Many schools are putting a ban on nuts. That means that even if your child doesn’t have a nut allergy, their lunches still must not contain peanuts, tree nuts or any other food classified as a nut. There are a lot of nut-free alternatives that even picky eaters will enjoy, nut allergy or not.
Nut-free sandwich spread alternatives
WowButter: This nut-free sandwich spread is made from toasted soy and is also gluten-free and dairy-free. Each WowButter container comes with “peanut-free” stickers printed under each label that you can add to your child’s sandwich bag so there’s no confusion. This product has a very similar texture and taste to peanut butter.
SunButter: Another school-safe alternative, SunButter is made with sunflower seeds, which are safe for anyone with a nut allergy. SunButter can be used as a sandwich spread or as a peanut butter alternative in any recipe.
I.M. Healthy Butter: Another alternative using soy, I.M. Healthy Butter comes in a variety of textures and flavours. You can get the creamy or chunky peanut butter alternative, but I.M. Healthy Butter also has a chocolate-flavoured soy spread to use in place of other nut-containing sandwich spreads.
Nut-free snack alternatives
Enjoy Life Mountain Mambo trail mix: Traditional trail mixes contain nuts, but not this one from Enjoy Life. The Mountain Mambo trail mix is made of seeds and dried fruits, so your child will still get a good amount of protein without the risk of nuts.
Nonuttin’ granola bars: It can be difficult to find a granola bar that doesn’t contain peanuts or other nuts like almonds, but Nonuttin’ granola bars are completely nut-free. With a variety of flavours, including chocolate chip, raisin and apple cinnamon, you’re bound to find a few your child loves, whether or not they have a nut allergy.
Funky Monkey fruit snacks: Not only are many store-bought fruit snacks unhealthy, but they can contain nuts. But not Funky Monkey Fruit snacks. They are guaranteed to be nut-free, and they’re made with real fruit using a special freeze-drying process.
Hidden sources of nuts
Halloween candy: Many of the candies and chocolates kids get at Halloween might contain nuts, including tree nuts and peanuts. Parents often forget that they can’t send their child to school with a package of peanut M&M’s or Reese Peanut Butter Cups because of their nut content. Be sure to double-check the products before you put them in your kids’ lunches.
Baked goods: Many baked goods can contain nut allergens — from almonds to walnuts to peanuts — and they’re something you need to pay close attention to. Even using a non-milk-based product like almond milk can be enough to cause medical issues for someone in the classroom with a nut allergy.
Cereals: Some breakfast cereals — whether cold or hot — can contain tree nuts or other nut products. Before you pack one into your child’s lunch box, be sure to double-check each ingredients label.
Granola bars and trail mix: Granola bars and trail mixes traditionally contain different types of nuts, so double-check the ingredients of any such food product before adding it to your child’s bag.