Allergy friendly lunches can be a challenge sometimes. And when it comes to school lunches, sometimes you have to think about allergies that affect the whole school, such as if your child goes to a peanut free school (even if they themselves don’t have nut allergies).
Here we are to the rescue with some fresh ideas for you!
Allergy Friendly Asian Inspired Bento Box
What is in this box:
This is a fun box with some different items that you might not think of to put in a lunch every day. The nice thing is you can pack one for your child and one for you too! The spicy sweet of the Lemon Ginger bar is the perfect addition to all these flavors.
It is naturally vegan, nut free, and wheat free. You can easily make it soy free by substituting tamari with another sauce that you love. Sushi can be a fun activity to make together as a family the night before, and can be made with many different types of ingredients.
An important thing to double check with these foods is for fish and shellfish. Sometimes those ingredients can show up in something like kimchi, so check that it is a recipe that works for your dietary needs. The other good news is that this box is stocked full of probiotics and antioxidants!
If your child is not a fan of traditional sushi, then you can make “fruit sushi” by rolling out a ZEGO fruit bar for the seaweed, adding sweet sticky rice, and pieces of your favorite fresh fruit. Mango or something tropical would be especially good.
Nut Free Bento Box Idea
What is in this box:
This is not only nut-free, but also gluten-free and vegan. If you don’t need to be gluten-free, you could easily swap out your favorite pretzels and bread for the gluten-free versions. Peaches and cherry are flavors that go together well, and the kale chips add some nice crunch and veggies.
You can make the kale chips yourself, or buy your favorite allergy-friendly brand.
What is also nice about this combination is several protein sources without meat, dairy, or eggs.
While sandwiches are a staple in many lunches, you can also twist it up for some variety. Consider putting Sunbutter and Mix-Ins on a rice cake, or cutting up your favorite ZEGO flavor with toast and any other spread – like this delicious avocado toast!
Dairy Free Bento Box Idea
What’s in this box:
Most of the boxes in this list are dairy free, but this is proof that there are lots of ways to get protein without dairy! The mini-muffin can be gluten-free if you want. And if you can’t have soy, you can swap out the roasted edamame for a handful of Mix-ins, or dried peas or lentils.
Lime and sea salt make the beans a little more interesting. You could also add salsa to the beans if you want a bit more spice.
One of the great things about ZEGO bars is that they can be slipped in a lunch box in addition to a full bento box in order to get in a little more nutrition in an easy grab package.
Soy Free Bento Box Idea
What is in the box:
There are a LOT of flavors going on in this box, which is why a Sunflower Date bar seemed like a good fit. It adds more protein with a nice smooth taste, that goes well with the beet hummus and crunchy veggies.
If you haven’t started experimenting with your hummus choices, you should give it a try! There are a lot of different flavor options. And the crunchy sweet of the raw sweet pototo slices is a good way to add variety to the normal dipping vegetables that you might think of.
If you hae corn allergies, you can always swap out the corn chips for rice cakes, pretzels, or whatever other crunch dipper you like.
Egg Free Bento Box
What is in the box:
- Multi-grain tortilla chips
- Grape tomatoes
- Snap peas
- Three different kinds of hummus
- Sunflower Date ZEGO Bar
Here is another twist on hummus and chips. This one includes multi-grain chips, a couple different veggies, and siracha carrot, white bean, and black bean hummus. The Sunflower Date bar adds some subtle sweet to the box.
Again, there are always other chip choices to suit your needs, and get creative with trying different types of veggies as a dipper!
Wheat Free Bento Box
What’s in this box:
- Apple Cinnamon Mix-ins
- Spinach patties
- Dairy-free yogurt
- Hard-boiled egg
- Black grapes
This box is almost like a brunch box! The spinach patties are almost like hash browns, and the yogurt is ready for the Mix-ins to be added for an instant parfait. It has a lot of variety in nutrients and a high protein content. If you need to skip the eggs, the Mix-ins still provide a high-protein alternative. Maybe include both flavors if you want to make it egg free!
Pick whatever type of yogurt meets your dietary needs, and add some probiotics to your meal in the process.
Bonus: Allergy Friendly Snack Ideas
Sometimes all it takes to liven up a lunch or snack is to present it in a different way! For example, make fruit kebobs with ZEGO bars, or intermingle the bars with fresh fruit on the kebob. You can also use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes from your bars to give your kids a fun treat to look forward to.
Which of these ideas are you going to try?
Cold weather and holidays mean hot drinks! The only problem is, the eggnog and hot chocolate that most people are drinking aren’t really allergy friendly. So we decided to use our bar flavors as inspiration to make a twist on the classics and give you some amazing flavors that the whole family can enjoy.
We went back to the test kitchen to create four different drinks: Spiced Hot Apple Cider, Mulled Fruit, Ginger Lemon Tea, and allergy friendly Hot Cocoa (with a fun find to go with it!).
Spiced Hot Apple Cider
During these chilly, winter months, one of our favorite things to do is curl up with a soft blanket, a good book, and a cup of spiced cider. We wanted to take the traditional cider up a notch, so we looked to our Seed+Fruit Apple Cinnamon bars to come up with a fun, delicious take on Hot Apple Cider.
If you are entertaining this year, this recipe is perfect, because it is simple, easy, delicious, and it will make your house smell amazing!
