Kid-Friendly, Nut-Free Meal Ideas

Finding meals that are healthy and appealing for kids is hard enough. Toss in a food allergy and it’s a whole other ball game.

In fact, allergies now affect 18 percent of children in the United States, according to a recent Health of America Report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The study also noted a significant increase in severe allergic reactions in children due to food. According to the report, the most common foods prompting these allergic reactions are peanuts (22 percent), tree nuts and seeds (15 percent), and milk and eggs (6 percent).

For parents of children with allergies, there are countless ways to steer clear of certain foods while still satisfying a child’s appetite and fulfilling their dietary needs.

Check out the dietitian-approved healthy recipes below for a whole day’s worth of meal ideas. These kid-friendly recipes avoid some of the most-common food allergies found in the report: peanuts and tree nuts/seeds.

Exhibit 3: Triggers of anaphylaxis reactions in children 2010-2016
ER visits from severe allergic reactions to food and other allergens spiked 150 percent from 2010 through 2016, according to the latest Health of America report. (Image credit: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association).

Photo credit: Thinkstock (feature image) 

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Dish in a silver pan


  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained well
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 egg whites (or you can use 8-10 eggs total)
  • 1 ½ cups of milk of your choice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
  • 1 ½ cups kale or spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese or other cheese variety of your choice

Breakfast: Kid-Friendly Quinoa Egg Bake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to coat 9x9 baking dish
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, chives and quinoa. Then stir in spinach and tomatoes
3. Pour entire mixture in prepared dish
4. Cover tightly with foil and gently shake so that the quinoa settles to the bottom of the pan evenly. Once cooked the quinoa will almost be like a crust.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes, so it just sets.
6. Remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese evenly on top. Bake uncovered until the cheese melts, may wish to bake longer for a golden and crisp cheese topping. 8-15 minutes.
7. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

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  • 12 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 oz. whipped low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • Red tomatoes, your favorite variety, chopped
  • Orange carrots, chopped
  • Yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • Green broccoli, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Red cabbage, chopped
  • Purple potatoes, sliced
  • Pizza crust of choice or naan bread

Lunch: Rainbow Veggie Pizza

1. Mix feta and cream cheese together. Spread over pizza crust
2. Place array of rainbow vegetables on pizza crust. Cut into slices, serve and enjoy!

Want something else than veggies? Try the Rainbow Fruit Pizza!

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  • Cooking spray
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Snack: Oven Roasted Chickpeas

1. Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
3. Drain, rinse and dry chickpeas thoroughly.
4. Mix oil and seasonings together.
5. Toss chickpeas in oil mixture.
6. Spread evenly in one layer on baking sheet.
7. Bake for 30-50 minutes until browned without burning.
8. Cool for 30 minutes and chickpeas will continue to crunch. Enjoy!

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Patties in a silver bowl with cranberries on top


  • 1 lb. of lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple , washed, cored and peeled
  • 1/4 cup cranberries, dried or fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea or kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Gouda cheese (optional)

Dinner: Apple Cranberry Turkey Burger Patties

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
2. Form into 4-6 hamburger patties.
3. Cook on grill or in pan on stove until fully cooked and reaches temperature of 165 degrees F. Add gouda cheese on patty, if desired, while cooking, so it melts. Serve warm.
4. Serve with a whole wheat hamburger bun or as a patty with quinoa on the side. Enjoy!

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avocado chocolate mousse


  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 4 oz. of 70% cacao baking chocolate, melted*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt
  • Garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries

Dessert: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

1. In a food processor, combine the avocados, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Puree until creamy. Spoon the mousse into container and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Serve the mousse with your favorite garnish; whipped cream, fresh raspberries or toasted almond slices. Enjoy!

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