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Peanut free snacks for school

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Most elementary school teachers take a mid-morning break to allow their students to refuel with a snack. If it's your turn to bring a snack for your child to share for the class, or you're trying to pack a snack for a child with peanut allergies or who attends a peanut-free school, here are a few ideas for delicious and nutritious peanut-free snacks.

Most fruits and vegetables make excellent choices because they are nutritious as well as safe for those with peanut allergies. Popular snacks for school include whole fruit such as apples, bananas, and oranges, along with carrot and celery sticks. Be cautious when selecting fruit snacks; this is one of the more surprising places where peanut ingredients can be found. Even if you've purchased the same brand and variety before, it is always important to read the ingredient label, since manufacturers can change production methods.

'Safe' dairy products include string cheese, cubed cheese, and other cheese snacks, along with Yoplait Go-Gurt yogurt. Jell-O and pudding snacks are also good for snacks that will satisfy kids' sweet tooth. Ice cream and candies tend to be trickier, since few varieties are processed on dedicated peanut-free lines. Still, there are varieties that are known to be safe for those with peanut allergies.

Going peanut-free means being particularly cautious when selecting baked goods. Pre-packaged brownies, cookies, and similar treats often contain peanut ingredients or have been baked on equipment that is also used for treats containing peanuts. Check the ingredient label carefully on baked goods, including products such as cereal and crackers. Avoid anything containing peanut flour or peanut oil, or that includes a warning that it may contain traces of peanuts due to cross-contamination. If in doubt, opt for another food that is certain to be free from peanut products.

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