After leaving my Easter Egg purchasing to the last minute this year, I have tried to be a little more organised on the Advent Calendar front. D is a massive Peppa Pig fan (his hero is now Danny Dog, as "he a boy"), so I've plumped for the Peppa Pig calendar made by Kinnerton, which I bought through Amazon. (See here for details of the Kinnerton Nut Safety Promise).
On Friday morning, we went to our local Sainsbury's and, spotting their Advent Calendar display, I decided to see if they had any nut free calendars for my daughter too.
The selection on offer included calendars by Thorntons, Cadbury, Lindt and Bon Bon Buddies. There were Maltesers, Mars and Milkybar calendars. Teddy bears, princesses and Sainsbury's own Eric.
I read the ingredients label on all thirteen calendars on offer. ALL were labelled "may contain nuts" (or equivalent wording).
So yet again, a supermarket had failed to provide a single safe option for a nut allergy sufferer. Do I just need to lower my expectations (and therefore my blood pressure), or given 1 in 50 children in the UK has a peanut allergy (plus those children with a tree nut allergy), is it reasonable to expect that just one option might be nut free?
Suffice to say, I gave it up as a bad job and came home to research some further nut free options. Here are some safe alternatives I found:
Their milk chocolate advent calendars are available in Peppa Pig, Avengers, Frozen, Hello Kitty, Planes, Something Special, The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Skylanders. The Kinnerton website states they are available from Poundland, Wilkinson, Superdrug, 99p stores, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Nisa. Although, like I said, there weren't any anywhere to be seen on Friday morning in Sainbury's, Macclesfield (and I was wearing my glasses!).
Ocado are usually excellent at providing a full product description with allergen information. The description of their Woodland Friends calendar on the Ocado site as at 4 October 2013 makes no mention of nuts:
Sugar, Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier Soya Lecithin, Flavouring, Milk Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 30% minimum, Milk Solids 14% minimum
Suitable for Vegetarians
Plamil make an "Organic Fairtrade Dairy Free Milky Chocolate Advent Calendar". The product description states:
"This dairy free milk chocolate advent calendar is made in our own factory which never uses dairy, gluten or nuts."
If anyone has any other recommendations, do post a comment below!