10 Allergy-Friendly School Lunches (Nut Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

These 10 Allergy-Friendly School Lunches are all nut, dairy and gluten-free! 2 weeks worth of school lunch ideas! Great if your child has food allergies or if your school has food restrictions.

10 Allergy-Friendly School Lunches

Having to pack school lunches e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y for your kids is hard enough, then when you add on food restrictions from allergies or from school rules, it’s easy to see how packing lunches has become the dreaded chore that no one wants to do.

This year, one of my daughters is going to a nut-free school while at the same time my family is currently eliminating diary and gluten to see if that has any effect on my daughter and husband’s eczema (fyi - the elimination is totally working! yay!). This means that I now have to pack nut, gluten and dairy free school lunches for both of my girls.

While my family doesn’t have any true food allergies, I now totally get how limiting, isolating and worrisome it must be for families with true food allergies. My hat goes off to all of you that have to work so hard to keep your kids safe while also keeping their bullies full.

So over the last 3 months, I have used my girls as non-paid test subjects.

I mean, I pay them in food, so I am pretty sure it works out in their favor:)

I have being experimenting on making allergy-friendly lunches that 1) they find tastes great 2) keeps them full until after school pickup 3) are filled with healthy and wholesome foods 4) are similar to the foods served at their schools so they don’t feel left out on pizza day.

The 10 lunches below are their clear winners!

These are the lunches that they ask for on repeat (okay, the bagel pizza they ask for everyday;)

We now have variations of these 10 lunches on repeat. Which makes packing school lunches somewhat tolerable again!

Why You Will Love These Allergy-Friendly School Lunches:

  • nut-free

  • dairy-free

  • gluten-free

  • nutrient dense with lots of real foods

  • easy to make - 10 minutes or less

  • similar foods (pizza, chicken nuggets, etc) as what they serve at school

  • variety of foods

  • easy to adjust based on what foods you have aversions towards

I want to know, what does your kid like to eat in their Allergy-Friendly lunch box? Let me know below in the comments!

Lunch on Left - bagel pizza with pepperoni and olives on gluten-free bagel using dairy-free cheese, snapeas, carrot sticks with dairy-free ranch, blueberries and blackberries and dye-free vegan candy (UNREAL is one of our favorite brands).

Lunch of Right - Avocado Chicken Salad (mix together some pre-cooked shredded chicken with a tablespoon of vegan mayo, a couple tablespoons of smashed avocado, pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice) served with gluten-free crackers (could also make into a sandwich with gluten-free bread), raspberries, carrot sticks and dye-free vegan candy.

Lunch on Left - gluten-free pasta with a meat sauce (my kids eat cold pasta for lunch but you can use this bento lunch box if yours prefer theirs warm), baby zucchini sticks with dairy-free ranch, pear slices (place face down or squeeze a little lemon juice on them to keep them from browning), Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins and vitamins (2 Vitamin C gummies and a fish oil gummy) for dessert. Christina over at Dessert for Two started adding her daughters vitamins to her school lunch and I thought that was a brilliant idea, especially when they are the gummy kind of vitamins. My kids actually think they are treats.

Lunch on Right - bean and corn quesadilla on corn tortillas with a side of smashed avocado (we get ours pre-made from Trader Joes and it is not spicy at all), cut grapes, pepper strips, broccoli and cauliflower pieces with dairy-free ranch and allergy friendly chocolate chips (this is our favorite brand).

Lunch on Left - bean and diary-free cheese nachos with smashed avocado, kiwi slices, mini pepper slices, fruit salad and dye-free vegan candy. To make the nachos, I microwave the nachos until the cheese is melted (or as melted as it will get for diary-free cheese), let them cool completely for packing in bento box. My daughter told me they were still crunchy at lunch time.

Lunche on Right - gluten and dairy-free chicken nuggets (this is our favorite brand, not pictured here), apple slices, green beans (served raw or slightly blanched), cuties and allergy-friendly chocolate chips.

Lunch on Left - grilled chicken with bbq sauce, kettle chips, snap peas, cut strawberries and dried apricot.

Lunch of Right - coconut milk yogurt with a dollop of apple cinnamon jam (got the jam from Trader Joes and it is ridiculously amazing), nut and gluten-free granola (homemade or store-bought, this is a great store bought option), cut melon, bacon, blueberries and gummies for dessert (Vitamin C and Fish Oil, I also usually will add in an Elderberry gummy but I was out this week).

