Peanut Free School

Updated on August 01, 2011
D.H. asks from Canton, OH
19 answers

I recently learned that my daughters elementary school will be peanut free. I need some suggestions on what to give her for lunch. Her pediatrician wants me to give her peanut butter to help her gain weight, but that won't be an option when she's at this school. She dislikes lunch meat. What do you put in your kids lunch?

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answers from Dallas on

Sunbutter sounds like a good alternative for you. My sons school is also a peanut free school but they serve Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwiches and the kids love them, I have tried it also as a taste test before it was placed on the menu and it really is great.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think there are other "butters" made with other nuts besides peanuts. maybe you can try those out. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Serve her peanut butter in the morning. My kids like cottage cheese and fruit, yogurt and raw veggies, soups, Mac and cheese, neither one is a fan of sandwiches but they will eat meat and cheese rolled up together, bagels with cream cheese.

I will never understand how some feel their child's right to eat whatever they want trumps another child's right to live!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Sunflower butter
Almond butter
Things with olive oil in it.

Just giving her peanut butter at home. It does not have to be at school.

My daughter's school is Peanut free AND nut free. But make sure she washes her hands, before going to school.
Some kids, will go into an allergic reaction, just by smelling peanuts or touching something with peanut residue on it. Thus, they need an EPI pen, right away.

Have your Ped, refer you to a Nutritionist, so that you will know, concretely, how to help your daughter gain weight, Per your Pediatrician's request, that she gain weight.
That is the best way.
Peanut butter solely, will not make her gain weight.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Well being that young children especially elemtary age school kids still do not fully understand what they can and can not eat, I think i is great that a school does this even though it can be hard for some moms to find snacks, So t the mom who says she'd yank her child from school. WOW! you can tell your child doesn't have any allergies. My children do not have allergies themselves but boy I have seen first hand what can happen to a child with a peanut allergy and well it is not fun ;(

That being said, Egg salad is good idea, ham an cheese, bagel and cream cheese, etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Hi, D.,
You've gotten lots of good suggestions. Because my daughter detests sandwiches, I have to make lots of soup, spaghetti, mac and cheese, even chicken nuggets, in a thermos. If you don't have a thermos, go get one, you'll need it! :)

Though she won't eat lunchmeat on bread, she WILL eat it if I just roll it with a strip of cheese and put a little toothpick in it (she especially loves the fancy ones that people use for appetizers at parties). So maybe your daughter would, too?

As for weight gain, after school PB snacks are a great way to bring up the low blood sugar (and improve moods until dinner) and milkshakes (with some protein powder) are also good for weight gain. (Both my children have less than 3% BMI, so I know what it's like to have to try and get some weight on a child!)

Good luck to you, and kudos to you for accepting what is, rather than being one of those small minded people who are too lazy (or rigid) to think of anything else for their child to eat besides PB. As if that is the only food in the world that can be packed in a lunch! And that lunchtime is the only time the child can eat PB!!! Ugh! The ignorance............

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Try the peanut butter substitutes, like Nutella and sunflower butter for her lunch sandwhichs. Hummus is high in protein and might be good for her, you could see if she likes it to dip in veggies, crackers etc. My SDs' LOVE it (one of their old schools was peanut-free btw). Maybe some cream cheese mini-sandwhichs? I do a light spread of cream cheese, with thin cucumber slices and thing strips of green bell peppers. Pimento cheese is another good spread for sandwhichs.

And if her pedi wants her to have peanut butter, you could always make that her after-school snack, spread it on crackers or veggies (celery is good).

If you give her peanut butter for breakfast (it IS good for breakfast of course) her hands should be washed very well, because sometimes just the residue is enough to cause an allergic reaction.

And as for "freedom to chose what to eat is a basic right", actually the right to safe, non-life-threatening school environment is a basic right. A peanut free school is a "pain" for others, but the difference between life and death for a child with this serious allergy. Suck it up. You won't be planning your child's funeral because he can't eat peanut butter DURING SCHOOL HOURS. If it's so important to you that he can eat peanut butter, give it to him after school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

use the peanut butter for breakfast. It's a powerhouse food & will get her going! My son used to eat it with was his fav food. He is now allergic to peanut & dearly misses it. We have substituted Sunbutter, but it's just not the same.

You mentioned she disliked lunch meat. Does that include simple turkey & ham, too? You could put it in a tortilla roll up with pickles,etc.

I am very fortunate that my son LOVES school lunches. It totally grosses me out, but .....oh, well!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

there are other butters you can use. Google WOWBUTTER. I haven't tried it myself but it's supposed to be good.

There is also Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) and Barney Butter Almond butter.

