My family is enjoying healthy snacks as part of a sponsored series with GoGo squeeZ and Socialstars. #GoGosqueeZSquad
Many schools, including our neighborhood elementary school, are nut-free due to the prevalence of life-threatening food allergies. While this may be a modern-day parenting hot topic, the fact is, rules are rules. If a school is nut-free, every family must (and should!) cooperate. Shared below are 10 easy ideas for nut-free school lunches and snacks, perfect for families on a “peanut butter and jelly” budget!
10 Easy Nut-free School Lunches
Admittedly, when I first learned that my boys’ school was nut-free, I panicked! My kids usually eat peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches for lunch—everyday! What was I going to feed them? Thankfully, going nut-free for lunch Monday–Friday has not been a big deal. In fact, it’s easy! I rotate through the meals shared below:
Classic Cold Cut Sandwiches
Turkey, ham, and bologna and cheese sandwiches are a simple and fairly inexpensive alternative to classic PB&J. My boys’ favorite cold cut sandwich is 2 pieces of ham and 1 slice of cheddar cheese with mayo on wheat bread.
Chicken Tender Wraps
Spread ranch dressing over a tortilla and fill with 1–2 baked chicken tenders, shredded cheddar cheese, and lettuce. Roll the tortilla, and then wrap it in aluminum foil so it doesn’t fall apart in the lunchbox.
Cheese, Pepperoni, and Crackers
My boys love building cracker sandwiches with cheese and pepperoni!
Cold Pizza Slices
I make homemade pizza every Friday night and there are always leftovers perfect for school lunches!
Bagel with Cream Cheese
My kids love breakfast for lunch! Blueberry bagels are their favorite.
Cold Pasta Salad
Offer kids a simple pasta salad made with bottled salad dressing, cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, and cheese cubes.
Hummus, Vegetables, and Soft Pretzel
Carrots, cucumbers, and sugar snap peas are some of my boys’ favorite veggies to dip in hummus. A baked soft pretzel rounds this meal out nicely!
Egg, Chicken, or Tuna Salad Sandwiches
These classic lunch “salads” are well-loved by most kids! My boys love when I add shredded carrot to tuna salad. (Carrot sweetens tuna salad and turns it orange!)
Hot Macaroni and Cheese
Whether boxed or homemade, mac and cheese is always a hit with my kids! A high quality food thermos keeps it warm for lunchtime!
Why not? At one peanut-free school I worked in, a Kindergarten student ate everything from frittata to beef stew! She enjoyed a full meal every day—without complaint.
10 Nut-free Snacks
My voracious boys choose 2–3 nut-free snacks with their lunch. Some of their favorites include:
Grapes, apple slices, and watermelon cubes are our favorites.
GoGo squeeZ Pouches
GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches are all natural, 100% fruit, and gluten/nut/dairy free making them an excellent choice for nut-free schools! My kids call them “sqeeZy drinks” and are currently obsessed with the Apple Cherry and Apple Grape flavors! Click here to find out where to buy GoGo squeeZ pouches in your area.
Cold Veggies and Dip
Ranch or dill dip can magically make cold vegetables disappear!
Yogurt is packed with nutrition and most kids love it!
Whether stick, cubed, or sliced, cheese is a delicious protein.
I always pack a homemade cookie (or 2) with my boys’ lunch. It’s a sweet connection to home and I like to imagine that when they bite into it, they lovingly think of me for a moment. (Ha!)
Crackers or Pretzels
Cheesy crackers and pretzel sticks are always a hit!
We aren’t perfect! Sometimes my boys eats healthy fruit snacks, but more often than not, they enjoy fruit snacks shaped like superheroes.
Whether store-bought or homemade, granola bars are a great source of energy.
Nut-free Trail Mix
I make a simple trail mix with cereal, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and raisins.
I don’t need to scrutinize labels to make sure food was processed in a nut-free factory; families from our school are simply required to avoid obvious nut products. Be sure to check with your child’s school for details!