8 Healthy, Nut-Free School Lunches
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Sponsored by SunButter.
Packing a school lunch for your kids can be challenging, especially if you have a peanut or tree nut allergy in the family, or if your kid goes to a nut-free school. Good news, though — SunButter can help you please even the pickiest eaters with mid-day meals they’re sure to enjoy.
Here are eight healthy, nut-free suggestions to fill your kiddo’s lunchbox this school year:
Swap out the traditional peanut butter for a thick spread of SunButter Natural Crunch. Add a layer of grape jelly, strawberry jam or honey and put the whole thing on whole-wheat bread for a wholesome combo. For extra credit, break out the cookie cutters to create fun-to-eat sammie shapes. Round out the meal with milk, some pretzels and apple slices or a banana for a classic lunchbox feast. For a truly nut-free feast, check food labels to make sure all items are peanut and tree-nut free.
Hummus and veggies
Children love any opportunity to play with their food, including a chance to dip basically anything into anything else. Make it easy for them to have some fun at lunchtime by whipping up healthy hummus made from chickpeas and SunButter Creamy instead of tahini to serve with a colorful array of carrot, celery and jicama sticks; baby cucumbers; and sliced red peppers for dipping. Wedges of toasted pita bread or crackers and grapes make perfect accompaniments.
Wrap and roll
Youngsters who don’t like standard sandwiches can be persuaded to eat when you package fillings like turkey, ham, tuna, cream cheese, mustard and chopped lettuce into lavash or flatbread; roll it up and slice it into pretty pinwheels. Or, stuff the fillings between two tortillas to grill, slice and serve it up quesadilla-style. Throw in a few strawberries and crunchy tortilla chips with salsa for good measure.
Noodle on it
Mayonnaise-free pasta meals store well in lunch boxes when they’re sitting next to a frozen juice box or cold yogurt cup to help keep them cold. And, it’s easy to sneak in an extra serving of veggies by using “zoodles” instead of noodles or adding finely chopped carrots and zucchini to recipes like pad Thai, ramen or rotini with pesto. (SunButter Natural lends a toasty, satisfying flavor note to Asian-style sauces that traditionally rely on peanuts or almonds.) For a clever presentation, pack noodles into a Chinese food take-out container and tuck in a pair of chop sticks, a side salad and a fortune cookie.
Stacking any food onto a stick automatically makes it more appealing for young eaters. Skewer cubes of cheese, mushrooms, cooked red potatoes and meatballs for a layered lunch that’s full of muscle-building protein. Fill out the spread with a cup of rice, quinoa or couscous and refreshing slices of watermelon or cantaloupe or carrots sticks and a SunButter On the Go Creamy Single Cup.
When the weather turns chilly, it’s time to bust out the thermos and fill ‘er up with warming tomato or chicken noodle soup to enjoy with wedges of grilled cheese sandwich and some broccoli/cauliflower florets jazzed up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Breakfast for lunch
Change things up by assembling a lunch from breakfast foods – a short stack of pancakes, waffles, blueberry muffins or a toasted bagel spread with SunButter No Sugar Added; a few slices of turkey bacon or sausage; orange or pineapple wedges and some yogurt capably cover all the major food groups.
What’s the point of any meal without a dessert to look forward to at the end? Any of the 5 varieties of SunButter easily subs in 1-for-1 for peanut butter in tried-and-true cookie and brownie recipes for healthy, nut-free baked goodies. (Keep the theme going by topping your treats with a few sunflower seeds as a garnish.) Do some experimenting to find your family’s favorites, or discover some new ones!
Buy all varieties of SunButter at your local supermarket, on Amazon, or at SunButter.com.