Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & Preschools


Those that have children with tree nut allergies know how scary it can be, ensuring your child is safe. This Nut-Free Safe Snack Guide serves as a resource for elementary and preschools, as well as parents, friends, and caregivers. Include are various links to helpful resources regarding nut allergies, as well as a list of tree nut allergies.
Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & Preschools

When schools become a “nut free zone” this means that snacks must not be made with nuts or manufactured in a plant with nuts. While the products that are made with nuts may be a little more obvious, ex. trail mix, peanuts, etc., the products that are manufactured with nuts are little more difficult to pick out.

How to read package labels

The best way to do this is by reading the labels. Most brands will mark their packaging with an allergen list or a warning that states one of the following:

  • “May Contain Peanut or Tree Nuts”
  • “Processed on shared equipment with Peanuts or Tree Nuts”
  • “Manufactured in a plant with Peanut or Tree Nuts”
  • “Contains Peanut or Tree Nut Ingredients”

Some packaging will even list out the tree nuts, instead of just saying tree nuts. Such as “May Contain Almonds“.

Here are a few examples of labels that you might find on an “unsafe” product:

Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & Preschools

Why reading labels and the ingredients is important

Not all manufactures follow the same guidelines. In fact, I’ve seen many product labels that clearly state “peanuts” in the ingredients but fail to note in in the “May Contain” allergen list. Companies are required by law to document in the ingredients if one of the top allergens is inside of that product, however; they are not required to document if there is a risk of cross contamination.

If you are trying to choose between an “off brand” and a “name brand” product, the best choice is to go with the brand name. More well known name brands often have better labeling protocols.  

Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & PreschoolsTree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pinenuts, and walnuts. 

Is Coconut a Tree Nut?

The misconception of coconut is that it belongs in the tree nut family. I know it’s confusing with the word “nut” in the name. If you want to be super safe, avoid it. While our allergist tells us that coconuts are safe for our peanut and tree nut allergy child, and we have never experienced a reaction, every child is different and could react differently.

Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut.

Source :

Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & Preschools

The Ultimate Nut Free Snack List

My family trusts and relies on the Snack Safely snacking guide when it comes to finding nut-free products for my child. They have ongoing partnerships with companies to keep the list current and it is trusted by thousands of families everywhere. To find their extensive list, visit

Please check the list often as manufacturing guidelines can change month to month and even day to day.

Nut Free Websites to Shop 

Here are some of our favorite websites to shop nut-free items from:


Disclaimer: Before you rely on any snack list or compile your own, understand that to flaws in US labeling rules, it is impossible to tell whether a product is safe from the label alone. This post is for informational purposes only and serves as a guide and is not intended to replace the advice of any medical professional. We do not accept any liability for errors or omissions made by us. It your responsibility to check the product label to ensure that unwanted allergens are not included and to verify with the manufacturer that trace amounts of unwanted allergens were not introduced during the manufacturing process. By using this informational list, you understand these risks and assume the responsibility of making sure the product is safe for a peanut and tree nut allergy child.


12 thoughts on “Nut Free Snack Guide for Elementary & Preschools

  • September 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm
    I'm looking for snacks/ school safe treats that are Peanut, Tre nut & seed free.... any ideas that you may know of? If so please email me!! Reply
  • September 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm
    Thank you!.. I was nervous to give that poor kid an allergic reaction.. I will be back for other questions. ***** Reply
  • September 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm
    Is there an updated list out there? I have read the Del Monte fruit cups are not longer good and I do not see Barnum Animal Crackers. Reply
    • September 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm
      Hi Angela!! Thank you for stopping by :) The snack guide at snack safely is always up to date and I would always suggest to download this guide and check there. I do see that the Barnum Animal Crackers are safe : As for the delmonte fruit cups, I wasn't aware that there was a change in them. Is there a warning on the package? Per their website, they will ALWAYS label for this allergen : Reply
  • August 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm
    Thanks so much for this! I just found out a child on my son's soccer team will need to have peanut and tree nut free after-game snacks. Very helpful! Reply
  • August 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm
    Thanks for this breakdown. I've been looking for something like this to help explain nut-free snacks to my son's 1st grade classmates' parents. How recent is this list? Reply
  • January 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm
    I'm a gramma and I send treats to school every month for my two grand daughter Meg 9 and Emi 7. I would love to have tips on this subject. **U** Nance AKA Gramma Reply
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  • April 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    Just have to say thank you for this list. I'm in the process of ordering snacks for my students for MAP testing and I went through my list and found 3 that were not up to guidelines with the Nut Allergy issue. I saw your post and was able to find replacement items that I checked along with their websites. Thank you so much! Reply
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