\"Safe\" Snack and Lunch List for School
The following information was obtained from a document entitled Anaphylaxis, A Resource Document for Schools. It was produced and distributed by Nutrition Services, North York Public Health Department, Telephone #416-395-7669
Peanut Butter-Less Lunches
Are you finding it challenging to make lunches and snacks for your children without the famous peanut butter sandwich? Well, say goodbye to the old stand-by and hello to easy-to-make peanut-free lunches.
If you are concerned that your child will not be getting enough protein at lunch without peanut butter, you'll be happy to know that they're probably getting more than enough protein each day already. Most people can easily meet their daily protein requirements by choosing foods from the four food groups of Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. While protein is primarily found in Meat & Alternates and Milk Products, smaller amounts are also in the Grain Products and Vegetables and Fruit groups.
The following foods have approximately the same amount of protein as 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (1 serving of Meat & Alternatives):
1 oz. meat
1 oz. cheddar cheese
1 cup yogurt
1 cup Raisin Bran (Post)
1 cup milk
In fact, one slice of cheese pizza has almost two times the protein as 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
School Lunch Ideas - Easy, Nutritious and Peanut Butter-less!
The lunch meal should contain at least one food from each of the four food groups of Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Mix and Match to plan a balanced lunch:
bread - whole
wheat, rye, cracked
bagels, rolls, buns
leftover pasta like macaroni & cheese or spaghetti
Vegetables & Fruit:
canned fruit in own juices
vegetable sticks (with dip)
2%, 1% skim milk
milk-based custard or pudding
milk-based cream soup
Meat & Alternatives:
hard boiled egg
leftover chicken leg
hot chili con carne
hot vegetarian chili
hot beef stew
hot baked beans
hot lentil soup
Example Peanut Butter-less Menus
sliced meat, cheese and lettuce in a pita, carrot sticks, orange slices, milk
cold hard boiled egg, celery stuffed with soft cheese, raisin bran muffin, milk pudding, fruit juice
crackers with cheese cubes (or cheese slices) & sliced cold cuts, cucumber slices, canned fruit (in juice), milk
leftover pizza slice, green pepper rings, yogurt, fruit juice
leftover spaghetti with meat sauce, vegetables & dip, fresh fruit, milk
Plus...peanut butter-less snacks!
plain yogurt mixed with fruit
fruit cups (canned in juice)
any fresh fruit
celery sticks stuffed with soft cheese
cheese and crackers
whole grain cereal
whole grain muffin
half bagel with cheese
juice boxes - vegetable or fruit
popcorn for older children
vegetables with dip
sliced meat wrapped around cheese sticks
hard boiled egg
mini pitas stuff with cheese - try cream, Swiss, Gouda
mini bagels with cream cheese and cucumber slices
Don't forget to pack food safely:
- use a wide-mouth thermos to keep milk cold and foods, like chili and pasta, hot.
- to keep food cold, use frozen juice boxes or frozen bread for sandwiches (they will thaw by lunchtime) or use an insulated lunch bag. Sandwiches that are made the night before will stay colder better than those made in the morning.
AVOIDING PEANUTS IN SCHOOLS AND OTHER GROUP SETTINGS
Why has my child's school asked me to avoid sending peanut products? Whether it is your child or another child in the same school, daycare or camp that has a peanut allergy, everyone's co-operation may be necessary to help make that environment as peanut-free as possible. Peanut allergies are usually severe and can be fatal. In fact, even a tiny amount of exposure to peanut particles or residue through the eyes, nose or mouth can cause a peanut allergy sufferer to experience strong reactions. Without medical treatment, the person can die within minutes.
Can't the allergic child just avoid peanuts?
Because of the nature of peanut allergies, having the allergic child simply avoid peanut products is not enough. Peanuts tend to leave residue on things like utensils, containers and table tops. Even unintentionally sniffing peanuts or touching something with peanut residue can prove fatal to the allergic child.
Are peanuts the same as nuts?
No. Peanuts are "ground" nuts and thus are not really nuts but a member of the legume family. Although it would be unusual for someone to be allergic to other legumes, it is possible, especially to soy. All other nuts are "tree" nuts, e.g. walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc. Allergies to tree nuts are unusually severe as well. It is rare, although possible, for someone to be allergic to both nuts and peanuts. On the other hand, most people who are allergic to one tree nut are also allergic to other tree nuts and sometimes to seeds as well.
How can peanuts be avoided?
Avoiding peanuts means not sending any foods from home for snacks and lunches that contain peanut products. If peanut butter is one of your child's favourite foods, you may feel some despair about what else to provide. Here are some tips for reading labels on food packages to determine if peanuts are present and some alternative ideas for peanut-free snacks and lunches. Parents of peanut-allergic children: please share with other parents your ideas and any brand names of specific products to use or avoid.
When buying pre-packaged, prepared foods, read the labels carefully. Check the list of ingredients. Recheck each time you buy a product to ensure the list of ingredients has not changed. Avoid any products that do not carry a complete list of ingredients. For example, bulk foods and goods from on-site bakeries do not have ingredient lists because these foods are not pre-packaged.
