Many children across Australia suffer from allergies to foods including nuts, eggs, and many others. Anaphylactic reactions can be fatal, while a host of other reactions of varying severity are also possible.
Policies at schools vary. Some take the approach of banning specific foods – most commonly nuts - either for specific age groups or for the entire school.
But other approaches to allergy care are becoming more prevalent. Recent allergy care guidelines advocate an educational approach instead of blanket bans of specific foods.
For parents whose children have nut allergies or who attend schools with no-nut policies, finding easy low sugar lunch box options that are also nut-free can be challenging.
Ideas for nut-free, low sugar lunchbox foods for kids
Bliss balls – These are so versatile and a great vehicle for whatever ingredient you want to include. Generally they are composed of some kind of sticky substance, often nut butter – a no-no both for kids with nut allergies and schools with no-nut policies. Try substituting nut butter in recipes with tahini. Or try this easy nut-free bliss ball recipe.
Popcorn – As a stand alone snack, air popped popcorn is hard to beat. It’s high in fibre and sugar free, and feels just as fun as a packet of chips.
Coconut flakes – Crunchy, packed with fibre and now available in a range of flavours at some supermarkets. If choosing flavoured, double check the ingredients don't include added sugar.
Hummus and veggie dip – An oldie but a goodie, slices of crunchy carrot (or any other vegetable your child likes) that can be dipped in hummus for a shot of healthy veggie protein. Try this easy homemade hummus recipe from That Sugar Film.
Cheese and apple – Slices of apple and cheese as a tasty sandwich or wrap filler is a great protein-rich, sweet tasting and low-sugar swap for chocolate-hazelnut spreads such as Nutella, or peanut butter.
Veggies – carrot, cucumber, olives, avocado, cherry tomatoes, capsicum - keep it real and simple while also helping your kids get their daily vegetable intake.
For more great low sugar lunchbox ideas, check out our 5 minute low sugar shopping guide. To inspire you still further, here are 4 ways a low sugar lunchbox will help your child to thrive at school.