Lunch on the Left - allergy-friendly lunchables - diary-free cheese, turkey roll-ups, pepperoni slices and gluten-free crackers (my kids love this or this brand of crackers). Served with cucumber slices, cutie slices, popcorn and dye free vegan candy.

Lunch on the Right - diary-free cream cheese and jam pancake sandwiches made with frozen dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes, carrot coins, hard boiled egg, pear chunks with pomegranate seeds and a piece of dark chocolate.

Products I Love to Use for School Lunches -



Want more school lunch recipe ideas? Then check out my best-selling cookbook Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Boxes for Kids!


12 Children's Story Books to Inspire Thankfulness (great for kids ages 0-6)

These 12 Children’s Story Books to Inspire Thankfulness are wonderful books to read to your children ages 0-6.

12 Children's Story Books to Inspire Thankfulness

Besides eating ourselves silly on turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving, is also a time to reflect on all that we are thankful for in our lives.

Which also means it’s a great time to teach our children what thankfulness truly is.

Getting young children to go from simply saying ‘thank you’ (which in itself can sometimes be a challenge) for kind acts, gifts or goodwill gestures to fully understanding the deep complexities of what it means to truly be thankful for someone or something takes a bit of time to digest and put into action.

The 12 books below are my go-to books for this time of year to talk to my kids about being thankful.

Our favorite books are age-appropriate, easy to read, have wonderful illustrations and are heartfelt in their messaging.

I truly hope your family loves these books as much as my family does.

Thanksgiving Books

If you are looking for Thanksgiving themed books, I have a couple on the list below but to be honest, Thanksgiving books are usually heavy on the tradition of the Holiday and light on the acts of thankfulness. So scroll to the bottom of the post if you want to know what our favorite traditional Thanksgiving books are.


Board Books for Ages 0-2

Biscuit Is Thankful - The lovable dog Biscuit is thankful for so many things - his bed, his bone and his morning walks. This cute board book is short, sweet and a great way to teach thankfulness from an early age.

Llama Llama Gives Thanks - you really can’t go wrong with any of the Llama Llama series books. This Llama Llama Give Thanks book is a short book about giving thanks all year long. It has colorful illustrations and is great for little ones with shorter attention spans.

Bear Says "Thank You" - A sweet story about a little bear that needs help with a special project from his mom. The ending is super cute (cue mom tears). A great book to introduce to baby and toddler to start teaching them the simple act of saying thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Panda - a humorous take on gift giving, the thoughts behind gift giving and saying thank you for the presents you do receive. My kids think the ending was hilarious and in general they love the Mr. Panda series books.


Story Books for Ages 2-4

Bear Says Thanks - The Bears series books are so heartwarming and this one is no exception - we bring it out each thanksgiving and we read it at least once a day. Bear wants to make a big dinner but has no food in his pantry, so all of his animal friends come over with their bounty to share. A lovely book that teaches about community, helping others and giving thanks!

Thankful - a whimsical book about all of the things we should be thankful for year round. Magical illustrations! This book does have a few religious subtexts in it.

Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks - a sweet book that focuses on bringing families together and being thankful for the little things.

The Thankful Book - A bright, fun and silly book that gives thanks to all of the small things we should be grateful for. It’s told in an age-approachable way that will make kids gain a deeper understanding of what thankfulness really is. A must read for any age of kid!


Story Books for Ages 4-6

Thanks for Thanksgiving - A charming and relatable book for kids that talks about all the things they have to be grateful for - dancing, slides and family. The words have a great flow and the illustrations are warming and colorful. I just got this book this year and I can tell it will be coming out all year long.

The Thank You Book - This might be the sweetest and most heartfelt book I have read in awhile! Going beyond saying ‘thank you’ for manners, this warming tale explores all the ways to be thankful each day. A must-read!

Those Shoes - A must-have book for any family! A touching (I was totally crying the first time I read this) about a boy that wants the latest shoes and can’t afford them, in the end he is thankful for what he does have - new snow boots! A great way to teach both thankfulness and kindness in one book.

The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book) - All kids love the Elephant and Piggie book series and this one might be my favorite. Piggie wants to thank everyone who is important to him, but by the end of the adventure he forgets to thank his best friend Gerald the Elephant. It’s a funny book about friendships and being thankful for everyone special in your life. Kids will really relate to this.




12 Budget-Friendly Homemade Baby Food Purees (75% savings on store-bought brands)

These 12 Budget-Friendly Homemade Baby Food Purees will save you an average of 75% off of store-bought brands! Delicious food for your baby at a fraction of the price!

