Snacks are important for providing adequate fuel and nutrient supply throughout the day, where you’re putting something in your stomach in between meals to reduce hunger pangs and cravings as well as overindulgences during mealtime. (If you go too long without noshing, you may find yourself ravenous later on and consume too much in one sitting!)
Unfortunately, many common healthy snacks and especially packaged snacks contain nuts, or they may be processed in a facility that also processes nut-based snacks, where there might be cross-contamination present.
What Snacks are Nut-Free?
Of course, snacks that do not include nuts will be nut-free—but this is only certain if there’s no processing involved. Common nuts include almond, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and pecans, among others.
There are likely less common nuts you may not know of, and they could definitely be in a snack you’re not familiar with or in a facility that produces a variety of nut-containing and nut-free snacks.
Beyond avoiding snacks that are clearly nut-based, like almond butter on a piece of fruit or a granola bar that has pistachios as a key ingredient, always look for that label where it says nut-free and that there’s no cross-contamination exposure. And consider making snacks at home, instead, where you have total control.
For example, common snacks like cheese crackers, cookies, pretzels and popcorn may contain nuts or be susceptible to cross-contamination—which you wouldn’t realize unless you checked the label, as there aren’t actually “nuts” present in the snack itself.
If you’re looking for nut-free snacks to buy when out at the store, here’s a rule of thumb. Anything in the produce aisle or that’s fresh and non-processed will be a safer choice.
Think: fresh fruits and veggies, as well as the bulk bin of beans, legumes, seeds, and oats, in their natural, raw states. The same goes for dairy products, like plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, as well as lean deli meats, such as turkey breast.
Here are a Few Healthy Nut-Free Snacks to Enjoy
Fruit and Seed Butter
Instead of nut butter, spread seed butter on fresh fruit. Consider sunflower seed butter on apple slices, for example. Sunflower seeds are high in fiber and magnesium to fill you up and they offer some nice protein and good fats too. So, they’re a good substitute for nuts.
Veggie Sticks and Greek Yogurt Dip
Nut-free snacks for school might include veggie sticks and a dip like fresh Greek yogurt. Buy Greek yogurt and whip up a fresh creamy dip with some fresh herbs—just go with plain lower fat to keep calories down and sugar low. The Greek aspect provides gut friendly probiotics too. Another option? A cup of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and seeds—not nuts—such as pumpkin seeds and strawberries!
Nut-Free Chips and Guacamole
If you want an avocado dip, buy a brand that is safe or just prepare your own guacamole at home with a mortar and pestle, which you can easily buy online. Then pair with nut-free healthy chips or veggie sticks, the latter, which has more fiber and nutrients. The avocado provides good fat and protein to boost satiety.
Hummus and Fruit
Make your own chickpea-based hummus from scratch at home and pair with fresh fruit for a snack that’s high in protein and fiber and combines both sweet and savory elements. Spread hummus on apple slices or add red grapes to it and then enjoy on nut-free crackers or with celery sticks.
Nut-Free Oat or Granola Bars
You can find healthy nut-free snacks that are granola or oat based at the store, where you don’t need to make a snack from scratch. Bobo’s Cranberry Orange Oat Bar has a fruity, citrusy flavor that is both sweet and tart and it’s nut-free. Enjoy a nut-free oat bar on the go or put it in your kid’s lunchbox for a quick midday snack.
Turkey, Veggie and Cheese Wrap
Make a pinwheel roll-up sandwich with nut-free tortilla or wraps, turkey slices, cheese, and veggies like sliced tomato and lettuce for a finger food snack that’s high in protein and free of nuts. Or ditch the bread and use the turkey as the wrap. For condiments, use a sauce or oil that is nut-free or homemade.
Smoothie Without Nuts
Make a fresh smoothie with fruit, veggies, a creamy base like yogurt or milk, and something with texture, like a Bobo’s oat bar or seeds, like chia or hemp. You’ll have a high protein and high fiber snack you can make in advance for easy meal prep—just keep the freezer packs ready in the freezer until you’re set to blend. Or prepare and keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days.