Whether your child has a peanut allergy or not, it’s a smart idea to incorporate peanut-free lunches into the mix where school brown bags are concerned. More and more schools are declaring peanut-free zones and entire campuses in order to protect students from potentially fatal attacks. Here are some simple and delicious snack ideas:

Zesty Popcorn

Take fresh popped popcorn and sprinkle with melted butter or margarine. Toss with Parmesan, bacon bits, garlic salt or finely grated American cheese. Make several bags of each for a little variety.

Fun with Crazy Eights

Simple: pack eight of everything, including carrot sticks, cheese sticks, fruit wedges, nut-free crackers and similar items. You could include a deck of cards or promise to play when your child gets home.

Carrot and Cucumber Salad

Using your food processor or grater, make thin julienned slices of carrot and cucumber. They should look almost like pasta in the bowl. Mix and add a favorite salad dressing like a sweet ginger or buttermilk. Toss.

Cucumber Rings

Peel and, with an apple corer, core a cucumber. Slice in quarter inch rings. Make a slit in every other ring and link together like a chain. Include dipping sauce.

Cream Cheese and Jam Roll-up

Spread a flour tortilla with cream cheese and jam. Roll up and serve.

Pita Crisps

Cut pita bread in quarters and lightly toast. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or go sweet with sugar and cinnamon. You can serve with dipping sauces like hummus or apple sauce.

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