6 cups of Organic Apple Cider
1 Organic Orange (sliced)
1 Organic Apple (sliced)
3 Cinnamon Sticks
2 tsp Cloves
1/2 Tsp Peppercorn
1 inch of Fresh Ginger
1/4 tsp of Chinese Five Spice (optional)
Combine above ingredients in a saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the house is filled with the aroma of spiced cider. Want the no-fuss version? Put it all in a slow cooker on low until it is hot.
Mulled Fruit (Wine Optional)
Mulled wine is one of those traditional drinks that is starting to be left out. But as we know from our Just Fruit bars, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh fruit. Blending this drink makes it frothy and delicious, not to mention very pretty to serve! It is easy to create this virgin drink, but if you want to add an adult kick, we included those instructions as well. Another great thing about this drink is that there is enough sweetness from the juice, that you don’t have to add any additional sweetener!
8 cups of Organic Cranberry-Raspberry Juice (100% Juice)
1 lb Strawberries washed and hulled
1 tsp Organic Cloves (or to taste)
Extra Strawberries for garnish
Optional: Replace half the juice for shiraz wine
Blend strawberries, juice, and cloves on high. This will make it nice and frothy. They pour into individual cups and microwave for 60 seconds, or simmer on low in a pot until warm, being careful not to overstir so that it stays frothy. Slice a whole strawberry halfway through the middle to slide over the edge of the cup to decorate.
Dairy Free (Allergy Friendly) Hot Chocolate:
Hot Chocolate is an all-time favorite winter drink of ours, but its nearly impossible to find a true allergy-friendly hot chocolate at a restaurant. Even if you sub in a milk alternative, chances are the chocolate will contain dairy, so we looked to our Seed+Fruit Fudgy Chocolate bar to make the most delicious and velvety recipe you’ve ever tried.
This recipe makes enough for the entire season (honestly, it makes a lot!), so just put the finished mixture into a cute jar, and you won’t need to make this again all winter. Next time you’re having a craving, just put 2-4 Tbs of the premed mix into a cup with your favorite milk alternative, and you’re ready to go!
It also makes a cute gift! We keep some of these around to hand out to house guests, so everyone can leave with a tasty little treat. Our friends and family love getting this every year!
2 1/2 Cups of Organic Sugar
1 Cup of Allergy Friendly Chocolate Chips (Pascha is our favorite brand)
2 1/2 Cups of Organic Cocoa Powder
1 Tbs Salt
1/2 Cup of Macha Powder (optional)
1 Cup of your Favorite Milk Alternative when ready to drink
Combine all dry ingredients together and mix well. Store in an airtight container.
When ready to serve, add 2-4Tbs of the mixture to 1 cup of your favorite milk alternative. Top with candy canes.
Do you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate? It can be hard to find ones that are allergy friendly, and even harder to find ones that are vegan and taste good! That is why we were so excited to find these brand – Dandies. They are a peanut and tree nut free facility, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan! And they were the softest, fluffiest, yummiest marshmallows we had ever tasted. It was hard to keep the kids out of them long enough to take this photo. Extra fun? They come in both traditional vanilla flavor, as well as a Peppermint flavor that is colored pink with beets (no artificial colors!) so that you can have mint hot cocoa if you would like as well. They are also Non-GMO certified, so we consider this an all-around win.
Lemon Ginger Spiced Tea
Why have regular hot tea, when you can spice it up? This is a super simple way to take a common drink to the next level and add something that will make it memorable.
8 Cups Hot Water
4-6 Tea bags or 3 Tablespoons whole leaf tea (green tea works great)
1 Whole lemon, sliced
8 pieces of Crystallized Ginger
Brew the tea as usual, and then put a slice of fresh lemon and a piece of ginger into each cup. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the ginger flavor will be. You may want to add an extra pinch of sugar to taste, depending on how sweet you want this drink to be.
Does fall having you craving all things pumpkin? Well, we have you covered with this incredibly easy and delicious recipe for allergy friendly pumpkin muffins (that’s right, they are free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and dairy)! We made these the other day, and the office filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice, it was just perfect for fall.
These muffins disappeared quickly, so be prepared to make a second batch 😉 But don’t worry too much, because not only do they taste delectable, they also have some surprising health benefits hidden inside!
First, the pumpkin provides beta-carotene, which helps your eyes and skin stay healthy. Second, the ZEGO Bar crust adds extra protein and fiber helping you stay full longer. And of course, we never use any artificial sweeteners, flavorings, or colors that you find in most of the pumpkin spice things you can buy right now.
Chocolatey ZEGO Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Muffins:
Recipe (makes 12-15 muffins):
- 1 2/3 cups of gluten-free flour
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (we like to use Spicely organic)
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup of coconut sugar
- 1 cup of pumpkin (roasted yourself has more pumpkin flavor, but canned works too!)
- 1 cup of melted coconut oil (you can also use butter or ghee)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips (we like Pascha)
- 2 eggs (can sub flax eggs to make it vegan)
- 2 Seed+Fruit Chocolate ZEGO bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients together and stir well
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, coconut oil, and vanilla extract
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, incorporating well
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Grease muffin pan
- Add in the ZEGO bars
- Either dice the bars and fold into the batter (like chocolate chips),
- Or Press the bars out until thin, and place on the bottom of the greased muffin pan for a chocolate muffin crust (like we did below).
- Pour batter into muffin pan
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean