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Ideas for Nut Free Lunch Snacks

My 1st grader likes taking his own lunch. His school is a "nut free zone", so no peanut butter and jelly. It's amazing how many products have traces of peanuts in them. I'm looking for ideas for his lunch, fruit, veggies and cheese are what he usually takes.

Donna from Brandenburg, KY

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Recent Answers

By S12/14/2010

I say don't penalize the children or their parents, as I grew up on pb & j and loved it, lived for it since I hated bologna.. Little did I know that I would develop a strawberry allergy as an adult. Teaching tolerance and not trading the meal prepared for you, you'll be surprised, as kids these days are savvy. A lot of vegan ideas are great for those with nut allergies, cream cheese and jelly, home made turkey chili, soups and stews using tofu are a great option as well. Consider making mini meat or cheese pies (empanadas) that usually stay warm like pieces of fried or baked chicken when wrapped in foil. It usually stays warm 2 hours and taste good at room temperature.

By Kelli Buckley10/12/2010

My husband is allergic to tree nuts, and my daughter is allergic to peanuts. My husband grew up having to manage his own allergies, my daughter does not. Daycares and schools around here are ALL nut free. Now I can understand the cautiousness, but I also don't want my daughter under a false sense of security. I want her to be aware of her allergy and not just assume everyone is complying. Doing that has gotten children with severe allergies killed. Epipens only buy 10 minutes and that's if the epipen is working and is within reach.

I know it's a pain buying nut-free snacks and my son used to live on peanut butter, but maybe instead of attacking the kids and parents why not ask more food companies to make 100% nut and peanut free products. It is possible. Grocery stores need to be more aware too. I couldn't by potatoes one day because the bags of peanuts were all around them in the produce section. Same with our pea butter. Right beside peanut butter. Cross contamination Mr. Grocer!

By Teresa S. (Guest Post)12/18/2008

I am surprised at some of the responses on this site, it actually makes me sick to know that people would honestly have a problem working around the schools being nut free knowing that there are children that can die within minutes, if they come in contact, these people should read into it more and how severe it is. I will admit I find it hard sometimes but I am not a murderer, so there for I will not send my child with a brownie if it means it will or could kill another.

By Karen. (Guest Post)10/12/2008

As a teacher and a grandmother to a child with a peanut and tree nut allergy I am concerned about some of the comments in this webpage. Children with these allergies can die if they eat peanuts and tree nuts period!

My son has a gluten intolerance and all through his schooling I was judged by his diet--like I had the problem and my son did not. This was difficult during his elementary and middle school years, but not as difficult as my granddaughter with a peanut allergy. Thankfully the parents and the school are very careful and peanut free in the cafeteria.

These peanut allergies are serious for the child, most schools have a peanut free table for lunch. This is a step in the right direction but asking that a child who does not have this allergy be able to bring PB for his lunch is a difficult one for both children.

Let's be proactive and work together for all children. Research and make good decisions for all children, children who have other allergies or intolerances are not in danger of dying like children with peanut allergies.

Please be sensitive and work together, it is a serious condition. When my granddaughter comes to my house, all nuts have been removed weeks before and everything is cleaned. This is the least I can do for my precious granddaughter, I hope all of you think of all children as precious! Please be careful.

By Terry (Guest Post)08/22/2008

Turkey, Cheese & ranch dressing wrapped in flour tortilla or Cream Cheese and Jelly Bagel OR Cut Up Carrots, Cheese, Pretzles & Turkey w/Ranch for dipping. Kids love to dip.

By shelly (Guest Post)08/07/2008

For the parents who are upset about the nut free room or school my son has the nut allergy. He could die in as little to 3 to 5 minutes after being exposed to nuts. Some children it's life or death.

By Sheri (Guest Post)08/30/2007

The problem with nut, or more specifically peanut allergies is that even the smell of the nut can trigger a reaction, as opposed to most of the other allergies, such as milk or egg. That is why so many schools have established a nut-free zone.
I only know this because of when I was a nursery supervisor at our church, we had so many children with nut allergies. There seems to be more and more allergic children than when we were kids.
Blessings,
Sheri

By Debbie Dzurilla [24]08/30/2007

This must be a real tough situation. I have a friend whose grandson (whom she raises) is in a peanut free classroom. The problem is he's a very picky eater and PB & J is about all he will eat for his lunch. I know that the peanut allergy is serious and I probably don't know enough about it but her grandson is losing weight because he can't take want he wants to eat in his lunch!

I just wonder if all parents comply with this rule because nuts are in things you'd never suspect. I wonder then if there's like a "nut police" at this school to enforce the rule.

I also would wonder how many students at this school have a nut allergy as compared to how many don't.

Also, another poster brings up a good point....there are other food allergies too and where do they draw the line?

By rae (Guest Post)08/29/2007

My kids school is also a nut free zone. I make mini muffins like banana, apple etc or cheese scones. Try chocolate crackles (treat) homemade biscuits. There are heaps of things you can make without nuts. My kids also take small long life cartons of milk, great frozen on a hot day.

By Janice C. [18]08/27/2007

You're a sweet, patient mom to go along with this. I hope in the older grades that the child who has a nut allergy learns to deal with it himself. It makes me wonder - what about the child who has milk, soy, egg, wheat, corn, etc. allergies?

By jean (Guest Post)08/27/2007

Does he like yogurt? If he does, freeze the carton and it will be thawed and ready to go at lunch. You could make quesadillas with cheese, beans, meat, or wraps with the small size tortillas. If he likes canned or homemade baked beans, they could be sent. If he'll eat cold pizza, send a slice or two, leftover or homemade. A bagel and cream cheese(1/2 if he's not a big eater) sandwich. Hope this is of some help.

By GTIChick (Guest Post)08/27/2007

I've been researching bento lunches for my toddler, and some moms have been doing cream cheese and ham rolled in tortillas, boiled eggs that have been molded into shapes using Japanese egg molds, fruit kebabs, and rice balls. I just got some of the supplies from an eBay seller, but if you have an Asian market near you, they might have some items. If you do a search on "bento blog" you'll be able to see photos and descriptions of lunches people have created.

By (Guest Post)08/27/2007

How about beef jerky for a snack? Could he bring soy nuts? (They aren't really nuts?) Try anything dried - fruit, even veggies and things they freeze dry for camping. Crackers? They now have packed lunch snacks with ham, etc., too, but they are pricey. Could you make your own? You could also explore Japanese snacks, etc. They have lots of dried things, like dried peas!

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