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Nut-Free Lunch Ideas
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July
2019
18

Sandwich lunch box with Nut -Free Food

Pro-tips for packing a nut-free lunch 

Many schools have opted to make a safer environment for kids with food allergies by adopting peanut-free and/or nut-free policies for food that is brought from home. If you have a child that loves to eat PB&J for lunch, we know this can be a big change! Here are some of our favorite ideas and tips for making this process a little easier. 

General tips: 

  • Involve your child. You likely know their favorite foods, but try to get them involved in the shopping process. Have them help you fill out their top 5 foods for categories such as protein, fruit, veggies, treats & snacks/sides. Then shop for those items together. 
  • Ask about nut-butter substitutes. Ask your school if they have a policy on nut-butter substitutes. If allowed, look for acceptable substitutes like WowButter or SunButter when you shop at Price Chopper. 
  • Don't wait until the last minute! Plan to pack lunches the night before if possible This will be less stressful during busy mornings. Be sure to keep a running list of foods that are favorites to be replenished on each store shopping trip. 
  • Purchase a few, key reusable items including a thermos. Find reusable containers and a lunch box/bag that is the right size for items you plan to pack. Ask friends or read some online reviews before you buy. 

Child holding sandwich over lunch box at school

1. Pick a Main Dish 

Here are some of our favorite (non-sandwich) ideas: 

  • Lunchmeat and cheese rolls ups - use a tortilla 
  • Mac & cheese (use thermos) 
  • Soup (use thermos)
  • Meatballs (use thermos) 
  • Yogurt w/ fruit & granola (nut free of course! think oats & honey w/ cinnamon) 
  • Pita pockets filled with spinach, lettuce, mozzarella or your child's favorites
  • Hard boiled eggs 
  • Pasta salad - there are many types that kids love 
  • Egg cups (baked in advance) 
  • Apple slices w/ SunButter or cream cheese 
  • Bagel thins with toppings like cream cheese or other cheese spread 
  • Mini pizzas - slice up tortillas & add toppings like black olives or pepperoni
  • Chips & dip or nachos. Blue corn tortilla chips w/ a variety of toppings or dips 
 

sliced vegetables in containers on a kitchen counter

Pick two (or three) sides. 

*Two may be all they have time to eat at lunch. Pro tip-packing a third snack ensures they have a healthy snack for after school, too!

  • Carrot sticks - try shreds or chips for more variety 
  • Veggie straws
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese cubes/cheese stick/Babybel cheese
  • Nut-free crackers (wheat or rice)
  • Cucumbers
  • Raw broccoli w/ dip
  • Sliced bell peppers or mini peppers 
  • Your child's favorite

Three healthy oat muffins

3. Pick a treat

  • Fruit snacks
  • Apples and Sunbutter
  • Mini muffins/muffins
  • Yogurt (freeze it & it will keep the lunch cold too)
  • Berries
  • Frozen grapes
  • Pudding
  • Apple sauce
  • Nutri-grain bar 
  • Dark chocolate
  • Dried fruit mix
  • Nut-free granola or granola bar (verify it's made in peanut free/nut-free facility) 

child holding reusable water bottle, fork and straw

4. Pick a Drink 

  • Water (a favorite water bottle can make this fun)
  • Flavored water (Capri Sun Roaring Water)
  • Fruit flavored water (Add lemon/lime/cucumber) 
  • Milk
  • Caffeine-free/herbal/kid-friendly iced tea 
  • Sparkling water (older elementary kids may enjoy this)
 
Remember, it's very important to read labels! Different varieties of packaged foods can have different ingredients or be prepared in a different facility. Always read labels of packaged food to ensure it meets the expectation for your child's school.  
We hope you are inspired to try a few new things. Let us know some of your favorites. Tweet us @my_pricechopper or tag us on Instagram @my_pricechopper 
 
Wishing you all the best during the 2019-2020 school year! 
 
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