Preparing for potential food allergies at birthday parties, in school, or even holiday events can be tricky. Up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under 18. That means one in 13 children or roughly two in every classroom, suffers from at least one food allergy - about 30 percent of those are allergic to more than one food.
So if you're a parent who spends most of their time in the kitchen, it can be hard to whip up sweet treats without the eight major food allergens: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and crustacean shellfish.
Don't worry; it's possible to make allergy-friendly snacks that don't taste like cardboard. Check out these easy snacks that the whole classroom will love:
Nut-Free Caramel Corn (dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan)
Popcorn is a universally loved snack. These little crunchy bites can be made sweet, salty, or even spicy. This caramel corn recipe from The Pretty Bee has the perfect balance of salty and sweet-addictive to kids and adults. Bonus: this recipe makes 24 servings (perfect for parties!)
Get the full recipe at theprettybee.com.
Dark Chocolate Snack Bites (can be made dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan)
The Kitchn makes this recipe easy to adjust based on the demographic you're trying to feed. Avoiding nuts? Throw in dried fruit or coconut flakes instead of the recommended nuts and seeds. And If you're staying away from dairy, make sure to buy vegan or dairy-free chocolate. Voila! You've got a simple, easy-to-make dessert: all you need is an ice cube tray.
Get the full recipe at thekitchn.com.
Crispy Baked Carrot Chips (dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan)
Trying to get your kid to eat fewer potato chips and more veggies? Here's a yummy way to do just that. Running to the Kitchen came up with two versions of these crispy baked carrot chips: one is salty, and one is sweet. Both versions are totally allergy-friendly and totally tasty.
Get the full recipe at runningtothekitchen.com.
Puppy Chow (can be made dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan)
A delightfully sweet snack (also known as reindeer chow, monkey munch, or muddy buddies), this treat from Enjoy Life Foods is easy to make and a total crowd-pleaser. If you're not dealing with any nut allergies, go ahead and add some peanut butter to the chocolate mix.
Get the full recipe at enjoylifefoods.com.
Dirt Cake Cups (can be made dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free)
What's not to love about dirt? It's creamy, gooey, and can be topped with whatever you'd like. But for kids with dairy allergies, it's usually not an option. That's where coconut milk comes in. Using SoDelicious coconut milk yogurt, anybody can indulge.
Get the full recipe at sodeliciousdairyfree.com.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. May is Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month.