Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free Holiday the Supermarket!!

While doing my errands, Christmas shopping and what have you at SuperTarget and Jewel, I've been researching supermarket-available holiday candy that is safe for people with peanut and tree nut allergies. Besides reading labels, I've called some of these companies for more info. If you have any questions about the following list, I suggest you do the same.

Still, with all the things we have to do, it's nice to know that we can pop out to the supermarket and buy candy that's safe for our nut-allergic kids or for a kid-centric holiday party. I also hope that I've provided a great list to pass on to friends and relatives.

A couple of things before I get to the list: because nut allergies are what I deal with, that is what I focused on here. The best sources for multiple food allergies are generally things available over the Internet such as Divvies. However, a few candy brands found at the supermarket offer holiday treats free of many allergens.

Beware of chocolate. Lots of chocolate is not safe for nut allergies. Regarding Hershey's brand, read the labels. They will list if any allergens are present on production lines and will list allergy warnings if there is any cross-contact risk for particular items. If you need more info from them, please visit their web site.

Please always consider your child's specific needs before giving them any food and ask your doctor what is safe for them. If you have any product questions, call the companies for more info.

Let your comfort level be your guide. If you prefer candies made in allergen-free facilities, then please go with those. There is no sense in worrying about the candy you give your child; candy is supposed to be FUN. However, I hope the following list gives you a few tasty options.

OK, disclaimers are out of the way. Let's get to the candy:

"Bob's" brand peppermint candies including Candy Canes and "Sweet Stripes": made in a facility free of the Top 8 allergens, according to Bob's customer service rep I spoke with today. The customer service rep told me that Bob's brand candies will list allergen info, including possible cross-contact info. If you don't see allergen info, it's because that particular Bob's brand of candy was made in an allergen-free facility.

Exceptions: Bob's Starlight and sugar-free Starlight mints are NOT safe for peanut and tree nut allergies. The rep said they are made in a different plant than the other "Bob's" mints. Their labels will reflect an allergy warning for nuts, among other foods.

Sweet Tarts Holiday Gummies: This brand will list allergen info, including cross-contact info, if any.

Mike & Ike brand Holiday Medley Jelly Beans: Red and green jelly beans, perfect for decorating holiday cakes and for parties.

Life Saver Big Ring Gummies--These are SO cute--they are packaged individually to look like little Christmas wreaths. Allergy note: Check the label if you are shopping for multiple allergies; some Life Saver gummies may contain milk.

Tootsie Roll Candies: All Tootsie Roll candies are made in a tree nut-free, peanut-free facility, right here in the Chicago area, as a matter of fact. They have some great new holiday candies including Candy Cane Pops (pictured above), Frosty Vanilla Midges and Starlight Pops with a Tootsie Roll center. Each holiday candy features festive individual packaging, perfect for parties or gift-giving.

York Peppermint Patty: Always nut-free, but may contain milk.

Junior Mints: Made by the Tootsie Roll company so nut-free; may contain milk or egg.

Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses: Hershey is careful about manufacturing and labeling; past conversations with them confirm that their packaging reflects detailed allergen info, including cross-contact risk due to product lines. Candy Cane kisses do not have a nut allergy warning and according to Hershey reps, are safe for nut allergies.

Starburst and Life Savers Sweet Game Books: I found these at Target. They have fun holiday activity books for young kids along with candies. These are safe for nut allergies; however, both candies have milk allergy warnings.

For all food allergies, Dum Dum suckers and Smarties are free of the Top 8 food allergens. They are always a good standby.

I hope this list gets you started. Readers, what are some of your favorite nut-free or allergy-free holiday candies? Let us know if you can find them at the supermarket!


Paisley said...

I was just trying to find some holiday candy yesterday. I ordered some of the cute chocolate pops from Vermont Nut-Free, and luckily my son loves Tootsie Rolls. Thanks for some more ideas!

ELTADA said...

I am a new reader of your blog...stumbled across your writings while searching for something. Anyway, I am from Canada so not sure if you have this in the States or not...we have a chocolate brand called "Kinder" -- they most commonly make hollow eggs with toys inside. I found a large egg with holiday packaging with a deluxe toy inside at my local supermarket for about $10. There are a couple of their products that do have an allergy warning on the label but most are peanut & nut-free. I have not called the company so I don't know what their practices are.

I also lucked out and recently found a woman who has a chocolate shoppe about 20 minutes away. She makes gourmet chocolates, candies, cakes, etc. in a peanut/nut free environment. Her daughter is anaphalactic to peanuts/some nuts so she is aware of allergy concerns. Perhaps some of your readers can call a few chocolate shops in their area to find a similar set-up? Thank you for a wonderful blog...I enjoy reading it!

Susan said...

Love those Candy Cane pops!

@ELTADA--The U.S. bans any candy with a toy "imbedded" inside, so they're not available here.

Anonymous said...

This is a great list. I found candy canes (made by Spangler) to be nut free.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I am always looking over the candy, b/c I like to bring treats for my dd class so that there is no issue with whether or not she can have it, it is easier to just provide the treat and then everyone is eating safe treats. The previous poster commented on Spangler candycanes, they are great and their c/s is amazing! You can order directly from them. I have also been impressed with Haribo gummybears, according to their cs rep all of their gummies are done in a peanut/treenut free facility. We always consider the tootsie roll brand and smarties too, even though they are not necessarily holiday candy, they are pefect for those with nut allergies. Thanks again for a great and informative post. I pray that you all have a food safe Christmas!

Many Blessings,

Cindy said...

I just bought my peanut-allergic daughter a couple of Christmas mini boxes of Jelly Bellies that were labeled "peanut free". I didn't see anything (either positive or negative) about tree nuts. They were at Target, in the stocking stuffers section.

Anonymous said...

Thank you - this list is great and will help me prepare for the school holiday party where we ask parents to donate items for the party. Thanks again!

Jenny said...

Jelly Belly jelly beans brand is newly peanut-free...old boxes might still have peanut flavor, though it looks like the one you saw is OK. Thanks for mentioning!

Jenny said...

More info directly from the Jelly Belly website:

Anonymous said...

I found Smarties candy canes, Andes candies, and a box of special large Junior Mints; all were plainly labeled "made in a peanut, tree nut, and egg=free facility...yippee!!! Found them at Target.

Allison said...

FYI: Andes Mints are made in a peanut/nut egg and gluten free facility. Does contain milk though. Andes also makes special flavored chocolate candies at Christmas time too.

Raquel said...

Andes Candies (which has some fun holiday flavors including toffee) are also safe for people with peanut and tree nut allergies. They are also made by my favorite company - Tootsie!

LDS Momma Blogger said...

Sixlets are gluten and peanut free :) I found that out today! :) So happy!

Cara said...

Just noticed someone put here last year that Andes makes mints with toffee-- but toffee is usually made with almonds. Are Andes with toffee safe? (I'd assume if they are that it's not real toffee flavoring.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, according to the label for Andes Toffee Crunch Thins, they are safe, made in a nut-free facility! Both my nut-allergic children love them!