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Time To Start Packing School Lunches Again
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Well, its back to school time here in Arizona. I feel like I fix the same things over and over again for my daughter for her lunches. She loves homemade soup or stew in a hot thermos, but not this time of year (its way to hot here to go out to recess at school, than come in and eat hot soup for lunch). We also do cold smoothies in the thermos, and gluten free sandwhiches, but would like other ideas as well. We have no other food restrictions besides gluten. ANY IDEAS ARE WELCOME!

Thanks!

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What I do is make a chart of all the food my Dd likes

example:

Protein:

Sliced turkey

Meatballs

Chicken

cottage cheese etc..

Fruit:

Apples

grapes

pears

canned peaches etc...

Veggies

Carrots

cucumbers w/dressing

broccoli florets

celery etc...

Dairy:

yogurt

cottage cheese

cheese sticks etc..

Carbs:

tortilla chips

Tortilla wraps

Bagels

Hot dog roll

breadsticks

rice etc....

then mix and match

good luck

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The post from this site is old, but the ideas are timeless:

http://glutenfree.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/gluten-free-lunch-to-go-ideas-for-what-to-pack/

They always give me great ideas when I get stuck for what to send. My daughter eats lunch mostly at school (they cook it separately and gluten-free for her), but for field trips, spend the nights and snacks, sometimes I struggle.

Good luck :)

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Thanks to you both! I like the chart idea. Sometimes just visualizing the options makes it easier for me and her to choose what to pack!

Also, I love that website with the lunch ideas. She has some great ideas too.

Thanks for replying!

We've packed gluten-free lunches for almost 3 years now, but seem to be in a rut, so it will be great with new ideas:))

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If anyone has dairy/egg/peanut/treenut/soy ideas, I would love to hear those too!

I like the list Mizzo! Grab from each to make it easy!

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I'm a huge fan of vegetable and/or bean purees as dips for crackers and vegetables followed by fruit and chocolate/nuts if permitted, maybe a bit of cheese or milk from school. Think of it as a spin-off from hummus:

take one favorite vegetable, cooked

add one cooked/canned bean

toss in a slosh of something refreshing, like lemon juice

top it off with some herbs or spices

zap it in a food processor.

Takes five minutes if you have extra veg from supper the night before. You can even freeze little containers, and they both keep lunch cold and defrost in the bag. I can send you links to a couple of recipes, if you like. Message me.

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My dd starts Kindergarten in two weeks. Thanks for the lunch ideas. I have to say, the idea of coming up with something different every day is a little daunting compared to packing a snack two days a week for preschool.

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I have to come up with something new this year. Daughter has to have a diet that is lower in simple carbs. Last year she didn't eat much in the way of breakfast or lunch because her lunch came at 10:30. But she will have the latest lunch this year. So she will need to eat. Last year she mainly had carrots and apples. But she will need something more substantial.

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The post from this site is old, but the ideas are timeless:

http://glutenfree.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/gluten-free-lunch-to-go-ideas-for-what-to-pack/

They always give me great ideas when I get stuck for what to send. My daughter eats lunch mostly at school (they cook it separately and gluten-free for her), but for field trips, spend the nights and snacks, sometimes I struggle.

Good luck :)

I made the rollup bread from this website tonight and it is great. It softens as it cools and can def roll without breakage or crumbs. I used 1/2 sorghum and 1/2 wht rice flour and 1/2 tapioca starch and 1/2 potato starch in the recipe, simple because its what I had. Meaning it's versatile

I strongly suggest everyone try this. A good gluten-free rollup bread.

BTW I hve not made a bread I liked till this one.

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We have been eating crepes and using them as sandwich wraps. School starts Wed. for us so it gives us something new.

