I was recently assigned snack week responsibilities at my Hungry Boy’s school. As you can imagine, I took the call of snack duty very seriously. I made a week long snack plan, making sure that every day’s snack would:
* be rich in protein
* provide a serving of fruit and/or vegetables
* give a dose of healthy fat and whole grain carbs to keep up their energy
But there’s something that I didn’t consider: nuts! I totally took for granted that my son’s school allows tree nuts in the lunchroom (and I’m not just talking the 4 year-olds!).
Since this is fast becoming a rarity, I’ve adjusted my week-long snack plan to create a nut-free version.
Here’s my original snack plan, with asterisks next to the snacks that need adjusting:
Monday: Zucchini muffins, pears, cheddar cheese
Tuesday: Crunchy Honey Cinnamon Granola Bars* and Apple Banana fruit squeezers (we also like the Trader Joe’s Apple Carrot squeezers)
Wednesday: Hummus, pita chips, carrots and celery sticks
Thursday: Mini Peanut Butter Sammys on Oatmeal Flax Crackers* and grapes (which are on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list of the 12 most pesticide ridden foods; consider sticking to organic grapes if possible)
Friday: Homemade trail mix*, fresh banana, string cheese
Let’s start with the Honey Cinnamon Granola Bars. The only tree-nut in the original recipe is almonds. Easy breezy! You can either just skip them or add 1/2-1 c of dried fruit. Dried cranberries or cherries would be delicious.
The only ingredient with nuts in the Mini Peanut Butter Sammys on Oat Flax Crackers is, well, the peanut butter. Another easy substitute thanks to SunButter, a peanut butter-like spread made with sunflower seeds.
As for the trail mix, well, that’s my loose term for any combination of nuts, seeds, dried and dehydrated fruit that I have in cupboard. All you have to do is skip the nuts. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped dried apricot, freeze dried banana and apple chips plus a small handful of mini-chocolate chips for good measure—perfect! If that doesn’t feel substantial enough, toast up some rolled oats and throw them into the mix.
If none of these nut-free versions strike your fancy, you can always try some of my other nut-free snacks. All of these goodies can be made ahead of time and last for a week stored in an airtight container. The muffins also freeze well, so make a big batch and have them on hand for whenever you need a snack stat!
What are your favorite nut-free snack ideas? Please share!
Kids change the way we cook, but they don’t have to change how well we eat. Read more of Stacie’s family-friendly recipes and tips at One Hungry Mama.