If you know children with food allergies, you can rock their Easter basket with a variety of treats that are free from some—if not all—of the top eight allergens (wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and soy). The best part is that the following nine goodies will put a smile on any kid’s face, whether they have a food allergy or not.
A Chocolate Bunny Rabbit ($8.50) is an Easter basket staple. Divvies, the brainchild of a parent of a food-allergic child, makes food without any eggs, dairy or nuts. The chocolate rabbits contain soy.
Vermont Nut Free Chocolates has become the go-to brand for peanut and tree nut candyholics. But don’t let the name fool you. In addition to chocolaty treats, the company has a wide variety of other delicious, kid-friendly goodies. The Easter Tote Jelly Beans ($5.70) is free of the top eight allergens and comes in a festive little box.
A Jelly Belly Easter Carrot Bag ($4.99) filled with orange Sunkist Tangerine jellybeans makes a super-cheerful addition to any basket. The clever packaging will also allow you to make a ton of “Hoppy Easter” and “Eat your veggies” cracks. Ah, parenthood. Although the treats are gluten-free and top-8-allergen-free, they are made in a facility that processes tree nuts and coconut. (Get Jelly Belly coupons.)
For one-stop shopping, look no further than Indie Candy. Its confections are entirely top-eight-free, and there’s a huge array of candy choices for all sorts of occasions. How cute is this Funny Bunny Chocolate Lollipop ($2.99) and Carrot Lollipop ($2.59)?
Even if you have nut allergies, there’s no reason for peanut-butter-cup envy. Sun Cups are nut-free and gluten-free. In place of peanut butter, the terrific-tasting treats contain sunflower seed butter. Get an affordably priced Sun Cup Sampler ($1.99) with four of the company’s flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mint and caramel. Sun Cups contain dairy and sometimes soy.
I asked a few nonallergic family members to help me do a taste test of HomeFree cookies—the boxes were devoured in short order. Our fave? The ridiculously addictive Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie ($1.49), which uses natural and organic ingredients and comes individually wrapped for on-the-go lunches and treats. HomeFree goodies are made with soy lecithin in a dedicated facility containing no peanuts, no tree nuts, no eggs, no dairy, and no wheat. However, due to agricultural practices, oats often contain traces of wheat.
Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks in Summer Strawberry ($4.09 for a five-pack) from Annie’s Homegrown use no artificial ingredients, preservatives or colors. They are gluten-free and top-eight-free. Plus, look at those tiny little bunnies. Squee!
When Cheryl Spielman discovered her niece had an egg allergy and wouldn’t be able to take part in activities like coloring Easter eggs, she created EggNots ($15.95 per dozen), a dyeable, ceramic and inedible egg. If your kid has an egg allergy, put these in her basket for arts-and-crafts fun.
Please note: It is important to always read labels carefully, as ingredients or manufacturing may change. Even if you see a food listed here, and it seems safe for your dietary restrictions, read the label on the product each and every time. Teach any food-allergic child to do the same!