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My boys do not have to be gluten-free. But when they take lunches, they don't always like the " normal" lunch. Add fruit or carrot sticks & maybe some gummy fruit snacks. Here are some things they take or have seen at school & can be gluten-free:

Cold cuts,Cheese spread, cheese, egg slices, salad dressing or mustard or mayo, etc on rice cakes or Corn Thins

PB, almond butter, nutella, sun nut butter with pretzels to dip

PB on celery

Peanuts, sunflower seeds ( shelled) or nuts

Crackers with PB or plain with the peanuts

Sushi

Cold Chinese

Cold pizza

Cheese chunks & crackers and grapes

popcorn for the grain portion

PB&J on pancakes or waffles

PB rolled up in a rice tortilla ( if you have nice ones where you live)

Hot hamburger taco meat in thermos with chips to scoop it up with

Chili or anything you can scoop with corn tortilla chips

cold chicken & cheese in a taco shell with salsa in a side container ( mine doesn't like the salsa

Cold cuts rolled around a chunk of cheese ( maybe spinach leaves, too?) hooked with a toothpick

Shredded cheese to sprinkle on tortilla chips

A baggie of peanuts or cheese chunks must be carefully guarded at lunch. Everyone wants them.

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I made the rollup bread from this website tonight and it is great. It softens as it cools and can def roll without breakage or crumbs. I used 1/2 sorghum and 1/2 wht rice flour and 1/2 tapioca starch and 1/2 potato starch in the recipe, simple because its what I had. Meaning it's versatile

I strongly suggest everyone try this. A good gluten-free rollup bread.

BTW I hve not made a bread I liked till this one.

Which sandwhich wrap recipe on her site did you use? There are 3. I would like to try one today.

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Which sandwhich wrap recipe on her site did you use? There are 3. I would like to try one today.

The sandwich wrap 2 with variations. I didn't let it rise. 25 minutes begin to end. I had another rollup section with tuna for lunch today and still soft. Really spread it thin because it still rises when cooking.

good luck

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My 2 1/2 son does not have to be gluten-free but my nephew who does have to be is at my house a lot so it has just been easier to maintain a lot of our foods Gluten Free for both kids. It's easier for when I have to cook for both of them or pack their lunches. One of my son's favorite lunches is "Dr. Praeger's" brand potato crusted fishies (fish sticks in the form of goldfish - a big hit!) and "Dr. Praeger's" brand sweet potato littles, spinach littles or broccolli littles (vegetables in the shape of dinosaurs, stars, etc.) They are gluten free of course. They are fun to eat and are delicious and nutritious to boot.

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Juliebove, my daughter had a similar problem when her lunch time changed to the latest time. She kept having stomach aches around 10:45 every day. Her school allowed her to take a small bag of trail mix into class and eat it quietly at her desk. Your school would probably allow similar. I don't think it's an unusual request at all. GOod luck.

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All of these are good ideas however my 13 yo DD is so picky & dramatic there is nothing on any of these lists that she will eat. They are too exotic/she's never had them/ I don't know how to make them. I don't have an official DX so the school won't make accommodations as far as her heating up her food. Plus she would not t want to as she doesn't want to be different (middle school) She absolutely refuses to be seen with a lunchbox--she keeps it in her back pack & just pulls food out of it quietly) She doesn't like salad-will not go to the salad bar. You would think she is the one with autism the way she acts. (My son is on the spectrum but he is way more flexible)--go FIGURE!) We started going gluten-free as soon as school let out in Jun & I thought by now I'd have some idea of what to put in her (hidden) lunchbox but I am clueless & school starts in 1 1/2 weeks! I cannot pack Lays potato chips & gluten-free cookies for lunch or snacky type food everyday. She will occasionally eat a sandwich on an udi hamburger bun or carry a thermos of chicken & rice soup, but she certainly can't/won't eat that everyday. Of the foods she does like she can't/won't eat it cold. She doesn't like peanut butter or tuna.

