Nut Free Recipe Videos
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Watch: A Nut-Free Treat Schools and Kids Love

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Yum

Man is it tough to find nut-free school lunch options, especially when nut butters are such an easy lunch box solution, or simply when you have kids who are obsessed with nuts and nut butters!

I've been making these Fruit and Seed Bars for my family for years and they're one of the snack and school lunch treats my kids request most.

Filled with oats, a mixture of seeds, naturally sweet honey, dried fruits and coconut, these bars have a nutty texture and sweet flavor that send jolts of happiness to your mouth with every bite. And they're nutritious too. You can look forward Omega-3 fatty acids (perfect for growing brains), protein (perfect for growing bones), Vitamin E, magnesium and much more good stuff.

Bonus tip: After you bake and cut the bars, freeze them in a labeled zipper bag so you can pop out a few for school lunch anytime you need them. They'll defrost by lunch time and be the perfect sweet treat to round off the midday meal!

Image by Maren Caruso

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Comments






  1. Libby

    October 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Yum,

  2. ktsue

    September 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I read the posts below and I have some information that may be helpful to some of the readers:
    Firstly, my child is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Our (very well-respected) allergist informed us that coconut, though it is a tree nut, has a different set of proteins than other tree nuts and is therefore safe for many nut-allergic people to eat. She tested our child separately for coconut allergy and gave us the ok to try it – our child is eating it with no problem. Obviously you want to check with your own allergist first to be sure it’s safe for your child. But if you haven’t, it’s worth double-checking… it could be one less food that you have to steer clear of!
    Secondly, I saw that some of you are unable to find seeds/butters free of cross-contamination (and I agree, the bulk bins seem too dangerous!). There’s a butter called Sunbutter that’s specifically made in a nut-free facility. They carry it at my local Target, or you can buy it from their website. Another company gerbsseeds.com sells raw and roasted seeds that are made in a facility free of the Top 8 allergens.
    Hope this info helps some of you, and I pray that your children (like mine) someday outgrow their allergies!

  3. Burcu

    August 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I read a few comments from parents concerned about nut-free butters. Whole Foods in our area carries No-Nut Butter, I think the brand was Sneaky Chef. It’s made of golden peas. My son’s school is nut free and seed free so this worked perfectly. And it’s absolutely delicious, my son was obsessed with it for weeks.

    I made quite a few Weelicious recipes by subbing No-Nut Butter and it worked just as well as nut butters.

    Just a suggestion for all the moms who are trying to find alternative to nut butters.

  4. Dylan

    August 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Four year old Dylan declares her “better than Martha Stewart”. (Snap.)
    That looks like a 9 cup Cuisinart, which sell for about $150.

  5. jill

    August 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    what kind of food processor are you using in this video?

  6. Hilari

    August 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Catherine,
    I am a frequent follower to the Weelicious website and have made many of your delicious recipes. I was excited to watch your video about “nut free treats” as my nephew has a tree nut allergy. I was disappointed to discover that this treat would not be appropriate for most tree nut allergic children. Coconut is in fact a member of the tree nut family and is not a safe option for individuals with tree nut allergies. As I’m sure you are well aware, food allergies are dangerous and potentially life threatening. I just want to share this information for anyone who is considering baking this for a tree nut allergic child.

  7. Melissa

    August 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Geez tough crowd! I don’t think she said “oh so difficult”? It is tough when nut butter and jelly are pretty much a common household “kid friendly” staple! I think she did a great job providing a great option here! Thanks for the great, healthy and fun ideas!!

  8. Jenn bowman

    August 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Always find myself inspired by your colorful lunches packed with care, I share your blog with anyone willing to listen!

    • Katsuhide

      February 3, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Funny concept. I alatulcy LOVE all things Star Wars…I’m such a geek at heart…lol. Seriously…I hope you didn’t answer those questions truthfully to get your Star Wars name…with information like your mother’s maiden name and city of birth, it’s highly likely that someone will be stealing your identity soon. Yikes!

  9. Jocelyn

    August 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Hi,

    Just wanted to mention that coconut is considered a tree nut also.

  10. Jerilyn

    August 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful video of your upcoming new book….it is an inspiration for everyone, kids and parents alike who have to “brown bag” it. Again, thanks for your lovely video!

  11. Jolene (Homespun Heritage)

    August 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    **Thank you** I have 2 children with severe food allergies, including egg, peanuts, soy, and sesame…and a few others and I am always looking for treats that all 7 of my children can have…and these won’t break the bank!

  12. Tina B.

    August 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Also wanted to add that we make our own dried fruit, at home in the oven, when fruit is in season. It works wonderfully, I control the ingredients, and the cost savings are enormous.. but still can’t find any safe nuts or seeds, and we can’t make those at home.

  13. Tina B.

    August 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    As a parent of a child with a life threatening peanut allergy, I wish you hadn’t started off by suggesting that it’s OH SO DIFFICULT to pack a nut free lunch. It’s not. I do it every day. Furthermore, most children can enjoy all the PB they want before and after school, if parents feel they must have it.

    I also wanted to ask you where you purchase peanut safe dried fruits and seeds? Every package I pick up is prepared in a facility that also processes peanuts or tree nuts, and we can’t buy from bulk bins due to the certainty of cross contamination. Is there a brand you like which is completely peanut safe? I’m in Canada, so unlikely to have the same brands in our store shelves, but I’d hunt down any lead…

    If parents are absolutely convinced that their kids need nut butters, there is one brand of peanut safe almond butter (Barney Butter, it’s called), and a few brands of peanut free pumpkin seed butter, or sunflower seed butter. Most nut butters are processed on machines which also squoosh peanuts for peanut butter, though, so I encourage parents to read labels.

