One of my absolute FAVORITE blogs to follow is Tracy’s at Sugarcrafter. She has food allergies, but you’d never know it. The girl is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G with allergy-friendly recipes in the kitchen. Some of my favorite recipes are her Homemade Granola Bars and Flax Seed and Honey Muffins (see below).
So, in the spirit of back-to-school, I asked Tracy if she would be willing to do a guest post on some lunchbox-friendly recipes for kiddos…and boy, did she! I just know you will enjoy her below guest post and I hope you will take the time to stop by Sugarcrafter’s website as it is a must-see for any food allergy family, friend, or loved one.
Thanks so much, Tracy!
Guest Post from Sugarcrafter: Lunchbox-Friendly Recipes for Kiddos
Growing up, navigating the school cafeteria as a kid with allergies was always nerve-wracking – and frankly, sometimes embarrassing. Sometimes I felt self-conscious as watchful lunch room monitors ensured that nobody shared their lunch with me. And once in elementary school, as I was throwing out the empty bags from my lunch, another student throwing out their half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich dropped it right on to my hand! Cue people panicking and dragging me into the nurse’s office to hover over me for the next hour. (I was fine, albeit wishing I could crawl into a hole.) Now that I’m older and can appreciate how seriously my allergy was taken by the staff at school, I’m very thankful for all the precautions that were taken. But, the embarrassed kid part of me wishes that all kids with allergies like mine could just eat lunch with their friends and feel normal!
Homemade Granola Bars
All that said, when Kimberly asked me to come up with some lunchbox-friendly ideas for kiddos, the wheels started turning in my head as to what I might like to have in my own lunch. Back when I was in school, many of the fantastic alternatives that we have now such as sunflower seed butter didn’t exist…in fact, many nutrition labels didn’t even include the dreaded “processed in a facility that also processes peanuts/nuts” warning, which made even shopping at the grocery store scary – my mom taught me at a young age how to read nutrition labels, what to look for, and that I should always keep checking labels, even for foods I’ve eaten before because the way the food is processed may change (and believe me, it happens more often than I’d like!).
Thankfully, nutrition labels are much easier to navigate now, and I can enjoy my family’s favorite peanut butter treats using alternatives like SunButter. As more and more food companies and restaurants simply slap the generic allergen warning on their foods rather than doing something about the way it’s processed, I no longer let my allergy stand in my way of me being able to enjoy my favorite foods, desserts especially – instead, I make them from scratch! I only hope that I can help inspire you to do the same, starting with some healthy and peanut/nut-free recipes for your kiddos and including this recipe for mini parfaits that you can make right in the plastic storage container and then toss into their lunchboxes. And of course, I’ve also included a few recipes for sweet treats, because a few cookies never hurt anyone!
Mini SunButter, Granola, and Fruit Parfait (serves 1)
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1 Tbsp SunButter
- Blueberries, strawberries, bananas, or other fruit for topping
In a one-cup plastic storage container, layer the yogurt and granola. Top with the SunButter and fruit. Place the lid on top and pack in your lunchbox with an ice pack.
Check out some more lunchbox-friendly recipes: