If you’re like us, it’s easy to fall into a bit of a rut when packing our kids’ lunch. Allergy restrictions can seemingly create a narrow set of options, and it’s easy to pack the same safe snacks over and over.
That’s where we come in! Level up your lunch game by adding these crowd-pleasers to your lunchtime rotation.
Two quick notes before you rush to read them. As most parents of kids with allergies know, it pays to read a product’s ingredient list. Both production methods and ingredients may change over time, so we advise taking a moment to double-check for restricted allergens before putting schoolbound treats in your cart.
AND please keep in mind that bolded items can be found at your local Bartell’s!
All temps are Fahrenheit.
Crispy Seasoned Chickpeas
If your kiddo is a fan of hummus and crispy snacks, give these roasted snacks a try. They are a great source of vegetarian protein, simple to prepare, and can be seasoned according to your child’s tastes. Below is our default, but feel free to edit and adjust.
(Makes roughly 2 cups):
2 x 15 oz. cans Chickpeas (Garbanzos)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon Cumin
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Onion Powder
1 ¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Cayenne
- Set your oven racks so that one is in the middle slot.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Rinse and dry the chickpeas as well as possible to maximize crunchiness.
- In a medium bowl, add and mix the chickpeas, olive oil, and seasoning according to your family’s taste, tossing and mixing for an even coating.
- Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 10 to 15 mins.
- Pull them out and mix them around to cook evenly
- Put them back in the oven for another 10 to 15, or until golden brown, crispy on the outside, but still a bit soft on the inside.
- Set aside to cool and enjoy warm.
If you have an air fryer, follow the steps below for a speedier cook time.
- Set air fryer temperature to 390 degrees.
- Rinse and dry the chickpeas by hand.
- Spread them out evenly in the fryer basket. You may need to make several batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- OPTIONAL: If you want to maximize crispiness, you can allow the chickpeas to dry in the fryer for about 5 mins before spraying them with oil and coating them with spices.
- Spray the dried chickpeas with oil and coat with spices.
- Cook for 10 to 15 mins., depending on whether you did the 5-minute advance dry.
- Shake the basket at least twice during the cooking process to ensure an even cook.
- Pull and cool when they are a nice golden brown.
Whether you roast or air fry, store the chickpeas in an open container to keep them crisp.
Who doesn’t like fruit leather?! Here’s a simple, low-effort recipe that is a fun treat during or after school. Make it organic by purchasing your ingredients accordingly!
24 oz. Ripe strawberries
Zest from 2 large or 3 medium lemons
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
2/3 cup Anna’s Honey
- Wash and remove the hull (white core and green stem top) from your strawberries
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
- Puree the strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and honey in a food processor or blender capable of producing a very smooth consistency.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the puree onto the baking sheet and spread it evenly with a spatula. Don’t spread it too thin, though, since it will shrink during the drying process.
- Pop it in the oven and bake for 6 – 7 hours, until set and dry.
- When cooled, roll up the parchment paper and cut them into 2-3 inch segments with the parchment paper still attached, and keep them in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, until served.
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Apples
Is it a topping, a filling, or a snack? Yes! This easy and truly tasty recipe is ready in less than an hour (prep included!)and only uses 7 ingredients! 7+1 if you include love, which you definitely should.
3 Large apples – Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious are our top 3 varieties
2 ½ tablespoons Water
1.5 tablespoons Salted butter or coconut oil
1 ¼ maple syrup
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
A generous pinch salt
- OPTIONAL: Peel the apples if preferred.
- Cut the apples into bite-sized pieces, making them as uniformly sized as possible.
- Put the apples and water into a frying pan.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 mins.
- Uncover and cook, raising the temp to medium, stirring occasionally.
- Continue until the pieces are slightly soft and the water absorbed (roughly 3 to 5 mins.).
- Add the butter or coconut oil to the skillet and stir until the apples are well coated.
- Cook for roughly 5 mins. more, stirring regularly, until the apples become a bit softer.
- Add maple syrup or honey, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla, stirring until well mixed.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the apples reach your desired softness.
- Remove from the heat and serve, or let cool before storing in an airtight container.
Pancake Sandwich (PC & J)
Breakfast for lunch? MINDBLOWING! Whether you put leftovers to good use or make a fresh batch, pancake sandwiches are a fun addition to any meal.
Keep things simple by using the local staff favorite Snoqualmie Falls Lodge Pancake Mix. Just add water, cook, and enjoy immensely.
Prefer simple and sneaky nutritious? Go with Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake Mix, from our Cascadia neighbor Milwaukie, Oregon.
Filling jam is our MVP (most valuable preserve). We love strawberry-rhubarb from local Maury Island Farm
If jam isn’t your jam, you can use any allergy-friendly option you have at your disposal. See the above recipe for cinnamon apples as a not-so-subtle suggestion.