Ahh, back to school season.
A time when parents can exhale a sigh of relief, knowing that they’re off the hook for 24/7 childcare and entertainment for the next few months. But that feeling of bliss is quickly interrupted when said parents realize they now have a whole new set of controlled-kiddo-chaos to navigate.
From coordinating the carpool schedule to making sure the littles are registered for all of their extracurriculars, back-to-school craziness hits like the bright yellow school bus you send your kids off in, every weekday morning.
One additional back-to-school to-do item added to your daily routine? Packing lunchboxes filled with an equally nutritious and kid-friendly (so they’ll actually eat it versus barter it amongst classmates at the lunch table) meal. To make matters more complicated (& for good reason), with severe, life-threatening allergies on the rise amongst school-aged children and many schools taking steps to ensure allergen safety while on campus, parents of children with and without food allergies need to have an auxiliary of go-to allergen-safe lunch ideas on deck.
Today, we’ve rounded up our favorite allergen-free lunchbox meal ideas to help mediate some of the weekday morning madness. From delicious bentos to craveable, clean-label snacks, we’re certain there will be no lunch table negotiations taking place with lunchboxes packed with these tasty meals.
Allergy-Safe Lunchbox Ideas
For the Bagel Pizza: Top a sliced gluten-free bagel with a layer of tomato sauce, a sprinkle of dairy-free cheese, + any veggies your little one enjoys, like sliced bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach, or red onion.
For the Apple Slice Pizza: Slice a cored-apple in thin, horizontal slices. Then, mix 2 tablespoons of dairy-free yogurt with half a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream Kids Protein Powder. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, dried fruit, and a tablespoon of Honeycrisp Apple Pie Granola.
Whip up a batch of allergen-free avocado chicken salad by pairing 1 cup cooked chicken, 3 tablespoons mashed avocado, 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise, + salt & pepper to taste. Pair with carrot, cucumber, and celery sliced into “fries” + Vegan Protein Chips.
For the Fruit Parfait: Combine ¾ cup coconut yogurt, ½ scoop Vanilla Ice Cream Kids Protein Powder, + a pinch of cinnamon + a splash of maple syrup. Top with fresh sliced berries + Strawberry Shortcake Granola. Serve with a side of sliced turkey bacon.
For the Quesadilla: Spread a thin layer of cooked, smashed black beans & a sprinkle of dairy free cheese between two corn tortillas. Microwave until cheese melts and cut into slices.
For the Chips + Guacamole: Mash ⅓ avocado & mix with garlic powder, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, & pepper to taste. Pair with carrot chips & Vegan Protein Chips.
Allergen-Free Snack Ideas
Slice a banana into four vertical slices + top each with a smear of sunflower seed butter & top with Banana Bread Granola + raisins.
Skew your little ones favorite fruits (we love strawberries, red & green grapes, banana slices, apple chunks, & blueberries) + pair with “protein frosting”–simply mix 2 tablespoons of coconut, almond, or soy yogurt with a tablespoon of Vanilla Ice Cream Kids Protein Powder + a dash of cinnamon & honey.
For a sweet mix, pair Strawberry Shortcake Drizzled Popcorn, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Craisins, gluten-free pretzels, + Rice Chex cereal.
For a savory mix, pair Sea Salt Seasoned Popcorn, Rice Chex cereal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn nuts, + gluten free pretzels.
Pair one cup of your family’s favorite plant-based milk (almond, oat, soy, coconut, or rice are all great options) with one scoop Chocolate Cupcake Kids Protein Powder).
If you haven’t joined our Safe + Fair social family, be sure to follow @safeandfair on Instagram + tag us in when you give any of the above allergen-free lunchbox favorites a try!
Cheers to a safe and smooth back to school season!