Peanut allergies are more common, and many preschools are banning peanuts and peanut butter in the classroom. If your child has a peanut allergy, finding a peanut-free alternative for lunch can be a real task. Here are some great alternatives to the beloved (but possibly dangerous) peanut butter sandwich.
1. Sunbutter (Sunflower seed butter) and raspberry jam sandwich. Sunbutter is a seed butter made from sunflower seeds. It is considered a safe alternative for those with peanut and tree nut allergy. Sunbutter is a good source of vitamin E and iron and contains twice the fiber of peanut butter. Spread a slice of bread with Sunbutter, and top it with raspberry jam.
2. Ham and cheese on rye bread. Pre-packaged ham and cheese is your safest bet against cross-contamination and added allergens. Read the ingredient label, as processing in manufacturing facilities and cross-contamination may be an issue. Getting ham and cheese from the deli can be risky, as well, due to the potential for cross-contamination.
3. Turkey and hummus roll ups. Buy turkey and hummus pre-packaged, and make sure to double-check the ingredient list for allergens. Use hummus as a spread on the turkey to add in extra protein and flavor, and roll it into tubes. Hummus is made from chick peas (garbanzo beans) and despite its classification as a legume, it is usually tolerated with a peanut allergy.
4. Hummus and pita bread. Spread the inside of a pita pocket with hummus or send them separately so your child can dip the bread into the hummus.
5. Cheese sandwich. Cover one slice of whole grain bread with a slice or two of your child’s favorite cheese.
6. Soy butter with banana slices on whole wheat bread. Soy butter is a popular alternative to peanut butter. Made from soybeans, this substitute is full of fiber, protein, and the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Swipe some soy butter on whole wheat bread and top with banana slices.
7. Almond butter and sliced apples. Sometimes a sandwich isn’t in the cards. Try this peanut-free option for lunch or as a snack option. Almond butter is made from almonds, which are tree nuts. Almond butter is rich in fiber, vitamin E, and healthy fats. In fact, almonds contain more nutrients per calorie than any other nut.
8. Cashew butter on an English muffin topped with raisins. Cashew butter is made from the cashew, a tree nut. Spread it on a piping hot English muffin for some melted nut butter goodness. Add the raisins on top for an extra boost of iron.
9. Pumpkin seed butter and honey sandwich. Pumpkin seed butter is different from pumpkin butter, which is made from the flesh of the pumpkin. Pumpkin seed butter is made from roasting pumpkin seeds and grinding them in a blender to a smooth consistency. Spread slices of bread with pumpkin seed butter and drizzle a bit of honey on top for a nutritious and delicious peanut butter sandwich stand-in.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, May 2020
- There are several delicious and nutritious alternatives to the peanut butter sandwich.
- If your child is allergic to peanuts, try offering seed and other nut butters instead (as long as there isn’t a tree nut allergy).
- Be sure to read the package label! Ingredient labels will inform peanut-free food choices, especially if there is a risk of cross-contamination.