Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Creating a Balanced Lunchbox Part 3: Allergen-free lunches

My child is in a nut-free classroom. Are there any alternatives to peanut butter?

Nut-free classrooms are more common due to increased peanut and tree-nut allergies.

Kim Evans from Whole Health Nutrition weighs in on smart nut replacements:

“Seeds are often a good alternative to nuts.  Sun butter and tahini can take the place of peanut butter and offer a concentrated source of nutrition including protein and calcium.”

My child cannot have dairy or wheat—I feel so limited! What are my options?

There are so many options out there! I always tell people that finding food options will be less stressful when you focus on the foods you CAN eat instead of thinking about the things on your “no” list. We sell many different types of vegan cheese and products like coconut milk yogurt. There are a million gluten-free options, from pastas and crackers, to breads and cereal. Our bakeshop also makes the most amazing gluten and dairy-free baked goods—muffins, quick breads and more. I often send my daughter to school with a gluten-free, vegan muffin from the HL bakeshop—she loves it! Also, think outside the box—how about putting veggie sushi in their lunch? Or packing a little container full of rice, beans, and chopped chicken? These are naturally gluten and dairy-free foods that are so yummy for little ones!

Kim says:

“Remember, a well-packed lunch includes a protein, a carbohydrate, a healthy fat, and a vegetable.  Seaweed snacks are a veggie and snack rolled into one, place next to a tahini and honey sandwich on gluten-free bread or serve as a side to a chicken and cheese/vegan cheese quesadilla and lunch is golden.”

Get the recipe: Made-Without-Gluten Vegan Blueberry Maple Oat Muffins