Back to school time is here and with it, the back to school routine. Packing lunches every day can feel challenging, even when your kids don’t have dietary restrictions. While packing an allergy-friendly lunch can feel intimidating, the tasty recipes in this post prove that it can actually be a snap. And, when your child brings something school-safe with them, they’re being a good friend – and a total mensch.
Ingredients in the recipes below are nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and optionally gluten-free to cover all common allergies. Vegetarian and vegan families can also easily adapt all five recipes to be meat-free too. And remember, if you run out of ideas, a classic hummus and veggie sandwich never gets old.
These lunches can be easily put together as a family activity. By helping your kids craft the perfect lunch, you’ll help them develop learning skills, creativity, and self-sufficiency. Or parents can quickly throw these meals together in a cinch. No matter what, these lunches are sure to be enjoyed by almost everyone!
YOGURT WITH TOPPINGS
Yogurt can be easily customized for any kid’s tastes. Add whatever your child likes best: granola (gluten-free if necessary), fruit, cinnamon, honey, chia seeds, or any other nutritious addition.
Depending on the combination you choose, yogurt could be used as a lunch main course or a side dish. Just remember to keep it cool during the school day with an icepack. Here are instructions for ways to DIY ice packs with your kids
Also, if your child has a dairy allergy, there are many coconut-based yogurt alternatives you can purchase or make yourself. Watch the video below for a fast, two-ingredient yogurt that your kids can make with you.
Chickpea salad is a delicious, protein-packed way to craft a kosher and allergen-free lunch for your kids. Not only is it super easy to make to eat on its own, but it’s also easily adapted to sandwiches and wraps.
To make a delicious chickpea salad, all you really need are some chickpeas and rest is up to you. Feel free to add lots of veggies like tomatoes, onions, peppers, parsley, cucumber, or other greens. Then toss it all together with a few flavorings such as salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.
Here are some variations your family can try:
Mediterranean Chickpea & Tuna Salad by Platings and Pairings
Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwhich by Vanilla and Bean
This is a super delicious lunch that your kids will love! Requiring only one dish for the whole meal, these colorful taco bowls are brimming with veggies and sources of protein.
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 lb. ground turkey
Your favorite taco seasoning, store-bought or homemade like in this recipe from Pretty Bee
2 cups rice of your choice
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Preheat oil on a skillet. Then, add peppers and onion to skillet, along with salt and peppers to taste. Sauté until onions and peppers are soft and slightly browned. Remove from pan. Add ground turkey to skillet. Break apart turkey. Cook until browned, then mix taco seasoning into turkey. Stir in tomatoes and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
Add a scoop of rice, turkey, corn, beans, and cooked peppers/onions to each bowl. And that’s it! You’re ready to munch on these taco bowls.
ALLERGY-FRIENDLY MAC AND CHEESE
Image from Flippin’ Delicious
No allergen should keep your kids from eating some delicious mac and cheese! This recipe from Flippin’ Delicious is easily adapted to accommodate kids with dairy or gluten allergies and it takes no more than fifteen minutes to make. It’s also super easy to take to school and can be mixed with lots of vegetables like broccoli, peas, or sweet peppers.
Image from One Green Planet
If your kids need vegan and gluten-free alternatives, these veggie protein burritos from One Green Planet are a great meal choice. And with healthy components like peppers, quinoa, carrots, zucchini, onions, and beans, this lunch is sure to give your kids everything they need to tackle the rest of the day.
EASY ALLERGY-FRIENDLY RECIPES
Family Hummus Recipe
Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
The Best Bean Salad
10 School Planning Tips When Your Child Has Food Allergies via Kids with Food Allergies
10 Ways to Manage Your Child’s Food Allergies via Parents.com
August 13, 2018