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29+ Allergy Free Snacks for School: Safe Food Ideas for Kids

Check out our allergy free snacks for school!

If you have a child with a food allergy, you need allergy free snacks in the classroom (or at church, camp, preschool, or other routine spot your child spends time).

In this article, you’ll find 25+ food allergy-friendly snacks for the classroom.

Lose the worry about your child being left out, or worse, getting exposed to one of the foods to which he is allergic. These snacks will keep your kiddo safe!

In my own experience as both a mom of a tree-nut allergic child and a dietitian, I know that having an assortment of allergy free snacks can offer more food variety to your child, help prevent boredom (“Same old snack, ugh.”), and may keep food exciting and interesting.

Let’s face it, having snacks in the classroom for your food-allergic child is a smart idea. They can rescue your child when an unexpected party crops up, you forget to send in a snack, or your child simply gets hungry.

A boy with a lunchbox and Epi Pen in Allergy Free Snacks for school

What Does It Mean to be Allergen Free?

When a food is “allergen free,” it means that it doesn’t have the Top 9 allergens that are common in kids like tree nuts, peanuts or peanut butter and the other top allergens (milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish, and sesame). 

In this list of allergen free snacks, you can expect to find nut free options, however, you will find the presence of wheat noted, as well as any other potential allergen to be aware of.

Storing Snacks

It’s a good idea to pick out three or four of the allergy-free snacks below to keep in the classroom. Place them in a container labeled for your child. State clearly: “Back Up Snacks for Drew” or “Emergency Snacks for Kate.”

While it’s nearly impossible to assemble a list that will cover everyone’s food allergy (one can be allergic to anything, after all), I’ve called out any potential allergens you should know. Remember, most of the foods kids are allergic to fall to nine main food allergens, now recognized as “The Top 9” because sesame was recently added as an allergen.

[There’s more to read! Milk Allergy vs. Lactose Intolerance and Egg Allergy in Children]

If your child has multiple food allergies, you’ll be scanning this list for a few food allergens. Always check the ingredients list and food labels for potential food allergens, and call the manufacturer when in doubt.  It’s not unusual for a food company to change its ingredients!

25 food allergy free snacks your child can take to school.

28+ Nut Free & Allergen Free Snacks for School

There are lots of options for safe snacks that are suitable for kids with food allergies to eat at snack time. I’ve captured them here. These are shelf-stable, meaning they don’t require refrigeration.

1. Applesauce

Individual cups make an easy, healthy snack. Try other packaged fruit sauces, like peach sauce. Of course, fresh fruit is always a great option! 

2. Fruit Purees

Packaged in pouches, you can find these in pure fruit or fruit and veggie combinations.

3. Raisins

Available in small, medium boxes, or large containers, raisins make a healthy, fiber-filled, iron-rich snack. If your child isn’t allergic to milk, try yogurt-covered raisins for added variety.

4. Other Dried Fruit

The sky is the limit here: banana chips, dried apricots, cherries, plums, and more! Though these are harder to find in individual packages, you can still purchase a container for the classroom.

5. Freeze-Dried Fruit “Chips”

A crunchy snack made of fruit, similar to the types of food astronauts eat in outer space, freeze-dried fruit snacks are popular and nutritious.

6. Vegetable Juice

Available in small individual cans, vegetable juice packs a vitamin variety, and is a healthy option for any child.

7. Veggie Chips

Made from vegetables, this snack is a good stand-in for potato chips.

8. Kale Chips

Surprisingly delicious and shelf-stable, try these for a variation on standard chips.

*Note: some kale chips are made with cashews or cashew butter; please check the label.

9. Freeze-Dried Veggies

Roasted veggies, edamame and corn top the list of options in the freeze-dried category of vegetables

10. Popcorn

Make your own and package in plastic bags or use allergen-free options like Earth Balance, Eden Organic or Divvies. Here’s a list of healthy microwave popcorns, but check the ingredient list for allergens. Butter-style typically has milk.

11. Pretzels

Gluten free pretzels or regular pretzels are available. Small individual packets are perfect for the classroom.

12. Rice Crackers*

Best to package these into smaller bags for your child, as they can become stale over time. Pair these with Sun Butter or Wow Butter for a nutritious snack option.

13. Rice Cakes*

Spread with nut-free butter for a stick-to-your-ribs snack.

14. Rice Chex*

A dry, crunchy cereal option for kids.

15. Sun Butter (made with sunflower seeds into a sunflower seed butter)

Keep a small jar on the shelf for combination snacks such as rice crackers and sun butter or celery sticks and sun butter.

16. Wow Butter (soy butter)

Another non-peanut spread made from soy. Use in a similar manner to Sun Butter. Avoid if allergic to soy.

17. Oatmeal Packets

Just add hot water for a nutritious cold-weather snack. If your child has a wheat allergy, look for wheat-free or gluten-free brands.

18. Pita Chips

Healthier than potato chips! Not suitable for children with a wheat allergy.

19. Pirate’s Booty

Contains milk, so not useful for the milk-allergic child, but made in a peanut and tree nut free facility. These are available in individual packages.

20. Fig Newtons

These are individually packaged and available in bulk. A good substitute when the unexpected cupcake shows up. Contains milk and wheat, so avoid if allergic to these.

21. Animal Crackers

Contains wheat. A lower sugar cookie option for those unexpected sweet treat appearances in the classroom.

22. Beef Jerky

A high protein (and often high salt) snack made from beef. Read the ingredient label, as some versions may contain soy or wheat. Choose varieties made from lean beef, not processed meat.

23. Turkey Jerky

May contain soy. High in protein and flavorful, look for jerkies that are made from 100% lean turkey and have natural ingredients.

24. 100% Fruit Juice Box

Available in 4 to 8 ounce containers, these are at the ready if your child is thirsty or needs a pick-me-up. Make sure to purchase 100% juice, as all others contain added sugar.

25. Rice Milk Box*

Available in an 8-ounce box and in vanilla or chocolate flavors, these can be a nutritious snack in the classroom. Be sure to balance all rice products in the day to avoid potential over-consumption of arsenic.

What are your favorite healthy, allergen-free, shelf-stable snacks?

The Smart Mom's Guide to Healthy Snacking book

Want to get a handle on your child’s snacking habits? Check out my book!

Even More Snacks for the Child with Food Allergies!

I’ve added a few more allergen-friendly snacks for kids at school! Have you tried these?

26. 88 Acres Seed-Based Snack Bars

Delivering bars and seed butters, 88 Acres states on their website that they are free of the 9 most common allergens.

27. That’s It Fruit Bars (all fruit leather)

100% all fruit.

28. Skinny Pop Popcorn

Just popcorn kernels, sunflower oil, and salt. 

Need More Help for Food Allergies?

I’ve got a few more articles here to help:

Are you building the healthy habits your child needs to thrive? Take my quiz and find out!

This article was originally published in April 2016 | Updated in August 2023.

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