Nut allergies can be dangerous. That’s why nut-free rules need to be followed. These nut-free snack ideas for preschool will help.

When my son was beginning preschool, I thought I was ready. In my head, snack time would be a rotating array of PBJ sushi and clever combinations of trail mix alternating with fruit kabobs and my son’s favorite granola bars.

But then I learned something important: Our preschool was nut-free, which meant all tree- and peanut based products weren’t allowed. And it was with good reason too. Our school had a number of students with a range of nut allergies. If you aren’t familiar with nut-allergies, you should know that they can be very dangerous and the mere inhalation of nut residue can lead to horrific effects for the allergy sufferer.

So I changed course and rethought my snack plans.

Still, it wasn’t easy at first.

I had to learn to check labels and think beyond the basics. Although our school offered a list, it was mostly filled with processed foods. Instead, I wanted to find a range of good options that included good, natural foods.

If you are seeking nut-free snack ideas for yourself or others, this list will help.

These nut-free snacks are simple enough so they won’t require any heavy-lifting in the kitchen. In fact, most of them can be sourced at your local store, making this list super convenient and suitable for any lifestyle demands. 

IMPORTANT: Always remember to check the label before purchasing as brands tend to change their manufacturing processes regularly. Be aware of phrases like this:

  • “May Contain Peanut or Tree Nuts”
  • “Processed on shared equipment with Peanuts or Tree Nuts”
  • “Manufactured in a plant with Peanut or Tree Nuts”
  • “Contains Peanut or Tree Nut Ingredients”

Peanut Butter- and Nut Butter-Free Spreads and Dips

These spreads and dips are great for sandwiches, on crackers, apples or celery. They can be easily found at your local healthy grocer or bought online. Here are some ideas of spreads and dips you can buy today:

The peanut and nut-free spreads listed can be used in a recipe as a substitute for peanut and other nut butter. 

Savory and Salty Nut-Free Snacks

  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Crackers 
  • Pretzels 
  • Rice cakes
  • Potato chips

Dairy Snacks

  • Yogurt tube, cup or pouch
  • Pudding cup
  • Cheese (stick, cube, round, slice)

Sweet Snacks

  • Graham crackers
  • Fruit rolls and snacks
  • Fruit-flavored candy 
  • Granola bars
  • Small chocolates like Hershey Kisses or Dove chocolates

Produce Snacks

  • Fresh fruits (apples, oranges, banana, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, pear, kiwi, blueberries, etc.)
  • Fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes)
  • Applesauce cup or pouch
  • Canned fruits and vegetables 
  • Raisins
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit kebabs
  • Fruit and cheese kebabs
  • Caprese skewers (tomato, basil, mozzarella ball)
  • Smoothies

These great ideas for nut-free snacks will help you stock up. But regardless of what you purchase for your lunch box snacks, always make sure to read the labels carefully.

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