12 Budget-Friendly Homemade Baby Food Purees

Who wants to save several hundred dollars on baby food?

I better see everyone raising their hands 🙋🙋🙋

I would estimate that the average baby goes through roughly 2500oz of purees in six months, which can cost upwards of $900 with store-bought purees. I don’t know about you, but spending almost a thousand dollars on store-bought baby food is not really on my agenda.

There are so many pairs of amazing shoes I can get with that money instead 😉👠

Especially when I can make a better quality of puree for baby at a fraction of the price!

Below you will see 12 Budget-Friendly Homemade Baby Food Purees that I compared with store bought brands. The recipes don’t always match up perfectly, but I got as close as possible with a variety of different brands. All of the produce I priced out is organic and all of the pouches are organic as well. I did some math and equations (which kinda blew my mind) and I found out that making your own baby food purees saves you a ton of money!!!

The recipes below give you between 55-98% savings off of store-bought brands 💰

Yes! 98%!!!!!!

That is just crazy, I know!

And the average savings come in at 75% off of store-bought brands!!

It’s time to start saving some major money by making some homemade baby food!

Ways to Save Even More Money

Shop Around

I priced out all of the produce for the purees below at Trader Joes, which has cheaper organic produce than Whole Foods but you can certainly get cheaper organic produce at Costco or at your local grocery store. If you want to save even more money, then I would recommend shopping at several different stores and seeing what produce they have on sale each week.

Use Frozen

I would strongly encourage you to use frozen organic produce whenever fresh produce isn’t available or is too costly. Frozen produce is picked and packaged at the peak of freshness so most of the time frozen produce is the same, if not better, quality then you can get fresh at the store. To use frozen produce in baby purees, simply place a bowl of the frozen produce on the counter or in the fridge until thawed. You can also use the defrost setting on the microwave if you are in a rush. Drain any excess water before using in a puree recipe.

Organic vs. Conventional

I always stress that it is best to use organic produce for baby’s food for the first year, but depending on where you live you might not be able to find quality organic produce at a reasonable price. If you can’t find organic produce or simply don’t have the budget for organic produce, then I would then strongly recommend using the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen List as a guide for what organic produce is a must verses what conventional produce is totally fine to use. During the summer months I can usually find all organic produce at reasonable prices but in the winter I use that guide all the time when I shop for my family.

Apple + Spinach and Broccoli Baby Puree

Makes: 18 ounces
3 organic apple ($.99), 1 cup organic broccoli ($.57), 1 cup organic spinach ($.50) = $2.06 or $.11oz

Happy Tot Organic Apples, Spinach, Peas & Broccoli + Super Chia 4oz pouch = $1.59 or $.39oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.28 per ounce or 72% savings

Sweet Potato + Coconut Milk with Coriander Baby Food Puree

30 ounces
3 organic sweet potatoes (2.67), 1/2 cup organic coconut milk ($.28), 1/2 tsp coriander ($.10) = $3.05 or $.10oz

Plum Organics Baby Food, Just Sweet Potato 3oz pouch = $1.13 or $.37oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.27 per ounce or 72% savings

Mango, Kale + Ginger Baby Food Puree

20 ounces
2 organic frozen mangos ($1.19), 2 organic pears ($.82), 1/2 cup organic kale ($.07), 1 tsp fresh ginger (.$10) = $2.18 or $.11oz

Happy Squeeze Organic Superfoods Twist Apple, Kale & Mango 3.17oz pouch = $.95 or $.30oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.19 per ounce or 63% savings

Blackberry + Kale + Apple Baby Puree

Makes: 15 ounces
2 organic apples ($.66), 1 c organic blackberry ($1.84), 1 cup organic baby kale ($.14) = $2.64 or $.17oz

Happy Squeeze Organic Apple, Kale & Blueberry 3.17oz pouch= $.90 or $.38oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.73 per ounce or 71% savings

Apple + Spinach + Pea Baby Food Puree

12 ounces
2 organic apples ($.66), 1/4 cup organic spinach ($.12), 1/4 cup organic frozen peas ($.09) = $.87 or $.07oz

Mama Bear Organic Baby Food Apple, Pear & Spinach 4oz pouch = $1.20 or $.30oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.23 per ounce or 77% savings

Carrot Applesauce for Baby + Toddler

30 ounces
6 organic apples ($1.98), 4 organic carrots ($.52), spices ($.40) = $2.90 or $.10oz

Plum Organics Organic Baby Food, Apple and Carrot 4oz pouch = $1.13 or $.28oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.18 per ounce or 64% savings

