I have a motto when it comes to having three family members on a gluten free diet. That motto is, “Tell me something we can’t eat, and I will find a way.”
Three years ago, when Anthony needed to go gluten-free I was pretty intimidated. But as time went on, I gained confidence. I found recipes and stores that happily catered to my child’s needs (Love you Whole Foods and Lassens!) Shopping became fun again, and I enjoyed coming up with new meal plans, and gaining knowledge about food substitutions.
But then Anthony started attending full time elementary school…
I had two issues with this. 1) How was I going to keep his food warm/cold, long enough? Anthony is somewhat particular about the temperature his food is when he eats it. And 2) Could I make him “normal” lunches like the other kids had? I didn’t want Anthony to feel intimidated, jealous or tempted to eat what his friends were eating a lunchtime.
As the school year went on, I discovered some tricks and helpful tips from other moms. And as always… Google helped. =-) Now I have a variety of school lunches to pick from for Anthony, and today I wanted to share them with you.
School lunch #1 Sandwiches!
When we think back to the school lunches our parents put in our back packs, we automatically think of sandwiches. But to those on a gluten-free diet, typical bread is a huge no no. As I searched, I found some gluten-free versions that actually tasted like REAL bread. My two favorite gluten-free breads would have to be Whole Foods store brand, and Schar gluten-free bread.
Anthony loves ham and cheese with spinach leafs, with lightly toasted white bread. I give him a choice of a fruit or veggie, and then another side. In this picture Anthony picked Vans Cheddar Cheese Crackers. I also fill up a BPA free stainless steal drink thermos (found at Target) with ice cold filtered water. I also have to say I have yet to see this thermos leak, and the ice cubes are still frozen when he gets home. Which is great because Anthony loves his drinks to be “really really cold” =-)
Favorite lunch #2 Chicken nuggets!
Anthony loves chicken nuggets, and thankfully it is a meal that I can send with him to school once or twice a week. His favorite brand of chicken nuggets are the ones made by Ian’s. What I love about Ian’s is they offer many allergy friendly foods. They are also on their way to getting all their products Non-GMO verified! To keep Anthony’s chicken nuggets warm, I use a BPA free stainless steel thermos (found at Target) and it does the job nicely.
Along with this school lunch, I give him organic ketchup to dip his nuggets in. Another choice of fruit or veggie. In this picture he chose organic apple slices, and organic raw honey to dip them in. He also decided to go with a Honest Kids grape juice box.
I continue to mix things up daily to add variety. I also have Anthony make some of the healthy choices himself. After all, I need to teach him to pick healthy foods for himself, and there is no better time to start that, than when your child is young.
Below I have added some helpful links to give you more ideas for gluten-free school lunches.
Feel free to share your child’s favorite gluten-free school lunches.
Kimberly Ruckman is the author of the blog BioMed Heals, which chronicles her son’s complete recovery from an autism spectrum disorder via biomedical intervention. She is married, has two children, and volunteers her time as a Grant Mentor for Generation Rescue. You can follow her on Twitter @biomedheals or Facebook/biomedheals.