As a disclaimer, I make no pretense of being well-versed in dietary needs or allergies. Thatboy is luckily not allergic to anything he has tried, and neither Thatboy nor I follow any special diets. So please don't take this post as any sort of advice or gospel about dealing with your own child if your child suffers from any allergies or dietary restrictions. Some of these pointers might work for you, and some of them might not. Take it all with a grain of salt - as long as you're not sodium free.
That being said, we've had a challenging 2 years sending in lunches with Thatbaby, so I thought our experience might help others. The lunches we've sent in were meat free, nut free, seed free, and egg free. I remember when I first started dealing with these restrictions, I felt a little lost and helpless. But now I'm basically a pro, right?
Instead of: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich (the lunch staple).
Try: Soy butter and jelly sandwich! (almond butter and sunflower seed butter are both good choices depending on if your school is only peanut free or nut free) We're a big fan of Wow Butter. Thatbaby honestly doesn't know the difference between peanut butter and soy butter. This also works if you want to send in peanut butter and apples or celery sticks. I haven't tried cooking with it though, so not sure if it would work for peanut noodles or cookies.
Instead of: Cold cuts
Try: Veggie sandwiches and wraps. Peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots, avocado, and hummus (if seeds aren't an issue).
Instead of: Chicken nuggets
Try: Chicken-less nuggets. Vegetarian meats can be hit or miss. But for some reason, chicken nuggets seem to work pretty well. Maybe because most chicken nuggets are kind of smashed up meat anyway? Our two favorite are Trader Joe's Chickenless Chicken Tenders and Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders.
Instead of: Using meats in dishes like chili and stirfries.
Try: Leaving out the meat entirely (like a black bean chili or cheese enchiladas), or tofu (like in stirfries or fried rice)
Instead of: Dips like hummus, tahini, or peanut butter.
Try: White bean dip or yogurt dip. Tzatziki is a big hit over here.
Instead of: Eggs
Try: Tofu. Tofu makes a great "scramble" or even an "egg-less salad".