25 peanut free school lunch ideas that will keep everyone in your child’s class safe and make your lunch packing sessions a breeze.
So it is the first day of school and your child comes home with a note that their classroom is a nut free zone. Panic may set in. If your child is fortunate in not suffering from a nut allergy, you may start worrying about what your kid will eat at school given this new restriction.
If PB&J is a staple lunch at your house like it is in mine, thinking outside of that classic sandwich can seem tough. And I’m not going to lie. A peanut butter and jelly is popular for so many reasons. Kids love it and it requires little effort from Mom or Dad when prepping lunches. No thought required. Slap some PB&J between two slices of bread and lunch is done.
But of course, no one wants to endanger another child just because of the ease of lunch prep. After watching several friends struggle with their child’s food allergies, I feel blessed that the only thing I have to worry about is planning an alternate lunch for my child.
Some of these moms are having to worry about their child’s safety every single day when sending them to school to eat a meal. My slight change in routine is worth it to help them feel a bit more secure during lunchtime. So if you are in the same boat, these 25 peanut free school lunch ideas will help you get a lunch made for the first month of school.
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Peanut Free School Lunch Ideas
When my little girl was a toddler, she was one of those kids that could literally eat a PB&J for every meal if I would have allowed it. So a part of me freaked out when she entered a Mother’s Day Out classroom that was peanut free.
What was she going to eat? I started making myself a list of peanut free school lunch ideas to make the morning lunch box packing session go a little smoother. Here are many of the lunches that I packed over the last year.
*Please remember that a lot of these ideas are just base items and should have fruits or veggies added to make a balanced meal. You know best for your child and their eating habits.
Cold Lunches for Kids Lunchbox
I like cold peanut free school lunch ideas since they can be made the night before which saves you some time in those early morning hours. A reusable ice pack is handy if you are worried about the items staying cool until the lunch hour.
Boiled Eggs (serve with a mini bagel and some fruit)
Cheese, Crackers and Ham (homemade Lunchable)
Ham on a Hawaiian Roll (when my little ones wouldn’t eat regular sandwiches, they would eat these rolls)
Bagel Pizza (homemade pizza Lunchable)
Dipping Lunch – Hummus with veggies and crackers/pretzels for dipping
Bagel with cream cheese and jelly
Cereal and Milk (I put the milk in the Thermos and the cereal in a container. Just pour the cereal in when ready to eat)
Hot Lunches for Kids Lunchbox
At my daughter’s school, there is not an option to use a microwave. In order to offer some hot lunches for a change, I bought this thermos to send to school. We used it all last year and it is still in perfect condition.
Mom Tip: For hot lunches, I stick the thermos under my Keurig and dispense hot water. Replace the top and let the hot water warm up the thermos. Drain water and dry thoroughly before adding in your food. This helps to keep the food hot for a longer period of time.
If I am trying to keep something cold in the thermos, stick it in the fridge when you wake up to help keep the chill longer.
Black Beans or Pinto Beans and cheese
Hot Dog (I have done this cut up in a thermos for a toddler or whole with a bun out of the thermos for my 5 year old)
Mac N Cheese
Spaghetti or Chicken Alfredo (use up those leftovers!)
Pigs In A Blanket
Cheese Ravioli or Tortellini tossed with Butter/Parm and Green Peas
French Toast Sticks
Taco Meat (serve with toppings and shells on the side or chips for nachos)
Soup or Leftover Chili
School Lunch Packing Tools
Here are some awesome products to make your days of making school lunches easier.
I have used the Easy Lunchbox containers for a couple of years now and they are still in perfect shape. It doesn’t warp or stain and holds up to daily use. I actually just bought a second set, not because my other set wore out but because my other little one is starting MDO & I want to have back up inventory! I hope you love them as much as I do.
And these things just make the lunchbox a little cuter. I like to send a little “happy” with my girl’s lunch. I line the Easy lunch box containers with the Reusable silicone liners to add come colors and to separate food if I need more compartments.
And how cute are these little lunch notes and the Bento Box starter kit. I would love to step up my bento game this year.
Other Kid Friendly Peanut Butter Free Treats:
I hope these peanut free school lunch ideas help you with your lunch packing duties this school year. I still can’t believe it is Back to School time already. What are your favorite peanut free lunches to send to school with your kids?