Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free Holiday Candy...at 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!