With school starting back this week for many kids around Australia, the age old nightmare of school lunchboxes is back! The problem is not only what to pack to ensure there is enough variety across the school term, but also one of allergy management (for both your child and their peers). With most day-care centres and schools prohibiting all nuts and, in some cases, even banning dairy, gluten or other common food allergens, what can you do to ensure you are providing allergy friendly lunch box ideas for kids?
We’ve included below a number of our own recommendations. Answering the question on every mothers lips… What are some healthy, nutritious snacks you can include in your child’s lunchbox that are also free from nuts, dairy or gluten?
Allergy Friendly Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
- Swap your regular nut-bar for a nut-free muesli bar
- Instead of peanut butter sandwiches, try cheese and Vegemite sandwiches
- Rather than a handful of trail mix, give a small packet of popcorn a try!
Dairy Free Swaps
- Use a plant-based alternative for flavoured milks (e.g. Dairy Free Up n Go poppers)
- Trade out cheese and crackers for a tub of hummus with crackers (Obela do a great on-the-go tub!)
- Sneak your protein in with a hard-boiled egg, rather than yogurt
Gluten Free Swaps
- Swap out the Spaghetti Bolognese for a nice fried rice
- Try substituting a tortilla wrap for rice paper rolls
- Instead of a packet of Pizza Shapes, grab a bag of Vege Chips!
Things like fruit and veggie sticks are free of all the above common food allergens and should be included in your child’s diet every day.
If you are still struggling for ideas when it comes to a healthy balanced lunchbox for your child or they have other dietary requirements, come and see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians at Fuel Your Life. They will be able to provide more individualised advice.