Chances are you know someone's who's been diagnosed with food allergies. Four percent of the population — including 3 million kids — have them, according to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. Some of the most common allergies include lactose, egg, peanut and wheat.
Whether your child has allergies or attends school with kids that do, you'll need to keep school treats and after-school snacks safe.
Here's a list of some tasty pre-packaged allergy-friendly snacks and the companies that create them.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Founded by psychologist Jill Robbins after her son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, HomeFree is dedicated to creating treats so delicious that everyone — with or without food allergies — can enjoy them together. After sampling her chocolate chip cookies, our taste panel decreed: Mission accomplished! The company makes several cookie varieties, as well as moist and mouthwatering coffee cakes. All are free of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and eggs. They're available, along with Jill's baking book and line of allergy-friendly baking ingredients, at the company’s Web site. HomeFree donates a portion of its profits to groups that provide allergy research and education. Web: www.homefreetreats.com
Cinnamon Crunch Granola and Beach Bash Trail Mix
Treats from Enjoy Life Foods are all free of wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish — the eight most-common allergens that account for 90 percent of food allergy reactions in the U.S. Enjoy Life Foods also makes allergy-friendly cookies, candy bars, granola, bagels and other snacks — and supports allergy research, education and fund-raising. Web: www.enjoylifefoods.com
Ginger Mini Snapz
Pamela’s Products has a 21-year record of award-winning gluten- and wheat-free products, including 30 different all-natural cookies, biscotti and baking mixes. All the mixes, including pancake and brownie, come with a variety of recipes, and the company creates more with its newsletter and annual recipe contest. Products can be purchased in natural food and grocery stores nationwide and on the Web. They also offer free products for cupcake baking parties to encourage donations to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
The Ultimate Cheddar Cheese Curls
Since his days as an organic farmer, Michael Season has been committed to all-natural food ingredients. Today, his great-tasting, award-winning products (all free of wheat and gluten) include potato chips, baked potato crisps, multigrain chips and a range of puffs and curls. They’re available at leading health and natural food stores nationwide and on the company's Web site. Web: www.seasonssnacks.com
Baked Rice Crisps
A division of TH Foods, Mr. Krispers offers a wide array of wholesome, reduced-fat, whole-grain sesame, corn and rice snack products. They’re available in natural food stores nationwide. Web: www.mrkrispers.com