Nut- & Peanut-Free!

When packing school lunches and snacks, pack at least three out of the four food groups found in Canada’s Food Guide in your child’s lunch each day. Snacks should include at least two of the four food groups.
As a refresher, the four food groups include: Vegetables and Fruit, Grain Products, Milk and Alternatives, and Meat and Alternatives. If you’re able to pack a lunch including all four food groups, that’s even better!

Are you looking for nut- or peanut-free snack ideas for school lunches?

It can be challenging for some families to come up with new and exciting school lunch ideas. Below is a list of nut- and peanut-free snacks to include in your child’s lunch!

·         Homemade trail mix (recipe found below)
·         Yogurt parfait (yogurt, nut-free granola/cereal, and fruit)
·         Cottage cheese and fruit
·         Rice cake spread with cream cheese and topped with fruit
·         Plain popcorn
·         Hard-boiled eggs
·         Cheese and whole grain crackers with salsa
·         Homemade nut- and peanut-free granola bars
·         Homemade nut- and peanut-free muffins/loaf
·         Raw vegetables and dip (hummus, bean dip, homemade)
·         Kale chips (see my previous blog post for other homemade fruit/vegetable chips!)
Please post below if you have any other nut- or peanut-free snack/lunch ideas to share!

Be sure to read the label on all pre-packaged foods each time you are purchasing a nut- or peanut-free product.

Nut- and Peanut Free?

Do you notice how I keep saying “nut- and peanut-free”?  Why don’t I just say “nut-free”? The reason for this is because peanuts are actually part of the legume family (same family as lentils), not the tree nut family. Tree nuts include: macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and others. Individuals can be allergic to only tree nuts, only peanuts, or both! Some people may be allergic to all types of tree nuts and others only one type - very interesting!

Homemade Nut- and Peanut-Free Trail Mix

·         ½ cup Pumpkin seeds
·         ½ cup Sunflower seeds (make sure they are not roasted in peanut oil)
·         ½ cup Raisins or cranberries
·         ½ cup Nut-free granola, cheerios or your favourite cereal
·         ½ cup Unsalted pretzel sticks

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in an airtight container.

My 2 year-old niece loved helping me with this quick and easy recipe. She also enjoyed eating the final product!!


~Paige Turton
Dietetic Intern at PDHU

For those who haven’t read my previous post, I will reintroduce myself! My name is Paige Turton and I am currently completing my Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition at Brescia University College, Western University. During completion of this program I am required to complete several placements in various sectors, including public health. As you might’ve guessed, I’m currently completing my 8-week rotation with the Perth District Health Unit. Thanks in advance for reading my second post!