It’s back-to-school season, and you know what that means: a return to packing school lunches. Between picky eaters, adolescent appetites, and variable lunch times (that last about 20 minutes), loading up the lunch box can be a chore. Add in the challenge of food allergies, and it’s no wonder so many parents hate packing school lunch.
But nutrition is key for growing bodies and brains, especially when school is in session. And with the right tips and recipes up your sleeve, you can pack easy and healthy lunches your kiddos can savor without the stress of allergy symptoms.
1. Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwich
Peanut allergies are a common problem in kids, and most schools are strictly peanut-free. But if a PB&J is a favorite lunch staple, alternatives like almond butter or sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter) have all the flavor with none of the fear (depending on the allergy, of course). Pair it with your kid’s favorite jelly or jam on whole-grain bread (or a fresh rice cake) for a spin on this school classic.
2. Turkey Tortilla Roll-Ups
If your kid is gluten-free, corn tortillas are a great choice for yummy roll-ups packed with good nutrition. Add a tablespoon of mayo, a slice of low-fat cheese, and a serving of shaved turkey (or your favorite deli meat) to a corn tortilla and roll it tightly. Slice the tortilla into pinwheels and insert toothpicks to hold it in place.
3. Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a gluten-free, protein-packed grain that makes a great base for salads. Cook 1 cup of quinoa, let it cool, then add in chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ve got a colorful, allergy-free salad that’s packed with healthy nutrients.
4. Hummus and Veggie Sticks
Veggie sticks and dip are a great mid-day snack, but ranch dressing is loaded with common allergens like eggs, milk, wheat, and soy. Instead, fill a small container with Hummus, a protein-rich dip made from chickpeas, and pair it with fresh, crunchy veggie sticks like cucumber, bell peppers, and carrots.
5. Fruit Salad and Yogurt
For a lighter lunch or a sweet ending, pair a mix of fresh chopped fruits with a dairy free brand of almond, coconut, or soy-based yogurt. Sprinkle it with chia seeds or nut-free granola for added nutrition and crunch.
6. Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you want to add a sweet treat, try these allergy-safe chocolate chip cookie from FARE. These yummy delights are nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan, and only take around 20 minutes to make. This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies, which is perfect for an easy prep-and-pack routine that lasts the entire week.
With these simple, fresh, and allergy-safe lunch ideas, your kid will never have a boring lunch box. The key is to check all food labels carefully to ensure they don’t contain allergens, and always consider your child’s unique tastes and needs. You can also try our sublingual allergy drops, which are effective at treating most common food allergies with just a few drops under your tongue each day. Contact us to learn more and get started today.