Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato Pita Pockets
Now that school has started, you want to send your children off with a nutritious lunch, something they’ll enjoy that will leave them satisfied. But for kids with peanut and/or tree-nut allergies and for those in nut-free classrooms, packing a school lunch or serving a simple snack requires a bit of extra thought and planning.
With a variety of ideas and recipes such as kid-friendly Tuna Bites with Tahini-Yogurt Dipping Sauce and Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots, you can feed your kids nutritious delicious foods you can feel good about. Remember seeds make great nut replacements in most every recipe, so virtually no recipe is off limits. And, when choosing pre-packaged foods, be sure to read labels thoroughly as nuts can turn up where you least expect.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots
These ideas and recipes are simple and portable and can be enjoyed for lunch or as an after-school snack.
Avocado Lettuce and Tomato Pita Pockets are simple. Add turkey or cheese, if desired.
Opt for sunflower seed butter in place of almond butter in these Sesame Noodles.
Skip the walnuts and opt for roasted pumpkin seeds in this really yummy Waldorf Chicken and Pasta Salad.
Organic corn chips (made without peanut oil), hummus or vegetarian bean dip and baby carrots makes a hearty, filling snack.
Legumes are good food any time of year. Soups and bean salads provide plant protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus they’re easy to prepare and pack. Keep a variety of canned beans on hand for recipes such as Lentil Chili, Hearty Minestrone Soup, Tangy Bean Salad with Carrots and Green Onions, Easy Red Lentil Mac and Cheese and Rice and Beans.
Muffins are portable, can be sweet or savory, and kids really love them. Sweet muffins are delicious for a snack with seasonal fruit and a beverage. Ideas include Carrot Apple Muffins, Blueberry Spelt Muffins, and Amaranth Corn Muffins. Savory muffins can be packed for school lunches with soup, chili or bean salads. Ideas include Macaroni and Three Cheese Lunch Muffins and Savory Parmigiano Reggiano Herb Muffins.
Organic yogurt, a small container of granola without nuts and some seasonal fruit makes a wonderful snack or lunch (or breakfast, for that matter)!
Try celery sticks stuffed with sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter and topped with raisins; baby carrots and bell pepper slices with ranch dressing dip; cottage cheese with grapes or chopped pears; hard-boiled eggs or organic popcorn.
In addition, peanut and nut butter substitutes such as soy nut butter, sesame tahini, sunflower seed butter and pumpkin seed butter are readily available or are easy to make at home. Use them for your favorite smoothies, sandwiches, spreads, dips and baked goods recipes. The good news is they are easily interchangeable in recipes, so go ahead with that favorite peanut butter cookie recipe using sunflower seed butter instead.
What are your ideas for school lunches and after-school snacks without nuts? Let us know.