Some people can grab any snack off the shelf and dig in without a second thought. Others have to read labels like they would fine print, scanning each and every ingredient to make sure what they’re craving won’t lead to a flare up. It sounds tedious, because it is, but the alternative could be worse — much worse.
It can be hard to get excited about food if you’re grappling with a food sensitivity or allergy, but luckily the food industry has become much more inclusive and understanding of the fact that every body is unique and responds differently to a variety of ingredients. So while it’s unfortunate that there is no one diet that fits everyone’s needs, it’s comforting to know there are allergen-free snacks on the market now that taste just as delicious as the traditional store-bought treats you grew up with.
That being said, it’s not always obvious which pre-packaged foods on your grocery store’s shelves are actually allergen-free. And because not everyone has the time (or patience) to read every single label, or whip up their own safe-to-eat treats from scratch, we’ve rounded up 15 allergen-free snacks worth a taste below. That being said, always be sure to double-check the ingredients and allergy warnings for yourself!
1. 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Seed’Nola
The story behind 88 Acres is, well, nuts. On their fourth date, co-founders Nicole and Rob found themselves checking into the emergency room after Rob had a severe allergic reaction to his meal, which had been cross-contaminated with nuts. On a mission to create snacks Rob could enjoy without risk, Nicole stumbled upon the nutritional, allergen-friendly powerhouse that is seeds, and thus 88 Acres was born.
This writer is personally obsessed with the brand’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Seed’Nola (granola made from seeds) chunks; it’s made from a combination of organic sunflower seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, gluten-free oats, and organic dark chocolate, among other whole-food ingredients that are simple, yet delicious. However, 88 Acres also offers a line of seed bars, seed protein bars, and mind-blowing seed butters (including watermelon seed butter) that are definitely worth tasting (and hoarding in your pantry).
2. Kween Original Granola Butter
Speaking of granola, have you heard of granola butter? Co-founded by Ali Bonar and Eric Katz, Kween introduced the first spreadable granola to the market. Each jar is described as “the perfect combination of fiber, healthy fats & protein,” made with nutrient-rich ingredients like gluten-free organic rolled oats, golden flax, olive and coconut oils, maple syrup, cinnamon, and made without the top 14 allergens, including eggs, milk, and soy. Currently, flavors of Kween include vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate, and blueberry. We encourage you to try them all, but if you’re new to this snack, start with a spoonful of the OG jar.
3. Partake Foods Chocolate Chip Soft-Baked Cookies
Food allergies can sometimes take the joy out of the foods you eat, but for anyone with a specific food allergy who also loves baked goods, Partake is here to add a little risk-free sweetness to your pantry. With eight boxes of cookies (including both crunchy and soft baked options) and two baking mixes to its name, Partake snacks are free of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, milk, soy, fish, shellfish), but full of all the nostalgic flavor you can only find in a store-bought cookie. Flavors include birthday cake, ginger snap, carrot cake, and cookie butter, but we’re partial to the original chocolate chip.
4. Enjoy Life Foods Seed and Fruit Mix
Trail mix is one of the easiest foods to snack on if you’re looking for a quick noshing fix amidst a busy schedule. Unfortunately, most store-bought bags feature some kind of nut, so those with nut allergies have to cross yet another snacking option off their list. This seed and fruit mix from Enjoy Life Foods, however, is a safe pick. Free of tree nuts and peanuts, these salty-sweet packs are also made without gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, casein, sulfite, egg, lupin, sesame, fish, mustard, crustacean, and shellfish. They’re also certified vegan, non-GMO, and loaded with flavor in every single satisfying bite.
Read More: Best Healthy Snack Box Subscriptions
5. That’s It Fruit Bars
Food allergy or not, That’s It Fruit Bars make it easier to meet the daily recommended amount of fruit. Each bar contains two servings of real fruit — not preservatives, added sugar, concentrates, or purees — at only 100 calories per bar. What’s more, That’s It snacks are made in an allergen-free facility, are free of 12 top allergens, paleo-compliant, and Whole-30 approved, so they’ll fit into most (if not all) diets. And if you’re looking for variety, these bars have plenty, like apple and coconut, apple and cherry, apple and pear and ginger.
