School will be starting in just a couple of weeks for my PA daughter. We have been busy buying school supplies, new epi-pens, and of course a new lunch box! I have never been real comfortable with her eating the prepared lunches in the cafeteria and so we send her lunch most of the time. I know she is bound to get bored with the same things day in and day out, so I thought maybe some of y'all might have some suggestions for kid-friendly lunch box items. Any ideas would be appreciated!
On Jul 31, 1999
My daughter will be entering kindergarten this year and she doesn't like sandwiches, so lunch will be a challenge. Last year I sent her to nursery school with lunch on occassion.
Some things I packed for her are: Cheese sticks, crackers, grapes Snack mix (we would make it ourselves using pretzles, goldfish, animal crackers, raisins, Cheerios, marshmallows, and any other small dried finger food in the house) Homemade "lunchables" with her favorite lunchmeat and cheese in a rubbermaid contianer with crackers on the side
Right now I have started making "treats" and freezing them and individually wrapping them for the occassions she may need them in school.
Frozen juice boxes, water bottles or milk would keep her snack/lunch cold until it was time to eat it and would mean that her drink was cold too.
Good luck and stay safe.
On Jul 31, 1999
Thanks Mary Lynn! I had not thought of making our own Lunchables. My daughter (who will be in 3rd grade) always asks for these, and we used to offer them to her on Fridays as treat. I bought the same brand and kind every week; I grew comfortable with it. She had a reaction the last week of Kindergarten and when we were figuring out what it was she ate, it turned out to be the cookie in the lunchable! They had changed the cookie from sugar to peanut butter and I didn't even notice. There was no "New Cookie!" sticker on it, and I was so used to picking that one up I didn't even notice. Just another example of ALWAYS needing to read labels! Fortunately, that was her last reaction, so we are hoping for another reaction-free year. Thanks for your suggestions.
On Aug 22, 1999
As many have suggested, it may be better to give a list of safe (does not contain peanut) foods, rather than compiling a list of unsafe (contains peanut) foods. We as a community, do of course want to know about unsafe foods, this is why we have the Food Manufacturers (Safe & Unsafe) discussion board on PeanutAllergy.Com! A list of unsafe products is being created on this board. (If you know of a product which is unsafe for people with peanut allergy especially if it is not on the label be sure to add it to the Food Manufacturers (Safe & Unsafe) board or email us about it!).
Many parents make a list of foods (snacks etc.) which they feel are safe for their peanut allergic child, and then give a copy to the school, other parents etc.. Many suggest creating such a list to show others that there are many alternatives to peanut containing snacks.
Many of us are at different education levels when it comes to peanut allergy and this is often reflected by what some people feel is safe. Many people do not contact manufacturers to see if the manufacturer is aware and addressing peanut allergy in their factory. Many people, including peanut allergic ones and/or their families, are not aware of the problems that could make a product unsafe for a peanut allergic person. We also hear from people who feel it is too much work to find out about everything they eat, so they are just hoping not to have any problems. Others have realized how much work there is to staying safe, some have realize this after having a reaction to a product, or because of a recall of a product, which they had been consuming or had thought was safe.
Here is text from an e mail we recently received >>>
I am a preschool teacher and I just found out that one of my three year olds has a peanut allergy. In preparing information for the Parent Orientation, I would like to supply the parents (who supply the snacks for the class) with a list of products to avoid AND store bought snacks that will okay for this child. >>>
This (list) is something that many people are looking for. Many of the people who are looking for such a list do not understand about the challenges in making such a list. One of them being that manufacturers can change their ingredients and/or manufacturing process. This could change the accuracy of a safe list often and it would be (and is) very difficult to keep such a list up to date. As many of us have seen, products which were safe can be changed to then be not safe. Some products that people consider safe come out with alerts or recalls when the company finds out about a peanut reaction from their product.
This is one of the many reasons why it is so difficult to find safe products for the peanut allergic.
Until there is better manufacturing processes and product labeling etc. (in many countries including the U.S.), finding safe products will continue to be frustrating, stressful, and time consuming. We are working so that what you read on a product label is what you can expect to be in the product. Until we reach that point we will all have to continue to do all the work necessary to find out what is really (or possibly) in the product we are inquiring about.
That said, many people have checked out the products they use and have many food items which they feel safe about. Some feel comfortable using the larger manufacturers products, some just read the labels, some contact the manufacturers to inquire about their products etc.. As you can see, there are different levels that people go to and there are many factors that come into play. The education level about peanut allergy and other reasons, such as how much work an individual will put into checking out products etc.. all come into play when they make up their lists.
------------------ Stay Safe