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Ask an Expert: Valentine's Day school party treats

Q. I have to bring a snack to my son’s Valentine’s Day school party tomorrow. There is a child who is allergic to nuts and dairy. What can I bring that will be healthy – and fun?

A. Here are two ideas that should make the kiddos smile and not necessarily go nuts after indulging in a sugar frenzy.

Speaking of nuts, these cookies are safe for the increasing number of kids with food allergies. These cookies are OK for kids who are allergic to gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts. You can also spread these in a pan, bake, then use a heart shaped cookie cutter for a perfect Valentine’s Day snack….or pop a few in a small white or brown paper bag and create your own special Valentine’s Day design.

Wholesome Trail Mix Cookies


  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour or other gluten-free flours
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup raisins or other dried fruit of your choice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • *optional: nuts of your choice for those without nut allergies


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine bananas, oil, syrup and vanilla. In separate medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, coconut and salt. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined (do not over stir). Fold in dried fruit and shredded carrots.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop batter by the heaping teaspoon onto sheet. Or use a medium size cookie scoop for uniform size rounds. Place in oven and bake 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place directly on wire rack to cool.

Makes 1 ½ -2 dozen cookies.

Fun whole fruit with a message

I like this idea for Valentine’s Day too – whole nutritious fresh fruit – for the super health-conscious. Just add a fun tag and you are good to go.

Get more suggestions from my website, Experience Nutrition!

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