My autisic son can no longer bring peanut butter to school...what do I do?

Recently my child has gotten a new student in class and the student is allergic to peanut butter and the teacher has asked no kids bring any to school… my issue is, my son is autistic and this is literally the only thing he will eat right now and idk what to do… can someone explain what the correct steps are? I’m obviously worried for the other student but I’m also worried my son won’t eat… help!!


Possible death will always trump your situation. They aren’t going to take chances with a child’s life. I’m not saying this to be mean just been my school experience. Some peanut allergies can be triggered by residue. I woukd work with whatever therapists or behavior management your child works with. Maybe switch lunch abd dinner? See, since he has to make such a change if they can heat up lunch for him? Have the peanut butter for dinner? Or perhaps the child’s allergy isn’t as severe and something can be worked out? Doesn’t hurt to ask


Talk to the school. Do you have a 504 or IEP?

Can he eat somewhere else and have someone make sure he washes his hands?

I have an Autistic son who is anaphylactic to foods.


is there nothing else your child will eat? You cannot send anything with peanuts, it basically comes down to your child can go a few hours without food IF there is nothing else he will eat however a child could die if peanut allergy is severe


Some of these comments, are just disgusting. A child with an allergy severe enough that it could potentially kill them- and your going to send peanut butter anyway. Give your head a shake.
I honestly fear for the world my children are growing up :expressionless: Hoping someone along the lines will teach these kids to be empathic and decent humans. I have a child on the spectrum and while she can be extremely picky- there are other foods she will eat. I send a variety of different items- even if they are “snacky”- we aim for fresh fruits/veggies, cheeses, yogurt, pepperoni sticks, chicken nuggets, wraps. Sometimes she eats everything and then there are days she doesn’t touch anything.
Our school doesn’t allow any type of substitution for peanut butter- its too risky. We have students that are allergic to eggs, sunflowers oils, etc…your child doesn’t deserve to go hungry. I’m sure he isn’t living off peanut butter at home- so find snacky foods, make packing his lunch fun and exciting. Get him to help (my daughter on the spectrum helps to make hers). As parents we need to teach our children you can’t always have what you want. Changes happen- as we get older and students get older you don’t see so much of the allergy stuff in school but with the little ones- its better to be extremely careful. I would not want to be the reason a child had a severe reaction


If he can’t eat anything else , I think the proper thing to do is to talk to the teacher because your kid should not spend the day with not food , ask if he can be taken to another classroom to eat , and to make sure that he washes his hands and not peanut residue is on him before he returns to his classroom, if that is not possible, maybe he can eat his lunch like in a corner in the classroom .
Because he is autistic he should have like a IEP team ,you can always ask for a meeting to address this issue and they have to find a solution for your kid to be able to eat without risking the other student health


I would suggest asking if there is another class he can eat with or another room he can eat in for lunch. I feel for you and that other child. Hopefully you can find a solution that works for both of the kiddos :heart:


Could you do something like sunflower butter instead

Coming from a parent of a daughter with severe anaphylaxis peanut allergy… it was very scary to send my child to kindergarten this year or even to have someone watch her because we never know how monitored she is being in someone else’s care. Accidents happen and it’s life or death for severe allergies. Cashew butter is a great substitute if your school allows it however there is children with tree nut allergies as well so it might not be allowed. I hope you’re able to find another food option!


My son is autistic and couldn’t bring peanut butter. I sent him with sun butter. It’s a little more expensive but he has no issues with it and it’s safe for school.


Sunbutter is pretty darn good!


I heard there are some good alternatives that taste so similar he might not know. That’s tough but I’m sure you understand the situation .

There a butter called wowbutter made to taste like peanut but it’s nut free made just for these kinda things, should be a okay replacement for both kids.

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I worked at a school with elementary and middle school aged kids. They had one designated table in the cafeteria for kids with food allergies such as peanuts, etc. the kids knew what table to sit at and there never seemed to be an issue. Highly suggest you see what your options are, so your son doesn’t just get shafted because of one new student; possibly the school can accommodate both students somehow!!:crossed_fingers:t3:

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Can you try other nut butters? They’re pretty good maybe thats an optio


Would almond or cashew butter work?

I’d try another nut butter, Sun butter or wow butter. All peanut free. If he won’t eat any of those options talk to the school to see if he can eat somewhere else and wash up well before returning to the other students.

have you thought about getting a lunchbox that’s like a Bento Box but one with moor compartments and putting a bit of everything in it . kids that are fussy tend to eat when they see a mix of foods instead of 1-2-3 things .

Question for all those who are answering. Is it only the peanut allergy they worry about or other foods as well?

