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What Do You Do For School Lunches?

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I need some ideas. I was sending my DD with fruit salad and a single serve peanutbutter cup every single day. Well they are crazking down on nut butters and everyone gets tired of fruit and doesnt fill you up. SOOOO what do you send your kids with?

ALSO i was wondering. I am sending my almost 4 year old celiac child to preschool (which is not gluten-free) what kind of lunch box? Do you use a bento box?


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-Sunbutter and gluten-free crackers

-hummus and tortillas/brackers

-warmed up pasta leftovers


-lunch meat sandwiches



-potato chips/pretzels



My DS (who is nut allergic) has a sun butter and jelly sandwich, carrots/celery, fruit and a "snack" pretty much daily. I ask him every day what he wants and he chooses the same thing. Even now on summer break he's still having sun butter cracker sandwiches pretty much daily. Most kids are creatures of habit and are good with minor changes but usually perfectly content with the same few things over and over!

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I was just about to say some of the same things when I saw StephanieL's post: hummus and veggies, ricecakes or corncakes with sunbutter, applesauce, yogurt (if dairy is ok), salad with chicken, fried rice with tamari and veggies, "ants on a log" with sunbutter or cream cheese, soup in a thermos, steamed broccoli with parmesan to dip it in. My daughter was at a nut-free preschool where they did not heat up children's foods, but those above are our staples that she'd eat cold or in a thermos. She got corn chips, an Enjoy Life apple bar, or Snyder's gluten-free honey mustard pretzels once in a while.

We use a regular insulated children's lunchbox so we can put cold packs in, and baggies or those glass containers with the plastic lids that snap off easily. She was able to open them herself, so I tried to use those or baggies so to reduce the cc risk from teachers helping her. At day camp this summer I also send a couple of baby wipes in a baggie so she can wash her hands before eating, and a cloth napkin that she spreads out on the table to put her lunch on. (Her preschool teachers were excellent about wiping up other kids' crumbs thoroughly, but the camp tables don't look as clean.)

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My older daughter (going into 3rd grade) packs her own lunch a lot - or tosses me ideas when I'm packing.  She likes:

* Crunchmaster crackers and sunbutter (sometimes with jelly).  She makes them *at school* Lunchables-style

* sunbutter and something to use for dipping - Snyder's pretzels, carrots, etc

* fresh fruit (or, if we have them at home, fruit cups

* yogurt tubes (we keep them in the freezer 24/7 so the kids eat them like popsicles, but I've heard they're more yogurt texture by lunch time)

* cheese sticks

* Kettle brand chips, Lay's Stax, popcorn

* peanuts, pistachio, etc

* and always a sweet treat :) (cookie, brownie, piece of candy) - she's so my kid that she needs a sweet to finish a meal


She goes to lunch a minute before her friends to Clorox her seating space at the table.  Then she puts her napkin down and her food on top.  Our school district suggests the napkin trick for all kids with food allergies.  It's just a mental reminder for all kids to keep your hands on your own food and don't touch others.  We used to be a cloth napkin in the lunch family, but I prefer to throw away the thing touching the table with other crumbs.  She uses plastic containers for the components of lunch and I just throw those in the dishwasher.


If your kids like sunbutter I've found that Amazon has the best price.  I get the 2/5# tubs sent to my door.  All three of my kids love spoonfuls of the stuff!


If you're looking for ideas - http://www.pinterest.com/Leake100Days/school-lunches-100daysofrealfood/ - might be useful.  She makes "Lunchable-type" lunches for her kids out of real food.  They're a gluten eating family, but I found her pinterest page and her website to be great for jogging my mind around lunches.


Oh, I used to allow one school lunch a week.  We would get the monthly calendar and my daughter would pick out which days to buy.  She missed that - so when she's getting "down" or I'm just out of time to pack a lunch I keep Go Packs around to grab and go.  I buy the when Target has them on massive sale - often $2.88/pack.

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^^ Perfect thank you for the input about the lunch box. I hadn't even thought about warm foods. Ill put that on my list of questions to ask the preschools when we go and look around.

Is the preschool through your school district?  If so, you can get a 504 Plan for her.  My youngest is starting Kids Morning Out through our district and we put together her plan before school got out so she starts Day One being safe.


Luckily, the woman that puts these together does the whole district, so she brought older daughter's plan and we built on that.


The KMO program does a snack for the kids that they provide - goldfish, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.  Total gluten nightmare.  So I'm sending in a snack every day that she's there.  It's in her plan to always feed her first (no gluten on their gloves), but she's pretty good about opening our containers without help.  It's that little stuff you have to consider.

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My boys lunches usually consist of:

  • smoothies (veggies, fruit, yogurt, protein powder and other stuff
  • veggies (cucs, carrots, peas, peppers)
  • fruit (mango, apples, bananas, grapes, berries)
  • crackers (rice crackers, Mary's, ricecakes)
  • muffins (usually coconut flour)
  • a treat (granola bar - Glutino)
  • pepperoni sticks and meats
  • cheeses
  • nuts (if not an issues for the location) and seeds
  • bag of cereal (Chex)

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We do a lot of wrap sandwiches.  The Toufayan gluten free wraps are awesome with turkey, provolone, bacon and a little ranch dressing.  I also do sandwiches on canyon bakehouse bread, cheese sticks w/ salami and chips or crackers.  I usually put a fruit of some kind plus a piece of chocolate or a handful of M&Ms.  We order a bunch of nuts and dried fruits from nuts dot com and make a trail mix as we're trying to increase my daughter's fat/calorie intake. 

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