Ingredients containing/made from peanuts:
* peanuts that have been de-coloured and de-flavoured, then artificially flavoured with a nut flavouring and finally moulded or cut to resemble a nut
Ingredients that may contain peanuts:
In addition, you need to check to see if any foods contain peanuts. Although this is not a comprehensive list, here are some foods you should check before using:
candy, baked goods, Chinese foods, macaroons, potato chips, fried snack foods, fried foods, cake icings, chocolate bars, margarine, canned fish packed in oil, canned sardines, packed olives, salad dressings, chili con carne, ice cream, granola bars
Please note that many of these foods may not contain peanuts, but you first need to check each ingredient list carefully, especially for types of vegetable oils. Regulations in Canada now require Canadian manufacturers to list peanut oil if it is part of the vegetable oil or product. Fortunately, peanut oil is not often used, because it is quite expensive. For any home-prepared foods, check the ingredient list for each product being used. Be wary of non-Canadian products, as they are not subject to the same labelling requirements. For example, imported chocolate bars may not list peanuts, even when they are present.
Peanut-Free Snack Ideas
Choose from Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Here are some ideas, but remember that you need to check the labels of any pre-packaged or prepared foods and any ingredients that you use in home-prepared foods.
* fresh fruit
* cheese and crackers
* unsweetened cereal
* yogurt mixed with fruit
* milk pudding
* canned fruit packed in juice
* cheese-stuffed celery sticks
* homemade muffin
* raw vegetables with yogurt dip
* half bagel with cream cheese
* plain popcorn
* mini pita stuffed with tuna salad
* hard-cooked egg
* slice of meat
* half salami sandwich
Peanut-Free Lunch Ideas
A nutritious lunch should contain three or four food groups from Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating: Grain Products, Vegetables & Fruit (preferably some of each) and Milk Products and/or Meat & Alternatives. Mix and match the following ideas, remembering to read the labels of pre-packaged foods or ingredients you use in home-prepared foods:
2%, 1% or skim milk
(white or chocolate)
Vegetables & Fruit:
canned fruit in juice
vegetable or tomato juice
raw vegetable pieces
vegetable-based salads, e.g., tossed salad
coleslaw, potato salad
leftover cooked vegetables
vegetable-based soups, e.g., tomato, broccoli, mixed vegetable
Meat & Alternatives:
leftover chicken leg
cold meats, e.g., roast beef, ham, turkey
water-packed tuna or salmon
beans or lentils
grain and vegetable salads, e.g., tabouli
soups, e.g., chicken noodle, minestrone
pasta with sauce
macaroni and cheese
vegetables with yogurt dip
sub/sandwich, e.g., meat and cheese sub
chicken salad on light rye bread
Example Peanut-Free Lunch Menu
egg sandwich on pumpernickel bread, celery sticks, banana, 1% milk
tomato soup, melba toast, cheddar cheese, red & green pepper strips, orange juice
Greek salad, half whole wheat bagel, slice of cantaloupe, 1% milk
left over pizza, carrot sticks, chopped mango in vanilla yogurt, apple juice
tuna salad in a pita, cucumber slices, orange sections, 2% chocolate milk
Tips for Safe, Successful Lunches and Snacks:
Before preparing food, make sure that all cutting boards, food preparation utensils, counter tops and containers are clean. For items that are to be served hot, rinse out a wide mouth thermos with boiling water. Add piping hot food and close tightly. A small freezer pack will help keep cold lunch and snack items safe.
Be kind to the environment - make lunches as litterless as possible. A lunch bag/box and reusable containers and utensils are ideal. Also, a surprise now and then, like a sticker or a special note, will add interest and enjoyment for your child. Have your child involved in planning and preparing snacks and lunches, in order to increase the likelihood of the foods being eaten!
For More Information
This information does not replace any advice given by a physician and does not provide all of the necessary information to deal with peanut allergies. Parents and caregivers need to develop a plan for preventing and treating allergic reactions while the allergic child is in the group setting.
Further information on food allergies can be obtained from:
* The Allergy and Asthma Information Association, 30 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite #750, Mississauga, Ontario L5R 3E7 Telephone: (905) 712-AAIA (2242)
* The Ontario Allergy Society, 2 Demaris Avenue, Downsview, Ontario M3N 1M1 Telephone: (416) 633-2215
Peanut Guide for Snacks/Lunches in Our Classroom
It is important to continue to be vigilant when a child has a peanut allergy. The following is a list of suitable and unsuitable snacks or lunch items.
* Kellogg's NutriGrain Cereal Bars
* Kellogg's Rice Krispie Squares (original flavour only)
* Christie Fig Newtons
* Christie Chips Ahoy and Chewy Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies
* Christie Barnumm's Animal Crackers
* Christie Teddy Grahams
* Christie Oreo cookies (large ones only; snack packs may contain peanuts)
* Peek Frean's Family Digestives and Fruit Cremes
* Betty Crocker Dunkaroos
* General Mills Graham Treats, Crispy Graham Squares and Chewy Marshmallow
* Nestle Smarties, KitKat, Aero and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars
* Kraft Jello pudding snacks
* Kraft Magic Moments pudding snacks
* Delmonte Rich 'n' Creamy pudding cups
* Any Kraft products without an allergy alert including cheese and cracker snack packs
* Dad's Oatmeal cookies - all flavours (this is new - please check the
labelling because some of the older bags may still have the peanut
* Quaker Rice Cakes - all flavours (again, read labels!)
* Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers
* any products that do not have a list of ingredients
* baked goods from home
* any granola or breakfast/cereal bar
* Sunkist Fruit snacks
* Betty Crocker Soda-licious
* Breton Crackers
* Any Laura Secord products
* All ice cream except Chapman's in the square box
* items containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein may contain peanuts
[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited October 01, 2002).]