My son is on the spectrum. Try to sit down and speak with your child. Find out what else he may like and enjoy as a snack/meal that does not have peanut butter in it. Or use a peanut butter substitution. Explain to him that he has a classmate that is allergic and peanuts may harm his friend and he doesn’t want to harm his friend. Take him to the store and let him pick something out that he may enjoy. Peanut butter is a severe allergy and I wouldn’t take any risks. Safety and health trumps your situation. There are always substitutions and can be substitutions if you talk with your child. Or talk with school.


I would assume the child with the allergy, has an EPI pen on hand at the school, incase he comes into contact with peanut products. If not maybe that should be check into, as most schools primarily serve peanut butter to kids that don’t bring lunch or don’t have money in their accounts. And saying a child can go a few hours without eating is insane!


The other student better go to a different class bc I’m sending peanut butter.


Wow butter. Tastes like PB


Maybe try sun butter or wow butter? No peanuts in them but taste pretty close.

I’ve had this problem pop up at the school I work at. One of us in iep went to another room while the child ate. It could also be possible for you to come up there for lunch if you’re schedule allows. Sunbutter has the same consistency and basically same taste that most parents can get away with making the switch. If your little one like the uncrustsbles they have a cutter at Walmart that makes it look exactly the same.

Peanut butter substitute, like Wow Butter… it’s soy based I believe.

Call the school an have a conversation with someone

Allergy to peanut is very dangerous. Fatal most times. Figure out something else for your son Let’s not hurt the other child

What’s also becoming very clear on this post, is that a lot of parents with autistic children, who demand the world is more accepting and accommodating of their child, isn’t willing to do so for another child, with complex needs….


Leave it in the office to eat

Why is their child more important than yours? Coming from a mom that lost their special kiddo and another kiddo that allergic to peanuts… I think the school needs to make accommodations…

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Imagine announcing on social media - you’re fine with potentially killing a child… wow (yep I’m on about some of the comments). Because that’s literally what you’re saying.

With a severe allergy - you can’t just have a child eat in a different room and wash their hands… it’s not how it works. Ignorance at its finest.


First of all why does your son have to accomodate the other student? Just like why can’t the other student just stay in his seat at lunchtime and eat his food while your son eats his food. It’s not fair to have to accomate one and not the other.
I say the teacher/lunch aide needs to monitor while the kids eat that way one child doesn’t get his lunch/routine changed while the other eats what he eats. Talk to your inclusion aide or ARD Representative about this situation. Your child is just as important as the one with the allergy. Don’t bend. Because it’s your child’s right just like their right. Stand firm. It is ridiculous to me how much everyone is worried about an allergy but not the autistic child’s need. How about the lunch aide/teacher does their job and monitors to maintain well being of both kids.


Almond butter
Oathaus granola butter
Cookie butter


The only answer here is to contact your sons school. They will be aware of the only steps available.

These comments hurt to read. Both sides lack empathy for the other child.

One can’t be around peanuts of any kind, period end of story.

The other requires extremely strict routine just to function.

It’s selfish for and of anyone that can’t see and understand BOTH children have medical conditions that need special treatment.

Hopefully the school will have a solution that thinks of both children completely.


Dang folks! Read the OP. She is asking about the correct process. She stated that her son will only eat peanut butter - nothing else. This is common with autistic people. She never said she would send peanut butter no matter what. Yes the allergic child should be given all priority BUT it is wrong to assume that an autistic child can always be reasoned with or is willing to accept any deviation. Further it is wrong and evil to suggest that the autistic child be deprived of food. That my friends is abuse. Trust me I know. And that abuse will affect them and their interactions with the world forever.


I get it. I know a lot of people don’t but I do. I’ve got a SPD kiddo that I believe possibly has AFRID.
However the safety of the other student needs to be taken seriously as well.
Here’s some potential options:

  1. a peanut butter substitute
  2. try to get him to eat something else. Pick another favorite and send it. Hopefully he’ll eat it. If not give him a good snack when he gets home
  3. contact the school and request your child be allowed to store and eat his peanut butter sandwich somewhere else.
    My oldest has autism and ADHD and when he doesn’t get enough protien he struggles.
    We used to keep peanut butter protein bars in the nurse’s office for him to have when he took his medication.

Would he try sun butter? My son actually loves it now. And it really isn’t terrible honestly

If you sent nut products to school after being notified of the potential risks for a child with a confirmed nut allergy you could be partially responsible for the consequences. This is a good time to expose your child to more food options and serve the peanut butter at home where there is no risk to anyone. With small kids and children with special needs this is the safest way to go.


With our schools pb is a no no on a daily basis anyways. Have you tried the wow butter? It’s just like pb but allergen free? I am a momma of an autistic child also so i know the struggle and sometimes you just need to try adapting to what is needed.


