Here are some possible alternatives to peanuts, tree nuts, or nut-based foods. If you or your child has severe peanut allergies, ask your doctor even before trying one of these substitutes. Many people with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
Sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter can be substituted for peanut butter, if you don’t have a soy or sunflower seed allergy. Make sure they are truly nut-free. Some manufacturers make "nut-free" butters on machines that may be contaminated with nuts. Read the ingredients label to check.
Hummus is another substitute for peanut and other nut butters. It's made of chickpeas and is a good source of protein. However, some people with peanut allergies may be allergic to chickpeas, as well.
Sunflower seeds or soy nuts (dried soybeans) may be good alternatives if you're looking for a crunchy snack. Before you give these to an allergic child, ask your doctor.
What about other nuts? Ask your doctor. Anyone with one nut allergy has a high risk of other nut allergies. You may need to avoid all nuts to be safe.
Nearly a third of people living in the U.S. believe they have a food allergy, according to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association . But only 5% of children and 4% of teens and adults have true food allergies.
Why do many people think they have a food allergy when they don't?
Experts say it’s because people don’t understand what really constitutes a food allergy and they often misuse the term.
“Unfortunately, the term ‘allergy’ is sometimes used by the public...