10 Allergy-Free Snacks That Are Safe for Almost Everybody

Now that my daughter is in school, we've been put on a monthly snack helper list. At the beginning of the year, the school explained that our snacks needed to be free from allergens to be safe for all students. If you're unfamiliar (I know I was!), the eight ingredients that most commonly trigger food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.

Whether you, your child, or a friend has food allergies, you can still cook up some amazing snacks in your very own kitchen. Here are some fun, allergy-free snacks that will dazzle adults and kids alike.

1. Fruits and Veggies

You can't really go wrong with serving fresh fruits and vegetables. One of our go-to snacks for kids? Cut up trays of fresh produce arranged in a cool way. You can get really creative by slicing and dicing different shapes and designs, like with these apple butterflies. One of my favorites is to use cookie cutters to make shapes out of watermelon slices. Dried fruit is another solid alternative. And those applesauce or fruit cups you can buy at the store also work well in a pinch.

2. Cereal Mix

Many cereals are free from the common allergens. Try making a cereal trail mix for quick noshing on the go. Combine Cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, pretzels, Goldfish, or whatever else suits your needs and hungry tummies. I'd add dried bananas and pumpkin seeds. That's the cool thing — this snack is totally customizable. Just make sure if you're serving it to a crowd that you've read all the labels for details on the allergens to make it safe for everyone.

3. Chickpea "Nuts"

These rosemary chickpea "nuts" are sure to please those crunchy, savory snack-lovers. Combine rinsed garbanzo beans with olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt. Then roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, mixing about halfway through to make sure everything gets equally cooked. I've eaten these hot and cold. (See also: 10 Tasty and Frugal Chickpea Recipes)

4. Popcorn

If you're pressed for time and need to provide an allergy-free snack for a class, try grabbing a big bag of popcorn. There are a variety of brands and flavors on the market today. I stick with plain and lightly salted. What else is cool? Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack and also happens to be an excellent source of fiber.

5. Protein Bites

My daughter loves these chocolate super seed protein bites. Just blend Medjool dates in your food processor until they become a chunky paste. Then add hemp, chia, and sesame seeds along with cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Then fold in some mini dark chocolate chips (read the label for allergens) and freeze until firm, around 20 minutes. These little treats taste like dessert, but they're packed with all sorts of good stuff.

6. Chips and Dip

Corn chips are usually allergy-friendly as well. Try serving tortilla chips with salsa or a homemade hummus that doesn't contain tahini (helps bring the price down considerably). To make, combine chickpeas, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and store in your refrigerator.

7. Rice Cakes

My daughter makes herself "rice cake sandwiches" with nut butter spread on top. To make this completely allergy-free, try using sunflower butter, which is a tasty substitute for peanut butter. This snack is a wonderful accompaniment to carrot sticks or other fruits and veggies.

8. Granola Bars

If you watch your ingredients closely, you can make delicious granola bars that are free from common offenders. This recipe combines the goodness of gluten-free rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sunflower butter, flax seeds, vanilla extract, salt, molasses, oil, and brown sugar. Mix everything together, press into a large baking dish, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Crispy Rice Treats

For special occasions, like birthdays, give them something exciting and simple to make. These allergy-friendly rice crispy treats contain that magic ingredient — sunflower butter — again in place of peanut butter. You'll mix together the butter with brown rice syrup on your stove-top. When they're fully combined, pour the mixture over the cereal and coat well. Then press your mixture into a greased baking dish and let set. You might consider doubling this recipe to serve a crowd or cutting into shapes for added flair.

10. Brownies

These fudgy brownies are gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, and more. They also taste great (I've made them) and come together relatively easily. You'll need to create a gluten-free flour blend that contains rice flour, teff flour, as well as tapioca and potato starches. It may seem expensive and labor-intensive at first, but you can use this all-purpose mixture for other recipes once you get more into allergy-free baking. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.

What are your favorite allergy-free snacks? Please share a bite in comments!

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