This is about 90% of what she eats now

]Meat Sides veg Other

hamburger rice(plain) corn on the cob lays potato chips

steak mashed potatoes broccoli gluten-free choc chip cookies

chicken chicken/rice soup salad (rarely) hersheys chocolate

(wings, nuggets,

etc)

pork chops potato soup gluten-free pizza

bacon hash browns gluten-free pretzels(rarely)

hot dogs grits yogurt( rarely)

salmon french fries ice cream

chex cereal (rarely)

udi hamburger bun

green apples

cold cuts, ham/

bologna/turkey

Oh and she rarely eats breakfast! So theres another problem too! I need help badly!! What am I to do?!????? : (

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All of these are good ideas however my 13 yo DD is so picky & dramatic there is nothing on any of these lists that she will eat. They are too exotic/she's never had them/ I don't know how to make them. I don't have an official DX so the school won't make accommodations as far as her heating up her food. Plus she would not t want to as she doesn't want to be different (middle school) She absolutely refuses to be seen with a lunchbox--she keeps it in her back pack & just pulls food out of it quietly) She doesn't like salad-will not go to the salad bar. You would think she is the one with autism the way she acts. (My son is on the spectrum but he is way more flexible)--go FIGURE!) We started going gluten-free as soon as school let out in Jun & I thought by now I'd have some idea of what to put in her (hidden) lunchbox but I am clueless & school starts in 1 1/2 weeks! I cannot pack Lays potato chips & gluten-free cookies for lunch or snacky type food everyday. She will occasionally eat a sandwich on an udi hamburger bun or carry a thermos of chicken & rice soup, but she certainly can't/won't eat that everyday. Of the foods she does like she can't/won't eat it cold. She doesn't like peanut butter or tuna.

This is about 90% of what she eats now

]Meat Sides veg Other

hamburger rice(plain) corn on the cob lays potato chips

steak mashed potatoes broccoli gluten-free choc chip cookies

chicken chicken/rice soup salad (rarely) hersheys chocolate

(wings, nuggets,

etc)

pork chops potato soup gluten-free pizza

bacon hash browns gluten-free pretzels(rarely)

hot dogs grits yogurt( rarely)

salmon french fries ice cream

chex cereal (rarely)

udi hamburger bun

green apples

cold cuts, ham/

bologna/turkey

Oh and she rarely eats breakfast! So theres another problem too! I need help badly!! What am I to do?!????? : (

Whew !! You are really limited.

Will she use a thermos (hidden she can scoop out contents) Any of her favs can be put in it

Will she eat foods at room temp ? If so, you microwave a container and wrap in aluminum foil immediately and put into insulated bag it should stay at room temp and you can send most of her likes in it

If so you make make:(add broccoli)

rice and pork cubes

rice and hot dogs bites

rice and hamburg meat

etc.....

Lays chips can be substituted for rice or how about Tostito's chips

Cold cut rollups with cheese? chips and veg

carrots or cucumber as an alternate veg ? with dressing if needed

cottage cheese with fruit? add chips and a cookie

rice cake with Nutella or peanut butter

good luck

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Thx for your reply but again she doesn't like peanut butter. Nor does she like cheese,(except mozzarella on pizza) carrots or cucumbers. and cottage cheese no way! Its not on her list of LIKEs. She will refuse meat/rice in the thermos after a few days

Anyway keep the replies coming. I appreciate it. : )

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She's 13 and there is no mental problem, right? Tell her she's so picky she can make her own lunch! You need to sit her down and have a really frank but loving discussion. Food issues suck but to feel good and think clearly she needs to eat a certain way. A lunch must include - 1 protein and 1 fruit or veg and no more than 1 chip and one dessert. Or every week she has to have 4 proteins, 4 grains, 5 fruits or begs. Whatever rule you want to set.

She is old enough to go to school and not eat what she brings. She is old enough to go to school and eat foods she shouldn't. She is old enough to go to school and do any number of things we hope we have taught them not to do. She is going to have to make some of the decision. Sorry, Mom, she is no longer your baby. by this age they have to take some responsibility for their own actions.

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@ KarenG: No no known mental problems but I do wonder sometimes (lol..). She is simply a drama queen! She has shown she can make choices & if anything is questionable she will ask. She will not intentionally eat gluten I've bought/made different things for her to try, but you know the saying "you can bring a horse to water...

