Friday, September 7, 2012

Nut-Free Lunch Box Ideas: Spotted on the Shelves

GoGoSqueez (TM) Applesauce on the Go
Looks like it might be getting easier to find nut-free lunch foods at the supermarket. In the past few weeks during my back to school food-shopping frenzy, I've found a growing number of items aimed at kids that are both healthier from a sugar/fat perspective as well as being marked "nut-free." Sometimes these foods are free of other allergens and gluten, too. They are all well-marked to say nut-free or they mention what allergens they DO contain. This approach makes it SO MUCH easier to determine if a food gets the "nut-free" nod for your child's lunch so I hope this trend continues.
First up, I found, "GoGo SqueeZ" (TM) applesauce snacks (pictured above) at SuperTarget. They are marked as "Gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free" on the packaging and the containers are BPA-free. The packaging is squeezeable and resealable for eating on the go (and less waste) and it comes in many delicious flavors like applesauce berry and applesauce with cinnamon. (Please note that this product has a small cap, which may make these unsuitable for younger children.)

Also at SuperTarget (and exclusively sold there) I discovered Quaker School Days(TM) Chewy(R) Granola Bars. Up until now, granola bars from Quaker have not been safe due to the nut allergy warnings on the box. According to the Quaker Oats FAQs page, the company will mark if there is a risk of trace amounts or peanuts or tree nuts in their foods. These contain no such warning and in fact, the box calls out the allergens in very large print. Please be aware that the bars contain wheat, milk and soy ingredients. If you don't have to avoid these allergens, then these might be a great nut-free choice for your child's lunch. The bars come in two flavors -- Apple and Berry -- and at $2 for an 8-bar box, the price is pretty good.

Large print comes in handy here--no need for a magnifying glass as with some labels.
Quaker Chewy (R) School Days (TM) Granola Bars
Next, I found a ready-to-eat meal series of lunches called "Go Picnic(R)." One big warning on this one: These lunches are gluten-free, vegan and kosher, so there is only one lunch that is "nut-free," the SunButter and Crackers meal. What I like about this meal is that each item is individually wrapped, so there is not a cross-contact risk even though the company makes other lunches with nut items.
Everything from Go Picnic (R) is individually wrapped, so there is no cross-contact issue.

The SunButter(R) and Crackers meal we purchased feautured a small squeeze container of labeled SunButter (so everyone sees that it is not peanut butter), multi-grain crackers, fruit leather and two items from Enjoy Life Foods(R) -- No Nuts Seed & Fruit Mix and Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookies. The item pictured above has fruit bites, so please check the labels if you  see fruit bites included. For the box I picked up, the only Top 8 allergen listed was soy because of the SunButter -- it may contain trace amounts of soy.

Next up, I am so excited to share that Skeeter Snacks peanut-free and tree nut-free cookies are now available in many stores and will soon be in many more states. Some of you have told me that they are available at stores in your area including Costco and Walmart.
You'll find Skeeter (TM) in a growing number of stores (and ask your store to carry them if they don't already).

Check their website for a store locator or order online. These crunchy cookies are made in a nut-free facility and they come in three flavors--Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal and Skeeterdoodle (a take on the snickerdoodle cinnamon cookie). We are big fans of these cookies; be advised they are nut-free only. Skeeter Snacks will be handing out cookie samples at the huge upcoming FAAN Walk this weekend in Houston, so if you are planning on attending the Houston FAAN Walk, say hello to the Skeeter folks for me!

Surf Sweets gummy many varieties to tuck into a lunch box.

Finally, if you are looking for a truly tasty and all-natural sweet treat for your kids, you can find Surf Sweets at Whole Foods and a growing number of stores. These tasty organic gummies are made in a nut-free facility and they never fail to please. Be sure to check out their fabulous seasonal gummies such as Spooky Spiders, coming up for Halloween and their every-popular Gummy Worms.

Anyone else have some supermarket finds to share?

Please note: These items were chosen for their nut-free status, but the consumer should do their own checking as manufacturing practices may change. Not all of the foods may work for your family due to additional allergies or other reasons, so please check the labels on each food and ask your allergist/call the companies directly if you have further questions about these products and their appropriateness for your situation. Thanks!


Lorcutt said...

Just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog :-)

I picked up a box of the School Days Amazing Apple bars for our son. Also picked up a "kid friendly" box of Kashi Cherry Vanilla at Target too. There is no nut warning on the box but will call them tomorrow to see what they say.

Donna said...

Love your blog Jenny! Found some pre-packaged cookie & brownie bars at my local Whole Foods a couple of months ago - they're called Treasure Mills School Safe. My store carries the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars & the Brownie Bars but their website shows that they carry other products as well & at other retailers. My PA daughter loves them.

Anonymous said...

Go Go Squeeze is a go to snack in my house for the food allergic and not food allergic alike!!

Jenny said...

Thank you both for the suggestions!