Public Schools Banning Peanuts: What Can Kids Still Eat?

Health & Wellness on 08.25.11
Contributor bio | twitter

Remember when nuts were everywhere? No, not people that are nuts, those have apparently increased in number over the years, but actual nuts.

What was once a minor disappointment on a random flight has suddenly become a major player in the day-to-day life of many families across the country -- many decent, hard-working, peanut-loving families. It seems that peanuts are no longer welcome in polite society.

Due to the rise in reported peanut allergies, many public schools are officially going peanut-free, and with that so to goes the lunchtime classic and fallback staple, peanut butter and jelly. That's right, peanut butter is going the way of other fun things that were once considered socially acceptable, like smoking and fanny packs.

As a child I had some fairly severe allergies, and to this day I can't eat walnuts, cucumbers or a number of melons without my throat feeling like it was snaked with poison ivy. Food allergies are not fun.

But they're catching on!

It seems that everything from lactose intolerance to gluten and peanut allergies are all the rage. Even the cool kids are doing it.

Bottom line, it is no longer peanut butter jelly time, which may be the best thing to come out of this.

While the question of banning peanuts from public schools has, in some cases, been the subject of heated debate, I'll go on record as stating that I don't have a problem with schools banning peanuts (ours has). I'm a firm believer in the health of a child being more important than my lack of creativity in the kitchen, and we've been able to find some tasty alternatives in the Trader Joe's aisle of our local Trader Joe's. For instance, sunflower butter is actually good. Who knew? But I'd like to have a few more options.

Which leads me to the question at hand. Is your child's school peanut-free, and if so, what fun, different and/or nutritious recipes do you use to adjust their healthy lunches accordingly?

Photo: nojhan/Creative Commons

Top Articles on Food Allergies
Non-Food Allergy Meals for Kids
Food Allergies in Kids May Be Twices as Common as Previously Thought
Most Common Food Allergies