Peanut Free Pinecone Bird Feeders!

Back during Christmas break, I decided to do a bird feeder craft with the kids.  We all know that the traditional pinecone birdfeeder has peanut butter, but considering that birdseed often contains sunflower seeds, I figured birds (and squirrels, darn them) would be perfectly fine with Sunbutter.  So that’s what we did!

It was superhero pajama day, in case you couldn’t tell.

Zax caught licking the knife!  (The knife that had been spreading Sunbutter on dirty pinecones.  Pinecones that still had some dead bugs on them.  Boys!)

For some reason, I was unprepared for how much of a mess this would make.  Kids with peanut allergies definitely cannot be anywhere near where this has been going on (if they were made the traditional way), not even the next day.  Are the teacher and custodian really going to clean up all that residue?  If either of my sons’s teachers ever tells me they want to do this craft, I will firmly state “you’re doing it with Sunbutter, or you aren’t doing it at all.”

The picture doesn’t really do the mess justice.  Sunbutter was
smeared all over the table.

Our Peanut Allergy Slap Bands are
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Getting ready to roll them in birdseed.  Make sure the birdseed is free of your allergens!  I would also recommend washing hands after finishing, not only to get the mess off, but because I’ll bet birdseed doesn’t label for cross contamination.

Aren’t they pretty?  See, you can do this craft just as easily and nicely without the peanuts!

The squirrels decimated most of these, but we did see birds eating from those few that were in places birds couldn’t reach.  What fun!

How have you modified “traditional” allergen-containing crafts to be safe?

Linking up at Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, and Corn-free Everyday


7 thoughts on “Peanut Free Pinecone Bird Feeders!

  1. Love your idea – I might try this to stop the squirrels from getting into my bird feeder. Looks like your kids are having a lot of fun too. Visiting from Corn Free Every Day blog hop Twitted.

  2. Hi! I'm doing this soon with a girl scout troop … what kind of birdseed did you find that's safe? I may go with just sunflower seeds but love the idea of variety. Is there a brand you found and recommend? Thanks for great post!

  3. Following my own comment … Bird seed is not manufactured with same controls as human food and most brands make multiple mixes which include nuts. We don't have any allergies but wanted to respect our n
    nut free school and even on that basis, one mfr went so far as to ask me NOT to use their seed! In any case, we came up with Crisco as coating and Cheerios and puffed millet for "seeds." Depends what your allergies are but I THINK that would be dairy free, nut free, seed free and wheat/gluten free (now that Cheerios are GF). Perfection! Certainly for our needs. And kids LOVED the craft!

  4. That's awesome! Sorry I didn't see your comments until just now. We used a Kroger brand birdseed that was free of nuts. There very well might have been some cross contact risk, but the kids were under orders not to put anything in their mouths (and by that point it was so messy that they didn't want to anyway.) It worked for us. I've seen the Crisco/Cheerios idea online, great idea! I've also heard of making your own suet from beef fat, which I'd like to try sometime. Nice of that one manufacturer to be honest! And Kudos to you for working so hard to find a safe way to include everyone! I will thank you, even if no one else does! Thank you!

  5. Question:
    Tried to make pine cone bird feeders with a Crisco. It melted too quickly. Does soy butter or sunflower butter melt also, or does it work like peanut butter?
    Thank you.

    1. Sue,

      I’ve never made these with Crisco, but the Sunbutter did not melt and behaved just like peanut butter would. Hope this helps!

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