As someone with severe food allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish, I’ve always felt like Halloween kicks off a somewhat trying time of year that lasts straight through Valentine’s Day. This time of year for someone with food allergies can be a bit of a pain in the you know where. From all the holiday parties to goodies, it’s tough navigating it all. And if you’re a young kid (or a parent of someone with a food allergy) even tougher!

Today, I’m rounding up a list of some of my favorite allergy friendly brands, as well as a few Connecticut based shops that make treats, perfect for special occassions.

Divvies: This is one of my absolute favorite allergy friendly brands and I have been eating their cookies for years. It’s also one of the first brands I recommend to someone who finds themselves with an allergy or food sensitivity or with a child that has one. Their products are peanut, tree nut, egg and dairy free. There are way too many product to choose from in their line-up, so check ’em out! You can even buy Divvies locally at The Local Gourmet in Southbury. I’ve also seen them in select Whole Foods.

Made Good: I discovered these allergy-friendly granola bars while pregnant with my daughter. Let’s just say I was hyper-aware of my allergies during my pregnancy, yet always needed snacks on hand. These all-natural granola bars are made free of the 8 most common allergens (peanut, tree nut, soy, dairy. eggs, fish, shellfish, gluten, and sesame).

Sunbutter: Not only is this a great alternative to any nut butter due to its high level of protein and fat, you can use it as a sub for a nut butter in just about any recipe. The other thing I love about this brand are the recipe inspiration they include on their site. For example, check out this recipe – looks like a typical Peanut Butter cookie, but it’s made with Sunbutter.

If you still need additional snack ideas, you can find information about allergy friendly packaged goods at Snack Safely. There’s even a guide to download, however the site reminds you to read labels or contact the manufacturer if necessary.

Now if you’re looking for something extra special for either your own family or to bring to someone else’s home, there are several shops in Connecticut that can help you out.

Izzi B’s Bakery: Ok, so I’m totally partial to this bakery because I too have a daughter named Izzy. However, my family has been ordering cakes & cupcakes from this bakery for years. Izzi B’s is a wholesale bakery in Norwalk and orders are available via pick-up. The products are free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, all nuts, and casein. The picture at the left is from my daughter’s baptism.

Castle Hill Chocolate: This shop, right here in Newtown, carries nut-free chocolate. I was actually in the store right before Thanksgiving and the nut-free chocolate treats looked absolutely decadent.

The Painted Cookie over in Wilton sells nut-free cookies. They also even offer classes and cookie-icing parties.

I’ve had the opportunity to try a cake from Dee’s One Smart Cookie for one of my nephew’s birthday parties. Located in Glastonbury, this bakery has a wide variety of treats.

Do you have a favorite allergy friendly spot or tip? Please share!

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