Today there are so many food allergies it's unbelievable how careful you need to be when packing your kids lunch this school year. Often schools main concern is peanut/nut allergies and because so many young children have this allergy, many schools have become completely nut free including my kid’s school.

Meaning, of course you can't send your little one off with a peanut butter sandwich anymore. I don't blame anyone for this rule; if it was your child that had the allergy wouldn't you feel more secure knowing the school banned the one food that could be fatal? My children don't have these allergies (thank goodness!) but I know someone who does and I think of the ones who might. I always try to make sure to make the smart choice and make sure the foods I am buying are really nut-free.

Even though stores carry "nut-free" products it doesn't mean that they are truly free of nuts. Being nut free doesn’t only mean that the food contains no nuts or nut products but also that it are produced in a nut free environment. To some the slightest taste or even smell can cause the sometimes fatal allergy to flare up.

One of my favorite grocery stores has a complete line of nut-free products and displays it proudly with the nut-free symbol: Loblaws now offer a great selection of nut-free foods to send off to school for low prices with Presidents choice and no name brands!

We had the opportunity to try out a few different types of snacks like Presidents Choice Mini Bars dipped & chewy chocolate chip, wheat bran bites in banana bread flavor, mini chefs lunchbox packs honey crunchy cubs and no name brands zoo animals fruit snacks, crispy rice marshmallow squares, jelly beans and jujubes! Our kids aren't picky when it comes to brand and non brand names for food. As long as it tastes good, is nut free and sells at a reasonable price we're all happy! So check out Loblaws next time you're wondering where you can find these nut-free snacks and others for your little ones lunches!

Here is a message on behalf of Loblaw about being nut-free aware when buying foods for school lunches:
It’s important to Loblaw Companies Ltd. to provide peanut-free choices for kids and parents alike, and this year it’s easier for parents to shop their local grocery aisles for options. All President’s Choice® and no name® peanut-free products include prominent on-package logos and Loblaw banner stores across the country have displays marked with peanut-free signage.

The President’s Choice and no name brands would also like to offer parents some simple tips to help going back to school as simple as possible, since a peanut allergy is everyone’s concern:

  • Read labels and ingredient lists and teach your kids how to read them, too – every single time

  • Understand what “peanut-free” means: that the product or food-in-question doesn’t contain peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, traces or any derivative of peanut at all! Note that it does not necessarily mean it’s “tree-nut” free – so parents need to read ingredient lists to be sure

  • Empower kids to ask questions about food origins – kids with peanut sensitivities shouldn’t eat foods if they don’t know where, how or with what they were made

  • Parents and kids should be aware of the dangers of cross-contamination – using a knife to spread jam on a piece of bread that might have been used earlier in a peanut butter jar (even if there isn’t any peanut butter in sight) means that the knife has been cross-contaminated and may elicit an allergic reaction

  • When shopping for school lunches and snacks, avoid buying from bulk food bins – even if there’s an ingredient list available, you’ll have no idea if it’s been in contact with a peanut product since scoops inevitably get moved from bin to bin

  • The best store-bought "baked" snacks for a peanut-free environment are cookies, crackers and cereals that are properly labelled and pre-packaged; in a traditional bakery setting, cross-contamination is very possible

  • Don’t forget that in addition to all of the delicious President’s Choice- and no name brand peanut-free products available, there are many other snack choices that are nutritious, kid-friendly and don’t contain peanuts, including:

    • Any fruit or vegetable, such as grapes, celery, apples, carrots, oranges, bananas and raisins – don’t forget about applesauce!

    • Dairy products like cottage cheese, string cheese and yogurt.

Have a happy, healthy school year!

*Information on this post provided by Hill & Knowlton Canada on behalf of Loblaw Ltd. This post was written for informational purposes. I received a package of PC and No name brand nut free snacks for my family to enjoy.*



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