Back to School: The Peanut Free Lunch Box
I have the world’s pickiest eater. So, when my little man started kindergarten last year, I was terrified that he would leave his lunch box untouched. I was right.
At home, he would get through most days on pasta, peanut butter and yogurt while his brothers and I ate wonderful varied meals. Now, with the peanut butter option off the table for school lunches, I was truly at a loss. One day, my 11 year old came home and told me about a soy butter product that tastes just like peanut butter – he had tried a friend’s sandwich at lunch. Skeptical, I went to my local grocery store and found it in the organic/health food aisle. Soon after arriving home, I opened it up, pulled out 2 spoons and called my 5 year old over to try it with me. It looked like peanut butter, smelled like peanut butter and my little guy hadn’t gagged yet, so we gave it a try. It tasted just like…peanut butter! Completely tree-nut free, gluten free and dairy free too…wow.
The company that makes this amazing product packages it with convenient “peanut-free” stickers for lunch boxes, containers and bags. My son eats some version of this peanut butter alternative at least three times a week. Here are a few of his favourite, nutritious, peanut-free lunch box items that are also healthy and tasty.
Classic PB & J
A nice healthy helping of soy butter and a touch of blackberry or blueberry jam on whole wheat bread, crust off, of course!
Banana Bread & Spread
Use a homemade banana bread (nut-free) with a nice spread of soy butter. My little guy loves it when I send the soy butter in a separate container and include a little butter knife so he can spread it all by himself.
Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich
Make a sandwich or two using homemade oatmeal raisin cookies (or a healthy store bough alternative) and soy butter.
Apples & Butter
Slice your favourite apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with soy butter. I use the cinnamon to camouflage the natural browning of the apples. Lemon juice was not a big hit and my terribly picky eater will not eat a brown apple!
This is by far, my son’s favourite. Take a whole grain tortilla, cover the surface with soy butter and roll up a whole banana. Try adding some granola – some kids like the extra crunch.