Eating Without Palm Oil List ~ What my son eats with a palm oil intolerance

eating without palm oil list


My son gets sick from palm oil. Many times, people ask us what he can have. We created this eating without palm oil list specific to my son. These are the foods he likes and eats safely.

We created this site to help others who might have sensitivities and intolerances to palm oil. As we learned more about palm oil, we learned about the environmental concerns as well.

Eating without palm oil list ~ What my child eats because he is sensitive to palm oil

Our son reacts to even trace amounts of palm oil as well as palm oil derivatives so we believe these items are okay if you are avoiding palm oil. But note they are not guaranteed. We update this list regularly.

Something positive that’s come of this is we all eat healthier, cleaner foods. We cook and bake from scratch regularly. We have less processed foods and eat out less.

Overall, we eat more real foods and buy products with less “ingredients.”

While we have comprehensive lists of palm oil free products, this list is specific to my son will actually eat. 

In general, we keep things simple.

When buying packaged foods, we stick to original flavors which tend to have less palm oil than complicated flavors. We also choose products with the least amount of ingredients as possible. 

Whenever possible, we choose the less processed option. Example: We buy nuts in their shell instead of already shelled.

Palm oil hides under hundreds of names. Most palm oil ingredients don’t include “palm” in the name. It’s in thousands of products. It’s difficult finding products without it.

Palm oil hides in “Natural Flavors” making it even more stressful. See more below. Learn about his palm oil allergy/intolerance.

Raw Vegetables

Examples of vegetables he eats regularly: Snap peas, snow peas, carrots, red pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, lettuce, celery.

Our son will eat most any vegetable that you can eat raw. He has several each day, plain, without dressing. 

We buy organic when possible, especially the dirty dozen like celery.


Examples of fruits he eats: Apple, banana, mandarin, pear, peach, nectarine, plum, apricot, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, figs, dates.

He eats a lot of fruits every day. He can have all fruits except for grapes which upset his system. As far as we know, grapes and palm oil ingredients are the only things that affect him. (We need to research if they are botanically-related in some way?)

We buy frozen organic berries and frozen organic berries with spinach and kale to keep on hand for smoothies. They are more economical than buying organic berries fresh.

Again, we buy organic when possible and keep in mind the Clean 15 and dirty dozen.

Take extra care to wash citrus. We learned sometimes companies use palm oil to make them shinier. We typically buy these in bags when they are less likely to be “shined.”


He will eat any meat. In restaurants we order it with just salt.

At home, depending on the meat, we cook it with salt, real onions and garlic cloves. If it’s chicken, turkey, we may add avocado oil.

We cook ground beef with garlic, onions, and salt, or with bacon and onions. Sometimes we use a little bit of:

  • Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

Most often, we buy raw meat. However, he also eats these on occasion:

  • Kirkland Signature Bacon
    • from Costco; regular bacon in blue bag
    • He’s had other bacon when we’ve been out and has been fine.
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original Sausage Links
  • Hormel Natural Choice:
    • Honey Deli Ham
    • Smoked Deli Ham
  • Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken (without the sauce)
    • from Costco
  • Foster Farms:
    • Crispy Strips (yellow and green bag)
    • Chicken Tenders (yellow and green bag)


He’s been able to have any seafood. In restaurants we ask for it plain — just cooked with salt.

At home, we use avocado oil for fish. For shrimp, we use real butter and fresh garlic.


For seasonings, we keep it simple. We use real (not from containers) limes and lemons, garlic cloves, and onions. We use basic table salt as well. 

He can also have Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning but we only use it on ground beef and sometimes on a roast.

In addition, sometimes use fresh herbs: basil, rosemary, or sage.


Important: We avoid oil blends completely. We only buy 100% of whatever the oil is.

Mostly, we cook with avocado oil and organic olive oil. For baking we use canola oil, soybean oil, or avocado oil. 

See these tips about finding palm oil free products. 

Snacks for lunches, on-the-go, and at home

  • Potato Chips
    • Lay’s Regular Potato Chips; Cape Cod Potato Chips
    • (He can have any potato chips with a safe oil listed and salt.)
  • Pretzels
    • Rold Gold Pretzels – Original 
    • Synder’s Pretzel Rods
    • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Original (These are the flat pretzels in a blue bag.)
  • Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Cheddar (We get the big box from Costco.)
  • Seaweed Snacks – Sea Salt 
    • Sprouts Seaweed Snacks
    • Others that only contain seaweed, sunflower oil, and salt
  • Popcorn
    • Popcornopolis Popcorn (big bag from Costco)
    • He can have any that list popcorn, a safe oil, and salt.
  • Kettle corn
    • Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Kettle Corn (big bag at Costco)
  • Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes
    • Sea Salt
    • Cinnamon & Sugar
    • Salted Caramel
  • Pirate’s Booty (not any store versions; the regular Pirate’s Booty)
  • Rice rollers from Costco
  • Rice cakes (Don’t buy with Tocopherols)
    • Quaker Oats Caramel Rice Cakes
  • GoGo Squeez Fruit & Veggies On the Go: Zippin’ Zingin’ Pear and Boulder Berry

Snacks without palm oil

See our list of popcorn without palm oil and pretzels without palm oil.

Snack bars

  • RX Bars: Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt
  • Larabar Kid Chocolate Brownie
  • Van’s Cranberry & Almond Gluten-free Bar
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars: Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate
  • Enjoy Life Foods Grain & Seed Bars (All four flavors are certified Palm Oil Free.)

There are a lot of hidden palm oil ingredients in bars. It’s in the Natural Flavors, Tocopherols, and Glycerin.

See our post for more info on granola bars without palm oil.


  • Dannon Activa Yogurt: Strawberry, Blueberry, Black Cherry, Mixed Berry
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt BLENDED with Blueberry or Strawberry or Vanilla
    • (He’s never had Chobani with Fruit on the Bottom which is different than Blended.)

Frozen waffles

Most contain palm oil so we make our own. 

  • Van’s Gluten Free Frozen Waffles Original


He’s been able to have tree nuts as well as peanuts. He can have them if they just contain salt. We prefer the ones in the shell as they are less processed.


We buy frozen organic berries or use whatever we have fresh. Next, we toss in a banana and some greens. Sometimes we sneak in avocado or baked sweet potato.

  • O Organics Frozen Berries
  • Rader Farms Fresh Start Smoothie Blend with (all) Organic Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Kale, Spinach (from Costco) 

As we stated above, buying organic berries is a lot less expensive than frozen. It’s also easy to keep them on hand.


He only drinks water or smoothies we make at home.

If he is out and has a soda, he avoids anything with grape, cherry, orange, etc. and sticks with name brand products. 


  • Kellogg’s Raisin Bran
    • Make sure it’s Kellogg’s; Post Raisin Bran contains Vitamin A Palmitate.
  • Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Hemp Granola
  • Life Cereal: Original or Cinnamon

See our post for more cereals without palm oil. 


  • Pepperidge Farm:
    • Thin & Crispy: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
    • Chessmen
  • Market Pantry Animal Crackers (at Target)

For more info about palm oil in cookies, see our post.

foods my son eats without palm oil
We always have some in our freezer.

Ice Cream

  • Ben & Jerry’s pints: All flavors are palm oil free! This is incredible. 
    • It’s the only time my son can walk in and pick whatever he wants! Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s!
  • Tillamook:
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Chocolate Chip
  • Alden’s Organic:
    • Chocolate
    • Cookies & Cream
  • Breyers:
    • Natural Vanilla (Their other three vanillas contain mono- & diglycerides.)
    • Chocolate
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Neopolitan

Alden’s Organic and Tillamook have more flavors without palm oil but these are the ones we buy. Check out ice cream without palm oil.

Safe candy he can have

  • YumEarth Candy Canes
  • Wholesome Organic Candy Canes
  • barkTHINS Snacking Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt (They now sell big bags of this at Costco.)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: original; regular packaging; no holiday versions
  • Hershey’s bars: Milk Chocolate, Almond, Special Dark
  • Hershey’s Kisses: Milk Chocolate, Almond
  • M&M’s Milk Chocolate, Almond
  • Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chips (We also use when we make waffles.)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candies

He can have any “real” chocolate as well. We choose the ones with as few ingredients as possible. As an example, the chocolate chips we buy only contain Cocoa Butter, Unsweetened Chocolate, and Cane Sugar. 

We have lots of info about this in our candy without palm oil post. In addition, we have a smaller post for holiday candy.

S’mores without palm oil

  • Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
    • Other marshmallows with the same ingredients as above are likley fine.
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar: any size
  • Honey Maid Grahams (Many other brands contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives such as DATEM.)


