20 Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Ideas
Author: Ruth Meany from Pea Fritters Date Posted:27 February 2017
In Australia, 1 in 20 children under the age of 12 have a food related allergy. Most allergies are mild to moderate, but for a small number of children, they experience life-threatening anaphylactic allergies. More and more schools are introducing food bans including nuts, so as to help protect those children with anaphylactic allergies. For families with allergies, figuring out food that is safe for their child to eat is part of day to day life. The label reading, the cross-checking, the recipe finding. It can be a bit overwhelming to hear the news that your child will be sharing the classroom or playground with a child with such severe allergies. But there is something you can do.
Firstly, educate yourself about what foods are safe at school and which aren’t. Speak to teachers and principals so that you can fully understand what foods are safe to eat and which are off limits. Also, try to understand what the consequences would be for the child with allergies if they were to come into contact or ingest the particular food.
The parent of the child with allergies will thank you a million times over for taking the time and effort to help keep their child safe while in such a shared environment.
Secondly, once you know what is off limits, write a list of all the possible SAFE foods. This will help you to eliminate that feeling of “But what will my child eat??” when told they can’t have peanut butter. I have been there too! My daughter was diagnosed with allergies to egg, sesame, hazelnut, pecan and seafood when she was 15 months old. I had no idea what to cook for her for a moment! But as I got used to cooking without these ingredients and we found exciting and delicious new foods, life became much less stressful.
What are the top 8 allergens?
- Other nuts
Symptoms of food allergy are usually obvious
Mild to moderate symptoms of food allergy include:
· Swelling of face, lips and/or eyes
· Hives or welts on the skin
· Abdominal pain, vomiting
Signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to foods include:
· Difficult/noisy breathing
· Swelling of tongue
· Swelling/tightness in throat
· Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
· Wheeze or persistent cough
· Persistent dizziness and/or collapse
· Pale and floppy (in young children)
20 Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Ideas
1. Fresh fruit:
Did you know it's recommended kids eat 2 pieces of fruit a day?
2. Veggie sticks:
A fun and delicious way to get more veggies into your kids' lunches.
3. Frozen peas:
Super easy and nutritious too!
It’s fun and fairly easy to make your own at home. Make the rice in advance to speed up the process. Cucumber is an easy and kid friendly filling. My little tip is to not over fill the seaweed!
Fill with lots of yummy grated vegetables, cheese and dips. You can now by delicious gluten free wraps made from sweet potato at some local supermarkets. Check the bread section next time you shop.
Make you own microwave popcorn using coconut oil or butter! Find out how here, it will take you less than 5 minutes.
9. Deli meats:
Be aware some deli meats do contain soy.
12. Nut free bliss balls:
Sunflower seeds make a delicious addition to nut free bliss balls. You might want to try these amazing Choc Cranberry Orange Bliss Balls.
Simply save some of the dinner for your kids' lunch box tomorrow. Delicious, nutritious and easy!
14. Pastry sticks:
Cut puff pastry into strips and cover with grated cheese to make delicious cheesy pastry strips.
15. Sausage rolls:
These are a great way to sneak vegetables into your kids' lunch box! They also freeze well and you can make a whole bunch at one time.
16. Corn fritters:
Use frozen corn to make this delicious gluten free, dairy free, egg free corn fritters.
17. Yummy dips:
there are lots of delicious nut free dips available at the supermarket (make sure to avoid any “chunky” dips). Otherwise, you can make your own such as hummus.
These are delicious oaty bars perfect for a school lunch box. Check out this recipe for a recipe using pear!
19. Roasted chickpeas:
These are super easy to make and are sweetened naturally with honey. Crunchy and delicious!
20. Cheese and crackers
I hope these 20 Allergy Friendly Lunch Box Ideas help you feel more calm about packing lunch for your kids at school. There’s a whole world of delicious food out there! Enjoy it!
If you have any questions or aren’t sure about certain foods, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Meaney is a mother to two gorgeous kids, both with food allergies and intolerances. Her blog, Pea Fritters, is all about allergy and intolerance friendly food which is both beautiful and delicious. She also writes a weekly Self Care series for busy parents to help parents like us find some time to look after ourselves. Ruth loves having a boogie in the kitchen, dreams of getting a full nights sleep and wishes to swim with whale sharks one day! You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
If you’d like a collection of delicious recipes all free from the top 8 allergens, then you can grab my free mini cookbook! There’s everything from gluten free bread to chocolate cupcakes. Yummy!!
CLICK HERE to grab your free mini cookbook.