If you follow along with the blog, you now know that David is in preschool this year. He is loving his class, and is so sad that it is only two mornings a week. I think he would go full days, 7 days a week if he could! He has two wonderful teachers, and lots of friends—he calls them old friends and new friends, as he knew a few of the kids before he started (he goes to the preschool at our church).
One of the things I worried about when getting ready for the school year was dealing with the snack hurdle. In fact, that is part of the reason (albeit a very small one) that we didn’t send him last year when he was 2. One less year to deal with “the vegan issue.” I knew I would have to face it sooner than later, but also knew that it didn’t need to be a big deal!
David’s preschool serves snack about half way through their 3 hour morning (and thank goodness, as David is refusing to eat breakfast/not being awake enough to eat and will fall apart if he gets too hungry). They provide fruit, a cracker of some type, and some kind of protein—usually a yogurt tube or a string cheese. In addition to avoiding the dairy, I would prefer to avoid GMOs and non-organic fruit as much as possible (at least the dirty dozen). Obviously we eat non organic from time to time, and GMOs too, but I try to limit it where I can, so that we can splurge when we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant and eat an entire basket of corn chips. Since school is an ongoing thing, and he’ll be there next year too, it was worth it to me to do something alternative.
I shot an email over to the director of the school asking if I could provide our own snack and she immediately responding saying yes, told me that they needed to be entirely nut free (school policy), prepackaged (nothing homemade), and looped me in with David’s teachers. They have been very respectful and supportive of our desires (David’s teacher is even working with me to veganize all of the class cooking projects—more on that later!)!
I pack a snack for David daily. I usually send some kind of fruit (this doesn’t have to be packaged), and 1 extra item. I leave a large box of crackers with his teacher and they dole them out for him each day (that way I don’t have to send individually wrapped crackers!). I keep his snacks in a box in the pantry, out of his reach (because he will help himself all day!), but still easy for me to access.
I check in with him most days to ask how snack was, if he noticed what kinds of fruit the other kids were eating, and how he felt about eating something different. So far he has not seemed to mind eating something different. I’m trying to be very casual about it and not make a big deal so that it doesn’t become one for him. He’s hyper aware about what foods are vegan or not—he is always asking me—so he seems to have no problem eating his own thing. He did mention to me that he thinks the other kids are drinking cheese water because they are omnivores though, so there’s that!
The nut free aspect has been the biggest challenge, but I found plenty of choices! I’m also trying to limit the cost, as the prepackaged items can be pricier. Since it is just 2 days a week it hasn’t been bad. Towards the bottom of this list you’ll notice some sweet treats as well! Each child is allowed to bring treats on their birthday (or half birthday) and there are a lot of pretty mainstream vegan and nut free treats that the kids would love! (excuse these pictures—I really don’t think product shots are my forte, but you’ll get the idea!)
We adore these saltines from Annie’s. Seriously, the package can be emptied by our family in less than a day. Thankfully they last a little longer when rationed by David’s teachers! I haven’t actually tried these Food Should Taste Good crackers, although I think they are the same as the chips, although I am not completely sure. David likes them though!
This go picnic snack box was given to me, and the hummus is really yummy (the crackers in one of our boxes were totally crunched though). They also make an almond butter and cracker snack box, but it’s a no go for our school because of the nuts.
Every kid loves fruit pouches these days! I was thrilled when I found the organic applesauce (remember, it’s a dirty dozen) at Costco! They worked out to be 50 cents per pouch which is a major steal! We also like the Mama Chia pouches. We got these at Costco as well. The only thing I worry about with these is that David will stand out in the other direction, as all the kids love the novelty of these 🙂
I LOVE this Wild Garden Hummus! We always get these in our airplane snack packs, and it’s really good. It works great with the crackers and David is always requesting it. And he adores Oloves olives. These little packs are so convenient!
For a sweet treat, David loves the organic fruit peels from Trader Joe’s.
Several varieties of the Surf Sweets gummies are vegan (see my post here). And these Just Fruit bars are another yummy treat. Any of these could work well for a birthday celebration—in fact, we shared the gummy bears with David’s class on the birthday of their class mascot, Buddy Bear.
For a real celebration, all of these cookies are winners! The Annie’s Bunny Cookies do have honey in them, so they are not vegan in the strictest sense, but they are dairy and egg free. In my mind, these are a better option than some of the other accidentally vegan cookies like Oreos. I am obsessed with these Double Chocolate cookies by Enjoy Life. I used them in my Dirt Cups a few weeks ago—they are so good! David loves these Snickerdoodles from Trader Joes. Both the Enjoy Life Chocolate Cookies and the Snickerdoodles are 8 allergen free—gluten/wheat, egg, dairy, peanut, tree nut, shellfish & fish, and soy.
Here are some of my other allergy friendly brands that can be found in most stores! They would all make great treats for class birthday parties, and would allow everyone to share in the festivities! Alternatively, if you need to send your child to school with their own snack because the main birthday treat won’t be vegan, these would all be great.
^^^ These are a local brand—for all of my Seattle friends, these can be found in PCC, Whole Foods, and of course at the Mighty O shop in Greenlake.
I hope that ALL of this is helpful as you try to seek out allergy friendly, school friendly, and kid friendly snacks and treats for your kiddos!
** This post is NOT sponsored. These are just the brands that our family enjoys. Some links are affiliate links, which means a very small portion of your purchase will go towards the cost of running this blog. Your cost will not be affected. Thank you for your support!
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