Friday, August 1, 2014

Healthy, Nut-free Vegetarian Lunches for Picky Eaters

Although healthy food, cooking and feeding people is pretty much my life, somehow I have given birth to two of the pickiest eaters on the planet. I would feel like a total failure, except that my youngest is actually the least picky eater on the planet, so he makes up for the other two (just a little)

Feeding the picky eaters is challenging on the best of days, but for us, summers are REALLY challenging. You see, every summer my older kids go to a theater camp, where they are required to bring a peanut-and-tree-nut-free lunch every day. Those of you who have to pack lunches like this for school every day have my most sincere sympathy. Seriously, I don't know how you do it. Since my kids are vegetarian (and they are picky) a huge portion of their regular diet is made up of peanuts and tree nuts... pb&js, almond milk, trail mix, almond butter on toast... most of the protein these kids eat is nut-based, so you see my dilemma. My kids are not vegan, just vegetarian, so they do eat dairy, which gives us a few more options. But still... coming up with interesting and acceptable lunches every day, within the limits of the six nut-free foods they will actually eat, is really starting to wear me down. Having talked to other parents who have kids in Nut-Free schools and activities, I know we are not alone. I thought maybe I'd post some of the lunches I've managed to throw together here, to possibly inspire others in our position, and just maybe some of you might be inclined to share your lunch ideas in the comments (It takes a village, dontcha know...)

Here we go:
Milk, pepper strips, blueberries, sunflower butter sandwich.

Homemade pita chips (in bag) veggies with sunflower butter, yogurt and pear
(about a third of the veggies in this lunch came home uneaten. ~sigh~)

Two lunches for two kids: mini pitas, cheese, strawberries, apple, grahams
with sunflower butter. Raw veggies on the left, "purple salad" on the right.

Sunflower butter sandwich, sweet potato chips, strawberries, yogurt w/blueberries.

Peach, cheese quesadilla, mango salsa, mixed raw veggies
(there was a milk to go with this, too)

Yogurt with blueberries, mini pitas, sunflower butter,
mixed raw veggies, plum
Yogurt with blueberries, salad wrap, string beans and carrots, strawberries
A few others that I didn't quite get pictures of:

1. Pasta salad, carrot sticks, string cheese, apple
2. Bagel with cream cheese, celery and carrots with dip, fruit salad
3. Mozzerella, basil and tomato sandwich, pepper strips, apple
4. Mini raisin bagels, sunflower butter, mixed raw veggies, watermelon cubes, milk
5. Cheese sandwich, spinach salad, strawberries

We are down to our last week of packing daily camp lunches, but I know there will be activities and classes for which we'll still need to pack lunch occasionally once the school year starts.


  1. I've done hummus and rice crackers too

  2. Hummus is awesome! I wish my kids would eat it :/ I keep trying! Maybe someday they'll learn to like it.