Creative World Schools abide by a Nut-Free nutritional plan. For many who have children that suffer from peanut allergies, this precaution is very serious.
Peanuts, contrary to popular belief, are in fact not nuts at all. They are part of the legume family and grow underground. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) website and a FARE-funded study, the prevalence of peanut allergies has tripled between the years 1997 and 2008. Contact with peanuts, even slightly is worsened when the particle comes to contact with the persons eyes, nose, or mouth.
25-40 percent of people with peanut allergies have allergies to tree nuts. Those with peanut allergies also should be precautious of other nut products as peanuts and other tree nuts come into contact in manufacturing and serving processes.
mybakingaddiction.com suggests the following alternatives to Peanut Butter for baking:
Depending on your level of allergy, you still may have multiple alternatives to peanut butter. If you aren’t sure what nuts are safe for you or how strict you need to be, make sure to discuss this with your allergist before eating any of the listed peanut butter alternatives.
- Soy Nut Butter – I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter doesn’t contain peanuts, tree nuts of any type, sesame, dairy, egg, wheat (gluten), or shellfish making it a perfect product for someone with multiple allergies (unless that includes a soy allergy). Additionally, they manufacture their products in a facility free of those ingredients to eliminate cross contamination.
- Sunflower Butter – Sun Butter is another great alternative for those who might have tree-nut allergies. Sun Butter products are all processed in a peanut-free and tree-nut free facility, making them an excellent choice for people with peanut and/or tree nut allergies.
- Barney Butter – Barney Butter is available in creamy or crunchy, it is an almond butter that is processed in a dedicated Almond Only facility. Meaning that with this particular brand, you don’t have to risk cross contamination with peanuts. Hurray!
- Other Nut Butters – If you don’t suffer from a severe peanut allergy and also don’t suffer from tree-nut allergies, many other widely available nut butters (such as almond, cashew, macadamia) might serve as an acceptable alternative.
- Nutella – Yes, this is a different flavor, but Nutella is not processed with peanuts. Plus, you can substitute Nutella in recipes calling for peanut butter for a different taste while still maintaining a similar consistency.
Popular Peanut Butter Recipes Made with Alternatives:
honestmomnutrion.com suggests the following spreads as protein alternatives to peanut butter:
- Sunbutter Creamy Sandwich Spread: made from sunflower seeds, this looks just like peanut butter but tastes slightly sweeter. It pairs well with the usual peanut butter companions like banana and jelly.
- Wowbutter Crunchy Spread: This nut-free spread is made from soy nuts. The crunchy texture is fabulous and like the Sunbutter, it pairs well with the usual PB suspects.
- Cream Cheese: Whether you use plain or flavored spread, there are lots of options to make this a favorite lunch-time choice.
- Hummus: Packed with flavor and available in a number of different varieties, it provides kids with a savory lunch-time protein source.
- Tzatziki: For the more adventurous young palate, this Greek spread is made from yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. It is a delicious alternative to some of the more main stream options.
The Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) website suggests to keep the following in mind when selecting food:
- Certain food service establishments are considered high-risk for individuals with peanut allergy due to the common use of peanut and the risk of cross-contact – even if you order a peanut-free item. These include African, Asian (especially Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese) and Mexican restaurants; bakeries; and ice cream shops.
- The FDA exempts highly refined peanut oil from being labeled as an allergen. Studies show that most individuals with peanut allergy can safely eat peanut oil (but not cold-pressed, expelled or extruded peanut oil – sometimes represented as gourmet oils). If you are allergic to peanuts, ask your doctor whether or not you should avoid peanut oil.
- A study showed that unlike other legumes, there is a strong possibility of cross-reaction between peanuts and lupine.
- Arachis oil is peanut oil.
- Sunflower seeds are often produced on equipment shared with peanuts.
- Some alternative nut butters, such as soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter, are produced on equipment shared with other tree nuts and, in some cases, peanuts. Contact the manufacturer before eating these products.
- Peanut hulls can sometimes be found in compost, which can be added as top-dressing on lawns. Before you hire a contractor, inquire about the use of peanut hulls in compost so that you can make an informed decision.