It is that time of the year when the school uniform pants get too short and my kids start to complain about their lunches.
I can't blame them; my GF Teen has taken her lunch to school everyday since third grade and our school offers virtually nothing that my two gluten free kids can eat.
It is always about this time of the year when I get really tired of making three lunches every morning and they get tired of the food.
Here is what we have been packing in school lunches this year. I would love some new ideas/suggestions from all of you!
Some Ideas for Gluten Free Lunches.
Warm food always taste good at lunch. Pack an extra paper towel in the lunch so they can lay it down in the microwave then put their food on top of it. Just leave the paper towel in the microwave when done and pack some wipes to cleanse hands before eating. Some warm food options:
- Thai Kitchen Rice Noodle Soup Just add water and microwave for 3 minutes.
- Glutenfreeda Burrito
- Gluten Free Pizza – this is a kid favorite. Just keep a couple of pieces from dinner the night before, put them on a paper plate in a gallon zip lock bag, the student just needs to remove the paper plate and warm.
- Leftovers from Dinner – if you buy the right thermos, you can eliminate the need to warm it up. My daughter loves tomato soup in her lunch. Or buy a canned soup by Kettle Cuisine.
- Nachos – in the morning I will pack some GF Tostitos with shredded cheese in a microwavable container. My daughter warms it at school to melt the cheese. Pack a little container of GF salsa too.
- Macaroni and Cheese – Make Your Own or buy a frozen one from Glutino’s.
- Ian’s Chicken Nuggets
If a microwave is not available:
- GF bread with butter and cheese – Udi’s bread holds up really well in a lunchbox. I toast it in the morning, add whatever toppings my kids like, and then seal it all up in a Ziploc bag. Use Sunbutter if you cannot use peanuts.
- GF bread with Hormel Natural lunch meat or Boar’s Head deli meat and cheese
- GF bread with Nutella Hazelnut Spread
- We call these The Luke’s Special because my son invented it – take a GF corn tortilla, smear with cream cheese and add some shredded cheddar cheese.
- Go Picnic Meals similar to Lunchables but with GF options
- Glutino Gluten Free Bagels with Cream Cheese
- Quinoa Salad
Okay pretty obvious, but something different to try:
- Bowl of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries mixed together
- Dole Fruit Bowl of mandarin oranges
- Dried Fruit by Sensible Foods
- Bags of carrots
- Celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Avocado (the first time she tried an avocado my daughter was hooked on them. Slice in half, remove the pit, and fill the bowl with GF balsamic vinegar)
- Can of V-8 Juice
- Sliced cucumber
- This usually means yogurt for us; Chobani and Stonyfield are certified GF by the Gluten Intolerant Group.
- Sliced cheddar cheese
- Frigo cheese sticks
SNACK ITEM OR BAR:
- Hard Boiled or Deviled Eggs
- Microwave Popcorn
- Wonderful Pistachios are naturally GF.
- Our Favorite Homemade Granola Bars
- Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds
- Glutino Gluten Free Crackers with slices of cheddar cheese.
Food Should Taste Good A cross between a chip and a cracker, these are my favorite go to snack item. Certified GF.
- Snyder's of Hanover Gluten Free Pretzels. Snyder's has taken the extra step to certify their pretzels are GF. A snack I can count on!
- Fruit Gushers, and Fruit Roll Ups by General Mills
- KIND Bars My GF Teens favorite snack bar – she loves the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bar.
- Kind Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters My GF Teens favorite snack! A protein packed blend of peanuts and natural GF grains.
- Frito lays has an extensive list of gluten free chips that they have "validated through analytical testing that the following products contain less than 20 ppm of gluten." They seem to add more and more chips to the list every few months.
- Halfpops Are just that – partially popped kernels with great flavor. Gluten, trans fat, corn and preservative free! Love these!
- Whatever gluten free treat I made that week such as 123 Gluten Free Sweet Goodness Pan Bars or King Arthur Chocolate Brownie Mix Makes a delicious chewy and soft brownie that is not griddy at all!
- Make your own Chocolate Brownies
- Udi Muffin My kids love the Double Chocolate Muffins but half of a muffin is more than enough.
- Candy Tree Organic Vines This great gluten free licorice is such a special treat and a favorite snack.
- WOW Wheat and Gluten Free Cookies and Brownies These are the best of the best; Large, soft and delicious. Much like you would find at the local bakery. The price reflects the quality of the ingredients - organic ingredients, high quality butter, and cane juice.
What do your kids pack on their lunch boxes?