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.
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.
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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Nut-Free Homemade Chewy Granola Bars for Kids
- 2 cups oats quick or rolled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries optional
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips optional
- Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine oats, salt and cinnamon.
- In small saucepan, combine honey and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour honey mixture into the oats and stir until well combined.
- Stir in pepitas and dried cranberries if adding. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add in chocolate chips.
- Spoon mixture into your parchment lined pan and spread evenly. Spray a small amount of cooking spray onto your hands and press the mixture firmly into the pan so that it stays together.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the bars with the parchment paper and cut into 12 even bars. Enjoy!