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School Lunch Ideas – Creative Ways to Boost Nutritional Value

Do you struggle to find the right balance between packing a nutritious school lunch for your child and one that will actually be eaten?

Packing nutritious foods can be a challenge especially if your child is a picky eater, has a food allergy and/or attends a school with a nut-free policy.

In our house, peanut free and gluten free lunches are daily fare. Solutions have been found in a quality made soy butter product and gluten free baking supplies and products, purchased locally and online.

While picky eating has never been huge issue in our home, I have turned to Missy Chase Lapine a.k.a. The Sneaky Chef on many occasion and have whipped up a batch or two of her Brainy Brownies and Breakfast Cookies among other popular recipes. Would you believe she even has a recipe for Mac & Cheese muffins you can pack in your child’s lunch box? My daughter loves Kraft Dinner but I can’t wrap my head around mixing orange puree and shredded cheese together and serving it cold.

You know, one of the interesting things about kids is that if a food looks appealing, chances are good they will give it a try. I’m guessing, a muffin topped with macaroni and cheese noodles would go over better than a handful of broccoli trees (with or without a dip or cheese sauce).

Also school lunches that can be eaten using their hands instead of utensils is usually a winner. Growing up my kids have always enjoyed a variety of lunch kabobs using fruits, meats, cheese, bread cubes and veggies as well as homemade ‘Lunchables’ consisting of crackers, meat, cheese and a snack size treat.

The above are good options for kids who hate sandwiches. When my son was young, the only kind of sandwich he didn’t seem to tire of was peanut butter. Of course attending a nut-free elementary school, the traditional PB & J sandwich was only permitted as an after school snack.

That was until I discovered a safe alternative to peanut butter than actually tastes good.

While there are a variety of peanut free butters on the market only one kind has the seal of approval from our family and in particular, our peanut butter loving son.

Safe4School WowButter made by Hilton Soy Foods on its Ontario, Canada farm is a healthy protein alternative for those with peanut allergies. The label on each jar of WowButter features a “100% peanut free” label that can be cut out and stuck on your child’s lunch box to indicate that the lunch within is peanut-free.

This soy butter product is also tree nut free, gluten free and dairy free, making it ideal for kids with a variety of food allergies. WowButter contains 7g of complete protein and 1200 mg Omega-3 essential fatty acids per 32g serving.