We have to make all of his desserts because the ones in bakeries and grocery stores contain palm oil. Together we make brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and biscotti. In addition, we make our own frosting easily with confectioners sugar, real butter, whole milk, and pure vanilla.

The only mixes we use are:

  • Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix

I make these brownies and freeze them for when he goes to a birthday party, etc.

Baking ingredients we use

  • Whole milk without Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Red-Star Yeast in the 3-pack is the only one we found without palm oil derivatives.
  • Real butter
    • We use Lucerne from Albertson’s/Safeway
  • Kirkland Organic Eggs from Costco
  • Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
    • Any “pure” extract is likely fine.
  • Pure cane sugar
    • We use C&H Pure Cane Sugar. Any sugar with just “sugar” listed is likely fine.
  • King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    • Probably most any flour would be okay.
  • Confectioners sugar / powdered sugar
    • We use C&H Confectioners Sugar to make frosting.
  • Baking powder
    • We use Clabber Girl Double Acting Baking Powder.
  • Pure baking soda
    • We use Arm & Hammer.
  • Chocolate chips: Enjoy Life Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Table salt
  • Red Ape Cinnamon (It’s certified Palm Oil Free.)
  • 100% pure maple syrup
  • Local honey

We are used to making substitutions.

He can’t have Rice Krispie treats because the cereal contains Vitamin A Palmitate; however, we can use the marshmallows and real butter to coat air-popped popcorn for a treat just as delicious. 

See our post about desserts without palm oil.

Meals without palm oil

So what does this look like on a day-to-day basis? We are lucky our son eats fruits, vegetables, and meats. These make up most of his diet.


  • Homemade waffles:
    • I make batches in my waffle maker and freeze them. I warm them in the toaster.
  • Homemade French toast
    • Dave’s Killer Bread in green or yellow bag
  • Leftover meat
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original Sausage Links
  • Fruit

We only buy 100% pure maple syrup.

See our post breakfast without palm oil to see how common palm oil is at this meal.

We fill containers with fruits and vegetables for his lunch at school.

Lunch at school without palm oil

He brings the following everyday:

  • Activa Yogurt
  • Combination of fruits and vegetables
  • A few of the above snacks and a bar

Dinner without palm oil

The majority of our dinners consist of:

  • Meat
  • Fruit
  • Raw vegetables

My son will eat all of these without issue.

We vary how we cook the meats. If we are out, we ask for them to cook the meat with salt.

Again, we cook meats with garlic cloves, chopped onion, salt. Sometimes we use avocado oil, lime, lemon, peppers, etc. for additional flavoring. 

We cook with as simple ingredients as possible. Because onion and garlic powders can contain palm oil, we only use real, fresh onions, and garlic.

In addition, we buy lemons and limes and use them; we don’t buy the squeeze lime juices, etc. These contain additives that we aren’t sure are safe for him.

He eats a wide variety of fruits and raw vegetables. 

Eating at fast food restaurants without palm oil

We are grateful when restaurants publish their ingredients online so we can check in advance.

Many restaurants list which products contain the major allergens but don’t spell out the ingredients. Palm oil isn’t recognized as an allergen so that doesn’t help us.

Other restaurant chains spell out the Nutritional Profile with the calorie count and fat content but not the actual ingredients. It’s frustrating.

Important: Many restaurant French fries contain palm oil.

If they make the French fries fresh on-site — like In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys — they most likely won’t contain palm oil.

We are loyal to these restaurants because these are places he can go and won’t get sick.

Burger King: 

  • Chicken tenders
  • French fries


  • Chicken tenders
  • (Their fries contain palm oil.)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

  • Hamburger meat plain; no bun
  • French fries

In-N-Out Burger:

  • Four hamburger patties plain
  • French fries
  • Chocolate shake

We are so grateful to In-N-Out Burger. This is one of my son’s favorites because he can have their fries and shakes. This is the only place he has shakes / ice cream.

Sometimes he orders the burgers wrapped in lettuce. 

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers:

  • Cane’s Combo (He can eat the chicken and the fries and doesn’t eat the bread.)


  • Chicken strips
  • French fries

Eating palm oil free at other restaurants

At sit down restaurants, he orders meat cooked with salt. He doesn’t eat bread.

At Mexican restaurants he orders fajitas and just eats the meat, not the tortillas or cooked vegetables. He doesn’t have the tortilla chips. We rarely go to Italian restaurants. 

Typically, we don’t go out to eat unless we have to. When we do, we look for places that will have meat they can cook-to-order with just salt. We’ve had luck at Outback Steakhouse and others.

Going on vacation when you are avoiding palm oil

One of the biggest stresses is eating away from home when you are trying to avoid palm oil. Vacations are stressful.

We always pack palm oil free safe foods when we travel.

For vacations, so we don’t have to rely on restaurants, instead of staying in a hotel, we usually rent an AirBNB or VRBO with a kitchen. Then we can continue to buy the above foods.

It’s a lot healthier to eat this way too. And it saves us money.

When traveling, we always bring RX Bars, nuts, fruits, and other safe snacks whether we are driving or flying.

If we go on a road trip, we will bring a cooler so we can keep more fresh vegetables and fruits. 

School parties and class treats without palm oil

My son brings a lunch to school everyday so we don’t have to worry about any palm oil in school lunches.

Oftentimes, our son has to miss out on treats and snacks at school. There are sometimes food rewards and class parties.

In addition, students are allowed to bring in treats for their birthdays. If you have 27 kids bringing in doughnuts, that’s 27 doughnuts my son isn’t able to eat. (This isn’t necessarily a bad thing!)

We can’t anticipate birthdays so he will usually eat something from his lunch bag. Every so often, I will give him a Larabar Chocolate Brownie to keep in his backpack. If we know in advance, I will give him brownie that I made and froze.

For classroom parties, depending what they are asking for, I typically send in something safe he can have.

If it’s a party with desserts, I send brownies or cookies. If it’s a classroom celebration without dessert-type foods, I will send in fruit, Cheddar Goldfish, Rold Gold Pretzels, Pirate’s Booty, potato chips, or popcorn.

Trying new foods when you can’t have palm oil

It’s scary trying new foods. Palm oil ingredients don’t have to be specially labeled.

Know that:

Natural Flavors can contain palm oil.

Before buying anything new, we consider the type of product it is, and if it’s something that usually contains palm oil. We know that some products will always contain palm oil, and we won’t ever buy them.

In addition, we think about palm oil uses and how it’s used in the product. For example, if it’s a product that uses an emusifier, is there another emusifier listed that spells out the source, such as Soy Lecithin? If so, then this might be a safe product.

After that, we further look at all of the ingredients and cross-reference it against the list of hundreds of names for palm oil, knowing that palm oil can be hiding under many different ingredient names.

We introduce new foods sparingly and always one at a time. We watch for symptoms. If he is symptom free, the next time we will give him a little bit more. Once we determine it’s safe, we will add it more regularly.

Asking companies about palm oil in their ingredients

When we find something that seems safe, we email to ask the company about it — many times they don’t respond. Many times they don’t know.

Oftentimes, they respond saying there isn’t palm oil in it but after pressing further, we learn there is.

Companies changing ingredients to include palm oil

We’ve also learned to always check labels before buying these products above. Companies change ingredients often.

Since we learned of our son’s palm oil intolerance, there have been many processed food items he was able to have until they changed ingredients. 

Some of these include Peanut M&M’s, Mr. Goodbar, Honeycomb Cereal, and Oreo cookies. No loss on not having these products except that it’s discouraging to see more and more companies and products using palm oil.

For most products, I keep the packaging with the UPC codes as a reference. I also take pictures of them and mark them as Favorites so I can easily find them on my phone while I’m in the store.

Companies discontinuing products that they made without palm oil

We’ve also found this happen many times.

There were many KIND bars my son was able to safely eat until they discontinued them. This has also happened with Dark Chocolate Mint M&M’s.

It’s happened with several store brands of crackers and snack bars as well.

Palm oil free certification labeling is important

When a company has a product which earned Palm Oil Free certification, that’s of tremendous help.

That means the company has taken the time to submit their product ingredients to an independent third-party organization. The organization checks all the ingredients in the product(s).

They check them down to the source — from the supplier. An example: We see Citric Acid on a label. The Palm Oil Free certifying organization will dig deeper to find out the source of that Citric Acid — what is in it?