Maybe the school could arrange your child to eat lunch with a handful of his friends in a different area and treat it as a special occasion. Problem solved for both kids


We have had multiple children with nut or other allergies in the classroom with our children and never have they told us we can’t send in peanut butter for our child lunch, I don’t understand why your child can’t eat what they choose to eat, and then the teachers just to make sure he has washed his hands and face, and his area, where he eats if they eat in the classroom to make sure there’s no peanut butter left over. At the very least they could bring your son to the nurse or another room with an adult. He spends time with in the school like a food specialist for lunchtime or speech therapist or Social Worker or any number of adults that are there and have lunch there and then go back to the classroom so that he can still eat what he wants and is able to eat and the other child is still safe. You can start by reaching out to your teacher or the principal and if neither of them is willing to respond or help you can go over their heads to your child’s special education Committee because I’m assuming they have an IEP or some thing like that. Two of my boys have autism, and one of them is very specific on what he will eat, and he would rather just not eat then choose to eat some thing that he does not like and has gone 8+ hours without eating or drinking to get wet he is willing to eat or drink. My son will not even eat at school anymore because he’s had so many issues with what they want him to have so he just eats when he gets home 


Maybe he can eat lunch separately from everyone else would he be okay with that ?

1 step one: try substitute like wow butter or give it to him before or after school and the try other foods to put in his Lunch that you know he enjoys

2 step: just because the school as that policy in place doesn’t mean the allergy is that severe,( I should know I have plenty of allergies that lead to anaphylactic) ask if the allergies is smell, contact or digestion. Depends on what is the allergic reaction will give you better idea on solution.

  1. Step: if no resolution works at the school ( exemple eating in a separate class room) try the school board or make arrangements for him to eat at home for lunch if possible or relative or friend place.

Best of luck hope this helps for resolution let us know the results

Literally some of you guys are telling this woman , screw her kid and his comfortability . If you have an autistic child then or have been around them you do not interrupt what comforts them. Mind-blown . This needs to be addressed via teacher, principal. Both need to be accommodated to fit this issue Period. Furthermore hypothetically speaking what if she tried an alternative to peanut butter and he is allergic to it? Then what? Definitely take it up with school mama. It’s hard for every mom , mom life is not easy. It’s not easy for the child allergic and her mama and for the OP who wrote post and her child. :heart: good luck to both sides.

Have you tried sunbutter? This is what we used with my daughter

Would he eat wow butter? It is the soya basef fake peanut butter. I have a peanut allergy and my son cant tell between my fake peanut butter and his dads real

Peanut butter is not allowed at all in my Sons elementary


My kids school is nut free and my daughter would rather go hungry than eat sun butter. :laughing: I’ve never tried it but she says it tastes nothing like peanut butter so your kids will not be fooled.

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Well first you work with your doctor and your child’s team to address the issue. If the PB obsession has gone on for awhile you should be checking to make sure the child isn’t struggling from malnutrition. You also should be working with his team whether that’s aba or something different to work on incorporating more foods. It’s a hard job but everyone’s health needs to be considered here. ODS has autism and we just had to tell him the truth. That one of his classmates could die from peanut/tree nut exposure so no he couldn’t have PB crackers in his lunch. Now he takes everyone’s allergies into consideration and he’s a teen. Teaching empathy/compassion for others is something we still need to work on with our children even when they’re neurodiverse. Sometimes others needs come before our wants.

Allergy student is entitled to a safe learning environment. Autism student is not entitled to have PB for heir safe learning environment. And I have both autism and allergy kiddos. Thankfully my kiddos food allergies never turned anaphalactic. Bc it seems people would rather an allergy kid have a deathly experience over being inconvenienced.


When I was teaching preschool I had a child join who was very allergic to peanut butter. We also asked everything to be nut free because it is not worth the risk. We started serving “sun butter”. Perhaps you could try that at home and if it works start sending that. It tastes like peanut butter and isn’t anymore expensive.

My grandsons school has a table set to the side for kids who have allergies. They don’t eat at the same table.


Would you son be open to taste testing different nut butters? Let him know why and have him pick a few different ones to try just make cookies with the ones he doesn’t like so they don’t go to waste. There’s so many kinds and all of them have a unique flavor, hopefully he finds one he loves more then peanut butter. I know food aversion is so hard

Have they said no nuts or just no peanuts? If other nuts are okay, you could substitute almond butter or sunbutter. Many kids can’t tell the difference.


Try the WowButter, it even comes with stickers to put on the sandwich bag so teachers can easily see it is not peanut butter. This is what we do for our son who has an allergy in class but likes a good PBandJ every once in a while.

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Do you guys have sunflower butter or wow butter.

I had the same problem years ago with my son for camp. He wasn’t autistic but only ate peanut butter for lunch. So I made him chicken nuggets and he had them cold.

Your child won’t die not eating during the school day. The other child may if you pack pb anyways. Easy decision in my mind.

