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Sweet Treat Alternatives for Kids With Peanut Allergies

By Dr. Boyan Hadjiev ; Updated August 14, 2017

For most of us, peanut butter was a staple childhood snack -- we grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter cookies, brownies with chopped nuts, and the like. Sadly, kids with peanut allergies can't enjoy these treats.

What’s more, cake and muffin mixes, candy, and granola bars may be made in facilities that process nuts or may include peanut oil. Even if the food you've purchased doesn't contain peanuts as an ingredient, trace amounts may cause an allergic reaction.

As a safety precaution, always check the labels on mixes and other pre-made foods to make sure they are truly nut-free. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that packaged foods include allergen information on the label. Note that a label stating whether foods were processed using equipment that may have also processed potential allergens is not a requirement, but followed voluntarily by many companies.

Don’t fret if you have a child with a peanut allergy. There are many sweet treats that he or she can enjoy without an allergic reaction.

This one is just as fun to make as it is to eat. You’ll need a whole banana, chocolate sauce, and crushed graham crackers.

Chocolate-covered Strawberries

Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Not only are these sweet berries good, they’re also good for you.

Simply melt chocolate chips or bars in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring the chocolate often. Remove from heat and dip the strawberries in up to their stems. Allow the berries to cool on waxed paper before eating.

Limit yourself to about one cup of chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or eight ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. You can buy organic, pure chocolate at most local health food stores. Dark chocolate is the healthiest for you, and increases the amount of antioxidants you’ll get in each bite.

Fruit Pops

Frozen fruit pops are a great treat, especially on a hot day. Unlike store-bought varieties, the ones you make at home won’t be loaded with sugar, food coloring, and other preservatives.

Grab whatever fruits you want and throw them into a blender. Mangos, berries, bananas, and a squeeze of lime make for a great combination. If you’re feeling brave, mix avocado in as well.

Once blended, put the fruit mix in plastic ice pop trays you can buy at nearly any dollar store. Slide them into the freezer and wait for the cold to work its magic.

As long as we’re talking about fruit, don’t forget smoothies! Using whatever fruits you’d like, blend them together with a splash of milk or fat-free yogurt and ice.

Monkey Tails

This one is just as fun to make as it is to eat. You’ll need a whole banana, chocolate sauce, and crushed graham crackers.

Peel the banana, drizzle a little chocolate sauce on it, and roll it in the graham cracker crumbs until it’s covered. To avoid sticky fingers, insert a popsicle stick into the end of the banana before applying the chocolate sauce.


If you’re feeling truly ambitious, have a go at making frushi, or fruit sushi.

Take some of your favorite fruits (the more colorful, the better) and slice them nice and thin, like long strips of confetti. Then, lay out some dried fruit leather you can find at health food markets and cut it into 2-inch-wide strips.

Place your fruit slices in neat, flat rows to cover the entire surface of your fruit leather, and then roll the leather tightly around the fruit. Cut your sushi rolls in half and you’re ready to go! You can always increase your creativity by putting a dab of Greek yogurt or cream cheese in the middle.

Other quick snack ideas for kids with peanut allergies include:

• Sliced cheese with berries and whole grain crackers • Dried fruit • Sweet breads, such as banana, squash, and pumpkin bread, which can easily be made nut-free at home • S’mores

About the Author

Boyan Hadjiev, MD, has been a practicing physician for five years. He is double board certified in Internal Medicine, (2003), and Allergy and Immunology, (2005).

Dr. Hadjiev graduated from University of Michigan with a BA in biology and an MD from Cleveland Clinic-Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

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