10 School Lunch and Snack Ideas that are Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Nut Free!

Sending your food allergy/intolerant child to school, out of their safe and controlled home environment, can be exceedingly stressful on both mom and child. On top of all of the usual social fears, there is the added challenge of the anticipation of eating at school.  What can you pack for lunch that is 1) viewed as normal so negative attention isn’t drawn to your child; and 2) that tastes good so they will eat it! And if you are lucky, a lunch that could possibly create envy from other kids! When my own son went to school for the first time after we received his diagnosis, I was a mess.  I honestly stayed up countless nights completely consumed with  my obsession of what I could pack him to take for lunch that would fill him.

Coming up with allergy friendly lunches and snacks didn’t happen overnight.  It is trial and error. Many of the lunches I pack are leftover variations from diner the night before. I just make extra so there is enough for either the next day or the the day after that. After months and months of learning, here are my 10 go to packable lunches and snacks that are gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nut free.



1.  LETTUCE AND HUMMUS WRAPS – Just take any lunch meat and wrap in a hummus layered lettuce leaf.  You can also add chopped avocado and/or tomatoes.

2. TERIYAKI CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH SNOW PEAS AND RICE. – You can find Gluten and Soy Free Teriyaki sauce out there but I just make mine.  Here is a go-to recipe:  Easy Soy and Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce

3. PESTO PASTA WITH GRILLED CHICKEN.  Traditional pesto has both dairy and nuts in it but not our recipe!  In fact, our recipe has both heart healthy avocado and spinach in it!  Try it here! Avocado Spinach Pesto

4.  LEFTOVER MEATLOAF –  I do not like meatloaf.  But Bobby Flay has created a turkey meatloaf with vegetables that is our absolute favorite.  In fact I love it so much that I double the recipe and freeze one every time I make it.  Let me warn you, however, it is NOT pretty.  There is a delicious balsamic glaze on the top that turns black and gooey and while it is soooo good, it scares our kids.  So we eat the top glazed part for them!:)  And the best thing?  You can swap out any of the veggies in this and the kids will never know!  I have used shredded sweet potato, mushrooms, any vegetables I have leftover. * FOR ALLERGEN FRIENDLY; I don’t use the egg or the cheese and I use g.f. breadcrumbs for the panko.  Here is the recipe! Vegetable Turkey Meatloaf

5. CHILI WITH CORN CHIPS SCOOPS – This is always a favorite with kids!

6.  TAQUITOS – These are super fun for kids and easy to pack.  Just use corn tortillas and fill them with anything you want, using smashed beans as the “glue”.  Then fry them in some oil and drain on a paper towel.  Cool completely before packing them for lunch.  I learned the hard way and it melted the ziplock bag!:) LOL!

7. POTATO AND BACON HASH – I just use leftover potatos with crumbled bacon, scallion and chicken and make a hash drizzled with some olive or avocado oil.  Alex loves this!

8. POTATO CHIP CHICKEN STRIPS/NUGGETS – This was the absolute first recipe I “created” when we changed our lifestyle. It is so ridiculously easy.  Just take any flavor potato chip and crunch them with a rolling pin.  Place in a large ziplock with some garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then drizzle your chicken pieces in any type of oil (I have used avocado and olive) and put in a bag with the potato chip crumbs. Press as many crumbs into the chicken as possible, then place on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake about 15 minutes until done.  Alex LOVED these.  Use anything for dipping sauce; honey mustard, ketchup, barbeque sauce, anything.

9.  MEATBALLS – There are so many great tasting gluten free meatballs out there, we usually go for the chicken and/or turkey ones.  I will just put these in a ziplock (cooked of course) and add a small container of marinara sauce.

10.  QUINOA SALD WITH LIME CILANTRO DRESSING – Oour entire family at this almost daily for a week when we first discovered this recipe.  We love it!  If you are not a fan of quinoa, you can use rice instead or a gluten free pasta. Here is a great recipe!  Quinoa Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing



  1. FRUIT SNACKS. We like Annie’s Organic because they don’t use artificial colors or preservatives, or corn syrup.
  3. CRISPY CHICKPEAS – I like these because they are affordable and packed with nutrition! Who doesn’t love crispy snacks! Check out this site for 4 great ways to make them that are kid friendly!  Crunch Chickpeas 4 Ways
  5. CHEX MIX – Make your own with raisins, dairy free chocolate chips, gummies, anything you want!
  9. GLUTEN FREE PRETZELS AND “NOTELLA” (no nut or dairy Nutella:)  Check out the recipe here! Nut Free Nutella
  10. Sliced Apples and Caramel (for dairy free caramel, try this recipe although it is made with coconut milk)  Dairy Free Vegan Caramel Sauce

If you have any suggestions or favorites that you use in your home, we’d love to hear from you to add to our list so we can help others.  Just email us at Laura@buddysaf.com!