Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas

These days so many schools have nut-free tables or classrooms, or are even entirely nut-free! I know when I was first required to pack nut-free lunches for my daughters, I was pretty worried about this uncharted territory. I really had to focus on every.little.thing I was packing to make sure there was no cross contamination or broken rules.

I eventually got used to it of course, but for all those who are still figuring out how to pack an allergy-friendly school lunch this year or are even looking for ideas for a kid of your own that has a nut allergy, then this is for you!

Also be sure to check out our list of Favorite School Lunch Supplies and School Lunch FAQs!

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 2 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 3 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 4 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 5 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Homemade egg salad
      • Brown rice crackers
      • Organic cheese stick
      • Baby carrots
      • Pineapple and raspberries

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 6 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 7 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 8 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 9 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Homemade “Uncrustable” with sunflower seed butter and jam (previously made and frozen and stuck with a pinwheel toothpick)
      • Carrots
      • Organic store bought applesauce (1-ingredient)
      • Diced honeydew melon

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 10 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 11 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Homemade pizza “Lunchable” including whole-wheat pitas (cut with culinary scissors), grated cheese, natural pepperoni pieces by Applegate, and tomato sauce
      • Frozen peas
      • Sliced grapefruit

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 12 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Macaroni and broccoli cheese casserole with homegrown diced tomatoes on top (leftover, cold)
      • Apple slices
      • Grapes
      • Whole-grain pretzels (Unique brand sprouted grain splits)

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 13 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 14 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Caprese salad (local tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and a little salt),
      • Celery and carrots
      • Homemade onion dip (for the chips and veggies)
      • Organic Kettle potato chips (a special treat)

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas 15 from 100 Days of Real Food #realfood #lunchbox

      • Whole-grain wafer crackers
      • Cheddar cheese
      • Frozen peas
      • Grapes
      • Organic ham
      • Dark chocolate
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  • Comments

    1. sarah tesar |

      This should be your next book! Ideas are the hardest part of packing a lunch, at least for me.

    2. Christina |

      Thank you for these ideas, since because we are in a peanut free classroom, the only thing I can get my child to eat is an egg. Not happy that my child doesn’t get to eat because his only food he will eat are eggs and nut butters, granola, nut bars, etc. Frustrating.

    3. Kim |

      YAY!! Inspiration has returned! My daughter, although not a nut allergy kiddo, has friends that she sits with at lunch who do have nut allergies. She is very conscientious of those allergies and wont bring anything with nuts in it for lunch so she can enjoy time with her friends. This has become a whole new world for me since I’m fortunate enough to not have any allergies in my home. Given that she packs lunch each day, coming up with new/creative/not the same ol’ same ol’ lunch ideas has been, well rather taxing. THANK YOU for posting the pics and ideas!! I feel like lunchtime has been saved….for me!!!

    4. Audrey |

      Thank-you for your time and effort. I am a mother with a nut allergy child and it is a 24 hour 7 days a week 365 days a year every meal job. I to find it hard to pack a healthy lunch that she will eat. I have found this site very helpful.

    5. Leslee |

      I first visited your website to find other recipes for healthy school lunch ideas. My daughters’ school is completely nut free and my oldest daughter is now gluten-free to aid her digestion. Your new website is very helpful in searching for options. I hope you will add more recipes that meet these combined restrictions, especially ones that contain enough protein to keep them fueled for the rest of the school day. I also find the pictures helpful as packing the foods in a environmentally friendly manner is always a challenge.

    6. Rachel |

      There is another alternative to nut-butters. It’s called wow-butter. It’s made from non-GMO soybeans and it tastes quite a lot like peanut butter. Any kid I’ve given it to can’t tell the difference. My son is allergic to peanuts and we use wow-butter instead of sunflower butter because we think it tastes a lot better :) Just thought I would let you know!

    7. Dee Handa |

      Thanks for this page. As a fellow nut allergy mom I too agree it feels like a job sometimes to work around nut allergies. I am thankful for all the options we have nowadays. For parents without allergies, I understand your frustration but please understand that a child’s life is on the line where the possibility is death. This is not something we choose to have, it chose us. I hope that Lisa’s site can continue to bring you ideas so your child(ren) may have options as well.

    8. Hilary |

      Finally! Ideas for nut-free lunches that my kid might actually eat! My son is starting school in the fall and I’ve been looking at loads of lunch ideas but most of them look like way too much work, or they include dishes that appeal to adults but not children.
      Your ideas are great. Now I feel like I can manage to put together a good variety of nut-free school lunches.
      Thanks so much for putting this together.

    9. Jennie W |

      Thank you so much for writing this piece. My son is allergic to peanuts, and it is always a scary thing to send him off to school everyday. Sometimes, I am just happy to have him come home every day without any dreadful phone calls. I would like to reiterate that this allergy is life-threatening. I can understand people without food allergies feeling inconvenienced, but none of us want to inconvenience others. We just want our kids safe and secure in school, and to come home alive. Just as a little tip, MANY chocolates that appear to be nut or peanut free, are actually NOT. Manufacturers are not required to list any possible cross contamination of major allergens if they do not want to. Therefore, MOST chocolates (chocolate chips, chocolate bars etc.) are not nut free. A good source of nut free/peanut free/dairy free chocolate is from Enjoy Life. It actually tastes pretty good too. Thank you for helping people navigate through nut free living. It truly is a lifesaver.

    10. jlee |

      Just stating a small fact that may have been over looked . Peas are in the same family as peanuts they can and often do cause reactions that are blamed on peanuts. My child is allergic to all nuts including peas anything in the legume family can trigger a reaction.

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