If your school-age child has food allergies, you know that preparing safe lunches that are also enticing can be a challenge. That's why we created this menu of lunchroom suggestions that not only addresses the seven food allergies kids are most likely to have but also makes the grade from a nutritional—and taste—perspective.

Remember to always read labels carefully to make sure the ingredients in these lunch suggestions are safe for your child to eat. Formulations and cross-contamination safety measures can vary by company and product.

Peanut Allergy: Can’t Do PB&J?

Try a peanut-free nutty spread like sunflower-seed butter. Spread whole-wheat bread with the butter (made in a nut-free facility) and banana slices. Pack with celery slices and an apple.

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Or something different:
• Make your own parfait. 
Send a single-serving container of Greek yogurt with individual bags of your child’s favorite whole-grain cereal and blueberries. Pack with a bag of carrot sticks.

• Soup and crackers. Pack an insulated container filled with chicken noodle soup and send along a bag of whole-wheat crackers and a container of cubed cantaloupe.

Tree Nut Allergy: Can’t Do Store-Bought Granola?

Try a nut-free make-it-yourself yogurt mix-in like DIY trail mix. Combine these ingredients in a bag: raisins, whole-grain cereal, and roasted edamame. Pack with a container of yogurt, sliced strawberries, and handful of raw string beans.

Or something different:
• Make your own pizza.
In individual containers, pack two or three mini whole-grain pitas, tomato sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Pack with green pepper slices and sliced kiwi.
• Mini waffle-wiches. Prepare four mini whole-grain waffles according to package instructions. Spread two with sunflower-seed butter (produced in a nut-free facility) and raspberry preserves. Top each with another waffle. Pack with baby carrots and a banana. 

Dairy Allergy: Can’t Do String Cheese?

Try a dairy-free finger food like guac dippers. Send a single-serving pack of guacamole with individual bags of red-pepper and jicama sticks, black beans, and baked tortilla chips.

Or something different:
• Overnight chocolate oats.
The night before, mix ¾ cup rolled oats, 1 cup chocolate almond milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract in a thermos. Refrigerate until morning. Pack with a squeeze pack of almond butter and raspberries for your child to drizzle on top.

• Almond butter wrap. Spread a whole-wheat tortilla or lavash with almond butter, apple butter, and coconut, then roll up. Pack with cherry tomatoes and raspberries.  

Egg Allergy: Can’t Do Hard-Boiled Eggs?

Try an egg-free picnic-style lunch with hummus dippers. Send an individual container of hummus packed with bags of carrot and cucumber slices, whole-wheat pita triangles, and dried figs.

Or something different:
• Cool quesadilla.
Top a whole-wheat flour tortilla with shredded Monterey jack cheese and melt in a skillet or panini press. Then fold in half and cut into triangles. Pack with a container of salsa and an orange.

• Turkey and apple sandwich. Make it by smearing whole-wheat bread with a little Brie cheese and adding turkey breast and thin Fuji apple slices. Top with mustard or apple butter. Pack with baby carrots and a side of ranch dressing.  

Fish/Shellfish Allergy: Can’t Do Tuna Salad on White?

Try a fish-free tuna stand-in like "chickpea of the sea." Stuff a whole-grain pita with chickpea “tuna salad.” Mash chickpeas slightly with a fork (they should mostly retain their round shape), then mix with mayo, chopped celery, and salt and pepper to taste. Pack with sugar snap peas and a pear.

Or something different:
• All-in-one.
Using individual containers or zip-top bags, pack small slices of Swiss cheese and roast beef or turkey breast, whole-grain crackers, and cucumber slices. Pack with red grapes.

• Tomato and mozzarella mix. Mix cherry tomatoes with small balls of mozzarella cheese, then toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pack with whole-grain crackers and clementines.  

Wheat Allergy: Can’t Do Bread?

Try a wheat-free rollup like turkey and cheese pops. Roll a slice of turkey with a slice of cheese, skewer with two or three small, gluten-free pretzel sticks to secure it, and cut into individual “pops.” Pack with extra gluten-free pretzel sticks and a banana.

Or something different:
• Make it yourself tacos.
In individual containers, pack two small corn tortillas (double-check that they’re gluten-free), black beans, guacamole, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese. Pack with a peach.

• “I can eat it” pasta salad. Toss cooked gluten-free pasta with chopped carrots, bell peppers, leftover chicken breast, and olive oil and red-wine vinegar. Pack with green grapes.

Soy Allergy: Can’t Do Soy Butter?

Try a soy-free spread like tahini and honey. Mix tahini (sesame-seed spread) with honey, spread on whole-wheat bread as you would peanut butter, and top with thin Gala apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Pack with carrot and celery sticks.

Or something different:
• Turkey sushi roll.
Spread a spinach tortilla with spreadable cheese and top with a slice of turkey breast. Sprinkle with shredded carrots and julienned cucumber. Roll tightly, secure with toothpicks, and cut into four slices. Pack with an apple.

• Pasta butterflies. Toss cooked bowtie pasta with chopped baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, feta-cheese cubes, olive oil, and red-wine vinegar. Pack with blueberries.