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Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo PhD, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and lecturer in Nutrition and Foods/Dietetics at California State University, Sacramento

Nut-Free Lunch Ideas?

Help! My child’s preschool is a nut-free zone. I need some good lunch ideas!

You’re not alone. As  peanut and tree nut allergies continue to rise, more and more day cares, preschools and elementary schools are telling parents they need to leave the PB and J at home. So it can be tough to figure out what to pack in your child’s lunch box that will keep him happy and satisfied.

If your kid is a true sandwich fanatic, try subbing in sunflower or soy butter or even flavored cream cheese for peanut butter. And of course, you’ve got your turkey or ham and cheese sandwiches.

But you can also think outside the bread: Give him yogurt and some sliced fruit (Greek yogurt is high in protein!). Or make some whole-grain pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and serve it warm in a thermos or at room temperature. More adventuresome preschoolers might also enjoy hummus served with pita or crackers (it’s available in snack-size servings in some stores). Think of this as an opportunity to expose your child to new foods and to introduce a variety of  healthy and nutritious flavors into his diet.

Plus, More from The Bump:

More Packed Lunch Ideas

Advice for Healthy Toddler Eating

Dealing With a Picky Eater

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