6. This Saves Lives Kids Krispy Treats
While the Kids Krispy Treats from This Saves Lives are marketed towards kids, adults can certainly enjoy these allergen-free snacks, too. Available in five delicious varieties like Mammoth Marshmallow Krisp, Dragon’s Dream Cookies N’ Cream, and Bigfoot Campfire S’mores, each bar is only 80-90 calories and free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, soy, fish, and shellfish. Plus, co-founders Kristen Bell, Todd Grinnell, Ravi Patel, and Ryan Devlin designed these crispy treats with kiddos in mind, so not only are they packed with flavors you’ll crave, each bar also contains a sneaky (full) serving of fruits and veggies that you might not taste, but that your body will definitely benefit from.
7. Friendly Grains Crunchy Rice Rollers
There’s a time for chewy snacks, and a time for crunchy snacks. If you have a hankering for the latter, grab one of these crunchy rice rolls from Friendly Grains. The cylinder snack bar is made from puffed organic brown rice and sweetened with organic cane sugar. They’re free of the big 8 allergens, certified kosher and organic, not to mention they’re the perfect grab-and-go carbo-load you need running out the door or in between meetings.
8. Sun-Maid Sour Raisins
Craving something sour? These sour raisins from Sun-Maid taste like candy, but are made using only whole fruit and natural flavorings. In addition to being allergen-free, you also won’t find any added sugar, artificial flavors, or synthetic colors pumped into these delicious snack bags. Mixed Berry is a fan-favorite, but they also come in strawberry, watermelon, and grape.
Read More: Best Sour Candies
9. Beanfields Bean Chips
Chips are this reporter’s kryptonite, and Beanfield’s bags made from black beans are no exception. Made with only five ingredients (black beans, organic brown rice, brown rice, safflower or sunflower oil, and sea salt), and loaded with fiber (4g per serving? Yes, please.), these tortilla-style chips are a delicious substitute for a traditional bag.
10. Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Crunchy Broad Beans
And while we’re on the subject of beans, don’t overlook Enlightened’s Bada Bean Bada Boom Crunchy Broad Beans the next time you’re browsing the snack aisle, either. Made with broad (fava) beans and seasoned with chili powder, cayenne, paprika, and sea salt, the sweet sriracha flavor is out of this world. In addition to flavor, you can’t beat the macronutrients packed into each bag; at only 100 calories, each allergen-friendly snack serves up 7g of protein, 5g of fiber, only 3g of fat, 10g of net carbs, and just 1g of sugar.
11. Campfire Giant Roasters Marshmallows
Keep a bag of these Campfire Giant Roasters Marshmallows in your pantry for the times you find yourself craving something fluffy and sweet. According to the brand’s official allergen statement, these gigantic ‘mallows are “gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and allergen-friendly,” and have been since 1917. Perfect for smores, or just the occasional stove-top roasting, you’ll love the taste as much as you will be in awe of their size.
12. Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers
Not in the mood for chips, but still craving something with a crunch? Mary’s Gone Super Seed Crackers are a satisfying option. Available in five indulgent flavors like Everything, Rosemary, and Basil & Garlic, each cracker is a hearty combination of pumpkin, poppy, sunflower seeds and more, delivering a nutritious, delicious (not to mention filling) serving of healthy fats and plant protein.
13. RIND Snacks
The makers behind RIND Snacks would like to remind you that edible peels are very much a thing and should not be wasted. Ergo, these dried fruit bags don’t skimp on the skin, so your body can benefit from the high concentration of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants you’d otherwise miss. Each bag has a theme, like the tropical blend with bittersweet oranges, pineapple, and tangy kiwi, and the coco-melon blend with crispy coconut and sweet watermelon. This reporter highly recommends the orchard blend with persimmons, sweet apples, and tangy peaches.
14. MadeGood Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
If you loved the Quaker granola bars as a kid, give this allergen-friendly alternative a try. MadeGood granola bars are made with organic, gluten-free oats, brown rice crisps, and sweetened with agave. They’re low on sugar, without sacrificing flavor, and each bar sneakily serves up a full serving of vegetables.
15. SmartSweets Sweet Fish Candy
Not only are SmartSweets candies free from sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, added sugars, and contain 72-92% less sugar than traditional candy, they also happen to be allergen-free. Per the company’s FAQ page, all of the brand’s #KickSugar candies are made “without any FDA regulated priority food allergens as ingredients, including peanuts and tree nuts,” so anyone with a sweet tooth can indulge.