Two independent Palm Oil Free certification companies are:

  • International Palm Oil Free Trademark Certification Programme (POFCAP)
  • Orangutan Alliance OA  

Our family seeks out products certified with a No Palm Oil label.

fresh foods don't contain palm oil

What do you eat if you can’t have palm oil?

We are using his palm oil allergy/sensitivity as a positive reminder to eat healthier food.

We have learned SO MUCH about all the chemicals in foods and all the ways they use inferior ingredients to save money.

Our son knows how to read labels. He knows the common ingredients to look for which include Mono- & Diglycerides, Glycerin, Glycerine, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 80, Tocopherols, and anything with Stearate, including Magnesium Stearate and Calcium Stearate. 

If he is in doubt, he doesn’t eat it.

We’ve learned to assume everything has palm oil in it and be happily surprised when it doesn’t.

He knows what he can order at the fast food restaurants if he’s out with friends. He says “no thank you” a lot to food. 

Sometimes it’s difficult.

He’s a kid in a processed food, snack-all-the-time, food-rewards-for-everything world.

However, we started this website as a way to empower our family — to feel like we were doing something to create awareness about the way palm oil is hidden in so many products. See About Us here.

We also learn a lot by trial and error and like that we can log everything here, on this website, so we can reference it. 

We wanted other people to start reading labels and to see how companies are hiding palm oil in so many ways.

Most people just toss a box of Poptarts and everything else in their carts without considering the ingredients.

We didn’t think our son could be the only one who has a palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance. Even for consumers who don’t have symptoms from palm oil and palm kernel oil, we know many avoid it for environmental reasons.

There are a lot of people who even if they don’t give up palm oil completely, might be interested in buying it less often.

These are our favorite items which make it easier to live without palm oil.

Focusing on real foods

The best thing we’ve done is to focus on healthy choices. 

We talk about all of the ingredients and chemicals in foods.

We try to empower our son to make his own choices. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we have to eat it.

He and I get a great deal of satisfaction from hearing from readers via the comments below as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Please follow us.

We like to thank the companies for making products without palm oil ingredients so they will know consumers care and want these types of products.

Sometimes companies change their ingredients to include palm oil derivatives. It’s important to read ingredients every time.

Please note, we do not guarantee these products are palm oil free. The only way to know for certain is if it has earned Palm Oil Free certification.

Thank you for caring about this issue, either from a health perspective or an environmental perspective — or both! Learn more about palm oil health and the environmental aspects of palm oil. Even if you don’t try to give it up completely, there are many ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week.

As we try to live palm oil free, we think it’s better to focus on what we CAN HAVE rather than what we can’t have.

This is a running list of the foods my son eats that he can safely have. We try to vary his foods so he doesn’t tire of them.

Also, there are other foods without palm oil on our other lists. These are the ones he likes and eats. We continue to update this list. Thank you for reading and caring about this issue!

This list is specific to personal care items he uses with a palm oil intolerance. 


Holiday Candy Without Palm Oil ~ Palm Oil Free Valentine’s Candy

finding palm oil free valentine's candy


Please read labels before buying — don’t just toss candy in your cart. Here’s how to find Valentine’s Day candy without palm oil.

Did you know palm oil ingredients are in all types of candies? Most don’t include “palm” in the name. 

Lots more info below, but quickly, in the United States:

holiday candy without palm oil
Note these are Milk Chocolate and not their “Hugs” candies.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are fine if you are avoiding palm oil.

You can also find original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups which don’t list palm oil ingredients. Read labels.

What’s great is consumers can find these at most all candy counters. 

Palm oil is in all types of Valentine’s candies:

  • Candy hearts
  • Conversation hearts
  • Valentine’s chocolate in boxes
  • Holiday chocolate in wrappers
  • Hard candies, licorice-types,
  • Gummies candies and hearts
  • Candies that come in pieces
  • Caramels, chews, nougats

Candy companies continue to introduce new products and flavors, especially around the holidays.

Remember, the more complicated the flavor, the more ingredients it has.

No matter what the product:  More ingredients = Greater chance for palm oil

In the last few years, it’s become the norm for candy companies to use palm oil as inexpensive ingredients in their candies.

Valentine’s candy without palm oil

Our son has a palm oil allergy / intolerance. Because he is able to have these candies safely, we believe they are palm oil free.

Please note, this list is not guaranteed.

  • Swedish Fish Valentine’s Day Hearts Bag 
  • Sour Patch Kids Hearts 
  • YumEarth! Organic Valentine’s Fruit Pops
  • YumEarth! Organic Gummy Fruits
  • Hershey’s Kisses Valentine’s Day:
    • Milk Chocolate bag with red, pink, & silver foils; not Hershey’s Hugs which have lines on the foils
    • Valentine’s Day Milk Chocolate Cane 
    • Conversation Kisses: These are Milk Chocolate (pink, turquoise, and purple foils)
    • Almond Kisses with pinkish & gold foils
    • Giant Milk Chocolate Kiss 7 oz

Learn more about our son’s palm oil sensitivity here.

valentine's candy without palm oil

Valentine’s Day is a popular day for candy at school

Most elementary schools across America allow students to pass out Valentine’s Day cards to their classmates. It’s almost become a mini-Halloween with all the candy my kids come home with.

Read ingredients before buying Valentine’s Day exchange boxes and bags that come with candy. You CAN find them without palm oil.

Valentine exchange for school that come with a card or a To: / From: are:

We saw all of the following at Target. While we believe them to be palm oil free, please know they aren’t guaranteed.

  • YumEarth! Organic Valentine Exchange Pop Box (40 Valentine’s Wrapped Pops)
  • YumEarth! Organic Sugar-Coated Gummy Fruits (20 Valentine’s Snack Packs)
  • SweeTARTS Valentine’s Lollipops: (30 Cherry Lollipops)
  • DumDums Valentine’s Friendship Exchange Heart Pops (25 Heart Pops)
  • DumDums Valentine’s 50 Pops to Create Valentine Lollipop Bouquets (25 Friend Cards plus one Teacher Card)
  • Sour Patch Kids Valentine’s Day Exchange Box (25 Exchange Bags)
  • Nerds Valentine’s Day Strawberry Punch (36 Treat Size Boxes)
  • Swedish Fish Valentine’s (25 Treat Size Bags)
  • Hershey’s Valentine’s Day Milk Chocolate Snack Size (25 Snack Size Treats)

Not sure if these come with a To/From but they are also an option if you make homemade Valentine’s or treat bags:

  • Wholesome Organic Heart-Shaped Lollipops (30 Cherry & Watermelon Lollipops; also at Target)

Other options without palm oil to pass out to the class for Valentine’s Day include:

  • Utz Valentine Treat Bags Pretzels: Valentine Fun Shaped Pretzel Exchange Snacks: (35 Treat Bags; saw at Target)
  • Pirate’s Booty Be My Matey Aged White Cheddar Puffcorn Valentine Exchange (12 count)

valentine's day candy without palm oil

Conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day often contain palm oil

Watch for Glycerin, Calcium Stearate, and Magnesium Stearate in Conversation Hearts.

No matter if they are regular flavored, sweet, sour, berry-flavored, tiny, large, etc., most all Conversation Hearts contain palm oil derivatives.

Palm oil can also hide in the “Natural Flavors” and in the “Citric Acid” in candy.

Gummy candy hearts often contain palm oil

Also popular around Valentine’s Day are gummy hearts. 

Common palm oil derivatives in gummy candies are Palm Kernel Oil. Glycerin also hides in the “Natural Flavors.”

Other Valentine’s Day candy that may contain palm oil ingredients

Where else is palm oil hiding in Valentine’s Day candy?

Fruit Roll-Ups contain palm oil.

Fun Dip now contains Calcium Stearate which may be a palm oil derivative.

Candy Bracelets contain Magnesium Stearate.

Starburst and Skittles contain palm oil.

Gummy bears and Haribo Goldbears contain palm oil.

Fruit Snacks often contain palm oil ingredients, including Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Glycerin, Natural Flavors, and others.

Palm oil in candy for the holidays and all year

In addition to looking for anything with “Palm” in the name, watch for these palm oil derivatives as well. 

  • Calcium Stearate
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol Monostearate
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Mono- and Diglycerides
  • Stearic Acid
  • Tocopherols 
  • Anything with Palm in it as in Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Palm Oil, etc.

These are ways candy companies use palm oil in candy without everyday consumers knowing about it. Take a few seconds to read labels for your favorite candies.

Did you know there are hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives? We used the list from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme and condensed it for easy printing here.

