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Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

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Food allergies are the worst!  Not only are you restricted in what you can bring in your home that is safe for your child, but you also have to worry about their environment when they aren’t at home!

A Food allergy is an immune system response to a substance found in food that is normally harmless.  Certain immune responses see the food substance and attacks it in the same way our immune system attacks bacteria and viruses.  While it’s a devastating diagnosis, there is promise for the future.  New treatments are being studied, and do look promising, for kids with peanut allergies, but there is still along way to go.

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When Your Child Has a Nut Allergy

A child who is allergic to peanuts, does not necessarily have an allergy to tree-nuts (almonds, cashews, or walnuts). However about 25-40% of them are allergic to both, and many physicians will recommend avoiding both.  The best practice as a parent you can be in is to read your labels.  Checking labels for the allergen itself, as well as cross contamination of the allergen is vital for allergy management.  

Then, if your child is in school, inform the teacher, as well as the front office about your child’s allergy.  From my experience, teachers are great about protecting your child and informing the rest of the parents that may bring food into the class about the allergy.  This helps to control their environment for contamination they may not see or even ingest.   Secondly, it’s very important as well to teach your kids to be their own advocates and know what foods are safe for them.  From a very young age, they can question  the source of their food when other safety barriers have broken down.

For a complete list of what to check for on a label, whether you have a peanut or tree-nut allergy, print this document! from Food Allergy.org  It’s very simple and comprehensive, plus it contains helpful label reading information for other allergies. 

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So, to keep our schools safe, as well as for those kids who just love a delicious homemade granola bar- this recipe is for you!  Our favorite granola bar recipe here has peanut butter to hold it together, so this is our alternative- and really, it’s just as delicious! I PROMISE!! (full recipe below)

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Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

  • 2 Cup Oats
  • 2/3 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup raw organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (as long as they are processed in a nut free plant! If not, just leave them out!)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix all ingredients and press into greased pan, 9X13. Dough will be VERY dry and crumbly. It's OK, it will still turn out.  Press until dough forms with pan.. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Take out and let cool entirely. Cut into strips and store in snack size bags.  Optional: Drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

 

Can't have coconut either? This recipe was modified from the one found here with no coconut products in it.

Print Recipe


43 Comments

Jessica- You could try oat flour! just take some extra oats and put them in a blender until you have 1 cup of oat flour. Let me know if you try it!!

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Nicole

Could we throw some sunflower seed butter in these to moisten them up a bit? My son has nut allergies (among many others), and I tend to replace peanut butter with sunflower butter in recipes. Maybe in place of the coconut oil?

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@Kendra- you can use any sugar.. I make it with brown sugar all the time.

@nicole- it’s actually pretty moist to begin with! You can leave out the coconut oil altogether and it won’t be a problem. I’ve done it many times.

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Toni

They were great. I used homemade applesauce instead of oil. Thanks for the recipe

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Please provide a link to explain this statement. My allergist and nutritionist both have cleared coconut as ok for nut/peanut allergies.

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Karin Ouellette

our allergist said to avoid coconut as he considers it a nut and my daughter does react to it

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Tina

Making items like this for my peanut allergic child is a huge challenge, because it’s proven impossible to find things like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds that are processed in a peanut free environment, and we obviously can’t buy them in bulk stores either due to cross contamination issues there. Can you provide a brand name for these? The most popular US brand (gerb’s) isn’t available in my country (Canada). Even finding raw tree nuts that are peanut safe is impossible. Also, Coconut is not a nut, botanically, so just fine for children who aren’t allergic to it specifically. I find that most adults understand not to give my child peanuts but give no thought to cross contamination or the supply chain for ingredients.

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Karen

Here is my issue. My daughter has a TREE NUT allergy & a COCONUT allergy. . .which I am told are two unrelated allergies, but in any case I can’t use coconut anything. I struggle to find healthy recipes which she can eat along with my other girls? I also struggle to find any information on suitable substitutes when these types of ingredients are called for that won’t change the recipe?

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karrie

I will be making a lot of these for my boys, but I am on a tight budget. Is there a substitute for the honey or at lease some of it? Raw organic honey is a bit pricey here.

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Jennifer R

My allergist said that coconut is a separate reaction, as they are not technically nuts (they are seeds). The nutritionist at Stanford University that I consulted agreed.

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angie p

Please consult with your allergist first, every child is different. If they a nut allergy they may also have a coconut allergy as well. It’s best just to be safe, after all consider the consequences

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Jeanne

This recipe looks great. Thank you for providing the alternative and the resource sheet/website. Can you give an estimate of the shelf life for these? Thanks again!

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Lisa

What can I substitute the oats and the wheat flour for? My daughter can’t have gluten and oats are not gluten free here in australia. Thx.

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Kat

I used oat flour instead of whole wheat flour and they didnt hold. Turned out more like a crumble. Great on yogurt. Would the wheat flour hold it together better? The flavor is great though.

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I’ve actually never frozen granola bars Nicole. But if others can be frozen, these should as well.

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Valerie

Your recipe is NOT NUT FREE because you are using coconut products (oil & sugar) which are considered tree nuts.

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Judy C

A great little story book that can help children and their friends learn about food allergies is called “Marty’s Nut Free Party” by Katrina Roe. It’s about a little monkey named Marty who is allergic to peanuts and how his friends help him to not miss out on the fun.

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Rebecca currie

Could Stevia replace the coconut sugar (I don’t buy)… How about olive oil instead of coconut oil? Thanks!!! Recipe sounds yummy!!!

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Rebecca,
I haven’t tried those, but if I were to make changes, I would really just use regular sugar to replace the coconut sugar and grapeseed oil to replace the coconut oil.

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Sara

In the oven! Modified: no seeds, added chocolate chips and chia. Wish me luck! I have 2 picky eaters that only like to eat from packages!

Reply

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