With Joe back in school, I went into full preparation mode a few weeks ago, stocking up on healthy snacks to pack each day. Because he doesn’t have lunch at school (just a short snack time), I want to get something filling in his tummy. After a Costco run and a visit to Sprouts, we were all set.
But I forgot one important thing: most classrooms are now peanut and tree-nut free, including ours.
Hmm, back to square one. Other than fruit, I’ve felt pretty stuck on what to buy so I asked for some help. Thankfully, Shirley Plant, an expert on delicious allergen-free food, came to the rescue with a list of ideas and a few recipes of her own.
Here are her go-to snack ideas (with my notes in italics):
- Homemade Muffins- sweet potato hempseed, banana blueberry, apple sunflower seed.
- Cut up Veggies with Hummus or Bean Dips
- Tahini and Banana Sandwich
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Cheese and Fruit Kabobs
- Rice Cakes with Sunflower Butter or Tahini and Apple Butter
- Rolled up Deli Meats (I recommend Applegate or Columbus brand deli meat)
- Lettuce Wraps with Hummus with a slice of deli meat
- Dehydrated Fruit
- Flax Crackers
- Kale Chips
- Homemade Nut Free Granola Bars- made with oats, hempseeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dates and apples
- Fruit Smoothies -made with coconut milk and hemp protein powder or hempseed taken in a thermos to keep cool
- Egg Muffins- eggs, oatmeal, blueberries and cinnamon
- Bean Brownies- made with black beans
- Yogurt or Kefir and Nut Free Granola- if dairy is an issue try coconut milk yogurt
- Pumpkin Seed Cookies
- Sweet Potato Corn Wraps
- Leftover Gluten Free Pancakes or Waffles
- Salsa with Corn Chips
- Cheese Curds
- Healthy Rice Krispy Squares (make sure to buy the GF cereal if needed)
Three recipes from the list above:
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp oatmeal (use certified GF if needed)
6 Tbsp frozen blueberries
In a bowl whisk eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. In a muffin pan, in each muffin hole, put 1 tablespoon oatmeal and 1 tablespoon of blueberries. Pour egg mixture evenly into the 6 muffin holes so to cover the oatmeal and blueberries. Bake 350F for 20 minutes
½ cup butter or oil
6 tbsp pure cocoa
1 can black beans (398ml)
1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
1 tsp baking soda
Puree everything in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a brownie pan and bake 375F for 30-35 minutes.
2 cups rolled oats (use certified GF if needed)
5-6 tbsp sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pepitas
1 tbsp hempseeds
¼ tsp sea salt
1 apple grated
Zest of 1 lemon
6 -8 large dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
Hot water ( approx 4 tbsp)
In a food processor combine all ingredients until mixed well. Depending on how juicey your dates are you will need to add a little hot water so the mixture gets goopy and sticky. Let mixture sit for a few minutes so oats soak up liquid. Then spread into an 8×8 pan and bake 350F for 25 minutes.
I’m excited to give the granola bars a try, and who wouldn’t like a brownie for a snack? What about you? What kind of nut-free snacks or lunches do you pack for your kids?
Shirley Plant is the author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies and those looking for healthy, tasty recipes. She also helps people to menu plan and customize recipes for their dietary needs.
For more tasty, healthy, allergy free recipes visit www.deliciousalternatives.com.
Follow Shirley on Twitter: @sherrecipes
Find her on Facebook: facebook.com/sherrecipes
I have a friend that has made bean brownies before. Amazing the things you can make with beans! lol
Get Busy Living
thanks for these great ideas! i’m a fourth grade teacher and my classroom is nut free!
What great, healthy options. We are nut-free in our classrooms, as well. Thanks!
Just in case your school’s allergen exclusion policy doesn’t allow homemade food, here is a snack list used by hundreds of schools nationwide: http://snacksafely.com/safe-snack-guide
I don’t have kids, and I can’t eat oats. I made rice pudding last night to have as a filling snack (like oatmeal) and it tastes great cold. You could make it with cocoa and brown rice…mmmm.
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Yeah, unfortunately our schools normally allow homemade snacks for your own child. But with a nut-free classroom, we aren’t allowed to send our kids with their own snacks. They must be done at the classroom level, so we must send money for snacks to be bought. It kills me that my kid is eating store-bought snacks that I don’t consider to be healthy and/or my kid won’t eat because he doesn’t like them (Like raisins. My kids detest them, and they really aren’t very healthy anyway).
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Coconut milk should be used with caution in tree nut free classrooms.