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Do you remember when you were choosing the best cereal to start baby on? It seems like it was yesterday, right? But the day has come when you have to get your little one ready for school.
There are so many things to decide and to do! An important one is your kid’s diet at school. Things become more tricky if they have food intolerance or allergies.
Unfortunately, all children like junk food, we know it. And parents are wondering: what is the biggest risk factor for consuming unhealthy snacks and beverages at school? An opinion poll was conducted, and vending machines are the ones to blame. To prevent our children from eating junk food, it’s best to prepare homemade snacks or meals to stave off hunger at school.
Here are some healthy allergy-free school snacks your kids can take to school. We promise they will be delicious too!
Nut-free snacks for school
Nuts and peanut butter are pretty nutritious and make a favorite snack for kids and adults alike. But if your child has a nut allergy, here are some tasty replacements.
Consider the following nut-free ingredients for school snacks:
- sunflower seed butter
- soy butter
- plain hummus
- yogurt (read the label carefully because it can contain a trace of nuts)
- dried fruits
- fruit leather
- homemade goodies
- fruit kabobs
- crackers (Goldfish, Wheat Thins)
We know, it’s difficult to adjust your kiddos school snacks when your child is on a gluten-free diet. Here are some easy ideas that they can grab-and-go when their tummy is hungry.
- apples and caramel
- fruit salad (may include some of the ingredients: oranges, kiwi, bananas, grapes, cherries, strawberry, pineapple)
- trail mix
- vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, olives. Put a combination of veggies and use a dip to make them tastier!
- greek salad
- frozen yogurt
- frozen berries
- dried pineapple or mango
- granola bars (gluten-free)
- parmesan crisps
- rice crackers
- fruit leathers
For more filling snacks:
- rice cake + cream cheese + jam topping
- homemade sausage or mini pizza
- tortilla with cream cheese and fruit
- turkey wrapped cheese sticks
- dates rolled in bacon
- tuna salad rolled in lettuce
- eggs baked in avocado
Mix and match and create recipes with your child. You’ll enjoy time together, and your little one will love their self-made meals!
Dairy-free snacks for school
If your kid has a cow’s milk intolerance, you have to exclude products that contain milk itself or have a trace of milk products. Generally, all the school snacks mentioned above should be ok for your child, except anything with yogurt and cheese, of course.
Plus, feel free to include nuts, seeds, legumes for more protein!
Vegan snacks for school
Nowadays, more and more people are vegetarians or vegan and want their children to follow this diet too. It’s often debated whether children can be vegetarian or vegan without health risks.
That’s why we have asked our registered pediatrician to give her recommendations on healthy vegetarian school snacks.
Here’s what you can put into your child’s lunch box:
- Fruits and nut butter
- Hummus and bell peppers
- Nuts, seeds, trail mix
- Apple chips
- Kale chips
- Energy balls or granola bars (preferably homemade)
Before your child starts attending school, get in touch with the teacher, and discuss your specific issues concerning food. Make sure he/she has your contact information, knows what to do in case of an allergy emergency, make a list of no-no products, and tell the teacher how to recognize allergic reaction symptoms.
We hope our lists will help you out—print them out as a reminder for yourself.
If you have any yummy allergy-friendly school snack recipes or recommendations, feel free to share them with us in the comment section below!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.