It is estimated that around 4.5 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from a peanut allergy. That's around 3% of the total population. Another 2 out of every 3 of those adults will also have an allergy to another food item such as tree nuts, e.g. walnuts.
For those who suffer from nut allergies, exposure to foods that contain nuts or have come into contact with nut-containing products can lead to severe allergic reactions.
Individuals experiencing an allergic reaction can have symptoms that may include hives, rash, swelling, and trouble breathing, which can sometimes result in death.
Nut-free treats are essential in places where someone with a nut allergy may be. Even a mild exposure reaction can still be an uncomfortable and embarrassing experience.
If you are interested in learning more about nut-free treats, keep reading for more information.
What Causes a Nut Allergy?
When peanut and tree nut products are eaten or handled by someone with a nut allergy, their body's immune system attacks the substance and sees it as a threat. This causes it to go into overdrive, which triggers an allergic reaction.
For those who experience severe allergic reactions to nuts, it may be necessary to carry around an Epi-pen injector to counteract the effects.
Interesting note, peanuts aren't actually nuts at all. They are classified as legumes, which means they are more closely related to lentils and peas. A peanut's proteins are similar to tree nuts, which is why they cause an allergic nut reaction.
Due to cross-contamination, food items that do not contain any peanut or tree nut products may still carry a risk of coming into contact with nuts because they are made on shared equipment in the same factory.
Nut residue left behind on these surfaces can transfer onto the nut-free items. Labels on the packaging state that a product may contain trace amounts of peanut or tree nut products.
It may be a small risk of exposure, but it is best to steer clear of these items altogether for anyone not wishing to go through the hassle and discomfort of a potential nut allergy reaction.
Benefits of Nut-Free Treats
With the risk of so many items containing nuts or being exposed to nut products in manufacturing, it is important to find foods that avoid both of these allergy triggers either directly or indirectly.
For shared communal areas like the lunchroom at the office, this may also mean that co-workers abstain from bringing in any nut-containing or nut-contaminated items for office treats. Although their intentions may be pure, these items could still pose a threat to their fellow co-workers who have a nut allergy.
This may also ring true for places like schools, where entire classrooms are on a peanut or tree nut ban because of a student's allergy. This can make it tricky trying to find and bring nut-free treats for a birthday.
But don't lose heart. You can still find dedicated nut-free bakeries and companies that do not use peanuts, tree nuts, or shared equipment to make their products.
It will be more thoughtful in the long run to save someone you know the agony of exposing them to a potentially bad allergic reaction to nuts. That little extra step of making certain a product is safe for everyone is the right thing to do and it shows you care.
And don't worry, nut-free treats taste just as good as those with nuts, even sweeter without all of the worry.
How to Find Nut-Free Foods
Always check the labels. Never assume an item is truly nut-free if you don't see it for yourself in writing.
Do your research online. There are tons of specialty brands available now that offer a lot more dedicated nut-free food options and nut-free treats from safe facilities.
Check out online blogs that are also dedicated to finding and detailing lists of nut-free treats and products that have a track record of being safe for those with nut allergies.
Nut-Free Food Options
You may think going nut-free means your choices will seriously be limited. But you can still find many great nut-free treats. Here are some examples of nut-free food options.
For nut-free snacks, you can always go with the standard assorted fruit platters and string cheese. They are healthy and nutritious. However, if you do wish to find something a little more decadent, there are some other options to consider.
- Popcorn snacks from SkinnyPop brand
- Nature's Bakery Baked-Ins Bars
- GardenLites Veggies Made Great muffins and veggie cakes
- Enjoy Life Baked Cookies
- Tootsie Roll
- Pirate's Booty
- Savor Street Grain-Free Pretzels
Of course, these are just a few of the many brands out there today with dedicated peanut and tree nut-free facilities. You are certain to find something you'll like.
It might be a little trickier to find truly nut-free treats when it comes to nut-free gifts.
For example, cookie giant Mrs. Field's does offer a line of nut-free treats on their website. But because they also offer other cookie products with nuts, there is still a risk of cross-contamination.
Again, if you really want to go the safe route, a fruit bouquet dipped in chocolate may be an option. The downsides are that they are often very pricey and the fruit will not keep well if it doesn't receive proper refrigeration.
You could spend hundreds of dollars on nut-free specialty gift basket sites, but even then, it's just a bunch of nut-free snacks thrown into a basket and wrapped in cellophane. There's no real personal touch.
But what if you could print a name, logo, or picture onto those cookies? That's right. Custom printed and personalized cookies.
Chocolate-covered Oreos with custom pictures and they're nut-free treats too! Yes, it's possible.
Custom Nut-Free Treats from Sweet Ali
No, you're not dreaming. We really can print logos, designs, and photos onto delicious milk, dark, or white chocolate-covered Oreos.
Or try our chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate-dipped pretzels, or Krispy Rice Treats and cakes. Is your mouth watering yet?
And the best part of all? They're all nut-free!
Our dedicated nut-free bakery facility is based in New Jersey, but we can also ship our products to you overnight if necessary. Custom orders big or small, our personalized products are a thoughtful and unique way to step up your treat-giving game.
Order your custom nut-free treats from Sweet Ali Custom Confections today.