What Does It Mean To Be Peanut Free?
Did you know that peanut allergies are the second most common food allergy among children, and are also on the rise?
About 1 in 50 children suffer from a peanut allergy, while numbers for adults reach 1 in 200. Amazingly, between 1997 and 2008, peanut allergies tripled and were almost considered an epidemic.
This situation has led many companies to create products that are peanut-free, thus, making many foods safer for children. One example is us, Baked Smart Cookie! Peanut-free, non-GMO, and vegan, you just might be surprised by how delicious our treats are.
So, what does peanut-free mean, and why is it important for you and your family?
With the rise of peanut allergies over the years, many companies have begun creating products that do not contain peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil or any trace of peanuts.
This allows companies to label their products as “peanut-free.”
Short Guide to Navigating Products and Finding Peanut-Free Foods
1. Read the Ingredients List
When trying consciously avoid eating peanut-free foods, reading the label of ingredients is essential. Some of the major ingredients to avoid if you are wanting to (or need to) eat peanut-free include:
- Mixed nuts
- Peanut butter
- Artificial nuts
- Hydrolyzed peanut protein
- Beer nuts
- Goober peas
- Goober nuts
- Peanut oil
Common foods that may contain peanuts are:
- Chocolate bars
- Egg rolls
- Soup (especially dried packaged soup mixes)
- Frozen dinners and desserts
- Salad dressings
- Vegetable oil
- Canned sardines
- Chinese food
2. Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination occurs when clean and safe foods comes into contact with a food allergen, such as peanuts or nuts. For those with severe peanut allergies, this can cause a potentially threatening or fatal reaction.
Cross-contamination is important to understand and consider when thinking about your family’s safety and health, especially if anyone in your household is dealing with peanut allergies. Unfortunately, individuals can still suffer a bad reaction if they eat a food that may not contain peanuts but which was contaminated by some other food that did.
Even a bit of peanut on a surface can trigger a reaction by someone unknowingly smearing their hand on the residue. If you’re hosting a party or gathering, it’s best to have food separated accordingly and wrapped for individual consumption, if you know of a friend or family member that has a peanut allergy.
3. Limit Eating Out
When eating out, we don’t always know all the ingredients going into the dish we order.
One way you can stay informed when eating out is to ask about the ingredients used in the plate and the way the food is prepared. You can also try to avoid sauces, flavorings, buffets and salad bars. Another important thing to note is that Asian, Thai and African foods most likely contain peanuts.
4. Cook at Home with Family and Friends
Another way you can be more vigilant about what you and your family consume is by cooking more often at home. You will have ultimate control over what you eat and can better protect yourselves and your loved ones.
Of course, when cooking at home, you’ll benefit from healthier meals and the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family around the dinner table. (There’s a plethora of peanut-free recipes online to choose from.)
Peanut-Free Cookies from Bake Smart Cookie
Another easy way you can aim to eat more peanut-free products is by ordering a batch of our healthy cookies today. Our Baked Smart Cookies are non-GMO, vegan and are sure to be approved by kids who won’t eat vegetables. This combination can’t get better.