Nut-free lunch boxes are everyone’s responsibility – so choose wisely

One of the most confronting realities of having a child is the sheer number of things that could put them in danger on a daily basis.

A fact that makes it impossible not to care about the parents who, on top of the litany of daily concerns, have food allergies at the top of their worry list.

The idea that your child’s proximity to certain foods could threaten their life is about as scary as it gets. Especially when they make it to the wilds of big school. More kids. More lunchboxes. More threat. 


Read more on lunchboxes: 


Almost 3 in every 100 children have a peanut allergy

Apparently, almost three in every 100 Australian children have a peanut allergy. Many of these kids will not be officially diagnosed until later in life. And while some will grow out of them, the kids at school with the most severe allergic reactions are unlikely to.

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I came across a rather unhinged blog post about nuts in schools. And it left me confused and sad. The writer was outraged by the no-nut policy in modern schools. She believed her child had a RIGHT to bring peanut butter sandwiches to school because a child with allergies should know better than to eat another child’s food. So why should her child suffer for the sake of someone else’s? Well, kids should know better than to take 17 minutes to tell a 1 minute story but they don’t. Kids should know better than to put sultanas up their nostrils but they don’t. Kids should know better than to describe their mother’s breasts as being ‘dangly’ but they don’t. It’s not fair to put grown-up expectations on the shoulders of children. But let’s say the child DID know not to eat another’s food… well, that ISN’T enough to protect them because some little nutter could have nut oil/residue on their hands which they will then proceed to rub all over the place: on the ladder to the slide, on the backs of chairs, on handrails, on toilet locks, on pencils. And the frightening fact is that could kill someone’s child. Not being able to bring bloody Nutella to school isn’t suffering but suffocating from an anaphylactic allergic reaction IS. So is listening to Nickelback. Let’s be considerate. NO NUTS IN SCHOOLS. And no Nickelback. It’s just not worth it. #savethechildrensendfairybreadinstead #weareallhumanandweareallateam

A post shared by Shannon Kelly White (@shannonskitchenaustralia) on

As a first-time kindy mum this year, I will admit to being more than a little thrown by the lunch box routine. And yeah, my big boy loves a peanut butter sandwich. But would I throw one in just because it was easier for us, despite our nut-free policy at school? Hell, no.

Over the weekend, blogger Shannon Kelly White shared a story of a mum who felt angry that her child had a “right” to bring a peanut butter sandwich to school because she would suffer without it because the child with allergies “should know better than to eat another child’s food.”

Using the hashtags, #savethechildrensendfairybreadinstead #weareallhumanandweareallateam Shannon wrote:

“It’s not fair to put grown-up expectations on the shoulders of children. But let’s say the child DID know not to eat another’s food … well, that ISN’T enough to protect them because some little nutter could have nut oil/residue on their hands which they will then proceed to rub all over the place: on the ladder to the slide, on the backs of chairs, on handrails, on toilet locks, on pencils. And the frightening fact is that could kill someone’s child.

“Not being able to bring bloody Nutella to school isn’t suffering, but suffocating from an anaphylactic allergic reaction IS. So is listening to Nickelback. Let’s be considerate. NO NUTS IN SCHOOLS. And no Nickelback. It’s just not worth it.”

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I was in the mood for a big cook up yesterday and some of the meal prep landed in school lunchboxes today and some was pulled out of the freezer… . RECESS 💗Strawberry Oat Muffins out of the freezer, still icy but will thaw by recess – from my Easy Wholefood Lunchboxes ebook (click the link in my profile to grab your copy) 💗Cream cheese and Salad Mountain Bread wraps 💗Red apple . MAIN MEAL 💗Curried Lentil and Vegetable Sausage Rolls from my Easy Wholefood Lunchbox ebook. The kid LOVE these. I also made a yoghurt mint sauce for dipping but forgot to pack it 😓 💗Cut up vegetables 💗Plum . . . . . . #lunchbox #lunchboxideas #lunchboxideasforkids #lunchboxlove #kidslunchbox #bentobox #lunchboxinspiration #foodforkids #wholefoods #schoollunch #schoollunchbox #kidslunchideas #lunchboxlove #healthychoices #RockTheLunchBox #lunchboxebook #easylunchboxes#delicious #foodforkids #yummy #freshfood #mealplanning #mealprep #mealprepping #mealprepdaily #fitfood #healthyeating #healthyrecipes #easywholefoodlunchboxes #lunchinspo

A post shared by Brenda Janschek Health Coach (@brendajanschek) on

Some great alternatives to a PB sandwich

If you’re really struggling with coming up with lunch box ideas, Shannon’s pushing a robust looking fairy bread sandwich alternative. And we know there’d be very few complaints about that!

Bron Mandile of Mumlyfe said her kids have always favoured a hummus and carrot, or chicken and mayo sanga.

“You could also try carrot and salami; turkey, rocket, carrot; ham and tomato (just pack slices of tomato separate); cream cheese, chicken and lettuce,” says Bron.

If you have really taste conscious kids, who miss the taste of peanut butter at lunchtime, health coach, Brenda Janschek recommends this delicious combination:

“Flavour-wise the closest swap would be sunflower seed butter or tahini. Both are delicious spread with a bit of honey, date syrup or even some jam.”

Yum.  

Barbara O’Reilly from the Patchwork Cactus blog says her kids love Free Nut Butter on wraps or an egg salad. 

“Egg salad is a good protein-rich alternative in the fridge,” says Barbara. 

One of the very best things about school is the exposure it gives our little ones to the way other people live. It literally expands their world view, every single day they are there. Teaching our kids empathy and being aware of how their actions affect others is among the most important lesson they’ll ever learn. 

Not packing a peanut butter sandwich will not only help the kids with allergies at your school but explaining to your kids why you’re doing that is a really simple way to kickstart the process towards being a better human. 

It really isn’t that hard. 

As Shannon says, #weareallhumanandweareallateam.

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