Watch for palm oil in these types of candies during the holidays 

  • Peppermint bark 
  • Chocolate bars with a “coating” 
  • “Filled” candies and candy bars
  • “Crispy” candy bars
  • “Crunchy” chocolate bars
  • “Creamy” fillings 
  • Candy hearts
  • Shiny hard candies, mint ribbons, candy canes, etc.

Look for solid milk chocolate or solid dark chocolate bars.

Why companies use palm oil in candy

Palm oil is inexpensive for companies to use.

In addition, it’s also very versatile.

Candy companies use palm oil in many ways, including: 

  • Creates mouthfeel — makes candies smooth and creamy
  • Preservative to maintain shelf-life
  • Maintains freshness
  • Adds shine to candy 
  • Prevents blooming (when chocolate turns white from not being stored properly)
  • As an emulsifier so the ingredients blend together
  • Prevents candy pieces from sticking to the machines

Also, as companies invent new candy flavors, they often contain palm oil ingredients. 

What is the chocolate product called?

Before buying chocolate, look on the front at the product description. What is it called?

There is a difference between “Milk Chocolate” and “Chocolate Flavored.”

We often grab and go, without reading product descriptions.

The best example I can give of this is what happened with Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar this year.

It used to be called “Milk Chocolate.” It did not list “Palm Oil” in the ingredients.

Hershey’s changed it to “Chocolate Candy.” The ingredients under this product name now include Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. 

Watch for the ways the companies describe their products. 

“Chocolate candy” is allowed to contain palm oil.

“Chocolate-Flavored” is allowed to contain palm oil.

In addition, “Chocolately” likely contains palm oil.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stricter criteria for “Chocolate” than it does for “Chocolate-Flavored,” “Chocolate Candy,” and “Chocolately.”

In order to call a product Milk Chocolate, it must comply with stricter FDA regulations.

NOTE: “Milk Chocolate” can still contain palm oil ingredients. However, what makes the product “chocolate” won’t contain palm oil like it does with “chocolate flavored,” etc.

Holiday candy without palm oil

Please note, this list is not guaranteed. Use it as a starting point. In order to ensure a product is palm oil free, it should have the Palm Oil Free label from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme. 

read ingredients before buying candy canes

Print the condensed list of winter holiday candy without palm oil here.

Candy canes without palm oil

Many candy canes contain palm oil ingredients. Some to watch for are:

  • Citric Acid
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerine (with or without the word “Vegetable”)
  • Glycerol
  • Natural Flavors
  • Palm Oil

Watch for Glycerin, Glycerine, and Glycerol which are common in candy canes. These are palm oil derivatives. 

Some candy canes without palm oil derivatives include:

  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes
    • Peppermint Stir Sticks 5oz (at Target)
  • Spangler Candy Canes 
    • Natural Peppermint
    • Cherry
  • Wholesome Organic Candy Canes
  • YumEarth!
    • Holiday Candy Canes (at Target)
    • Holiday Mini Candy Canes (at Target)
    • Organic Candy Cane Pops
    • Organic Gummy Fruits (green holiday bag)

candy canes without palm oil

Look for candy canes with ingredients you recognize. 

Peppermint candy without palm oil

  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes Soft Peppermint Candy (at Target)
  • York Peppermint Patties Dark Chocolate Coated Peppermint Patties with “Happy Holidays”
  • Market Pantry Peppermint Starlight Mints Hard Candy (at Target)
  • Market Pantry Soft Peppermint Puffs 7 oz (at Target)

Chocolate holiday candy without palm oil

Hershey’s Kisses

  • Milk Chocolate — silver foil
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond — gold foil 
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate — purple foil

Holiday Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate

Hershey’s Kisses Christmas holiday packaging in bags: 

  • Milk Chocolate — bag with red and green foils
  • Santa Hat Kisses are the same as Milk Chocolate — top of foil wrapper is red, bottom is silver
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond — bag with red, green, and gold foils
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate — bag with red, green, and purple foils

holiday candy without palm oil

Other holiday Kisses:   Be sure you are buying “Milk Chocolate Kisses”

  • Santa Hat Mini Kiss 1.45 oz
  • Giant Milk Chocolate Kiss — 7 oz and 12 oz
  • Milk Chocolate Kisses in plastic candy cane
  • Kisses Holiday Sleeve 1.6 oz
  • Hershey’s Kisses Holiday Advent Calendar 3.8 oz

Milk chocolate without palm oil

Hershey’s Bars — all sizes

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate

Christmas packaging: 

  • Milk Chocolate 1 Pound Bar
  • Milk Chocolate 3 Pound Holiday Milk Chocolate (saw at Walmart)
  • Hershey-ets Holiday Filled Candy Cane 1.4 oz

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  • Snack Size Cups (original version)

Choose the original packaging — avoid holiday labeling — and recipe to be sure you avoid palm oil.


Please note, M&M’s doesn’t make claims these are palm oil free. They do not list palm oil ingredients on their labels which is why we are including them here. My son — who gets sick from palm oil — enjoys them safely.

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Almond 
  • Dark Chocolate

M&M’s Christmas packaging in bags:

  • Milk Chocolate — red and green M&M’s
  • Almond — red and green M&Ms

Other M&M’s holiday packagingBe sure you buy the Milk Chocolate (and not in Peanut which contains palm oil).

  • Giant M&M’s Christmas Yard Bar 30.42 oz
  • M&M’s Christmas Box 3.1 oz 
  • Light & Sound Christmas Tree .46 oz
  • (Green) Holiday Ornament Tin
  • Christmas Story Book
  • Mini’s Mega Tube 1.77 oz
  • Mini Tube Naughty or Nice 1.08 oz
  • Holiday Mini’s Milk Chocolate 4 Pack Tubes 4.32 oz
  • Minis Baking Bits
  • Holiday Candy Cane (plastic cane filled with Milk Chocolate M&M’s) 3 oz

Dove Promises

  • Silky Smooth Promises Milk Chocolate 
  • Gifts Milk Chocolate

Print this list of winter holiday candy without palm oil for reference.

Other holiday chocolate without palm oil

There are many fair-trade certified labels with milk chocolate and dark chocolate that don’t contain palm oil. Again, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients.

Read labels and avoid Tocopherols if the source isn’t listed — it’s often from palm oil — even in “eco” brands of chocolate.

Chocolate oranges and chocolate coins often contain palm oil. Those made in European countries typically do not. 

Boxed specialty chocolate on the shelves typically contain palm oil to preserve shelf life (among other things).

Holiday hard candy – read labels

Watch for Magnesium Stearate and Calcium Stearate. These are palm oil derivatives. Candy manufacturers use them because they help keep the candies from sticking to the machines. 

You might not expect palm oil to be in mint ribbons and other brightly-colored hard candies in plastic bags. Read labels. Most contain palm oil.

Finding palm oil free Christmas Candy

Avoid mixed bags of holiday candies. At least one kind will contain palm oil.

You will have greater success finding palm oil free candy by purchasing candy bags separately. All the holiday candy mix bags we found for Christmas contain palm oil.

Also, if you don’t see your favorite candies on this list, they may contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Check out our comprehensive list of Halloween candy without palm oil for more info. Read labels in stores. It only takes a few seconds.

Remember, there are many more holiday candies with palm oil than without it.

Palm oil is common in 

holiday chocolate, candy canes,

hard candies, licorice-types,

gummies, chocolate coins & oranges,

caramels, candies with pieces, & more.

Note, gum usually contains palm oil in the form of Glycerin or Glycerol.

Palm oil free holiday candy

Many people avoid palm oil because of environmental concerns. There are also consumers who avoid it because they experience reactions from it. Please use this list as a starting point.

Whether you are buying candy for baking, to fill the stockings, for gifts, to put out at work and at parties, or to enjoy at home, you can find Christmas candies without palm oil ingredients.

It’s also possible to find Valentine’s candy without palm oil.

You just have to know what to look for and what to avoid.

Take a few extra sections to look for these candies above and read labels.

When shopping, it’s tempting to just grab whatever candy catches our eye. However, by reading labels before buying, you can make a big impact.

We are grateful to these candy companies above for not including palm oil ingredients in these products.

Be loyal to these products. We hope they will continue to make them without palm oil.

Read labels before buying. Companies change ingredients. Avoid palm oil and palm oil derivatives in candy at Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, every other holiday, and all year.  

Click to print this list of winter holiday candy without palm oil.

Holiday candy throughout the year

We have updated this for Valentine’s Day as well.

Check back for springtime, Easter-type candies as well.

Have you noticed a trend? No matter the season or holiday, it’s becoming more of a challenge to find candy without palm oil.

