By Sade Meeks, MS, RD
It’s the night before Christmas – the Christmas tree is lit, the carols are playing, and the house is cozy. There’s only one thing left to do, and that’s to prepare the milk and cookies for Santa! Is this part of your Christmas tradition as well? Allergen friendly homes shouldn’t be excluded from this tradition. Thankfully there is a wide range of allergen-friendly substitutions that make Christmas cookies tasty and allergen friendly! We featured some popular allergen-friendly cookie recipes safe for certain allergens and tasty for Santa!
Gluten Free Cookies
Did you know 1 in 100 people have a gluten allergy? Gluten, which is commonly found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt, and brewer’s yeast, affects up to 3 million Americans (1). Gluten is commonly found in breads, cakes, and cookies, but it can also hide in some unexpected places. Be on the lookout for gluten hiding in soy, condiments, deli meats, and even your child’s arts and crafts, like play dough!
But nothing to hide here, these chocolate chips cookies are free of gluten and perfect for the night before Christmas!
Egg Free Cookies
An egg allergy is the second most common allergy in children (2). If you or your child has an egg allergy it is extremely important to read food labels, to identify foods that may contain eggs. A food label is required by the FDA to list all major allergens on the food label, however, if you want to double-check the ingredient list you can! If you see words like albumin, globulin, or words beginning with “ovo” or “ova”, they contain an egg allergen and you should avoid! Though the egg white contains the protein that contributes to the allergic reaction, both the egg yolk and egg white must be avoided (2).
Most cookies contain eggs because they help give it moisture! But you can still leave Santa moist and tasty cookies on the night before Christmas with these egg-free cookies. Check out this recipe below.
Milk Free Cookies
One of the most common food allergens among children is milk! It should be known that a milk allergy isn’t the same as lactose intolerance. A milk allergy is an immune response to a specific protein found in the milk. However, with lactose intolerance, there is no immune response, and it’s usually less severe. Those who are lactose intolerant lack the lactase enzyme needed to break down the lactose in milk. Without this enzyme, people are unable to adequately digest milk, so symptoms of bloating, nausea, and diarrhea usually occur. 80% of children are likely to outgrow a milk allergy by the age of 16; on the other hand lactose intolerance usually develops in adulthood (3).
I’m not sure if Santa has developed lactose Intolerance, but we don’t want to take any chances. So we have featured these dairy-free gingerbread cookies!
We are proud to say that our Messy Monkeys snacks will also make a tasty allergen-friendly treat the night before Christmas and on a daily. Messy Monkeys are free of the major allergens, peanuts and gluten! Our chocolate and apple varieties are also vegan, free of dairy and eggs as well!