Nuts are not allowed in our school at all. But, consider sunflower butter and/or soybean butter. We use sunflower butter, and when topped with a bit of homemade jelly, the kids cant taste the difference. Without the jelly, there is a slight taste if tasted alone, but with their whole grain bread, i dont think they can tell.
Today's lunch included:
half sunflower butter sandwich on whole grain
canned green bean slices (the only can item i will buy...hate it, but its an easy veggie side for DS since he hates carrots)
homemade tomato bisque soup
half grilled cheese sandwich (next to the hot soup thermos, it stays luke warm, which is fine with them)
Bento boxes are great since they encourage leftovers and you feel the need to fill the space with healthy options. The kids have "lego" ones, and they do hold a ton. They also have small sigg water bottles daily.
We've tended to put in leftover pasta, leftover pizza, chicken strips (made with grapeseed oil and my homemade breadcrumbs). I try to always add 3 fruits and at least 1 veggie. DD loves carrots with ranch dressing, but i dont give that to her more than twice/week.
Yogurt is also not allowed (standard store bought), but we often substitute the danimals little tiny ones, which are technically fromage frais, not yogurt. They are tiny enough not to fill them up on just one item, but we keep them in the freezer, pop them into their lunchbags and buy lunch time, they are perfectly cool but defrosted.
As for homemade banana bread....a foodsaver is really helpful here. when i make bread, i make a TON, so i freeze each loaf in a foodsaver bag and it keeps remarkably well!
Other standards in our house (at least one of these is added daily):
* Apple slices, dipped in cinnamon (hides any browning and they are more encouraged to eat them rather than a whole apple
* baby dill pickles
* dried cranberries
* romaine lettuce with ranch dressing