Even if you don’t completely eliminate palm oil from your purchases, there are easy ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week.

Please do not use this for medical advice. This list is not guaranteed. Use it as a starting point and as a way to be more aware of palm oil in Valentine’s candy and other holiday candy. See what our son can eat even though he is palm oil free.

Support Palm Oil Free certification!

The only way to ensure a product is Palm Oil Free is if it has earned Palm Oil Free certification from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.


Breakfast Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Breakfast Foods

palm oil free breakfast


You can start your day with a breakfast without palm oil if you know what to watch for. Below we discuss common breakfast foods, which ones contain palm oil, and some easy palm oil free substitutions.

Sometimes you have time for a homemade breakfast and sometimes you need to grab and go. Here are choices for palm oil free breakfasts.

Most of us have palm oil in the morning without even realizing it.

Breakfast without palm oil

Toast, English muffins, croissants, and bagels

One brand for palm oil free English muffins, bagels, and bread is Dave’s Killer Bread products.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread: all products

Dave’s Killer Bread confirmed they don’t use palm oil in their products.

Other breads typically contain palm oil derivatives in many forms. Bread manufacturers use palm oil derivatives to keep them shelf stable, to make them larger/fluffier, to make them more dense, and/or to add to mouth feel.

Watch for ingredients such as:

  • Monoglycerides
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • Mono- & Diglycerides
  • Distilled Monoglycerides
  • Ethoxylated Mono- & Diglycerides

If you make your own bread, use Yeast without Sorbitan Monostearate which is often sourced from palm oil.

The only palm oil free yeast we’ve found — just “yeast” is listed in the ingredients — is:

  • Red Star Active Dry Yeast: in the three-pack

Spreads without palm oil

What are you putting on your toast, bagel, or English muffin?

Some palm oil free choices include:

  • Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread
  • Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Organic Butter
  • 100% fruit preserves
  • Pure honey
  • Real butter
  • Peanut butter: Use protein-packed palm oil free peanut butter but be sure to read labels. Also, avoid “no stir” labeling. “No stir” is a marketing buzzword code for “it includes palm oil.” Be sure you are buying “peanut butter” and not “peanut butter spread” which contains palm oil.
  • Avocado

Please note, margarine and imitation butters typically contain palm oil.

Doughnuts, muffins, and pastries

We have yet to find doughnuts and pastries without palm oil. Pre-made desserts most always contain palm oil.

While it’s common to see doughnuts and other bakery items at the office and at meetings, do your best to avoid them.

Avoid packaged bakery snacks, including PopTarts. These contain palm oil as do most cookies.

  • Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookies: They’ve confirmed they make all of their flavors without palm oil.

Make your own muffins, and store them in the freezer for a fast, palm free breakfast when you need it.

Bacon, ham, and sausage

In the United States, you can typically find palm oil free bacon, sausage, and ham. Some brands we use include:

  • Kirkland Sliced Bacon, Naturally Hickory Smoked: from Costco
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original 10 Fully Cooked Sausage Links

breakfast without palm oil

Pancakes and waffles

Many frozen waffles and pancakes contain palm oil ingredients. Read labels. One that’s doesn’t contain palm oil is:

  • Van’s Organic Original Frozen Waffles

You can easily make your own with flour, yeast, sugar, milk, eggs, and pure vanilla extract.

Be sure to use pure vanilla extract as imitation versions typically contain Propylene Glycol or other palm oil derivatives.

Make batches of pancakes and waffles and freeze them. In this way, you can enjoy them when you need a fast breakfast.

There are items we use to make it easier to live without palm oil. We love our waffle maker!

100% pure maple syrup

Do watch for syrup. Many bottles contain Mono- and Diglycerides. Always choose 100% maple syrup to avoid palm oil derivatives.

Whipped cream

Hold the whipping cream — it contains palm oil in the form of Mono- & Diglycerides.

Add pure maple syrup and any types of berries, and/or sliced banana. You won’t miss the whipped cream.

French toast

Use Dave’s Killer Bread, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and milk without Vitamin A Palmitate.

Add pure maple syrup, pure cinammon, real butter, and fruit, and you have a delicious, filling breakfast without palm oil.


There’s a lot you can do with eggs. Choose organic eggs if you can.

Hard boil them in advance for a quick breakfast on the go. You can also take a few minutes at home to poach, scramble, fry, etc. If you have time, add onion and peppers.

Salsa is typically palm oil free if you buy it, and it’s great on eggs.

You can make a frittata in advance. Look online for egg casserole and fritatta recipes. You can add in anything you have: sausage, bacon, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cheese, potatoes, etc. Top with avocado.

palm oil free breakfast

Note, palm oil free egg substitutes and replacers may contain Vitamin A Palmitate and/or Vitamin E which can be made with palm oil.

According to Food Network, eggs are the most popular breakfast food in America.

Hash browns

Frozen hash brown patties most always contain palm oil because it helps to bind it together. 

Buy frozen diced or frozen shredded hash brown potatoes which usually don’t contain it. Even better, make your own. 

Biscuits and gravy

Don’t buy biscuits in the can from the refrigerated section. They contain palm oil. Make your own.

Make your own gravy or be sure to avoid gravy in jars. They often contain Mono- and Diglycerides. Some mixes are okay. Be sure to read labels on gravy.

Breakfast sandwiches

These are convenient for a quick breakfast but breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos almost always contain palm oil ingredients.

Take time to read labels for breakfast sandwiches on croissants, English muffins, and on biscuits.

Instead, make your own from palm oil free tortillas, real cheese, sausage, bacon, onion, and other fillings you have on hand.


Yogurt is typically a palm oil free item. We’ve found some Light versions contain Vitamin A Palmitate.

Be aware of the mix-ins that are geared for school lunches and kids. The candies and other toppings often contain palm oil.

Ready-to-eat cereal

See our list of cereals without palm oil.

Some palm oil free options are:

  • Life Cereal
  • Kashi Peanut Butter Crunch
  • Oatmeal (not instant which often contains Vitamin A Palmitate)
  • Quinoa

Read labels, and watch for palm oil and palm kernel oil.

In addition, avoid all cereal with Vitamin A listed in the nutrition panel. It’s in the form of synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate, which is made with palm oil.

Watch for Glycerin and Tocopherols in Granola.

Oatmeal is palm oil free. However, instant oatmeal usually contails Vitamin A Palmitate.

Make a batch of quinoa to warm up during the week. Add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, pure honey, pure maple syrup, etc. for a warm, hearty breakfast.

You can make your own granola as well.

Oat Peanut Butter Honey Balls

You can easily make these balls with just three ingredients and no baking.

  • Oats
  • Peanut Butter w/ just peanuts (+salt okay)
  • Honey (local if possible)

Mix them on foil or wax paper for easy cleanup. Shape into balls and freeze them to set. Even freezing for 30 minutes is enough.

They are perfect for breakfast and snacks.

We used Crazy Richards Peanut Butter with just peanuts. It works well in recipes.

Palm oil free breakfast

Protein bars

Sometimes you need to grab and go, and protein and other types of nutrition bars are a convenient breakfast. Read our post, Granola Bars without palm oil to find palm oil free choices.

Read labels on snack and protein bars. Many contain Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, as well as Glycerin and Tocopherols which are usually sourced from palm oil.

Instant breakfast

It’s convenient to have powdered or premade instant breakfast drinks to start your day with vitamins and minerals. However, instant breakfast mixes and drinks typically contain Vitamin A Palmitate.


No matter what’s in season, there are convenient options to enjoy fruit for breakfast at home or on-the-go.

Coffee and creamer

Black coffee is palm oil free. Flavored coffees, such as buttery caramel, toffee, etc., can contain palm oil derivatives in the “Natural Flavors.”

Creamer often contains palm oil.

Read labels before buying creamers, and watch for:

  • Palm oil
  • Mono- and Diglycerides
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

Remember, the more complicated the flavor, the greater chance there are palm oil ingredients.

Instead of creamer, add whole milk. Read labels for milk. Watch for Vitamin A Palmitate.

Whole milk typically doesn’t contain Vitamin A Palmitate, a palm oil derivative.

Manufacturers often fortify nut-based and plant-based milks with Vitamin A Palmitate as well. Read labels before buying.

Choose milk without supplemental Vitamin A.

Reminders for a palm oil free breakfast

Choose pure ingredients

  • Pure honey, 100% maple syrup
  • Real butter or Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Organic Butter; not margarine or imitation butter
  • Pure cinnamon such as Red Ape Cinnamon’s Premium Ground Cinnamon which is certified palm oil free.