Apple + Sweet Potato and Carrot Baby Puree

Makes: 26 ounces
3 organic apples ($.99), 1 organic sweet potato ($.89), 2 organic carrots ($.26) = $2.14 or $.08oz

Happy Baby Organic Sweet Potatoes, Mangos & Carrots 4oz pouch = $1.40 or $.35oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.27 per ounce or 77% savings

Homemade Quinoa Baby Cereal

30 ounces
1/2 cup organic quinoa ($.36) = $.36 or $.01oz

NurturMe Organic Infant Cereals, Protein-Packed Quinoa 8oz package = $4.99 or $.62oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.61 per ounce or 98% savings

5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Food Puree

10 ounces
2 cups organic pears ($.82), 1 cup organic frozen blueberries ($.99) = $1.81 or $.18oz

Ella’s Kitchen Organic Baby Food, Pear + Blueberry Baby Breakfast 3.5oz pouch = $1.40 or $.40oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.22 per ounce or 55% savings

Roasted Banana, Apple + Cinnamon Baby Food Puree

25 ounces
3 organic apples ($.99), 2 organic bananas ($.50), 1/8 cinnamon ($.03) = $1.52 or $.06oz

Mama Bear Organic Baby Food, Apple & Banana 4oz pouch = $1.20 or $.30oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.24 per ounce or 80% savings

Carrot + Nutmeg Baby Food Puree

30 ounces
2 lbs organic carrots (1.58), 1/4 tsp nutmeg ($.05) = $1.63 or $.05oz

Earth's Best Organic Stage 1 Baby Food, Carrots 2.5oz jar = $.52 or $.20oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.15 per ounce or 75% savings

Avocado + Pineapple + Banana Baby Food Puree

Makes: 8 ounces
1/2 organic banana ($.12), 1/4 organic avocado ($.29), 1/4 cup organic pineapple ($.43) = $.84 or $.10oz

Once Upon a Farm Wild Rumpus Avocado 3.12oz pouch = $3.49 or $1.09oz

Total Savings of Homemade Puree = $.99 per ounce or 90% savings


New to making purees? Then check of my guide on which kitchen tools you actually are going to need. Hint, it's not many!


Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins for Toddler + Kids (perfect for school snacks + lunches)

These Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins for Toddlers + Kids are about to rock your world! Not only are they gluten, dairy and nut free but they are beyond delicious and kids of all ages will eat them up! They are perfect as a quick breakfast, for a snack or to pack in a lunch to take to school.

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins for Toddler + Kids

These Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins are my everything right now 🎃🍫✨

Not only do my kids (and myself) eat them like they are going out of style, but they are also dairy-free (for Parker), they are gluten-free (for me) and nut-free (for Parker’s school)!

If your family doesn’t have any food allergies or intolerances then then you will probably roll your eyes at that crazy sentence ☝️🙄

If your family does have allergies or intolerances then you will probably love me forever ☝️🤗

Either way, I’m thinking you should just love me forever anyway!

The base of this recipe isn’t new here to the blog.

I have used it here and here in the past. But since it’s SO good, SO easy and SO versatile I just keep on using it.

This go around, I’m adding pumpkin, cacao powder and mini chocolate chips (allergy-friendly chips of course) to the mix for an extra special mini muffin.

You won’t be sorry, I’m pretty sure this is the best combo I have ever made! ❤️

These mini muffins turned out super moist, nutrient dense and beyond delicious to eat!

Besides your kids loving them, I know you will be sneaking some for yourself as well! Enjoy!

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for Toddler + Kids

Reasons to Love These Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins:

  • Gluten Free

  • Dairy Free

  • Nut Free (perfect to send to preschool or school)

  • Made in the blender in less than 5 minutes

  • Nutrient dense

  • Perfect for all ages 12 months and up (I even eat these!)

  • Freezer-Friendly for those crazy busy mornings

How To Make Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for Toddlers + Kids:



Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for Toddler + Kids

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins for Toddler + Kids

Age: 12 months and up
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20 mini muffins
Storage: store in air-tight contain in the fridge for one week

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (use gluten free oats if needed)
1/4 cup cacao powder
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons oil (coconut or olive)
1 large egg
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, divided (this is the allergy-friendly brand we use)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line a mini muffin tin with liners.
2. In a blender, pulse the oats for 30 seconds until you have a course oat flour. The flour doesn’t need to be even because we will blend until smooth in the next step.
3. Add in the cacao powder, pumpkin puree, oil, egg, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract into the blender and blend for 30-60 seconds or until completely smooth.
4. Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt into the blender and blend on low for 20 seconds.
5. Add in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and stir with a spatula.
6. Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin liners 3/4 of the way full. I use this mini cookie scoop to make my life easier and it works great.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown and set.
8. Let cool completely and then serve.

