Photo: Erman Kassim

Every child with food allergies should be able to safely enjoy an ice cream cone, but my standards are just as high when it comes to taste. In the search for the perfect allergy-friendly scoop, here are the top picks that fall in the sweet spot.

To meet my trust standard, the brand either had to be completely free of allergens (and not use shared lines or equipment), or they had to exhibit superior precautions — like regular deep cleaning of the equipment, testing for allergenic proteins and providing clear labeling.  For my taste standard — trust us, I ate a lot of ice cream.

NO SHARED LINES/EQUIPMENT 

1. Nana Creme

When founder Regina Klafeta learned her niece had a nut allergy, she set out to create a safely delicious frozen dessert. Regina discovered she could mimic the creaminess of traditional ice cream by using frozen bananas. This top 8 allergen-free brand is available online and in select stores across the Midwest.

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Flavor: Chocolate Covered Banana Free From: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Company Safety Standards: Every product wearing the Nana Creme label is produced in our own top eight allergen-free facility; because we believe that food is only as safe as the environment that it is made in… read more

2. Wink Frozen Desserts

This plant-based, sugar-free frozen dessert is billed as a “clean alternative to ice cream.” Wink’s ice cream is made using pea protein and natural sugar substitutes derived from agave and stevia, making it top 8 allergen-free. Find their products in select Whole Food stores or online.

Flavor: Cinnamon Bun Free From: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Company Safety Standards: We only use ingredients that are inherently free of the top 8 most common allergens, as well as never come in contact with any of the Top 8 most common allergens… read more

3. A La Mode

A La Mode is the nut-free darling of the New York City ice cream scene. Owned by a couple with a food allergic nephew, this ice cream and boutique party shop is committed to dishing out ice cream that is safe for people with peanut, tree nut, sesame and egg allergies. After much anticipation, Al La Mode is now shipping their pints across the United States!

Flavor: Pink Sprinkle Free From: Peanut, Tree Nuts, Egg, Wheat, Gluten, Coconut, Sesame Contains: Milk, Soy Company Safety Standards: Nut-, egg- and sesame-free means more than just not allowing it in our shoppe or manufacturing facility. We have an extensive food allergy training process in place for each employee that comes to work at A La Mode… read more

SHARED LINES/EQUIPEMENT

4. NadaMoo!

Since 2004, NadaMoo! has been serving up small-batch, non-dairy ice cream deep in the heart of Texas. The founder was inspired by her food allergic sister to create safe coconut milk ice cream for people all over the world. You can purchase their pints in grocery stores, co-ops and specialy shops nationwide.

Flavor: Lotta Mint Chip Free From: Peanut, Tree Nuts Milk, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Gluten, Sesame Contains: Coconut Company Safety Standards: Between every flavor run, the stainless-steel equipment is thoroughly washed, cleaned, and tested. Each flavor is then tested at different stages of the run, from mixing to freezing to filling, for any violations or contaminations… read more

5. Coconut Bliss

Coconut Bliss has been committed to quality ingredients and customer safety from the start. The creators started by hand-cranking their own coconut milk ice cream with natural ingredients, looking for a better solution to the disappointing taste of other dairy-free frozen desserts. Now, you can find their allergy-friendly products in stores nationwide.

Flavor: Salted Caramel & Chocolate Free From: Peanut, Tree Nuts, Milk, Egg, Soy, Gluten, Wheat Contains: Coconut Company Safety Standards: During our production days, no dairy or egg ingredients are allowed in the production room, and we always schedule nut or peanut flavors last in the day. After every production the equipment is taken apart, thoroughly washed, rinsed, sanitized and left to dry overnight… read more

6. So Delicious Almond Milk

For almost 30 years, So Delicious has been creating frozen treats for those with milk allergies and intolerances. They began with a line of soy milk-based ice cream, and over the years, they expanded their line to include desserts made with almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk. Their pints, mini ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches are sold at major grocery stores across the country.

Flavor: Mint Chip Free From: Peanut, Milk, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Gluten Contains: Tree Nuts (Almond and Coconut) Company Safety Standards: Allergens are controlled through supplier controls, segregation of ingredients, production run scheduling, equipment cleaning, and our testing program. We have learned that the success of our products is as much about what they do not contain as it is about what they do contain… read more

7. So Delicious Cashew Milk

Flavor: Dark Chocolate Truffle Free From: Peanut, Milk, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Gluten Contains: Tree Nuts (Cashew and Coconut)

8. So Delicious Soy Milk

Flavor: Cookie Dough Free From: Peanut, Milk, Egg, Wheat, Gluten Contains: Soy, Coconu

9. So Delicious Coconut Milk

Flavor: Oregon Mixed Berry Free From: Milk, Peanut, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Gluten Contains: Coconut

10. Talenti

With just six simple ingredients, Talenti’s sorbetto is a naturally allergy-friendly way to treat yourself on a hot day. The sorbetto is available in a variety of flavors, all of which are made using fruit, fruit juice, fruit puree and ice. Talenti, which is sold nationwide, do not have separate production lines, but they follow a strict Allergen Protection Program that can be found below.

Flavor: Roman Raspberry Sorbetto Free From: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Company Safety Standards: Talenti follows a very rigorous Allergen Protection Program for the storage and handling of these allergens to ensure that our product contains no unlabeled allergens… read more

11. Ben & Jerry’s

You asked, they answered. In 2016, Ben & Jerry’s began producing non-dairy ice cream after an online petition asking for vegan options generated nearly 30,000 signatures. They started out with four non-dairy flavors, and in 2017, three new options hit supermarket shelves. The recipe swaps out milk and eggs for almond milk and coconut oil  — available nationwide.

Flavor: Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie Free From: Milk, Egg, Peanut Contains: Tree Nuts (Almond and Coconut — may contain other Tree Nuts), Soy, Wheat, Gluten Company Safety Standards:  We have systems and policies in place to help protect our consumers from cross-contamination. While we process nut flavors on shared equipment that also processes non-nut flavors, Ben & Jerry’s employs strict sanitation procedures and processes… read more

12. Breyer’s

If you’re looking for a classic, Breyer’s has strict cleaning processes, clear labeling and ability to search their website by dietary restriction. Note that other vanilla flavors like Homemade Vanilla and Extra Creamy Vanilla contain egg and wheat ingredients. Breyer’s can be found in stores across the country.

Flavor: Natural Vanilla Free From: Egg, Peanut, Tree Nuts, Soy, Wheat, Gluten Contains: Milk Company Safety Standards:  After manufacturing a product, the machine is disassembled and flushed with a hot sanitizing solution for several hours followed by a hot water rinse. If a product containing a known allergen has been produced, the equipment receives a double process of the sanitation and rinse process… read more

13. Graeter’s

For more than 145 years, Graeter’s has been selling ice cream in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. They are the only ice cream manufacturer in the world that still uses old-world, 2 1/2 -gallon French Pot freezers, and their commitment to excellence extends to their allergen practices. They have dedicated storage and labeling for allergens and take steps to ensure safety for customers with food allergies. Order online or in select grocery stores.

Flavor: Lemon Sorbet Free From: Top 8 Allergens + Sesame Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Company Safety Standards: We use good manufacturing practices to segregate allergens and avoid cross-contact with flavors that contain peanuts and tree nuts… read more