actually eat easy. Developing an allergy-friendly diet while providing high-quality nutrition can be a challenge for any parent trying to navigate a food allergy. 

Egg Free Snacks

Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins. They also make a great snack. However, they are on the list of the most common allergens. Even if you avoid eating whole eggs, egg is used as an inexpensive protein source and ingredient in many different foods. 


Of course, they’re not the only source of protein out there. Here are some high-protein snacks that are also egg-free.

Roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, can be roasted and turned into a crunchy snack high in fiber and protein. Just toss the chickpeas in olive oil, add your favorite seasoning, and roast on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 


Brands like The Good Bean have pre-packaged roasted chickpeas that can be effortlessly tossed into a lunchbox as a ready-to-go option.

Chomplings

Any flavor of our kid-friendly Chomplings makes for a tasty egg-free snack. These mini sticks have 4 grams of protein and 45 calories and are perfectly pocket-sized. Pair them with a piece of fruit for a balanced and filling afternoon egg free snack.

Yogurt with granola

Yogurt, particularly the Greek variety, is high in protein, helping keep your kid full. Be sure to check the labels for the flavored varieties, as sometimes they can have egg-containing additives. When in doubt choose plain Greek yogurt and top with your favorite granola and some berries for a tasty and nutritious egg-free treat.

Trail mix

If your child is not allergic to nuts, trail mix can be a healthy and balanced lunch box snack. While you can purchase a pre-made trail mix, you can also make your own. To make it higher in protein, start with a blend of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts) and add some dry roasted edamame (soybeans). Then get creative with dried fruit pieces, raisins, or a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips.

Dairy Free Snacks for Kids

Kids may need to avoid dairy due to an allergy to the protein found in cow’s milk or lactose intolerance. While it may be fairly straightforward to avoid dairy products, cow’s milk protein, like egg protein, is often used as an additive to increase the protein content of certain foods. Therefore, it’s essential to always check the label for cow’s milk, particularly if your child has an allergy.

Dried fruit bars or leathers

Long gone are the days of sugary fruit roll-ups as the only option for a fruit-based bar. Brands like That’s It have made fruit-based snacks healthy and delicious. Many of these options are just dried fruit without added sugar or other sweeteners. And since they are just fruits, you can also count on them being a great dairy-free snack for kids.

Veggies with hummus dip

Children love to dip, but many popular dips like ranch are made with dairy. While there are plenty of new vegan (and dairy-free) alternatives, hummus is always an option for a dairy-free dip. It can be found in a variety of interesting flavors, such as red pepper, roasted garlic, or even chocolate. 

Smoothies

A smoothie or shake is an easy way to pack a ton of nutrition into a tasty drink and is simple to make dairy-free. A smoothie can consist of blended fruits, vegetables, and your choice of protein, without the need for any dairy-based ingredients. If you do need more liquid, add plant-based milk or water to thin out the consistency. 

Granola bars

Granola bars are a simple, portable snack that are easy to toss into any lunchbox. Brands like Made Good and Nature’s Bakery make dairy-free, fruit and veggie-infused granola bars and other snacks that also taste good! You can also make your own bars at home by using rolled oats, your favorite nut butter, and some type of sweetener (if desired).

Gluten Free, Nut Free Snacks

Peanuts and tree nuts are the most common triggers of food allergies in kids. Kids may also have wheat allergies, which means they must avoid foods containing gluten, the protein found in wheat. Working with two allergies at once can make it even more challenging to find tasty snacks. Here are a few ideas for gluten free, nut free snacks to get started.

Rice cakes with Sunbutter

Sunbutter is a nut butter made from sunflower seeds, which are typically not an allergen. It makes for a good alternative to peanut butter, as it has a similar nutty flavor. Top a rice cake with Sunbutter and even some sliced banana for a filling snack.

Cottage cheese with fruit

Cottage cheese is having its moment in the sun right now, popping up in many recipes from ice cream to high-protein cookie dough. But you don’t need to make it complicated. Cottage cheese with cut-up fruit is a simple nut and gluten-free snack. Or Good Culture makes cottage cheese cups with fruit blended in which is a high-protein grab-and-go option.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a high-fiber, low-calorie snack that is always nut and gluten-free. Serve air-popped popcorn topped with nutritional yeast, for a nutrient-dense option. Or, make it more exciting by adding dried raisins or a sprinkling of chocolate chips for a sweet-salty combo. 

Chips and salsa

Tortilla chips served with your kid’s favorite salsa is a great way to sneak in veggies without them noticing. Most kids prefer mild sauces, so be sure to choose the mildest option available. Put the chips into a small bowl and let them dip away. Consider offering veggie sticks as well, for even more nutrition. 

Hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare and naturally gluten and nut-free. Make them a little more fun and enjoyable by creating a Deviled Egg bar. Start by mixing cooked egg yolks with mayo, mustard, and salt and pepper. Return the mixture back to the whites and add your favorite toppings (we love sliced Chomps!) 

Pirate’s Booty

Pirate’s Booty are cheese-flavored snacks made from puffed corn. They are a favorite of kids for their mild flavor and crunchy consistency. They are made in a nut-free facility and are available in individual packages for easy transport. 

Fruit ice pops

Who doesn’t like a sweet frozen treat? While you can purchase low-sugar fruit ice pops at the store, it's also fun to make your own. Start by blending your favorite fruit (watermelon and kiwi work great, but get creative), then freeze overnight into individual pops in an ice pop mold and enjoy!

Allergy-Free Foods

Packing an allergy-free lunchbox or on-the-go kid-friendly snacks does take a bit of planning. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many options for delicious snacks that your kids will eat that are also allergen-free. 


If you want even more allergy friendly food ideas, we have 32 of the best allergen-friendly snacks in this roundup post. Don’t forget our Chomps and Chomplings are also always a great addition to any lunchbox and free of the top nine most common allergens.

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