Most of the time when you think about packed school lunches, sandwiches come to mind, and although gluten-free bread has come a long way, sometimes it doesn’t make the best sandwiches. The small school where my daughter’s children go is a peanut free school. So while PB&J sandwiches can be the go to sandwich for most kids, they are off the table, so to speak, for my granddaughters. But if you think about it, a bagged lunch doesn’t have to be sandwiches. While sandwiches certainly make for a nice school lunch, they are not your only option. Mix it up by fixing something different for your kids this school year.
Make It A Wrap
A quick and easy alternative to a sandwich is a wrap. Grab some gluten-free tortillas, or some Romaine Lettuce and fix your child’s favorite sandwich as a wrap. Wraps are also great for adding lots of extra veggies. Hummus and cucumbers make a delicious vegetarian lunch option.
When you’re done adding your toppings, roll it up like a burrito and if desired, cut it in half. The wrap is good as is, or you can pack a small serving of salad dressing to dip. Ranch is always a favorite around here. Just make sure you pack it in a small, airtight container so your child doesn’t end up with ranch all over her lunch box (don’t ask me how I know).
Who Doesn’t Love Snack Food And Lunchables?
I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t love Lunch-Ables. But when you have a child that needs gluten-free food, the store bought Lunch-Ables are not an option. Besides that, they are not necessarily the healthiest foods. So why not make your own version instead with fresh ingredients and food you know your child will eat. Start with some sandwich meat and cheese cut into bite-sized pieces. Add some fresh raw veggies like sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots. Throw in some fresh or dried fruit and you have a delicious, healthy, homemade version. If you have those blue ice packs, you can even put some gluten-free oven fried chicken nuggets (recipe here) in there with some ranch dressing or ketchup.
Of course you can turn any of your child’s favorite snack foods including popcorn, trail mix, gluten-free crackers, cheese, fruits and veggies and the likes into lunch. Grab a container with lots of little dividers (bento boxes are perfect for this, (these are the ones I bought) and fill them up with kid-friendly favorites.
Healthy Salads For Lunch
Salads are another great lunch option, particularly for older children. My 10 year old granddaughter loves a salad for lunch. Get a container with a tight fitting lid and add all your child’s favorite salad ingredients minus the dressing in there.
Start with a bed of lettuce greens or spinach leaves, add raw veggies, nuts and seeds and the likes. Top it with a source of protein like cheese, hard-boiled egg, ham or turkey, or even some grilled chicken.
Pack dressing in a separate container along with a fork and napkin and lunch is done. You can assemble the salad the night before and store it in the fridge. The key is to make sure all your ingredients are very dry. If you’re washing your lettuce, use a salad spinner, or dry it on some paper towels before starting to pack it. Cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces will ensure that the lunch time salad is easy to eat.