    Today my child took a cream cheese and homemade jam sandwich to camp, on multi grain bread, along with crackers and goat cheese, peanut safe gummy worms, carrot and pepper sticks with dip, orange segments, pepperoni stick and cheese curds. She’s going to have to worry about where she can safely sit, who she can safely sit with, wash her hands before and after the meal and worry that others have done the same, worry about not letting her food touch the tabletop, carefully avoid contact with any crumbs or smears that show up around the room, constantly be aware of where her emergency medicines are and is she wearing her medic alert bracelet, and all the while monitor her own health for feelings that indicate a night in the hospital is on the way….. but she won’t have to worry about a safe, yummy, fun, and healthy lunch.

    There’s a lot of pushback from parents on this, and it frustrates me enormously. I see this as an opportunity to expose all kids to a wider variety of healthy foods, but it’s constantly spun as denying kids the one food they like. Thanks for being aware of the problem. Please apply your upbeat, positive approach to kids and healthy foods to the peanut free issue as well – we parents of food allergic kids would appreciate it if you applied your considerable talents and a positive spin to this issue. Your message, that lunch can be much more than a sandwich and a cookie, provides a perfect solution. Thank you.

    • April

      August 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      It can be difficult to those not used to thinking about nut free. I understand you need to be incredibly vigilant about what foods your daughter comes in contact with. My son does not eat dairy so the lunch you packed for your daughter with cream cheese and cheese curds would not work for him. He loves sandwiches and it is hard to be creative with nut free and dairy free sandwich options. We must do it for those who could be harmed, but it IS challenging especially when having to eliminate other food groups.

    • catherine

      August 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I totally hear you! Maybe I should have started off by saying that it’s difficult to pack a nut-free lunch for children who are used to eating only PB&J, or picky eaters who really don’t like anything else. I should say, the challenge is for the parents who are used to packing peanut butter in their child’s lunch, and then all of a sudden they have to stop using this one ingredient that they pack daily. Especially for those parents who find out their child has a nut allergy and have to readjust their entire diet. I completely feel for parents and families in these situations, and I think it’s so great that people like you are able to be an inspiration and help to others who find themselves in your shoes. For many schools in America, going nut free is a fairly new thing and is something many families aren’t used to complying with. My son’s school is nut free, and last year was the first year for our family to have to really think about what was going in to our lunch boxes daily. Check out this recipe and article for our own experience with allergies at the lunch table: http://weelicious.com/2012/09/24/sunflower-butter-bran-muffins/

      As for brands that are completely nut free, you’re going to have to go to stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and ask them what nut free products they carry. In some cases you’ll have to contact the food companies directly to find our their policies and practices. Of course, like you said, we should always be reading labels!

      I am in no way pushing back against schools that are going nut free or families who need to be wary of nuts in their foods. There are so many food allergies these days and it is so important for us to protect our children and other children in our reach to keep them safe from harmful foods. I offer peanut free recipes as often as I can (as well as gluten free and egg free), and offer nut free substitutions. Families with specific allergies will also have to always do their own research and their own ingredient substitutions to make sure whatever they serve their children is good for them.

      In my newest book, Weelicious Lunches, I have a section on allergies at the lunch table where I talk about the severity of airborne peanut allergies. I provide allergy substitutions and I have an allergy guide that outlines what recipes are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, or egg-free! http://weelicious.com/2013/07/31/what-is-weelicious-lunches-watch-here-big-time-giveaway/

      • Tina B.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        That’s great, Catherine. I intend to check out your new book before I purchase it, to assess how reliant it is on peanut butter and nuts. So many otherwise great books are now useless to us for this reason. I wouldn’t wish food allergies on any family, but I hope that all parents can put themselves in our shoes for just a minute – just long enough to put it all in context. A child died just last week from a peanut allergy, in the United States. A child who had her meds on hand, whose family had done everything right. It’s heartbreaking, and terrifying. With regards to the safe seeds and fruit, yes, food allergy parents always read labels, always call manufacturers (because cross contamination potential doesn’t have to be listed on packages, legally), and I’ve yet to find a safe brand. I don’t have TJs or Whole Foods, but lots of health food stores have been checked here, and it seems to be rather a lost cause.
        I suspect that many of your biggest fans are parents of food allergic kids – if only because we have to make most of our family’s meals and snacks, and can’t rely on packaged items or restaurant meals. And we often go vegan just to avoid allergens such as eggs or dairy.

  14. Eleanor

    August 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    This looks delicious! The school I work at is not nut free but I have several students who are. This is such a great option that is healthy and filling! Thanks!

  15. Jackie

    August 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Can you use something else besides sunflower butter? My child is allergic to sunflower seeds as well. Thank you!! I’d love to try this recipe!

    • catherine

      August 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      What about pumpkin seed butter?

  16. PurpleVermont

    August 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Are the quantities for this recipe given somewhere?

    • catherine

      August 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      There is a link to the written recipe in the post! Here it is: http://weelicious.com/2010/06/07/fruit-and-seed-bars/

    • PurpleVermont

      August 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Aha, just found the recipe — for anyone else who is wondering, follow the Fruit and Seed Bar link in the description below the video.