For a child suffering with milk and peanut allergies, finding a healthy and appealing snack can be a challenge. While many food manufacturers market snacks specifically for allergy sufferers, their safety is not always guaranteed. Learning what ingredients to avoid and preparing your own snacks helps ensure milk and peanuts are not present.
Fruits and Veggies
Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables make a quick and easy snack for kids. However, grabbing an apple or munching on carrot sticks isn’t always appealing. Luckily, with a few steps, you can turn those natural fruits and veggies into enjoyable, healthy treats. Add a few handfuls of different fruits into a blender with a splash of water or fruit juice and create a smoothie. For kids who turn their noses up at veggies, sneak a few leaves of spinach into the smoothie too. While drinking this is one snack option, you can also pour the mixture into ice pop molds and make healthy frozen treats. Other options include fruit kebabs and frozen grapes or bananas.
Making your own cookies, cakes or snack bars is an effective way to monitor what ingredients are present. Use caution when using cake or cookie mixes. Many mixes have you add water, oil and eggs, making you believe the final snack will be milk-free. However, milk proteins may be present in the dry mix. Read labels carefully.
Ingredients to Avoid
When looking at prepackaged snacks, reading labels is important. Even when a company markets a product as peanut- or dairy-free, ingredients may still be hiding under a different name. Seeing "milk" or "peanuts" in the ingredient list is a definite red flag; however, other ingredients may not be as obvious. For milk, look out for ingredients such as casein, caseinate, ghee, lactalbumin, lactoferrin, lactoglobulin, opta, Simpleese and whey. For peanuts, look for other nuts, artificial nuts, arachis, lecithins, food additive 322 and satay.
A peanut and milk allergy does not mean your child has to pass on treats and snacks. Many of your favorite recipes that include milk or peanuts may use substituted ingredients. For example, instead of traditional cow's milk, soy, rice and oat milk offer a non-dairy substitution. If a recipe calls for butter, replace with dairy-free margarine or even applesauce. A child with a peanut allergy can even enjoy a non-traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich using sunflower butter as a replacement.