Is it just the deli style meats she doesn't like? My daughter loves these grilled chicken stripes I get in the frozen section of the grocery store. They are perfect for sandwiches.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Almond butter, sun-butter, cream cheese or Better than Cream Cheese (made with Tofu and tastes the same), etc. Soy butter has a strong taste so unless you dribble some honey on it, she probably won't go for that. These are the options we use -- daughter is peanut allergic and milk allergic (regular cream cheese is for her brother). Both my kids hate lunch meat except Salami and pepperoni- have you tried others besides the normal slimy turkey and ham?

She can still have peanut butter at home (per her peds recommendation) -- just find something she will eat for school. I think most parents go through this once you have to start packing cold lunches.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Our son won't eat meat these days (a 4 month phase...)
Cheese and/or tomato sandwiches
Veggie wraps w/ranch dressing
Cheese wrapped in tortillas (he will sometimes eat chicken in these too)
Crackers with cheese and little pieces of pepperoni (so he can make cracker sandwiches)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Mattering on if the child with the allergy is in her class or not I M. not even give my child PB before school. Saliva can actually carry the allergen for up to 3 hours after eating peanuts (though most people are free of it 30 minutes later). Since it is preschool I assume that kids still put hands in mouth, and toys in mouth as well (my daughter still sucks her thumb ALL the time and she is 5) so that can transfer the peanut allergen. If you are feeding her and then dropping her off at school I would not feed her PB before school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

You can use almond butter, or sunbutter (aka sunflower butter) or soy nut butter in direct replacement for PB. I like either almond butter or sunflower butter (but not by themselves; I'd eat a PB sandwich plain w/ no jam, but I think the almond & sunbutter go better w/ jam). Also, though a lot of people will cry out in protest, I like Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread). A lot of stores carry at least one of these options, in the same aisle as the PB.

Cheese is excellent with whole wheat crackers. Full fat yogurt or full fat Greek yogurt are good.

Hummus is good, but almost all kinds who are allergic to PB are also allergic to sesame seeds (aka tahini, which is a main ingredient in hummus), though most kids are not as allergic to sesame as they are to PB. So check on that one before you do it.

Soups or mac n cheese or spaghettios (in a thermos) are good.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Check with the school to see if they would allow you to send her with "Sunbutter". Sunbutter is made from sunflower seed oils and tastes just like peanut butter. If you put the two of them on seperate sandwiches and tasted would never know the difference. Otherwise, jelly sandwiches, bacon sandwiches are also options if she does not like lunch meat.



answers from Eugene on

My youngest son's favorite lunch: a chicken nugget sandwich with bbq sauce. (ick) My other son likes burritos and quesadillas. My girls used to like hot soup or stew or casserole in a wide mouth thermos + bagels and cream cheese. How about cold fried chicken, roast beef and cheese cubes (with cocktail toothpicks for fun), egg salad or chicken salad sandwiches or plain hard boiled eggs, pizza.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm in the same boat and none of these suggestions were helpful. My child will not eat ANY meat (turkey, ham, bologna, etc). Child response to "other butters" was I'm not eating this gross stuff. Hummus? Yeah, right! Cream Cheese? Yucky!! And to the parents that say, if you only serve him what you want him to eat and he'll eat when he is hungry, I say, come to my house to clean bedding everyday because he refuses to eat days on end and overnight throws up bile (in his sleep!!) from his reflux and stomach being empty.

He eats peanut butter on waffles, pancakes, bread, and bananas. He eats apple sauce, when I'm lucky and drinks Carnation Instant Breakfast, chocolate. Thats it.

My child refuses to eat at daycare and does not care if he misses out on birthday treats (it's peanut free there also). I'm assuming I will do what we do now. Eat before daycare, eat after daycare and eat before bed.

He is not on the growth charts for weight and is a bear to be around because he is hungry, but at least he can terrorize all the peanut forbidden children!!



answers from Chicago on

Give your daughter peanut butter for breakfast, or some nuts as a snack when she gets home.

Bagel and cream cheese
Soup and crackers
Liver sausage sandwich
Sunbutter sandwich
Try "lunchables" - my kids started with those for lunch meats
Use lots of little things instead of ONE string cheese, fruit, crackers, salad/veggies



answers from Pittsburgh on

You can get a small, wide-mouthed Thermos for warm stuff. My son refuses to take PB anything 'cause his friend is peanut allergic, so he takes wraps, cold chicken, other sandwiches (Dagwoods, actually!), Bacon sandwiches, yogurt, cottage cheese doubles...



answers from Portland on

Barney Butter Almond Butter is made in an Almond only facility and 100% peanut free. Even die hard peanut butter lovers crave Barney Butter after they try it. You can buy Barney Butter online at and at many leading grocery stores across the country, as well as Whole Foods Market and smaller natural food chains.

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