If you have kids with food allergies or who attend schools that are “food allergy free zones” packing food allergy free lunches can be a hassle. While more and more kids these days are developing a wide variety of food allergies from tree nuts and dairy to wheat and preservatives, finding lunches that are healthy is getting tougher all the time. If you aren’t sure just what the regulations regarding food allergies are in your state or school, you might want to look up the national foodallergy site for more information. We put together a few guidelines and ideas to help you find some safe and healthy alternatives for your kids when it comes to food allergy free lunches they can take with them.
Packing Food Allergy Free Lunches and Snacks
There are several tips you can use when it comes to preparing for your kids lunches. While many schools may offer nut-free zones in the cafeteria, the best way to ensure your child is having an allergy free lunch is to pack it yourself. Here are four things you can do to help with this.
Check food labels – It is rare for most prepackaged foods to not have information on the labels about the food they produce. Many manufacturers have set up nut-free plants and will state this in addition to listing the ingredients.
Find Allergy-free Alternatives – Luckily there are all kinds of non-nut-tree butters to use instead of peanut butter. We have switched to sunflower seed butter in our home and find it both tasty and nutritious for our kids. Cookies and other snacks often have allergy free lines as well.
Get Informed – There are dozens of websites that will help you find allergy free products. Many parenting sites that deal with the question of food allergies will list companies that specialize in allergy free foods, so use that computer to get the information you need.
Freshen It Up – Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest ones. Make sure you add plenty of fresh fruits and veggies to create healthy food allergy free lunches for the kids. Dried fruit and simple fresh snacks can make the lunch yummy and safe.
Ideas for Healthy Snacks
Want to add some snacks to that kids lunch but aren’t sure what to pack? We can help our kids make smart choices about food by teaching them that sugary sweet snacks are not the only options when we pack them something healthy and allergy free. Why not try one of these?
Whole grain pizza sticks with fresh in-season fruit
Add cream cheese and dried fruit to a sliced bagel
Edame packed with a container of applesauce
Fresh berries or seasonal fruit with a healthy baked chickpea snack.
So stop putting off those healthy snacks and lunches and start planning today. When you add in some healthy food allergy free lunches to your kids pack, they start the school day off right!
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