A new year at school was on the horizon, and as I stood behind the dad with the two twin boys at kindergarten orientation, I couldn’t help but overhear him telling the nurse as he checked in, “One of them has a peanut allergy, and the other has a tree nut allergy.” Used to the avoidance of these already (my 5th grader has both allergies in her class as well), I made a mental note so that I’d be sure to send only safe foods to school with my son, knowing that eventually we’d be asked not to send either soon enough.
If you find out your child’s school is peanut or tree nut free you may panic, especially if your child is an avid peanut butter and jelly sandwich eater. In fact, you may ask yourself, “What could I possibly send for lunch now?” Fear not, however, because there are several lunch options out there that have neither peanuts nor tree nuts. Keep reading for five of my allergy-friendly lunches.
1. Rainbow Lunch | Kids love brightly colored finger foods, and I’m inclined to provide them. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are great starts. Rice, hummus and other dips to dip them in keeps them interested and eating.
2. Pizza Rolls | All you need are: a flour tortilla, deli-style pepperoni, thinly sliced or shredded cheddar. Roll and slice, securing with toothpicks. Pair it with a fruit salad for the perfect lunch.
3. Avocado and Cucumber Sandwich | This unassuming sandwich is fun when cut into small shapes. You can also use cookie cutters for more variety. Just two pieces of wheat bread sprinkled with salt and pepper layered with thin avocado slices that have been squeezed with lime juice and then topped with a layer of cucumbers. Crunchy, creamy, delightful.
4. Leftovers | My insulated containers are my best friends. My kids love unpacking a hot soup or warm fried rice for lunch. Pastas, soups and cold foods like massive green salads and quinoa fruit salads all go in there. They stretch the school lunch possibilities so much farther than I could ever imagine.
5. Lunchables | No, not the packaged variety. I’m talking good old crackers and cheese with tiny cut-up meats. Wheat Thins are a great choice for crackers as they have no nut warnings on them. Kids love to stack and build and munch and crunch on these tasty treats.
What are some of your go-to school lunches?