Nut free protein
HI everyone I am hoping that someone can give me some advice ... I have a 6 yr olf daughter with a severe nut allergy & her doctor wants me to increase her protein intake & I am lost as to what to pack her for lunches. besides lunchmeat & cheese... any suggestions ... no microwave is availiable to warm anything up.
Since I doubt a fridge is handy, does the school provide things like milk and yogurt for purchase? Dairy in general is high in protein.
Does she like eggs? I think a hardboiled egg would hold up in a lunch bag.
I have been sending lunch for my daughter in pre-school for the past 2 years and I just started sending lunch for my son while he has been at the pre-school summer camp.
Some things that I send for my daughter (a fantastic eater)...
-- hummus sandwich or lately she just likes hummus and I send a bunch of crackers (she particularly like TJ's roasted red pepper hummus)
-- egg salad sandwich
-- cream cheese and jelly sandwich
-- veggie burger on whole wheat roll
-- small bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon
-- mac & cheese, ravioli, various pastas, often with turkey meatballs or chicken sausage mixed in
I also send salami or turkey sandwiches, but you have ideas for that.
My son, who will be 3 in September, is a little pickier and he is kind of lukewarm to sandwiches. I've noticed that he will eat a sandwich when it is on a hamburger bun, but he won't eat it on regular whole wheat bread (he loves hamburgers and I guess he likes the bun too). He much prefers a "hot lunch". I send him a lot of leftover pasta with meatballs cut up small or chicken sausage, macaroni & cheese, or leftover chinese food (chicken and broccoli with rice -- that may not help you due to the potential peanut oil). Recently he took noodles mixed with brisket that was leftover. I heat up his food at 8:30 and by lunchtime it is warmish in the thermos.
When I don't have much else in the house, I sometimes will cook chicken fingers the night before and put them in their lunch bags when they are cold. By lunch time, they are room temperature and kids (at least mine) are perfectly fine with it that way.
I would strongly suggest getting a thermos...not the traditional kind that is upright, but one that is more of a bowl. I find that both of my kids did not do well with the upright kind (now my daughter is ok with it, but she is almost 5).
Here is an example of one similar to what we have but ours has the Spaghettios logo on it (it was a hand-me-down from my sister). If you can find this type, it is great.
Or there is this kind, which also looks shallow and easy to eat from.
By lunch time, the food is warm, not hot, but kids don't like it hot anyway.
Hope this helps.
i think most of my suggestions have been mentioned already, but i'll say 'em again for effect ;)
- egg salad
- alternative butters made from seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or hemp), peas or soynuts
- bean dips or spreads - hummus, black bean, pinto beans, white beans, edamame
- Greek yogurt
- tuna or salmon salad
- string cheese
You can also buy a thermos to keep warm or cold foods in. Doesn't necessarily have to be soup. I had a small Snoopy thermos when I was about your daughter's age. My mom would put soup, leftovers like stew or pasta in it. I've also heard of people putting ice cream in them, though I've never tried it to see how well it keeps. ;)
Hard boiled eggs, as mentioned, would be a very good source of protein and can be used in all sorts of ways from straight up to deviled eggs to egg salad. You can even buy little molds that you can use to mold them into cute shapes for kids. Along this line, you might do a search on Google to read about Japanese style bento box lunches for other ideas.
Is she allergic to peanut, which is a legume (bean) and not a tree nut? Because if she is allergic to tree nuts, but not to legumes, then I would think peanuts and beans are a good option. In addition to the protein in her sandwich or entree, use protein rich side dishes like bean dips with veggies.
If she will eat eggs for breakfast, they are the best assimilated protein around. Next best might be greek yogurt or other animal sources. If she likes smoothies, you could add soy or whey protein. I don't recommend feeding a six year old the serving size that many soy or whey protein products recommend for an adult, but a smaller amount added to a smoothie would boost protein content.
Let us know more info so we can make specific recs, okay? Did the doc give you a specific range of protein grams for a day, or was it more that protein foods should be served at breakfast, for instance? We're not so big on protein at breakfast as we once were in America, which I think concerns some pediatricians. Good luck. Allergies can be a tough adjustment, but it's doable.
Can you send her a thermos of some chocolatey "shakes" with protein powder in them?
And most kids like to pop the edamame beans out of their shell.
Also, if you can mash some extra tofu into some egg salad, that would boost the protein content.
There are also breads that have high protein content. Look for them in health food store.
I have a peanut and tree nut allergy and use soynut butter. Do you have a TJ's nearby? Theirs isn't bad. Have you or your daughter tried tofu or tempeh. Quinoa is also another option. Use it instead of rice sometimes, or other grains. While getting adequate nutrition through normal foods is ideal, if your daughter's health is compromised, I agree with the already stated suggestions of protein powder (whey is best). Pediasure might be another option for your daughter, and I also thought of that Special K protein water, but I have not tried it myself. Also, does she like jerky?
You could do sunflower seed butter and jam sandwiches on a higher protein and fiber bread. (My 6 yr old daughter is also severely allergic to all nuts, and also egg whites, and she loves this).
If she can do eggs, I agree that hard-boiled is a great idea as long as you are keeping it cold. If you don't do an ice pack, Jaime Oliver loves to throw 2 drinks in his daughters lunch bag, one frozen (to keep everything cold), and one regular, you could even do milk for a drink.
Buy a thermos and send some homemade, high protein soups. Like, black bean, chili, or whatever she likes. She could even help you make it so it is more exciting.
Homemade pumpkin seed and sunflower seed trail mixes as a snack.
Cottage cheese, as an accompaniment to a sandwich.
Cold chicken drumsticks (again only if kept cold)
Yogurt for a snack (low sugar, read the labels because some aren't too high in protein and some sneak an enormous amount of sugar in)
some sort of (high protein and fiber) pasta salad with a high protein meat, or tuna fish.
Good luck to you! =)