This post is from contributing writer Mary Voogt of Just Take A Bite.
Kids like to snack. No question about it.
And summertime is no exception.
You head to the park for some fun, spend the day at the beach or load up the car for a family vacation. Or maybe you prefer staying home and you’re just playing in the sandbox in the back yard.
Either way it’s inevitable the requests for food will start.
There are so many healthy choices! What a blessing.
Not Everyone Is So Lucky…
What if your kids can’t eat most things that you can buy in a store or restaurant, even the healthy stuff?
Your options are quickly limited.
Managing Food Allergies On the Go
No need to worry. I’ve got a list of some of the best allergy friendly snacks around. They aren’t expensive processed foods. Just simple, nourishing snacks that kids love.
Believe me, I know allergies. I have multiple kids with a laundry list of allergies. So when I say something is allergy friendly, it really is safe.
Feeding them nourishing meals is hard. But providing safe and healthy snacks is even harder, especially when traveling. Since I can never compromise, I have to constantly be prepared.
Favorite Allergy Safe Snacks for Kids
Some of these snacks work well for when you are away from home and need to keep food at room temperature. Others are simple bites to have on hand at home or kept in a cooler.
Some are salty. Some are sweet. There is a little something for everyone. Mix and match to meet your summer activity needs!
These allergy friendly snacks are all naturally free of (or can be made free of) gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, corn, soy and coconut. So take your pick and enjoy safe summer snacking.
Don’t forget to let your kids help make them! Katie’s Kids Cook Real Food eCourse has been inspiring families all over the globe this summer to get their kids more involved in the kitchen, and snacktime can be one of the best opportunities because there’s not the pressure of time nearly as much as with dinner.
Pack It Up – Easy to Travel Snacks
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits and vegetables and fruit leather
Use caution with dried food as it contains a higher level of histamines and can be problematic for those with allergies. Dates (found on Amazon) are a great choice for flavor and nutrients. But note that they come from palm trees and can be a problem for those with a coconut allergy.
- Freeze dried fruits and vegetables
This beef jerky recipe is easy to make, free of allergens and full of nourishing food like broth and . It can be made with your favorite type of ground meat.
Homemade crackers are so easy to make, and you can make a big batch to keep the pantry and freezer stocked. Some great options are gluten free “Wheat Thins”, Soaked teff crackers, Gluten free pizza crackers, Gluten and dairy free “cheese” crackers, Zucchini crackers, Plantain crackers, Soaked gluten free graham crackers and Gluten free pumpkin spice graham crackers.
- Muffins and bars
Make a double batch of your favorite allergy free muffins in a mini muffin pan (many KSers love these pumpkin muffins!). Grab a few out of the freezer whenever you need a quick snack. Or whip up some sunbutter jelly bars, honey oat bars or teff sorghum cherry bars for a finger friendly treat.
This is a great option for a salty snack. Olives do also contain higher amounts of histamines.
- Popped sorghum
This makes a great alternative to popcorn for those allergic to corn. Just a word of caution, the kernels are smaller and can be a little more messy. But they sure are fun!
Make a smoothie without dairy or dairy alternatives and it will stay good on the go for hours. Keep it in a sippy cup and shake it before serving. This squash cherry smoothie is a huge hit with kids. Or try some squash “milk” for the little ones.
- Lunch meat sticks
Did you know you can make your own lunch meat with about ten minutes of hands-on work? It’s true! And delicious. Instead of slicing it, cut the lunch meat into sticks for easy finger food snacks. This one is great for toddlers. If you are going to be out for more than a couple hours it should be in a cooler.
Keep It Cool for Summer
- Frozen fruit/popsicles
Freeze any fresh fruit for an instant treat. Watermelon and grapes are two favorites. Or make homemade popsicles simply by pureeing fresh fruit and freezing it in molds. If you really want a treat you can try black forest popsicles, nectarine squash pops or frozen banana bites.
- Homemade fruit snacks
Find some fun molds and make your own fruit snacks. Use pureed fruit or plain juices, a touch of sweetener and grass-fed gelatin for a simple and nourishing treat. They do need to stay cold (but can handle a few hours at room temp). Some fun varities are blueberry gellies, lemon elderbery, candy corn, strawberry kiwi and berry.
Ice and fruit is all you need for a refreshing summer drink. Use whatever fruit is in season and make your own slushies.
Even if you have allergies, snack time does not have to involve junk food. Keep your pantry, refrigerator and freezer stocked with nourishing foods for all of your summer snacking needs.
Big shoutout to one of our July sponsors, EnviroKlenz – thanks for helping us keep great content free for Kitchen Stewardship readers! EnviroKlenz has a number of products that are perfect for people with chemical sensitivities, and the HVAC filter is especially targeted for those with allergies (not food, but to the environment and air around them, still quite related!). It can both remove and destroy a bunch of environmental allergy triggers, even mold-generated VOCs.