When You Need Nut-Free Lunch Ideas:
“Mama, what are the kids like here in Washington State? Are they like Florida kids?” The look on his face showed a faint hint of anxiety and nervousness.
Every year, as we return to school, the kids get a bit jittery, wondering if they will know anyone in their class, if their teacher will be funny or strict – if they will have a good year. This time, all four of our kids are starting new schools, thousands of miles from the place we used to call home.
This year, we KNOW everything will be new. We KNOW they won’t know anyone in their class – or in the school. Our four boys are anxiously looking for signs that the kids here are “just like Florida kids.”
- Do they play Fortnite here?
- Do they like to ride scooters and skate boards?
- Do they build with LEGO?
- Do they think Harry Potter is cool? Have they also read all the books?
So many questions and I only have so few answers.
As I reviewed guidelines for the local schools, I stumbled upon one of the lunch rules: no foods containing tree-nuts.
Our kids don’t have any food allergies. But I have several friends with severely allergic kids. I can 100% empathize with an allergy-parent’s worries about sending their kids into a cafeteria littered with peanut butter, Nutella and other nutty-products.
This new lunch guide-line is different from what we are used to, so I wanted to give our kids a heads up – before I start making their lunch on the first day of school and I get their usual request of “peanut butter sandwich.”
Our kids are creatures of habit and have eaten the same sad peanut butter sandwich practically throughout their entire school career. I wasn’t sure how they were going to take the news of tree-nut free lunches.
I decided to put a positive spin on the new lunch rule.
“Hey kids, guess what!?! Kids here in Washington State are JUST like kids in Florida. Here they also have kids who are allergic to different foods, just like some of your friends were in Florida. Here in our area though, they have decided that the best way to keep the allergic kids safe in school is to ask EVERYONE to not bring in foods containing one of the most common allergens: tree nuts. So you will have to pick lunches that don’t contain peanut butter and Nutella. I have put together a list of fun foods that are safe for you to bring to school and eat around your new friends. Come look here!”
Our four kids shrugged their shoulders casually at the peanut-butter-sandwich-ban and eagerly started to pick out new lunch options. Because, with a new school year comes new routines, new friends and new sandwiches.
Personally, I am THRILLED to break them of the old sad peanut butter sandwich tradition, and if this is what it took, then I will celebrate it.
I took the kids to the store and together we found a great number of healthy nut-free options. Our family’s personal favorites is the veggie and Boar’s Head Hummus combination. The sandwich meat and cheese roll-ups from Boar’s Head were an instant hit. Their quality products are notches above the rest.
**** Side note: Ask them at the deli counter to clean the blades before they slice your Boar’s Head Cheese and Deli Meats to avoid the potential for any cross-contamination from other nut-exposed foods. ****
Thankfully, Boar’s Head is found in most grocery stores across the nation. We loved their products when we lived in Florida and our kids are fully embracing their nut-free lunch options here in Washington State. We celebrate every bit of familiarity we can find!
Nut-Free Weekly Lunch Planner and Ideas:
Check out our new Weekly Lunch Planner. Please print it out and use it as we will once school starts.
Each kid picks their healthy lunch choices over the weekend for the upcoming week. This way, you make sure to have all the ingredients in the house and the kids will help pack their lunch boxes in the mornings. The “rule” is that they have to pick one lunch option from each category, unless they choose to buy from the cafeteria.
For all the back-to-school lunch ideas you could possible need, head over to the Boar’s Head website. There are healthy and fun choices even for the pickiest eater. Our kids especially loved the Ovengold® Turkey Pita Pocket.
On the first day of school, surprise your kid with a LEGO sandwich. Use your child’s favorite Boar’s Head Meat and Cheese flavors, in our case the winners were the Lemon Pepper ® Roasted Chicken Breast and Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese.
How to make a FUN LEGO sandwich:
- Boar’s Head Deli Meat: Lemon Pepper ® Roasted Chicken Breast, 4 slices
- Boar’s Head Cheese: Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, 2 slices
- Honey Wheat bread, 3 slices
- Lettuce, 1 leaf
- Water bottle lid (yup, trust me on this!)
How to create the awesome LEGO sandwich:
- Cut the crust off two of the slices and trim the sandwich into a square.
- Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice.
- Layer Boar’s Head Cheese, Boar’s Head Deli Meat on top of a slice of bread.
- Add a leaf of lettuce.
- Continue to layer with the rest of the Boar’s Head Cheese and Boar’s Head Deli Meat.
- Add the last slice of bread with the mayonnaise side down.
- Push the water bottle lid into the last slice of bread, four times. Remove the four circular pieces of bread. These are going to be the “LEGO knobs.”
- Add mayonnaise to one side of each of the “LEGO knobs.”
- Place the four “LEGO knobs” on top of the sandwich.
- And here’s your fun and awesome LEGO sandwich.
Your kid will definitely love his tree-nut free LEGO-inspired lunch!
Our kids are now looking forward to the first day of school because I have promised them Boar’s Head LEGO sandwiches! Boar’s Head for the win!
What is your child’s favorite nut-free lunch food?
While we are talking about lunch ideas, don’t forget to check out the Back to School with Boar’s Head for back-to-school lunch inspiration!