Watch for milk

Whatever milk you choose, be sure there isn’t Vitamin A Palmitate added.

Read labels

We can’t always make food from scratch. It’s important to read labels before buying anything. There are palm oil free options available. See these other tips for ways to use less palm oil.

Be loyal to palm oil free brands

When you find some palm oil free breakfast items that you enjoy, keep buying them.

Prep in advance

Try to make breakfast foods in advance so you can enjoy them all week.

  • Make a batch of pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  • Cook up a package of bacon to enjoy for several days.
  • Cut up a watermelon or pineapple; wash berries in advance.
  • Make a frittata.
  • Hard-boil a dozen eggs so you can grab and go.
  • Cook several cups of quinoa so you can quickly add fresh fruit and nuts.

If you can plan to make and freeze breakfast foods in advance, you will have them when you need them.

Breakfast without palm oil

Once you get into the habit, it’s easy to have breakfast without palm oil. You can change it up with different choices each day. It’s mostly about knowing where palm oil is hidden and making some easy substitutions.

Do you have ideas for palm oil free breakfasts? Why do you avoid palm oil? Please Comment below so we can all learn from each other.

My son eats palm oil free. This is a list of what he eats. 

Please note, while we read labels, reference the list of names for palm oil derivatives, and email companies asking about their ingredients, the only way to be certain a product is Palm Oil Free is if it has been certified through the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.

This list of palm oil free breakfast foods is not guaranteed; it shouldn’t be used for medical advice. Please do your own due diligence.

Ice Cream Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Ice Cream


It’s always a great time for ice cream! But did you know it often contains palm oil? Here’s a list of ice cream without palm oil.

Take a few seconds to read the ingredients; don’t just buy whatever ice cream is on sale.

Some ice cream brands use better quality ingredients than others. Palm oil is cheap; therefore, it’s widely used in store brands and other inexpensive brands.

Also, the more complicated the flavor, the more ingredients it likely has. When there are more ingredients, there is a greater chance it will have palm oil. Choose simple flavors.

We offer more tips below.

To the best of our knowledge, these ice creams are free from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Please use it as a reference point as you do your own due diligence. This is list not guaranteed.

You will only know for certain if something is palm oil free if it has earned the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.  

Ice cream without palm oil

Ben & Jerry’s

There is one brand that always makes palm oil free ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s. You can safely choose any of their amazing flavors. Scroll down for palm free flavors from other brands.

Whatever flavor you crave, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has found a way to make it without palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

On their website, you have to search “palm oil” to find anything about it. And then it’s just their values sourcing page. We weren’t able to find any mention of “palm oil free” anywhere else. We hope Ben & Jerry’s will showcase this on their site as it’s very rare.

Here are most of their pint flavors. Please note, they have many more palm oil free ice creams, frozen yogurts and dairy free choices on their website.

ice cream without palm oil
All flavors are palm oil free
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Chocolate Shake It
  • Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Cold Brew Caramel Latte
  • Ice Cream Sammie
  • It’s Ice… Cream
  • Red, White & Blueberry
  • Brownie Batter Core
  • Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Core
  • Karamel Sutra Core
  • Peanut Butter Fudge Core
  • Salted Caramel Core
  • Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core
  • Peanut Buttah Cookie Core
  • Americone Dream
  • Banana Split
  • Bob Marley’s One Love
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Brewed to Matter
  • Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Cherry Garcia
  • Chillin’ the Roast
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Therapy
  • Chubby Hubby
  • Chunky Monkey
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz
  • Everything But The…
  • Gimme S’more!
  • Glampfire Trail Mix
  • Half Baked
  • Milk & Cookies
  • Mint Chocolate Cookie
  • Minter Wonderland
  • New York Super Fudge Chunk
  • Oat of This Swirled
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter World
  • Phish Food
  • Pistachio Pistachio
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • S’mores
  • Salted Caramel Almond
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • The Tonight Dough
  • Triple Caramel Chunk
  • Truffle Kerfuffle
  • Urban Bourbon
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Caramel Fudge

Researching ice cream brands

To learn about the way palm oil is used in ice cream, we went to four grocery stores. We looked at all of the ice cream brands with sizes greater than 473.17 milliliters (one pint). There were 18 brands.

We learned all of the store brands contained some type of palm oil ingredient and/or palm oil derivative.

Buy name brand ice cream to better avoid palm oil.

Of those 18 brands, there were 282 flavors that didn’t repeat. We researched the labels from these 282 unique brand and flavor combinations.

(We didn’t include Ben & Jerry’s in the research because we knew they are palm oil free and because we researched ice cream containers larger than one pint.)

Palm oil free ice cream

These are the brands and flavors we found in our local stores that didn’t contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives on their labels. This list is meant to be a starting point. Know that ingredients and vendors change. This list isn’t guaranteed, especially when it comes to Natural Flavors.*

Note, we don’t list any store brands here. We researched five store brands, and all of their flavors contained palm oil in some form. Most contained two or more palm oil ingredients and/or derivatives.

These ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives on their labels. We’ve made notes to exceptions where we reached out to them for additional information.

Alden’s Organic

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream (It’s very rare to see a palm oil free cookies & cream ice cream.)
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Caramel
  • French Vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl

This is for Alden’s Organic Ice Cream in 1.42 liter / 1.5 quart size. A representative from Alden’s Organic confirmed these are palm oil free.

They are very transparent in that they list all of their ingredients for each of their products on their website.

When Alden’s Organic Ice Cream uses palm oil, it’s in the form of “palm kernel oil” and is clearly labeled. They don’t use palm oil derivatives such as monoglycerides.

Note: Their pint-sized Crushin On Cookies & Mint is palm oil free (which is also rare).

Blue Bell Creameries

palm oil free ice cream

  • Black Walnut
  • Rocky Road
  • Natural Vanilla Bean
  • Pistachio Almond
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Ultimate Neopolitan
  • Spiced Pumpkin Pecan
  • French Vanilla
  • The Great Divide
  • Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla
  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Homemade Vanilla
  • Keylime Mango Tart
  • Coffee
  • Tin Roof

These Blue Bell flavors are in 1.89 liters (half gallon).

They don’t list any palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their ingredient labels.

From personal experience, my son has safely enjoyed Blue Bell’s Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream.


  • Chocolate
  • Natural Strawberry
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Natural Vanilla

Note, Breyers makes four different Vanilla flavors. They all pretty much look the same except for their name. Be sure to choose Breyers Natural Vanilla.

Their Natural Vanilla is the only one that doesn’t contain mono- and diglycerides. In addition, it contains just five ingredients.

These are their flavors in the 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) size. They list their ingredients on their website through SmartLabel.

Also note, from personal experience, my son has eaten these Breyers ice cream flavors safely, with no symptoms. We believe them to be fully palm oil free.


  • Butter Pecan
  • Coffee
  • Slow Churned:
    • French Vanilla
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Classic Vanilla
    • Caramel Delight
    • Strawberry
    • Butter Pecan
    • Coffee
    • Chocolate
  • Neopolitan
  • Strawberry
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean

This is for Dreyer’s 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers.

Dreyers is transparent in listing their ingredients for their ice creams on their website. These were Dreyers ice cream flavors we found that didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their labels.

Lactaid (lactose free)

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

This is for Lactaid’s 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They list all of their ingredients on their website. These three flavors didn’t have any questionable ingredients on their labels.

Straus Family Creamery Organic

  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip

We researched Straus Organic in their 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They make “super premium” ice cream.

You can search on their website, and find they list the ingredients for all of their ice creams under “Nutritional Information” for each flavor and size. The information is very easy to find.

Like the others in our list, we found these Straus Organic flavors didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients on their labels.


  • Banana Split
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Buttered Maple Pancakes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel
  • Rocky Road
  • Tillamook Mudslide
  • Malted Moo Shake
  • Old-Fashioned Vanilla
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Butterscotch
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Caramel Butter Pecan
  • Creamy PB&J
  • Oregon Strawberry
  • Old-Fashioned Strawberry
  • Oregon Dark Cherry
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Mountain Huckleberry
  • Mudslide
  • Udderly Chocolate
  • Chocolate Cherry Fudge

This is for Tillamook’s 1.66 liter size (1.75 quarts). When you click on one of Tillamook’s flavors, the ingredients as well as other information comes up easily.

These flavors do not list any of the palm oil ingredients and derivatives commonly found in ice cream. A representative from Tillamook confirmed these Tillamook ice cream flavors don’t contain palm oil.