Freezer-Friendly - you can store these mini muffins in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze them for up to 2 months. To defrost, simply take out desired muffins and leave on the counter overnight or place in the microwave for 20-40 seconds to reheat.


Tools to Make This Recipe

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins for Toddler + Kids

Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler (Allergy Friendly!)

These Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes are a great way to get spinach into baby and toddler. They are also allergy friendly (GF, NF & DF), made in a blender, freezer-friendly and perfect for baby-led weaning. Basically they are the boss of pancakes!

Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler

Spinach for baby! 🍃

Spinach for toddler! 🍃

Spinach for preschoolers! 🍃

Spinach for kids! 🍃

I just feel the need to shout this one from the roof tops!

Especially because kids of all ages will eat spinach this way!

There are a lot of ❗️☝️ up there, just shows how much I love this pancake recipe! ;)

Getting spinach into little one’s diets can be a tough challenge for most parents, as most kiddos aren’t open to shoving leafy greens directly into their mouths.

Leafy spinach - Touch for Young Kids to Eat

Blended Spinach in Pancakes - Fun Green Food that all Kids will Love

But if you blend spinach into delicious, and easy to make, pancakes then watch out.. your baby, toddler and even kid will loose their minds!

For babies - they will not even notice the color difference and will just love to eat homemade and warm pancakes.

For toddlers - even the pickiest of toddlers will usually fall for pancakes that you magically turn green. Or you can call them pop-eye pancakes, dinosaur pancakes or we call them Gekko pancakes from the character in PJ Masks. Just think of a character or toy that your kids likes that is green and go with it.

For preschoolers and kids - older kids are usually a little easier to get to eat new things and I have found they love when you change up their ‘normal’ foods in appearance or shape.

Whatever age of kid you serve these pancakes to, they will devour these spinach🍃 pancakes right before your eyes!

Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler

Reasons to Love These Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler

  • Gluten Free

  • Dairy Free

  • Nut Free (perfect to send to preschool or school)

  • Made in the blender in less than 5 minutes

  • Perfect for all ages 6 months and up (I even eat these!)

  • Great for Baby-Led Weaning

  • Freezer-Friendly for those crazy busy mornings

Ways to Serve These Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler

  • Classic style - cut into chunks and served with maple syrup and fresh berries

  • Bagel & Hemp Sprinkles - Smear with whole fat cream cheese and sprinkle with hemp seeds (serve whole or in chunks)

  • PB&J Sandwich - take one pancake and spread with your favorite jam, then take another pancake and spread with a nut or seed butter or your choice, press two pancakes together and serve as a sandwich. Great for preschool or school lunches.

  • Dipping Fun - cut pancake into long strips and serve with some yogurt (thinner yogurt works better for this recipe) to dip the pancakes in. I also serve this with a side a fruit the kids can dip in the yogurt as well.

How To Make Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler:

Spinach_Pancakes_Baby_Toddler (7 of 8).jpg

Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler

Age: 6 months and up
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6 servings
Storage: store in air-tight contain in the fridge for one week or freezer for 2 months

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use gluten-free oats if needed)
1 cup spinach, packed
1 ripe banana
1 egg or flax egg
1/2 cup of milk of choice (cow, coconut, almond, hemp, etc)
2 tablespoon oil (coconut or olive)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a blender, place the oats and pulse on medium speed for 30 seconds or until oats are a chunky flour consistency. You will blend them all the way up in the next step, so the oats don’t have to be perfectly even right now.
2. Add in the spinach, banana, egg, milk, oil, cinnamon and vanilla extract and blend on high for 30-60 seconds or until batter is completely smooth and the spinach is completely broken down, scraping down the sides of the blender if needed.
3. Add in the baking powder and salt and blend on low for 20 seconds.
4. Heat a non-stick pan or pancake griddle over medium to medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tiny bubbles appear on the outside of the pancake. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. If batter gets too thick, add in a tablespoon at a time of milk and re-blend until you have the right consistency.
5. Transfer pancakes to a cooling rack and repeat the process until you have used all of the batter.

Freezer-Friendly - store any extra pancakes in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To re-heat, simply place the frozen pancake in the microwave for 30 seconds or pop them straight into the toaster.


Tools to Make This Recipe