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They sell nut free- school friendly “peanut butter” and “Nutella” maybe worth a shot

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Okay, if your child seriously ONLY eats exclusively peanut butter and NOTHING else… then maybe request he be moved to another class or eat during a different lunch period?

Said child has to eat the peanut butter for it to affect him so as long as your child ain’t sharing it I don’t see how him loving peanut butter sandwich is a problem :man_shrugging:.

Try a sun butter !! It’s no nut peanut butter

I would talk to the teacher/admin and see if they can possibly hold his lunch box so that there is no chance of the other child being exposed in the classroom and see if they can arrange the seating to where your child isn’t close by the other. Offer to provide wipes for his face and hands that the teacher can hold on to and have him clean up after lunch. Does your child have an IEP? If so talk to the councilor. He/she may be able to work out a suitable arrangement for everyone. My son has an IEP and his councilor is always willing to find a way to make sure things work out for everyone involved.

Maybe they can take your child out the room when he eats the peanut butter. Or even maybe sub it for something else he may eat

You can buy peanut free peanut butter! I got it for my kids, i find it taste just the same

Try giving him wowbutter. It’s a peanut free peanut butter

Wow to ALL of these comments some of y’all are just rude. A friend of mine had a similar situation. Maybe try the sun butter she says it taste the same but no peanuts.

Talk to the teacher & principal. Both your child & the other have contains that have to be taken into consideration.

My kids districts are completely nut free. I think most schools are leaning towards this. Wow butter tastes just like peanut butter but it’s made with soy :heart: maybe try this as an option? I posted a picture in the comments.

What about an allergy friendly “peanut” butter?

Go to the school and they need to offer up another solution for your son, if they can accommodate the other child should be no problem to accommodate yours….

Switch to sunflower seed butter! Same look, same texture, not as sweet but still super yummy!

Talk to your principal about options and make a point that your child cannot share a table with this other student at lunch

My son uses sun butter and me can’t really tell the difference

See if he can eat his lunch in the secretarys office

What about trying Sunbutter?

Will he eat sun butter? That’s a safe alternative

Your son matters …just like his classmate…I dont see why…That kid who is allergic doesn’t sit with him at lunch time.Simple as that…That teacher n I would tangle right in front of the principal.


Can the new student be placed in another classroom?

schools will let teachers and parents know of food allergies and some kids could have severe peanut allergies some canot be around peanuts or peanut butter and some cannot just eat. i get the peanut allergy i have myself but if your child can find something till gets home for peanut butter great otherwise this allergy child has to eat alone.

my daughter goes to a school where no allergy foods are allowed. Most schools need to implement that from the start so it doesn’t cause issues for other students later.

Try sun butter. We have peanut allergies in my classroom, so we do sun butter instead and the kids love it.

Talk to the school. Mine have had kids allergic to it. They can’t have a peanut snack in the classroom, but they can still have it at lunch

Wow butter but don’t tell him it’s wow butter.

I work in a school cafeteria and that has never happened before you should contact the school

If it’s only the one kid who has issues and the rest of the class doesn’t that kid should be removed for mealtimes to eat solo somewhere else.

I worked in a school for years. We had a separate table for the kids with allergies. That’s absurd to have him not bring a lunch that he enjoys. You better fight this one. Good luck.

Parents need to educate their allergy child and not eat others food … it’s so dumb

I’m prefacing this with: My comment will not help.

How in the world did we get here in the world with so many damn food allergies. The amount of nut allergies seems to be increasingly rising year by year. Blows my mind.

I tried switching my daughter to the alternative peanut butters and they’re all disgusting so don’t expect the autistic child to accept that.

Is there that many kids croaking from peanut butter that it’s banned from schools?

Buy some wow butter and call it a day. Make sure you let the teachers know it’s not peanut butter.

Sun butter! Made with Sunflower seeds you can use that!

I would contact the school to see if they can set up an alternate space for your child to eat lunch. Maybe with another student/friend. I’m not sure if this is feasible because they would obviously still require supervision. But it’s worth asking. :woman_shrugging:

I had a class mate in elementary. Deathly allergic to peanut butter. There was a seperate tabel in the lunch room for people who had peanut butter for lunch.

they make sunflower butter that looks just like peanut butter and takes like it .

I second Sun Butter, if he doesn’t have a generalized nut allergy. Tastes almost exactly the same

All schools are nut free.

The school needs to have a nut free table in the cafeteria. Education also needs provided to the staff about properly cleaning so there is no cross-contamination.

No schools should allow nuts . Kids like to share food when they are little not knowing the consequences that it could have on another child that is allergic. It’s very dangerous.

Aren’t there peanut butter alternatives? I’d try that first. I’m not sure maybe ask if he can eat lunch in another area of the school?