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Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

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  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.

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03/03/2014 9:38am
Gluten Free sub for whole wheat flour?
03/03/2014 9:43am
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!!
07/07/2014 6:19pm
Could you use rice flour instead of whole wheat flour?
07/15/2014 3:34pm
@Rachel- I've never tried it with rice flour. I am not even sure how to use it.
03/03/2014 10:08am
Any substitute for coconut sugar?
03/03/2014 10:08am
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?
03/03/2014 10:11am
@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.
03/03/2014 10:22am
They were great. I used homemade applesauce instead of oil. Thanks for the recipe
03/03/2014 12:16pm
What about adding chia seeds? 1-2 tbsp?
03/03/2014 12:17pm
Definitely Trish! @toni- glad you tried it already!
Karin ouellette
03/03/2014 6:46pm
Most kids with nut allergies should avoid coconut as we'll
03/27/2014 5:33pm
Please provide a link to explain this statement. My allergist and nutritionist both have cleared coconut as ok for nut/peanut allergies.
Karin Ouellette
05/15/2014 6:28pm
our allergist said to avoid coconut as he considers it a nut and my daughter does react to it
05/15/2014 12:04pm
Rolled oats or will steel cut woRk?
05/19/2014 11:47am
Maggie- Rolled or quick oats is best. I wouldn't use steel cut.
07/08/2014 12:06pm
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.
07/11/2014 8:40am
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?
07/15/2014 3:26pm
Oh Karen- that is definitely a challenge. I honestly don't have many resources for you. The only site I've ever used is this one:

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