If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies, you might find special occasions like Easter a little bit anxiety-inducing. (Like me!) A time of year you once imagined would be fun-filled has now left you full of fear—fearful you might accidentally give your child a chocolate bunny with a “may contain” warning, worried you won’t find Easter goodies that are free of the right allergens, afraid of disappointing your little one.
Luckily, we live in a time where awareness of food allergies is growing by the day, and it’s getting easier and easier to find treats our little ones can actually eat!
So with Easter just around the corner, here is my last minute Easter shopping list for you. Below, find 5 companies that carry allergen-free* goodies you can pick up just in time for the weekend.
*Not all Canadian companies note shared lines or possible cross-contamination with “may contain” warnings. Depending on your comfort level, you may want to contact a brand you haven’t bought in the past before giving it to a person with food allergies.
1. Hershey’s eggies. These addictive little thangs have no “may contain” warnings, and the only allergen-(un)friendly ingredients I see are milk chocolate and soy lecithin. I picked up my batch at Shopper’s—a convenient spot for a last minute Easter run. Note that these eggies are around for Easter only, so make sure to grab your bag (or 5!) fast. (Or take a chance and stock up after Easter when prices of Easter goodies will be slashed.)
2. Jelly Belly jelly beans. These colourful taste explosions are gluten-free, peanut free (not sure about tree nuts!), dairy free and “vegetarian friendly” (which I assume means egg free?). And they come in 100 different flavours?! Whoa. Now that could make for a fun Easter egg… er… bean hunt.
3. Maynard’s sweet and sour candies. This one, I heard about through the food allergy grapevine. Unfortunately, their website says very little, but based on their response to a question on Facebook, it looks like you can trust that their candies do not contain allergens if they aren’t listed. So just give the ingredient list a twice over, and you should be good to go!
4. Sorelle and Co.’s baked goods. I know, I know. I’ve been talking about this spot a lot lately. (I can’t help it! I’ve partnered with them to hold a yummy giveaway… so can you blame me?). But hey, the goodies here are free of the top 8 allergens and everything here is just so darn pretty, these sweet treats would be the perfect way to end your Easter dinner.
5. Bakes & Goods cupcakes and more. This bakery is nut-free only (with 1 or 2 gluten-free options), but it was recently recommended to me (and the cupcakes are scrumptious!), so I thought it deserved a mention. It’s a cozy little shop located on Yonge Street, north of Eglinton. They take custom orders, but you may be a bit late for Easter.
Wow! As I was writing this blog post, I came across this pretty comprehensive list of candies that are free of peanuts and tree nuts. If your kids have nut allergies only, you’ll definitely want to take a look.
Hey, Food Allergy Community! If you know of a brand or business that should be on this list, please share it in the comments below. Thank you, and Hoppy Easter!