This post was originally on my other blog, TrailCooking:
Safe Commercially Made Treats For Allergies.
That can be a very intimidating subject if suddenly you are in charge of meals/snacks for others – and have no experience with allergy safe foods. I saw this question this morning on a hiker’s forum and while I go by the theory of “Ask the parents to provide!!”, it is possible to ensure everyone has a safe outing by providing safe AND tasty treats! Just remember, it is NEVER safe to provide safe treats for some and then give standard treats to the other people. If you have a party member who has a severe allergy, just being near peanuts or tree nuts can cause a reaction, even as simple as touching an item that a peanut eater touched (such as trekking poles, a bag and so on). It is also best to bring single serving portions or new containers, sealed, rather than anything homemade. (And boy, I used to be that mom who didn’t get it at my oldest son’s school….sure learned why fast with my youngest son!) It is very important to explain to other parents or party members why it must be taken so seriously. If hiking with younger ones, be sure to do pack shakedowns, just in case they have treats that were packed with good intentions. Also, be sure to read the nutritional labels of everything. They have to list potential allergens they contain and good companies will let you know if it was made on shared lines.
As many of our readers know, our youngest son, Alistaire, has severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. As he gets older and I learn more…well it has become a LOT easier! I try to keep items in the van so we are always ready to go.
Enjoy Life Foods has an amazing wide range of products that are free of the top 8 allergens. Crunchy cookies, soft cookies, chewy bars, trail mix, they have it. Some of their items also come in single serving packs, perfect for trail use. Examples?
They are also behind Plentils:
Don’t Go Nuts is a great company with 6 flavors of trail ready bars and 5 innovative flavors of soy butter.
Their Soy Butter gives so many new choices to wraps and sammies – or for even dipping baby carrots into!
Sunbutter is a classic in our house. I actually prefer the naturally sweet and mellow flavor of roasted sunflowers over peanuts. I do not miss peanut butter overall! These are handy to have around: Sunflower Seed Spread On-The-Go No-Stir 10 Pkts.
GoGoSqueeZ is also always with us. When all else fails, I can give Alistaire a quick boost of energy. I source these at Costco on the cheap!
I also will carry things like single serving bags of baby carrots, and fresh fruit, such as grapes, berries and blueberries, string cheese sticks, tortilla chips, potato chips and other treats – one the boys love is giant Smarties candy rolls (made in a P/TN free line).
There are options out there – and it is getting crazy easy now to find them! And if all else fails, there is Amazon – which is where we stock up