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Tree Nut Allergy

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nuts Tree nut allergy is in its own category in the top 8 most common food allergens It is not grouped together with peanut allergy as you might think. This is because tree nuts and peanuts grow differently and have different proteins that cause allergic reactions. Because of this, many people with a tree nut allergy can tolerate peanuts and vice versa. Also, it is possible to only be allergic to one type of tree nut, such as walnuts, and be able to tolerate other tree nuts, like almonds, just fine.
What makes managing peanut and tree nut allergies tricky? Well, a couple of things. First, peanuts and tree nuts are often produced and packaged in the same facilities on the same production lines. This means that the risk for cross-contamination is high. Second, peanut and tree nut allergies are usually not mild and often cause serious reactions. This is why many allergists advise people with peanut or tree nut allergies, especially kids, to avoid them all.
List of Tree Nuts
The following chart is from the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. It includes all tree nuts that are required to be listed on food labels.
Common or usual nameScientific name
AlmondPrunus dulcis (Rosaceae)
Beech nutFagusspp. (Fagaceae)
Brazil nutBertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae)
ButternutJuglans cinerea (Juglandaceae)
CashewAnacardium occidental(Anacardiaceae)
Chestnut (Chinese, American, European, SeguinCastanea spp. (Fagaceae)
Ingredients Containing Tree Nuts
Following is a list of tree nuts and some ingredients that contain tree nuts:
  • Almond - butter, paste (marzipan), flavoring, extract
  • Brazil nut
  • Cashews - butter, flavoring, extract
  • Chestnuts (water chestnuts are OK, they're not nuts despite their name)
  • Hazelnuts or filberts
  • Hickory nuts
  • Macadamia nuts, Queensland nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts, pinon, pignoli
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Gianduja (chopped nuts mixed with chocolate)
  • Nu-Nuts artificial nuts
  • Nut Meal
  • Mashuga nuts (pecans)
  • Nougat
  • Nut paste
  • Nutella
Foods Commonly Containing Tree Nuts
  • Baked Goods - breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, bars, pastries, doughnuts, frostings
  • Snack Foods - granola, granola bars, rice cakes, snack mixes, crackers, caramel corn
  • Asian Foods
  • Pesto
  • Salads
  • Candy - candy bars, brittles, chocolate, fudge, pralines, turtles, clusters
One last always, be sure to check labels for yourself! Don't rely soley on this list as products change without notice and they can differ from region to region as well.
Top 8 Free Snack Ideas
  • Rice Chex
  • Corn Chex
  • Kix
  • Berry Kix
  • Trix
  • Lucky Charms
  • Trail mix (a mixture of "safe cereals" and mini marshmallows or one from Enjoy Life)
  • Granola (peanut/tree nut free variety like Enjoy Life)
  • Snack bars (like Enjoy Life Cocoa Loca Snack Bars)
  • Fresh fruit
  • Canned fruit/fruit cups
  • Applesauce cups
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Raisins and other dried fruits*
  • Cereal Bars (aka Rice Krispie Bars) allergy free recipe
  • Rice crackers
  • Corn chips (like tortilla chips or Fritos) with salsa
  • Popcorn
  • Old Dutch Puffcorn
  • Fruit snacks** (we like General Mills brands but, as always, check the label!)
* Check label to ensure no risk of cross-contamination with other allergens, especially nuts AND be aware of choking risk for small children
** Watch for "modified food starch" which can indicate wheat and also watch for advisory statements about other allergens