Turkey Hill

Please note, this is their “All Natural” line of ice creams.

  • All Natural:
    • Vanilla Bean & Chocolate
    • Butter Almond & Chocolate
    • Belgian Style Chocolate
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Salted Caramel
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter
    • Homemade Vanilla
    • Butter Pecan

This is for their 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers. You can see all of their flavors and ingredients easily online.

(Note, The Kroger Company sold Turkey Hill to Peak Rock Capital.)

Make sure to choose Turkey Hill’s All Natural line of ice cream.

All of these flavors listed here do not have any palm oil derivatives or palm oil ingredients on their ingredient labels.

We emailed Turkey Hill about their other ice creams that contain monoglycerides, diglycerides and propylene glycol. The representative said they are not derived from palm oil, and that they are used as stabilizers in some of their products. However, we didn’t include them in this list.

Yes! We loved seeing this “How Many Ingredients Chart” on Turkey Hill’s website. Check it out!

Palm oil ingredients in ice cream

When you look at ice cream ingredient labels, some names for palm oil will be easy to spot. They are the ones that contain the word “palm” in them. Some examples are Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and Palm Oil with TBHQ.

However, there are others that are considered “palm oil derivatives.” These are ingredients that are made using palm oil but don’t have the “palm” in the name. Unless you check with the manufacturer, you won’t know whether these contain palm oil.

Some examples of palm oil derivatives common in ice cream are Mono & Diglycerides, Monoglycerides, Propylene Glycol, and Polysorbate 80.

In the 282 ice creams we researched, there were a total of 20 different palm oil ingredients and derivatives listed in the ingredients:

  • Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol Monostearate
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Mixed Tocopherols/Vitamin E
  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Monoglycerides
  • Organic Palm Kernel Oil
  • Organic Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil with TBHQ
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Palm Oil with Citric Acid
  • Palm Oil with TBHQ
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Propylene Glycol Monoesters
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Vitamin A Palmitate

Most common palm oil derivatives in ice cream

After researching ice cream containers (larger than one pint) at grocery stores, the most common palm oil derivatives are:

  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Glycerol
  • Monoglycerides

Ice cream without palm oil

We continue to reach out to ice cream companies and hope to have more to add to this list. We hope ice cream companies will come to realize “Palm Oil Free” is a marketing advantage.

There is a difference between Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has different requirements for Ice Cream versus Frozen Dessert.

Again, here’s where it’s important to read labels. We’ve found Frozen Dessert cartons near the big party tubs of ice cream. They are made with vegetable oils and typically contain palm oil.

Just as the FDA has different requirements for “chocolate” versus “chocolate flavored,” there are different requirements regarding ingredients in ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, and frozen dessert.

The FDA has different requirements to determine whether manufacturers can call their product “ice cream” which is of a higher quality than “frozen dessert.”

Email companies to ask about the source of their ingredients

We have been emailing ice cream companies to ask them the source of their ingredients.

Often, companies sidetrack the question by referring us to their ingredients pages. However, the ingredients usually don’t spell out the source — especially if they are made from palm oil.

As an example, the Polysorbate 80 would be listed but wouldn’t say whether it was made with palm oil. What is Polysorbate 80 made from? You have no way of knowing.

Overall, most of the time, we haven’t been getting exact answers to our specific questions. Often we receive “canned answers” as they must have rules when answering questions about palm oil.

Sometimes companies reply with a statement about how they use RSPO sustainable palm oil.

Other times, they say the ingredient is derived from “natural sources” or “vegetable oil.”

When we ask, “What type of vegetable oil,” or “Is this ingredient sourced from palm oil,” or “Does this ingredient contain any palm oil,” they often do not answer.

Even after sending them the specific UPC code and asking them specifically about the source of one or more ingredients — “Are the mono- and diglycerides derived from palm oil in this product?” — many companies still wouldn’t answer.

They respond saying the information is “proprietary.”

If a company doesn’t respond to our questions, we believe they are hiding something.

One exception is Kroger Family of Stores who answered all of our questions outright. See more information at the bottom of this post.

Palm oil in ice cream

Palm oil is used in ice cream for many reasons. It adds to the mouth feel and texture, making it smooth and creamy. Companies can use it as an emulsifier and a stabilizer.

Since the FDA banned trans-fats in the United States, companies needed to find alternate ingredients for ice cream and other foods.

How to find ice cream without palm oil

Read labels.

Avoid any ice cream that includes Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and anything with palm- in the name.

Then, once that becomes a habit, you can take it a step further and choose ice cream without Mono- and Diglycerides.

After that, you can choose products that don’t list Polysorbate 80 and Propylene Glycol.

Don’t buy big party pails.

Large grocery stores often sell a store brand ice cream bucket.

Remember, the ice cream is cheap for a reason. It includes palm oil in some form.

Big ice cream party pails may be appealing if you have a large family or are having a party. However, for a few dollars extra, you will make a big impact and have better quality ice cream by choosing a different container.

Shop sales in advance, and buy palm oil free instead.

Buy “name brand” ice cream.

Palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives were in every single carton of store brand ice cream we researched.

Again, store brands are meant to be less expensive than the name brand competitors. No name, generic brands use palm oil to keep their costs down.

Choose ice cream with less ingredients.

Some of these ice creams have as few as five ingredients. Others, those with palm oil, can have 10 – 15 or more.

With the exception of Ben & Jerry’s, more complicated flavors — cookie crumbles, candy add-ins, chunks, swirls, etc. — mean a greater likelihood of palm oil.

The cheaper the ice cream brand, the greater the chance of palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

Some name brand ice cream is less expensive than other brand names.

Why is one brand overall less expensive than the others? They most likely are using palm oil derivatives instead of higher quality, “real” ingredients.

Make sure you are buying “Ice Cream” and not “Frozen Dessert.”

Frozen dessert has less strict requirements about what it needs to contain, thereby increasing the likelihood of palm oil.

Stick with the brands and flavors you know are palm oil free.

Use this list to guide you to find ice cream without palm oil. Also remember that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is palm free.

Choose organic.

For certain, organic ice cream and organic packaged foods can contain palm oil. However, there is often less chance of them using palm oil derivatives.

Buy a simple palm oil free vanilla or chocolate and add in your mix-ins.

Make your own combinations.

You can add palm oil free peanut butter, marshmallows, chocolate chips, Milk Chocolate M&Ms, sliced bananas, strawberries, palm oil free cookies, and more.

Watch for mono- and diglycerides in chocolate syrup.

Ice cream sprinkles and jimmies often contain hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm oil, glycerin as well as other palm oil derivatives.

Ice cream cones and waffle bowls often contain vegetable oil shortening made with palm oil.

Make your own.

You can make your own ice cream at home for a fun family activity.

Another option is to slice and freeze bananas. If you have a Vitamix or other mixer, you can blend them with a teaspoon of vanilla and 100% cacao powder for sweet treat that has the consistency of ice cream.

Soft serve ice cream

Know that many soft serve ice cream in sit-down and fast food restaurants contains palm oil derivatives such as mono- and diglycerides.

You will have to contact the manufacturer in advance to find out the source of the mono- and diglycerides they use. They likely won’t know at the store as the source doesn’t need to be labeled.

Thank you to Ben & Jerry’s

Many people avoid palm oil for environmental concerns. On a personal note, my son gets sick from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. As anyone who has a child with food issues will tell you, it’s an incredible feeling when your child has safe choices.

Incredibly, my son can walk to the freezer section, and pick ANY Ben & Jerry’s flavor he wants. He can choose! He’s not limited in any way. And we don’t have to stress over the ingredients, what to buy, or about him getting sick.

The ice cream we have at home is the one food category in which he doesn’t feel like he is missing out. He has enjoyed 10+ flavors and hasn’t experienced any reactions.

Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for making ALL of your flavors without palm oil.

I will never be able to convey what it means to not have to watch, not have to worry, and not have to wonder what’s safe and if he will get sick.

It’s also wonderful to be able to tell friends and relatives they can buy “any Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream” for him easily.

This is a list of foods my son eats safely.

These are items we use which make it easier to avoid palm oil.

palm oil free ice cream
Courtesy of Upsplash

Disclaimer and positive praise for Kroger

  • Please note that when we contacted ice cream companies, none of them were quick to admit to using palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Many times, customer service representatives did not answer questions even when we gave them the UPC code and asked specifically for the source of their (mono- and diglycerides, natural flavors, etc.).

Other times, they gave us conflicting information. We were not able to get clear answers on ice creams that use “Natural Flavors.”

