Heading Back to School? We’ve Got You Covered.
It’s already that time of year again. When kids don their brand new, brightly colored backpacks filled with notebooks waiting to be scribbled in, pencils ready to be sharpened and lunch boxes filled with the classic PB&J. It’s an exciting time for kids and parents alike, but as many can attest to, back to school season doesn’t come without its challenges. From getting everyone out the door on time to juggling project deadlines and bake sales, easing into a new school year takes time and effort. For kids with peanut and other food allergies and their parents, though, those challenges are compounded. For parents, this means having to ask questions like, What am I going to pack them for lunch? Will they like it? Will they be safe among fellow classmates eating regular PB&Js? For kids with food allergies, this means wondering things like, Will I have to sit alone and away from my friends at lunch?
In reality, life as a kid with a food allergy isn’t always easy. Especially at school. From physical symptoms to the mental and emotional toll they carry with them, food allergies can make being a kid difficult. With the back to school season upon us, we decided to take a deeper look at just how prevalent food allergies are in the classroom and how we can help every child enjoy a normal day — and lunch — at school.
The Nuts & Bolts
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re no stranger to the world of food allergy stats and figures, especially when it comes to kids. But for those who aren’t as familiar, let’s break it down.
- 1 in 13 children (about 2 kids in every classroom) are directly affected by food allergies
- About 40% of children with food allergies have multiple food allergies
- Peanut and tree nut allergies among children in the U.S. more than tripled between 1997 and 2008, and are still on the rise
Simply put, the effects of food allergies reach further than many of us realize. Chances are, if you have a kid in school, one (or two) of their classmates has a food allergy. With the prevalence of top food allergies continuing to increase, that means more rules in place to keep those kids affected safe in the classroom; rules that, in reality, impact all students. Oftentimes, classrooms with food-allergic students will opt to remove certain allergens, such as peanuts, from class altogether. And with almost half of those students dealing with more than one food allergy, it’s more important than ever to have access to options that steer clear of the majority of top allergens, options that kids still want to eat.
Rethinking the Peanut-Free Table
Beyond the physical toll that they can impose, there are psychological and emotional aspects of having a food allergy that come along for the ride which, for many kids, can have just as much of an impact on their experience at school. Take the “peanut-free table” for example. Designed as a way to keep kids with food allergies safe, this often separated zone can create not just a physical distance between affected kids and their classmates, but a social one, too. And at a time when those social connections are more important than ever, that separation can be especially challenging.
Now, we’re all for keeping kids with food allergies safe, of course. But we’re also firm believers that they shouldn’t have to choose between that sense of safety and having a normal school experience. For so many young students, lunch is a time to catch up with pals from other classes, make new friends and crack jokes about that crazy thing that happened in homeroom yesterday. That’s why we created a Peanut-Free Spread that has everything we know and love about regular peanut butter, just without the nuts. Because while current allergen-free alternatives may be “good enough” for kids with food allergies to sacrifice a great-tasting lunch, they aren’t for those who can safely eat the real thing. Having a delicious spread that can smoothly sub in for traditional peanut butter means that everyone at the lunch table can enjoy a new kind of PB&J, not just those kids that have to.
Fill Up Your Lunch Box
Now onto the good stuff. With our Peanut-Free Spread, everyone can enjoy the creamy deliciousness of peanut butter, just without the nuts. So the tough part isn’t figuring out what to pack for lunch when you can’t have peanut butter: it’s deciding what to pack now that you can. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — all you need is a jar of our Peanut-Free Spread, which you can get delivered straight to your door by ordering on our website! From lunchtime to snack time, and everything in between, here are some of our favorite simple and easy recipes featuring our spread.
- Bring some fun to your kiddo’s breakfast with this cartoon-inspired toast from Diva
- Try these Peanut-Free Snickers-Stuffed Dates for an end-of-lunch dessert — a healthier take on the classic sweet treat from Kendra
- Give rice cakes an upgrade with this super simple snack from Emily
- Hosting a birthday party? Whip up these No-Bake Peanut-Free Birthday Cake Bars from Claire in no time!
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic PB&J. However you decide to spread it, dip it, or mix it in, our Peanut-Free Spread is here to take the stress out of back to school — at least when it comes to what and how kids eat. That way, students (and their parents) can focus on the parts of school that really matter — like those two dozen cupcakes that need to be ready for tomorrow’s bake sale. Peanut-free peanut butter frosting, anyone?