For the nut- and peanut-allergic, Easter was once a pretty bleak day. Plastic eggs filled with mini-stamps, erasers, and teeny dollar store toys never really match up to giant chocolate bunnies and candy galore to a little kid. So, yes, you can absolutely shun sugar and go the other route for Easter, or you can spend a little time reading labels and find some really great treats for your wee allergic kiddo this Easter.
I did my digging at Shopper's Drug Mart and came up with a few options. No matter where you shop, the key is label-reading diligence. The one thing I want to really stress is to read both sides of the packages. On the front, you may see a peanut-free symbol, which is great if you're only concerned about peanuts, but always read the back. Many people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts, so it's important to review every ingredient and warning available to ensure safety.
These Carnaby brand marshmallow bunnies and eggs are labelled peanut-free and do not have any nut-related warnings on the back.
This adorable Kinder bunny is peanut-free.
Carnaby creme eggs are also peanut-free, and don't have a warning about other nut cross-contamination. **EDIT: A reader notified me that these creme eggs do in fact carry a tree nut warning, so once again: please read more carefully than I apparently did!**
These licensed character chocolates are not only peanut-free, but also made in Canada, which I appreciate.
And here are other character ones, too.
For hockey or princess fans:
Now, this Carnaby solid bunny has the peanut-free symbol on the front, but see below for the back of the package.
The back of the label states that it may contain tree nuts, so this one wouldn't be safe for my son, or anyone who also has tree nut allergies.
The Carnaby caramel eggs are also peanut-free, but may contain other nuts according to the back of the label.
My hands-down favourite (easily accessible, affordable) peanut- and nut-free brand is Freddo. Their chocolate doesn't taste like wax (which is a whole lot better than the majority of stuff sold for kids), and their labelling is fantastic. They have a big selection, and check out their labels. On the front it clearly states that not only are they peanut-free, they're also almond- and nut-free.
Thankfully, there are a lot more peanut-free treats available these days, but be diligent in your label reading to ensure that they're totally safe. If you're giving anything to a child who is both peanut- and tree-nut allergic, it's imperative you read every part of the label—especially since sometimes safe candy that is usually nut-free isn't, like Smarties. Those "may contain" warnings are still optional (here's hoping it's mandatory one day soon), so always err on the side of caution.
If you have favourite nut- and peanut-free treats, I'd love to hear about them! We're always interested in knowing about other safe options.