Many companies responded with how that information is “proprietary.” Therefore, if you are avoiding palm oil for health reasons, be sure to avoid the ones with Natural Flavors unless you contact them.

“Natural Flavors” and “Natural Flavor” can contain palm oil. Natural Flavors may exist in these ice creams.

Kroger Family of Stores is the exception. They went above and beyond to get the information we asked for.

Instead of responding with stock answers, a customer service representative from Kroger Family of Stores sent our inquiries to their R&D and their suppliers. They told us the vendor for the source of the oils were derived from palm and soy oils. While we didn’t include them in our palm oil free list above, we thought it was important to mention Kroger for their honesty and transparency when answering our questions.

Finding palm oil free ice cream

As consumers rush through the grocery store, we are conditioned to make quick buying decisions, often based on price and what’s on sale.

By taking a few extra seconds to read ingredient labels, you can make a palm oil free choice. This will send a message to companies.

Generally speaking…

Higher quality ingredients and less ingredients = Less chance of palm oil

It’s available; you just need to know what to look for on the ice cream cartons. Once you find your favorite palm free brands and flavors, stock up when they are on sale.

Ice cream without palm oil is available. Let companies know consumers are paying attention. Write to them. Buy ice cream without it. Why do you buy palm free ice cream? Please let us know in the Comments.

We’ve noted which companies confirmed which of their flavors are palm oil free. We are grateful to them for responding and for making all or some of their ice cream flavors without palm oil.

To the best of our knowledge, these ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives in their ingredients. Use this list as a starting point but please know it’s not guaranteed. Please do your own due diligence. Also, please remember to read labels every time.

Thanksgiving Without Palm Oil ~ Enjoy a Palm Oil Free Holiday

Thanksgiving without palm oil


You can enjoy this food-centered holiday and still have a Thanksgiving without palm oil. Here we discuss some ways palm oil may be hidden in your celebratory dishes.

Once you know what to look out for, it’s much easier to make palm oil free choices when cooking from scratch.

When you read labels and make these easy substitutions, you can have a palm oil free holiday. 

Thanksgiving without palm oil

Here are some Thanksgiving foods and ingredients which often contain palm oil. Below we explain what to watch for and offer palm oil free solutions.

  • Margarine, buttery spreads and butter alternatives
  • Milk
  • Refrigerated canned crescent rolls and biscuits
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Salad dressing
  • Instant potatoes
  • Stuffing mix
  • Cornbread mix
  • Gravy mix and gravy in jars
  • Shortening
  • Whipped cream, whipped frozen toppings
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Canned frosting
  • Pie crust
  • Desserts

Does that seem like palm oil is everywhere? The good news is cranberry sauce is typically palm oil free. You can easily make your own with fresh cranberries, sugar, and orange zest.

Margarine, buttery spreads, butter alternatives

Depending on the brand, margarine and buttery spreads will typically contain Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Distilled Monoglycerides, Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, and Vitamin A Palmitate.

Instead, choose real butter for your bread and rolls, baking, and potatoes.


Unless you choose whole milk, there is probably palm oil in your milk. It’s in the form of Vitamin A Palmitate.

This is the case for skim milk, low fat, 1%, 2%, chocolate, soy, nut, and other milks as well.

When you use milk to make your mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes, be sure to choose whole milk.

Choose whole milk but read the label before buying. Some whole milk brands are also fortified with Vitamin A Palminate; however, the majority are not.

Many plant-based and nut-based milks are also fortified with Vitamin A Palmitate. Make your own!

Refrigerated canned crescent rolls, biscuits

Any refrigerated bread dough in a can is sure to have palm oil ingredients listed many times.

Look at all of these palm oil ingredients in just one can of refrigerated crescent rolls:

Palm Oil, Shortening (Palm Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Fractionated Palm Oil), Mono- and Diglycerides, Monoglycerides

Instead, buy bread from your grocery store’s bakery. Just be sure to read the ingredients to ensure it’s free from palm oil and Mono- and Diglycerides.

Even better? Make your own rolls and breads in a bread machine. (It’s easier than you think!)

Crispy fried onions

Is green bean casserole one of your favorite Thanksgiving foods? It’s those crispy fried onions, isn’t it?

Typically, the French fried crispy onions contain palm oil.

We found a few brands made with sunflower, safflower, and canola oil instead of palm oil. Read labels before buying.

Remember to use whole milk in your green bean casserole.

Salad dressing

Many dressings list soybean oil so you may assume they are palm oil free.

Watch for hidden palm oil derivatives, including Propylene Glycol and Mixed Tocopherols.

If you buy salad dressing, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients. You can easily make your own with olive oil, vinegar and fresh garlic and herbs.

Thanksgiving without palm oil
Photo credit

Boxed and instant mashed potatoes

Avoid buying packaged instant potatoes if possible.

Most boxes and packages of instant potatoes contain Mono- and Diglycerides, Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate, and Mixed Tocopherols, all palm oil derivatives.

Citric Acid may also be derived from palm oil and is used to preserve freshness.

Make your own mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes with whole milk and real butter.

Stuffing mix in a box or bag

Do you make your own stuffing/dressing?

If so, make sure your bread doesn’t have Mono- and Diglycerides. When you choose broth and spices, the less ingredients the better.

If you buy a stuffing mix in a box or bag, read labels. Many store brand labels contain palm oil; however, some of the name brand ones do not.

Buy the ones that don’t list “palm oil.”

Cornbread Mix

When buying baking mixes, it’s essential to watch out for Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil.

We found some cornbread / muffin mixes without palm oil. Read labels.

Of course, you can make cornbread without palm oil on your own.

Gravy mix and gravy in jars

You must read labels when buying gravy. Most are free from palm oil; however, some brands contain it.

There are lots of chemicals in gravy mixes and gravy jars so it’s best to make your own. It’s easy with turkey drippings, flour and real butter.


Whether you choose canned shortening or shortening sticks, read labels. Don’t be swayed by labels that state “all vegetable shortening.”

The palm oil products in shortening will likely include more than one of these palm oil ingredients: Palm Oil, Fully Hydrogenated Palm Oil, and Mono- and Diglycerides.

You will find shortening in crispy fried foods, frosting, pie crusts and other baked goods — even homemade and from the bakery.

To avoid palm oil, replace shortening with butter.

Whipped cream, frozen whipped toppings

Whipped cream in cans and frozen whipped toppings in tubs contain palm oil.

They often may include Polysorbate 60 and Sorbitan Monostearate, palm oil derivatives.

You can make your own using heavy cream. Choose heavy cream without palm oil, and blend with sugar.

Heavy whipping cream

Whipping cream often contains Mono- and Diglycerides and Polysorbate 80.

Read labels and choose palm oil free options.

You can use palm oil free heavy whipping cream in sauces and to make whipped cream (see above).

Canned frosting

Avoid buying canned frosting as it is laden with palm oil.

We pulled one random name-brand canned frosting off the shelves, and it contained all of these palm oil ingredients in descending order:

Palm Oil, Mono- and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Monostearate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Mixed Tocopherols, Vegetable Oil (palm and palm kernel)

Another leading brand’s frosting contained these palm oil ingredients:

Palm Oil, Distilled Monoglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

Even the organic versions typically contain palm oil. offers an easy recipe to make your own frosting using (real) butter, (whole) milk, pure vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar. It includes palm oil free ways to make vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mint, strawberry, peanut butter, and lemon frosting.

Pie crusts for pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie

As stated above, your pie crust will most likely contain palm oil unless you make it from scratch without shortening. 

There are many recipes for pie crusts using butter online from 


Most all prepared desserts at the grocery store contain palm oil ingredients. This includes cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, scones, tarts, and more.

If you make your own desserts, you can ensure they are palm oil free. As we stated above: Use real butter and whole milk, and avoid shortening.

Before you do your Black Friday shopping, see our post, Holiday Candy Without Palm Oil.

Palm oil free Thanksgiving

Palm oil is in many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods.

When you prepare your shopping list, use the suggestions above to be sure you can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast without palm oil.

Healthy cooking from scratch means less palm oil.

The turkey, sweet potato casserole, and cranberry sauce should be free from palm oil. When you make your sweet potato casserole, be sure to use real butter.

All year long, when you choose processed and pre-made foods, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients. Read labels. You can choose palm oil free options most of the time.

See also:

Our son has a sensitivity to palm oil and has allergic reactions to it. Learn more:

Disclaimer: Read labels at the point of sale. Manufacturers change ingredients. This list isn’t guaranteed and is meant to be a starting point. Products should be certified Palm Oil Free by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.