The other day a mama friend texted me to ask what homemade treat would work best for a classroom party needing to be dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and gluten-free. I thought this was a great question, and it didn’t take me long at all to answer back, “rice crispy treats!”.
Since I know this friend isn’t the only mom stumped about upcoming classroom parties, I figured a blog post was in order.
The great thing about rice crispy treats is that they just require 3 ingredients, they taste normal, almost everyone loves them, and they can be decorated uniquely and differently for any holiday!
Using cookie cutters, frostings, food coloring, sprinkles…you can really do these up. You just have to make sure the ingredients and even the decorations are food allergy safe. 🙂
Below are some generalities about rice crispy treat ingredients. Ingredients may vary by brands so you will want to read all labels before you make these for a classroom. You will also need to be well versed in cross contamination, and if there are children with life-threatening food allergies or severe dietary needs, you will want to talk to and save labels for the parents.
If you can use soy, some Pillsbury Classic Frostings are dairy-free and the sprinkles on top of the containers are dairy-free, too. Both the frosting and sprinkles contain soy. Some Pillsbury brand frostings may contain milk so be careful!
I’m told rice crispy cereal isn’t always gluten-free. You need to find brands and boxes marked gluten-free. I hear Aldi rice cereal is gluten-free. Also make sure the marshmallows and dairy-free butter are gluten-free.
If you are using food coloring, please make sure it’s also allergy-friendly and gluten-free if need be. My very favorite is this natural food coloring.
Of course most sprinkles contain dye unless you find natural ones like found at the link above.
And a friend just told me you can find dye-free strawberry marshmallows at Aldi! These would be pink and perfect for Valentine’s Day.
To make rice crispy treats dairy-free, the trick is finding dairy-free butter. Brands I have used are Earth Balance and Melt. You can use coconut oil in place of butter, too, if there’s not a coconut allergy.
Some dairy-free butters contain soy. Melt is dairy-free and soy-free. Earth Balance is dairy-free and has a soy-free option. Be sure to get the right one if soy is an issue.
Pillsbury Classic Frosting contains soy. If you want soy-free frosting, you may need to make a glaze from scratch…powdered sugar and a little water mixed to the right consistency.
I think, in general, that most of these ingredients would be free of egg. But if you are trying to accommodate an egg allergy, I would definitely talk to the parents first! I could be missing something.
Again, I think most of these ingredients would be peanut-free. But some peanut allergic children need to avoid pea proteins that can be found in dairy-free butter. Check with peanut allergy parents!
I’m sticking with the classic recipe here because it’s the best for allergy-friendly. No milk needed, vanilla not necessary, just keep it simple. And thanks for caring about your food allergy friends!
RICE CRISPY TREATS
3 tablespoons of dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free butter or coconut oil
10 oz bag of gluten-free marshmallows or vegan marshmallows
6 cups of gluten-free rice crispies
Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly. When melted, remove from heat and add 6 cups of rice crispies. Fold the cereal and marshmallow mixture together using a spatula. Pour into a greased (use your safe butter or coconut oil) 9×13″ pan. Press into pan with clean, wet fingers. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting. Decorate as desired. Store in an airtight container.
Kids may even enjoy decorating these themselves! We simply pipe colored icings on with plastic baggies with the corner cut.
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