More schools are requiring children to bring nut-free snacks and lunches to school. If you have a child with severe food allergies, you’ll understand this requirement. But, if you’re new to restricting ingredients in your kid’s food, there can be a little bit of a learning curve.
If you’re struggling to find school-safe snacks for your kids that are also healthy, here is a list of 20 to get you started.
Fruits & Vegetables
It’s not always easy to get your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, but offering at least one option in their lunch box will encourage them to give it a try. Switch up what you offer in their lunch box each week and they may find a new favourite.
- Apple – offer whole or slice with some yogurt to dip in.
- Banana – write a secret message to make it more fun.
- Grapes – some kids prefer them cut, but many school-aged kids can handle them whole.
- Figs – it’s underrated and may just be the secret to getting your kid more nutrients.
- Peaches – sliced or keep whole.
- Carrots – a favourite in a lunch bag because it can be eaten alone or dipped in ranch dressing.
- Broccoli – it’s often said kids don’t like broccoli, but in my experience, they like it raw better.
- Edamame – they’re tasty and fun to eat because your child can peel them.
- Cucumber – sliced into strips or make rounds and sandwich with cream cheese.
Grains & Seeds
You may not be able to send nuts to school with your child, but there are many grain and seed options that will help energize them for their school day.
- Popcorn – it’s healthier than chips and a favourite for all ages.
- Rice Cakes – you can get so many different flavors both sweet and savory.
- Seed Mix – you can’t put traditional trail mix in your kid’s lunch, but you can stick to just seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, and chia.
- Chickpeas – roasted chick peas are so good to eat and easy you can buy them already roasted or make your own.
Meat & Protein
- Pepperoni – pair with crackers and cheese or eat on their own.
- Beef Jerky – They’re full of protein and easy to snack on. Plus, you can get a variety of fun flavors.
- Hard-boiled Eggs – You can leave them in their shell for kids to crack at school for added lunch fun.
- Tofu – it may not seem like an obvious choice for kids, but tofu sticks are high in protein and delicious.
Your kid’s lunch doesn’t have to be 100% healthy because everyone needs a little treat here and there!
- Cookies – there are many nut-free cookies available now and so many delicious choices. Cookies are not the healthiest choice, but many offer great ingredients.
- Granola Bars – they’re like chocolate bars, but far healthier. Many options to choose from and your child will likely choose an easy favourite.
- Chocolate-covered pretzels – the combination of salty and sweet is undeniably delicious. You can buy them nut-free or make your own.
What is your child’s favourite snack for their school lunch? Share in the comments!
Photo credit: adapted from somegeekintn | Flickr
Devan McGuinness is the editor-in-chief and founder of byDevan.com. Previously blogging at AccustomedChaos.com, Devan branched out to start byDevan.com — a resource for busy people who still want time for exceptional. She has been married to her high-school sweetheart for 10 years and they are parents to 4 children, who they home school. Diagnosed with celiac disease and casein intolerance, the allergy-friendly recipes on byDevan are real meals she and her family actually eat at home.