In the early days of living with a peanut allergy, or when a child with a peanut allergy starts school or childcare, having a source of ready-to-eat peanut-free foods can feel like a lifesaver. This is especially true for snacks, cereals, pastries, candy, and other items that are likely to have had some cross-contamination in the manufacturing process. Here's a quick guide to finding peanut-free products.
At the Supermarket
Well-stocked supermarkets -- especially if they have a "health foods" or "natural foods" section -- often carry several of the larger nationwide brands committed to providing peanut-free and nut-free foods to people with allergies. Some products you may be able to find in your grocery store include Cherrybrook Kitchen baking mixes, Enjoy Life cookies, cereals, granola bars and other products, Zoe's O's cereal, and peanut butter substitutes from Peabutter and Sunbutter. Health food stores may offer a wider selection in some areas.
On the Internet
If you're looking for a particular product you can't find easily at your local supermarket, chances are good you can order online. Strongly consider online shopping if you're in a remote area, if you're looking for a large quantity of food (thereby making shipping cost-effective), or to buy special-occasion foods you can't find easily in your town. Some useful sources for peanut-free products include Peanut-Free Planet, Allerneeds, and Allergy-Free Shop. Divvies and Vermont Nut-Free are good sources for snacks and candies.
Tips to Remember
The products mentioned in this article are by companies that specialize in peanut-free and allergy-safe foods. Many other foods in your local supermarket are peanut-free, but you should be aware that ingredient lists alone don't tell the whole story when it comes to allergies. Always avoid products that indicate they've been prepared on shared manufacturing lines with peanuts. And be aware that even foods you've bought more than once can change formulations without warning. For more tips on figuring out which products at your grocery store are truly peanut-free, see Why "May Contain Allergen" Warnings Matter and How to Decipher Ingredient Labels.