Packing nut-free school lunches can be tricky! Whether your child has a peanut or nut allergy himself or his school has banned nut products because of widespread allergies, you can find some creative and safe options that kids will love munching on at lunchtime. Add some fresh fruits and veggies, and any of these nut-free packaged snacks, and that's one tasty nut-free lunch!
Homemade mini pizzas make a yummy nut-free lunch, if your child is cool with eating cold pizza. Whip up some simple, kid-sized pizzas with pitas or English muffins as the crust. Try this basic pita-bread pizza or veggie pita pizza recipe, or make homemade English muffins as a delicious pizza foundation.
Bagel and Soy Nut Butter
While there's nothing quite like peanut butter, some tasty substitutes on the market come very close. Try soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter on a sandwich or bagel. Soy nut butter looks and smells a lot like peanut butter, but is not quite as rich and sweet. Sweeten it with a bit of honey, or pair it with thin slices of apple or some jelly or jam.
Egg Salad Sandwich
Protein-packed egg salad is an energizing substitute for peanut butter. Boiling and peeling eggs is time-consuming, so use a shortcut and buy hardboiled eggs at your supermarket salad bar. Use a small amount of low-fat mayo and homemade whole-grain bread to keep this sandwich healthy and ensure that it's nut-free.
Tuna in a Pita
Tuna is another kid-friendly replacement for peanut butter. Fill a pita pocket with some salad greens and your tuna-and-mayo mixture. Quartered cherry tomatoes or diced bell peppers add a pop of color and flavor, too.
Pinwheel Wrap Sandwiches
Meat-and-cheese wraps are a quick and tasty nut-free lunch option. Try making homemade tortilla wraps if you're concerned about buying bread that was potentially made in a facility that handles nuts.
Hummus, Pita, and Veggies
Children will love a little buffet of pita bread, hummus (a savory chickpea spread), and cut-up vegetables at lunchtime. It's fun for kids to dip, and easy for Mom to pack.
A plain old green salad probably won't fuel your child for the rest of the school day. But a savory chef's salad topped with protein-rich tuna, cold cuts, or leftover chicken will keep her powered up from lunchtime on. Switch up the salad toppings, and top with a low-fat dressing.
Bean salad is also bound to become a lunchbox hit. Beans of all sorts make a great stand-in for peanut butter at lunchtime because they, too, pack in protein. Try this tasty and quick turkey and chickpea salad. If you used canned beans, rinse them off to help cut the sodium.