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5 Tree-Nut and Peanut-Free Lunches for School

By Ole & Shaina Olmanson |

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?

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About Ole & Shaina Olmanson


Ole & Shaina Olmanson

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer and home cook behind Food for My Family. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. These three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously with her four children hanging from her apron strings as she teaches them to cook and the importance of eating locally, seasonally, organically and together. She is a former Babble Food blogger.

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10 thoughts on “5 Tree-Nut and Peanut-Free Lunches for School

  1. Liz@HoosierHomemade says:

    What great ideas Shaina! My boys don’t have allergies to food, but I know lots of Moms deal with it all the time.

  2. Megan says:

    I work in the school cafeteria and see kids with these allergies all the time. These are wonderful lunch ideas!

  3. Kris says:

    Just picked up some Wheat Thins because my girls need variety in their lunches. They love crackers with meat and cheese. Pair that with some fruit and they are happy little girls.

  4. Melissa S. says:

    What kind of insulated containers do you use, Shaina? Thanks.

  5. Eloise says:

    As a mom of a peanut allergy kid, I SO appreciate this post. These are great ideas and I’m going to try every one of them on my supremely picky girl.

  6. Libby says:

    Well, since you were nice enough to ask, here’s the lunch page from my blog :-)

  7. [...] we’re just tossing in our peach freezer smoothies that we made earlier. I recently shared 5 tree-nut and peanut-free lunches over on Babble that you can send with your kids to school, and I’ve been showing a sampling [...]

  8. Tammy says:

    Where do you get those lunch boxes??

  9. Shannon says:

    I love this post as I am a mom of a peanut/ tree nut allergy kiddo. I just found quinoa, but the warnins include “processed on a machine that processes tree nuts and peanuts.
    Which brand did you use and where did you get it?


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