She often refuses to try new things, but will sometime. Food is our biggest problem. I've been trying to get her to make some things for herself & she will make a gluten-free pizza & she used to make ramen (but she can't have it anymore) Well I guess a lot of it is my fault, and i have to get thru the resistance she is sure to throw at me but we still need to widen her food choices, and get this gluten-free school yr off to a decent start & we are running out of time. School starts in 10 dys!

@ shadowicewolf , stir fry what? I don't have a wok & never cooked in one.

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She can eat the same 10 foods over and over if that is her choice and it meets the basic nutrition rules you set. Don't fix her food. Tell her what's available. If she's hungry, she'll get something. Have a few things she likes. Works with my kids. One was a wider variety than the other. if my one eats a PB&J, apple or grapes and chocolate milk everyday For school lunch- so what!

I just think you need to tell Drama Queen the facts and what the procedure will be. Then ignore the drama. Won't hurt her to go without a lunch once or twice if needed.

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I completely agree with KarenG, however, I had a thought regarding the school. Can you have your doctor write a note that you are doing a trial of gluten free to resolve whatever issues she's having and at least have the school help out, even if it's just to microwave her food?

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@ KarenG: No no known mental problems but I do wonder sometimes (lol..). She is simply a drama queen! She has shown she can make choices & if anything is questionable she will ask. She will not intentionally eat gluten I've bought/made different things for her to try, but you know the saying "you can bring a horse to water...

She often refuses to try new things, but will sometime. Food is our biggest problem. I've been trying to get her to make some things for herself & she will make a gluten-free pizza & she used to make ramen (but she can't have it anymore) Well I guess a lot of it is my fault, and i have to get thru the resistance she is sure to throw at me but we still need to widen her food choices, and get this gluten-free school yr off to a decent start & we are running out of time. School starts in 10 dys!

@ shadowicewolf , stir fry what? I don't have a wok & never cooked in one.

There are rice noodles that are similar to ramen. Add protein and veg...

I'd recommend building her a chart to use in planning/making (even if you'd rather put it together for her) lunches. Have her fill it out before you grocery shop. Have her explore some gluten-free blogs for ideas, or epicurious, or even just take her to the library. The other thing is that if the switch to gluten-free is recent it may just plain hurt to eat still. Those may be her safe foods. Give her a little time, and she may ease up. And, like KarenG said, as long as you get some basic variety, it's not the end of the world to eat the same thing day after day (I ate 11 years of PB sandwiches and fruit nearly every day. I still often make a pot of soup and eat it for lunch for the whole week.)

Other ideas:

pancakes with plenty of nuts in them + fruit

zucchini/carrot bread/muffins + trail mix + milk (find a low sugar recipe)

stuffed baked potatoes

pasta salad

potato soup

corn chowder

cornbread (gluten-free!)

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Juliebove, my daughter had a similar problem when her lunch time changed to the latest time. She kept having stomach aches around 10:45 every day. Her school allowed her to take a small bag of trail mix into class and eat it quietly at her desk. Your school would probably allow similar. I don't think it's an unusual request at all. GOod luck.

Nope. They are not allowed to eat in class at all. I was waiting to talk to the counselor last year at the parent's night and a mom was talking to her about her daughter having blood sugar issues and needing to eat. The counselor said she would have to keep something in her locker and eat it between classes. When I told my daughter of this she just laughed and said that couldn't happen.

Her school is designed with two stories and the gym is quite a distance away as are the portables. So unless you get lucky and get two classes close to each other, you barely have time to get from one class to another, let alone back to your locker! I can attest to this because I did have to go from one class to another, following her schedule. I am disabled so I'm sure an able bodied person would fare better than I did. But in some cases I barely made it in time.

I wish she would eat trail mix. I lived on that stuff in high school. She just doesn't like any seeds or nuts. And she doesn't like dried fruit at all. Not that she could eat it now.

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