When your kids get together with friends or have a party at school, you want to give them a yummy, fun snack everyone can enjoy. Because many kids are allergic to certain foods, providing worry-free snacks can be tough.\nFortunately, now there are lots of great recipes available for allergen-free snacks. By changing just a few ingredients, you can make safe snacks for school and play dates. For instance, Rice Krispies Treats\u00ae made with dairy-free margarine are free of most major allergens.\n \r\n \r\n Interested in Nutrition? Sign up for the UPMC HealthBeat Newsletter \r\n \r\n Enter your email to subscribe\r\n \r\n \r\n\t \r\n \r\n Subscribe \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n I understand that by providing my email address, I agree to receive emails from UPMC. I understand that I may opt out of receiving such communications at any time.\r\n \r\n \r\n \nLearn more about the services at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.\nKids with Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, provides resources to help you navigate kids’ food allergies. Their recipes commonly avoid allergens \u2014 substances that may cause an allergic reaction \u2014 like milk, gluten, fish, nuts, and eggs. They offer dozens of recipes for allergen-free treats on their website, and we\u2019ve included a few of our favorites.\nPreparing Allergen-Free Snacks\nMaking safe snacks requires avoiding cross-contamination, or cross-contact. This means making sure the food you’re preparing doesn’t touch food that may contain allergens. Even tiny amounts of certain allergens can cause allergic reactions in kids and adults, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).\nFARE provides these tips to prevent cross-contact when making allergen-free treats:\n\nDon’t use any utensils unless they’ve been washed in hot, soapy water (simply wiping them off is not enough).\nClean all food-prep surfaces thoroughly with hot, soapy water.\nPurchase a cutting board, knife, and other utensils to use only when making allergen-free foods, and keep them separate from other equipment.\nIf you’re preparing several meals or snacks, prepare the allergen-free version first and keep it away from all other foods.\nWash your hands with hot, soapy water after working with foods that contains allergens.\n\nIf you see a child having an allergic reaction (such as having trouble breathing or breaking out in hives), call 911 immediately. If your child has a food allergy, the Allergy and Immunology Division at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh can help. Make an appointment to learn more about testing and managing allergies.\nApple Crisp\nThis recipe is free of eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, wheat, and tree nuts. You cut make this gluten- and\/or dairy-free by using gluten-free flour and dairy-free margarine.\nIngredients\n7-8 medium baking apples\n1 tbsp margarine\n1 cup brown sugar\n1 cup all-purpose or sweet rice flour\n1\/2 cup margarine\n1\/2 tsp salt\n1 tsp cinnamon\nDirections\nPeel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Use some of the margarine to lightly grease a baking dish; add the apples to the prepared dish. Dot with apples with the remaining margarine.\nIn a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well. Cut in 1\/2 cup margarine and work until coarse crumbs form; then spread evenly over the apples.\nBake at 375 F for about 30 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crumb topping is brown and starts to caramelize.\nCoconut and Caramel Popcorn\nThis recipe is free of eggs, gluten, milk, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, wheat, and tree nuts.\nIngredients\n1\/3 cup coconut milk creamer\n10 cups popcorn (prepare stovetop using \u00bd cup of unpopped kernels, or use your favorite microwave brand)\n1\/2 cup vegan butter\n3 tbsp agave nectar, amber\n1\/2 cup dark-brown sugar\n1\/2 tbsp cinnamon\n1\/4 tsp salt\n1\/4 cup dried coconut flakes, unsweetened, toasted\n1 tsp vanilla\n**Although classified by the FDA as a tree nut, coconut is not a common allergen and is not related to tree nuts. If you have a\u00a0tree nut allergy, ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut.\nDirections\nSpread 10 cups of prepared popcorn on a baking sheet and set aside.\nIn a saucepan, melt vegan spread; add the agave, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until dissolved.\nRemove the pan from heat and slowly whisk in the creamer until well combined. Return pan to heat and whisk for 10 minutes or until the sauce becomes amber-colored and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.\nStir in the coconut flakes and vanilla. Let mixture cool slightly; then drizzle over the popcorn and blend it in with a spatula. Serve immediately.\n \nDIY Cheese Crackers\nThis recipe is free of eggs, gluten, milk, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, wheat, and tree nuts.\nIngredients\n1\/2 cup red lentils\n2 cups water\n3 tbsp olive oil\n1 tsp salt\n2 tbsp cider vinegar\n1 tbsp tahini (or other nut or seed butter)\n1\/2 tsp onion powder\n1\/2 tsp garlic powder\n1\/4 tsp dry mustard\n1\/4 tsp turmeric\nDash hot sauce\n6 tbsp gluten-free flour blend\nDirections\nRinse lentils; then combine with water and soak overnight. Drain, reserving liquid.\nIn a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil and fry lentils until dry and crispy, stirring frequently.\nTransfer lentils to a blender jar (this did not work in a food processor). Add remaining ingredients (except flour) and 4 tbsp of the reserved soaking liquid.\nProcess on medium-high until it becomes a smooth sauce. Add more soaking liquid if it’s still too thick.\nThen add flour and process on low speed until well combined. If it’s too thick, add more reserved soaking liquid. (It may require quite a bit depending on how dry the fried lentils were.)\nTransfer the mixture, which should be the consistency of pudding, to a pastry bag fitted with a wide, flat tip (a ribbed tip gives the crackers a nice texture). Pipe squiggled ribbons about 1 inch long onto parchment-lined baking pans. Sprinkle lightly with salt.\nBake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until just brown.\nTurn off the oven and leave crackers for 30 minutes with the door closed until they get crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store crackers in an airtight container.