Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year. You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun. Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes!
With an increased awareness of nut allergies, many classrooms and schools are going nut-free for everyone. I know that my daughter’s class is completely nut-free (a few children in her class have nut-allergies) and it can be challenging to find things they will eat that comply with the nut-free zone. As a mom who loves peanut butter, it hurts to have to spend a little extra money on peanut-free butters – but the lives of the other children are worth more than those few dollars. I’m thankful that I don’t have to stress out about my child being exposed to nuts in the classroom because it only takes one small encounter for an allergic child to have a reaction that could be fatal.
Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review. Others I have purchased myself. I’m sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my collection.
My daughter was madly in love with her PB&J sammies until pre-K when she started to tell me she was allergic to peanuts. She has a few classmates who are allergic to peanuts so this is her way of processing that information. She’s not even interested in trying Sunbutter or any of the nut-free alternatives. My son has a few friends who are allergic as well. We’ve only tried this brand but there are several nut-free peanut butter alternatives on the market today. Sunbutter is from sunflower seeds and has a similar taste to peanut butter; but you can still taste the sunflower seeds a little too.
We’ve recently started taste-testing some gluten-free breads; the one pictured today is Udi’s brand and can be found in the freezer section. Once it’s thawed it takes very much like regular deli bread. Just don’t expect the soft fluffy bread that you’re accustomed to, Udi’s is a heartier style bread.
Stonyfield YoKids Squeeze! is a staple in our house now that our brand new Whole Foods stocks it. Stonyfield yogurts are all organic and do not contain any nuts so they are safe for the nut-free zones!
Annie’s bunny grahams, cheddar bunnies, and snack mixes are a healthier alternative to their prepackaged favorites. I personally think the cheddar bunnies taste better than the fishy alternatives.
Don’t be afraid to toss in some fruits and vegetables to your kids lunches. My 5 year old will eat the rabbit food all day; she actually prefers a nice tossed salad. It doesn’t need a ton of toppings either; just add a little cheese and tomatoes and you’re good to go. Our Laptop Lunchbox includes a small dressing container so it won’t spill all over everything else.
If your kids prefer juice pouches, try the Honest Kids brand. They are organic juice pouches that are sweetened with real juice; no high fructose corn syrup here!
My kids actually LOVE cheese, meat and crackers and I cannot stand Lunchables. I don’t even want to think about what ingredients are hidden inside the lunchmeat. At our local Target store I found the new Applegate Half Time lunch kits featuring Applegate Farms meat, cheese and crackers; along with Stonyfield Yogurt squeeze and Annie’s treats. If you really don’t have time to pull together a lunch, these kits are a healthier alternative and everything is nut-free.
Summary of nut-free lunch ideas:
- Annie’s snacks
- Sunbutter (or other nut-free butter alternative)
- Udi’s gluten-free bread
- Fruit Leather
- Dried fruit
- GoGo Squeez pouches
- Cream Cheese spread
- Honey spread
- Flour Tortillas (sammy roll-ups)
Check out Rock the Lunchbox for some money saving coupons on the brands featured in this post.
What other nut-free treats do you include in your child’s lunches? Does your child have nut-allergies? What tips would you share with other parents who don’t have nut-allergies to help them pack their kids lunches?
Disclosure: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review. Others I have purchased myself. I’m sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my collection.