My oldest starts his second year of preschool this week. I never thought I’d be the type to send my kid off to school at such a tender age, but he attends a school for kids with developmental delays, and it’s been awesome for him. Of course, as with every activity we do with him, having multiple food allergies and anaphylaxis is a huge issue. Thankfully, the school is already tree nut and peanut-free, however, I still need to prepare all his school snacks myself to keep him safe. Of course, I want to make his snacks be like what the rest of the class is having. On the other hand, I don’t have time to try to prepare homemade gluten-free, dairy-free fishy crackers every week. It’s a balancing act, to be sure.
My son’s classroom has a microwave and a refrigerator, so we have a little more flexibility in what we can send. Also, they sometimes prepare hot food, like when they study the letter Q and make quesadillas for all the kids. That said, here are my 25 best ideas for preschool snacks for the food allergic child, all as allergen-free and simple as possible.
- Pureed fruit-in-a-pouch (such as Buddy Fruit, Go-Go Squeez Applesauce, and Plum Baby)
- Fruit canned in juice
- Orange slices
- Apple slices with sunflower seed butter
- Knox Gelatin made with fruit juice
- Carrots/celery, dipped in “ranch” dressing
- Ants on a Log
- Rice crackers (I can find savory crackers at my local Walmart)
- Cereal and non-dairy milk
- Trail mix (dried fruit, seeds, cereal)
- Non-dairy yogurt
- Rice cakes (top with jelly, sunbutter, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon sugar, etc.)
- Pretzels (Mary’s Gone Crackers makes some we can eat)
- Potato chips (it’s quick and easy to pack, if not the healthiest option)
- Super Cookies (http://www.goraw.com/products/Original_Super_Cookies)
- Homemade cookies
- Homemade muffins
- Gluten-Free Bread and Sunbutter sandwiches (last year we cut the bread into the shape of the letter of the week!)
- Tortillas/Quesadillas with non-dairy cheeze
- Noodles in broth (aka Ramen Noodles)
- Gluten -free macaroni & Cheeze sauce
- Pudding (coconut cream, cocoa powder and honey, mix to taste)
- Homemade “puppy chow”
We also send some lollipops that the teacher keeps for treats.
I’m always looking for new ideas, so feel free to comment on your allergen-free, lunchbox-worthy snack idea!