How To Best Understand Your Grandchild’s Food Allergies And Make Yummy Treats

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Cooking and baking with grandkids is a timeless tradition and a rite-of-passage of sorts – especially when it comes to yummy treats like cookies and other sweets! But when your little ones have food allergies, it requires an added layer of care and understanding. Thankfully, being well-informed and prepared can make the experience safe and fun and should not deter you from sharing this tradition with your grandbabies!

While I am merely scratching the surface, I wanted to share some of the ins and outs of food allergies and a few yummy recipes that you and your grands will love.

Understanding food allergies

Before diving into the kitchen fun, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what food allergies are:

  • Immediate reaction: Food allergies can cause a rapid reaction after consuming even a tiny amount of the allergen. Reactions can range from mild (like hives) to severe, like anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
  • Common allergens: Major food allergens include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Always be aware of these and any other specific allergies your grandchild might have!

Tips for cooking with allergic grandkids

  1. Always check labels: Even if you’ve purchased a product before, companies change their recipes, so ALWAYS read labels to ensure there are no hidden allergens.
  2. Avoid cross-contamination: Use separate utensils and dishes when preparing allergen-free meals, and wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  3. Empower them: Teach your grandkids about their allergies so they understand the importance of being cautious. This not only educates them but also helps them advocate for themselves as they grow older.
  4. Choose simple ingredients: The fewer ingredients in a recipe, the easier it is to track and avoid potential allergens!
  5. Experiment with substitutes: There are numerous allergy-friendly substitutes available these days, from flax eggs to almond milk and gluten-free flour. (They may sound strange, but they also work well and taste great!)

Allergy-safe recipes

While these yummy recipes should be safe, you will still want to check the ingredients for possible allergens.

Oat and Banana Cookies


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of gluten-free oats
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, raisins, or coconut flakes (ensure they’re allergen-free)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth. Add the oats and mix until combined. If you’re using any add-ins, fold them into the mixture.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray and flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon.
  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are set and slightly golden.
  5. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

SunButter Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup SunButter (or any other nut-free butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water (as an egg substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the SunButter, sugar, flaxseed mixture, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Quinoa Fruit Salad


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 2 cups mixed fruits (like strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, mix the cooled quinoa and fruits.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey or maple syrup and lemon juice.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and quinoa mixture. Gently toss.
  4. Garnish with mint leaves before serving.

Rice Flour Pancakes


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (like almond or oat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix the dairy-free milk, apple cider vinegar, oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form, then flip and cook the other side.
  5. Serve with syrup or fresh fruit.

Creamy Avocado Dip


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)


  1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados and place them in a bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin.
  3. Mash until smooth or leave a bit chunky if desired.
  4. Serve with vegetable sticks or gluten-free tortilla chips.


If your grandchild(ren) has food allergies, I hope these tips and recipes come in handy! Remember, these recipes are very versatile and can be adjusted based on specific allergies. Always ensure that all ingredients used are safe for the specific allergies your grandchild has. Enjoy the bonding and the delicious results!

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