Each year there are a number of holidays that have treats as a major part of the celebrations. While Halloween and
Christmas are huge. Easter festivities that come in the spring are not far behind!
Parents of children with severe food allergies have an added caution to those treats, apart from the usual excessive
treat eating and cavity-causing sugar overload! The danger of allergic reactions to Easter chocolate has been a concern
and unfortunately all too common.
Typically Chocolate Easter Eggs and Bunnies are a staple and most every child want to have at least one or two! The
challenge of finding allergy-free Easter treats is all too real and numerous stops will provide no allergy-free
All to say, my daughter and I had many difficulties and disappointing moments when out hunting for Easter Treats –
one that would be labelled peanut free and not have the dreaded “may contain traces of peanut”…. There were times,
where no allergy free treat was available and a home-crafted Easter treat would be prepared, not the same of course, but
” you do what you gotta do” when you are the mother of an allergy sensitive child!.
The norm is that there will be little if anything available. Better not to expect anything in Easter treats for allergy sensitive
population seemed to be the reality. There was a ray of hope in that search and for many a year past and where available at
Easter (Xmas & Halloween, too) was Vadeboncoeur, a company that provided the “peanut free” label that allowed the peanut
allergy population to eat Easter treats with no fear of an allergic reaction!
Well, this year provided a HUGE SURPRISE with a mixed choice of peanut free Easter snacks available. Not only
was Vandeboncoeur there like always, but there were new additions as well. The variety of choices came from
Dollarama and several large retail and grocery stores. In Montreal’s West Island, the Peanut Friendly Easter treats also
available and seen on display prominently were at Metro, Walmart, Pharma Prix (Shoppers Drug Mar), Uniprix, Jean
Coutou and IGA.
The other company names providing Peanut Free Treats has also grown!! Yeah, it’s so good to have a choice of offerings
for peanut free treats. Among the companies offering Peanut Free Chocolates were Freddo, Marvel, Kinder Surprise,
Arva’s Chocolate, Jean-talon Chocolate and des Peres Trapistes.
Even some of the larger companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon, have Easter treats with heros/heroines featured
on their Peanut Free chocolates that are safe for all groups of children!
Special mention goes to Freddo, Vadeboncoeur, and Nickelodeon who have a Peanut, Almond and Nut-Free Factory
marked on their treats! (see following Image) The des Peres Trappistes Chocolate (available at Metro) had a “Peanut Free,
Gluten Free” label. The list provided is by no means exhaustive and represents what the major retail and grocery stores had on
display in Montreal’s West Island.
While it is wonderful to have this Peanut Free assortment to choose from this year, it is still important to look at the
label information. The Disney and Marvel offerings have a “may contain wheat, egg” warning. It is always necessary to
check the information is on each and every label for the allergy sensitive population before trying a taste.
Feedback from other areas of the country on the availability of Peanut Free treats for the Easter Season would be
great. Have you had any trouble finding allergy free Easter treats this year? How is Allergy Friendly shopping in Vancouver,
Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Saint John and other cities ? Is Montreal the same as better or worse than your area of the
country? After all, Easter Treat hunters need to know!
The Peanut Free Chocolate will certainly be a bonus for not only schools, organizations and groups, but the allergy sensitive
population as well.
Let’s celebrate the Easter Holiday and Passover safely with chocolates and treats for most everyone to enjoy!