EVERY YEAR I think ‘surely they’ve got to do better this time’. And every year I trawl around the supermarkets and realise, nope.
The perdy pastel shelves at M&S:
Nothing nut free.
The shelves at Sainsbury’s:
Everything says this:
It’s not important, in the scheme of things. But it’s disappointing when you’re faced with row upon row of gorgeous Easter confections – perky bunnies and spring-hued chicks nestled in their net parcels, foil-wrapped mini eggs in glorious pinks and yellows. They look tempting to me, let alone the saucer eyes of a four-year-old still surprised and delighted by the world. But he can’t eat any of them – not even the usually safe Cadbury’s Buttons which, in Easter egg form, are slapped with a nut warning like the rest. And if you’ve got dairy, wheat or egg to contend with as well – fugeddaboudit.
But. Time to move on. There is hope, out there, if you look hard enough. So here it is – my roundup of the best allergy-friendly easter buys for kids this 2015:
1. Waitrose Woodland Friends Easter Egg Hunt Box (no nuts, egg, gluten, wheat)
Good-sized hollow eggs in colourful foil wrap. Comes with cute little cardboard ‘signs’ to guide the kids in their hunt. Just beware – most of the rest of Waitrose’s Woodlands Friends range (bar lollies) are NOT nut free, because the products are made in different factories. £5 from Ocado and Waitrose stores.
2. Kinder Bunny ‘with surprise’ (no nuts, eggs, gluten, wheat)
So nice to find a jolly nut free bunny – they are few and far between. Not all Kinder products are safe, although makers Ferrero are good with labelling – they will state if there’s any cross contamination risk. £2-3 from Ocado and Sainsbury’s and in selected stores
3. D&D Chocolate Bunny Basket (no nuts, dairy, gluten, eggs)
Another cute concoction, this time by allergy friendly brand D&D, featuring three hollow chocolate eggs that are dairy, egg and gluten free and made in a nut free environment. May contain soya. They do sheep, lamb, chick and rooster versions, too. £4.99 from D&D Chocolates
4. Plamil Dairy Free Easter Egg (no dairy, nuts, eggs, gluten, wheat)
An organic, fair-trade, dairy free hollow chocolate egg made in a dedicated nut free factory with colourful pics of spring animals on the box. May contain traces of soya. £3.94 from Goodness Direct
5. Kinnerton Thomas and Friends 3 Piece Mealtime Set (no nuts, eggs, gluten, wheat)
May the Easter bunny bless Kinnerton, kings of the nut free kid-friendly chocolates. This year’s Thomas the Tank Engine number – there’s also a Peppa Pig version – includes a jolly cup, bowl and spoon. £4 from Iceland
6. Kinnerton Frozen Milk Chocolate Egg & Bar 65g (no nuts, eggs, gluten, wheat)
Another Kinnerton special, and still the only place to go for kids’ character branded nut safe chocolate. Just be wary of some of the bigger Kinnerton eggs, including Frozen, Star Wars and Doctor Who versions, as they are ‘may contain egg’ products. £1 from Iceland
7. Mini Milk Easter Cow (no nuts, eggs)
Of all the top chocolate brands, Mini Milk have been the only ones to come up trumps two years running. Last year we were delighted to find their nut safe milk van; this year they’ve gone for the cow vote and both the egg and chocolate lollipops are nut and egg free. £1.99 from selected Asda stores and B&M
8. Moo Free Bunnycomb Egg (no dairy, egg, gluten, wheat)
Dairy free chocolate egg infused with honeycomb toffee pieces, and featuring Rosie the rabbit. There’s also a chocolate orange version, featuring Cheeky Chops the Chimp, and a ‘milk’ chocolate egg too. May contain nuts and soya, though. £4.99 from Holland & Barrett
9. Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Bunny Bar (no dairy, gluten, wheat, egg, nuts)
A mini kid-friendly bunny from Irish dairy free confectioners Celtic Chocolates. Comes in a ‘milk’ choc version, too. Their nut policy is very detailed, namely that there are no nuts in the factory and staff are banned from eating or bringing nuts on-site (they even conduct spot checks) but because they don’t analyse the entire supply chain for all types of nut they cannot declare themselves 100 per cent nut free (who can?). £1 from Sainsbury’s
10. Cocoa Libre Chocolate Chicks (no nuts, eggs, dairy, gluten, wheat)
Beautifully packaged rice milk artisan chocolates from newbies Cocoa Libre, whose products are now beginning to be sold via Holland & Barret online. Keep ’em peeled for bears, frogs, owls and sheep as well as gorgeous looking bars for the grown-ups. £3.99 from Cocoa Libre
And… don’t forget the Nut Free Chocolate People who have a selection of no nuts chocolate treats including mini bunnies, chicks and eggs in milk, white and dark varieties (£5 from Nut Free Chocolate People)…
Tasha’s Dairy Free Delights for dairy and gluten free selections including bunny lollies, all-chocolate ‘trinket boxes’ and solid eggs…
Beautiful little Easter-themed flowers, spring chicks and bunnies from Ayni Chocolate that are – astonishingly – nut, egg, dairy, gluten, wheat, grain, soy and refined sugar free…
Kinnerton Peppa Pig Easter Hunt Mini Eggs are also a nut free winner (£3 from Iceland)
and Asda has come up trumps with nut free Easter offerings this year – they have mini eggs (unheard of!) as well as chocolate carrots (£1.25 from Asda) … Hurray!