This time last year I received the news that I had signed my son up for – brace yourself – a nut-free school. I didn’t realize it at the time of registering him. While it clearly would have not changed my enrollment decision (but how funny if I had pulled him out because they didn’t allow nuts), it certainly presented a problem. With no choice, I faced it head on and came up with a plan on how to pack ten snacks and a five lunches each week that didn’t include almond or peanut products.
Turns out the ideas that I had in the beginning of the school last year were pretty good and worked well for my son. This year, I will face an additional challenge; my daughter will also be attending this same school. One Kindergartner and one “Threes” student. Two lunches and four snacks total each day. I know some of you moms and dads are in a similar situation.
Here are four additional ideas to add on for this year.
- Sunflower Butter – A seed rather than a nut, this product is allowed and has saved me. While a different taste and texture than peanut butter, when you mix it with the jelly my kids can’t really tell the difference. Sometimes a bit of honey in it helps too.
- Protein Shakes – At less than $2 a pop, I am happy to pack these in my kids lunches. Sold at Target, Sam’s Club and Costco, they are a great way to make your kids feel they are getting treat but sneaking in some extra protein.
- Protein bars/granola bars – Warning, these are not the healthiest option as many brands are filled with sugar so beware of that when purchasing. My kids love almost anything in a bar form. I recently purchased these at Costco.
- Fats – In a culture that tries to avoid fats like the plague this might seem unhealthy, but adding more fat and protein into your child’s diet can actually keep them full longer and won’t convert into sugar like carbohydrates do. This means they are less likely to reach that crash mid day that can be caused by things like too much sugar. Cheese, Avocado and Whole Milk are all easy options to include.
Do your kids attend a nut-free school? We’d love to hear ideas that you have for packing lunches that meet this requirement!