Apr 16, 2014 8:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


Sneaky ingredients such as wheat, dairy and peanuts may be hiding in seemingly safe food products—and in your child’s school cafeteria. Food allergies can make lunchtime a big bummer, but with a little kitchen know-how and creativity, you can put the fun back in the brown-bag lunch.

Wheat

Wheat is in a plethora of foods, which makes it difficult to avoid. Read labels carefully, and when it’s hoagie day in the cafeteria, arm your tyke with a wheat-free option.

Sack Lunch Swap:

Try this Ham, Cheese and Apple Sandwich.

Ingredients

  • ¼ teaspoon apple jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices wheat-free bread (try rye bread that’s made without wheat flour)
  • 2 slices low-sodium deli ham
  • 1 (0.8 ounces) cheddar cheese or cheddar-flavored nondairy slice
  • ¼ apple, cored and cut into 6 thin slices

Preparation

  1. Microwave jelly on high for 10 seconds or until it melts. Combine jelly and mustard; spread mixture evenly on one slice of bread.
  2. Layer ham slices, cheese slice, and apple slices over mustard mixture; top with remaining bread slice.

(yields 1 sandwich)

Why Kids Love It

The apple jelly dresses it up with a little kick of sweetness.

Source: myrecipes.com

Dairy

Dairy products are in some of the yummiest foods and desserts the school cafeteria has to offer: cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cookies.

Sack Lunch Swap:

Send your child to school with these simple dairy-free applesauce cookies instead. (Shhh … they won’t know you didn’t add sugar.)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Blend them well.
  3. Spoon the dough for these drop cookies onto greased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool.

(yields 24 cookies)

Why Kids Love It

One word: cookies!

Source: delish.com

Peanuts

These nuts show up in peanut butter, peanut oil, natural and artificial flavorings—and even in many processed foods because of cross-contamination. If the cafeteria cooks with nuts or peanut oil, avoid school lunch altogether.

Sack Lunch Swap:

Try this Tuna Salad Sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces tuna, packed in oil, drained
  • ½ stalk celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • ¼ red apple peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 scant tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly chopped basil leaves (optional)
  • 1 scant teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices bread (if allergic to wheat, reach for the rye)

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, celery, apple, mayonnaise, basil and lemon juice; mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sandwich tuna salad between bread.

(yields 4 sandwiches)

Why Kids Love It

Crunchy and creamy?! The kiddos will be so impressed that they’ll never realize you sneaked fruits and veggies into their sandwich.

Source: delish.com

recipes food allergies kids health

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