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jcgirl

School Lunch

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I started the gluten-free challenge with my son today which is going to be hard. If anybody has suggestions on what to send with him for lunch it would be a great help. Today he went with yogurt and apple and some corn chips. I spoke to the school and they are not allowed to heat things up for him that he brings in, state law or something. His bloodwork came back in the normal range yet he is still having all the symptoms. When I went gluten-free it was like a miracle after 10 years of suffering with stomach problems. I want to do this challenge for 2 or 3 weeks and see what happens before taking him to the local pediatric GI (only one in the area). I would hate to have to put him through the usual invasive proceedures that I had to go through. Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated as I am very confussed and don't know what route to take.

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Guest gfinnebraska

I would send meat/cheese rolled up, energy bars, gluten-free chips, fruit, yogurt, dried fruit, gluten-free cookies, gluten-free muffins... the list goes on and on! You can even send peanut butter on rice cakes ~ just put the two tops together and have him separate later.

IF he doesn't mind eating things cold, you could also send cold gluten-free spaghetti, etc. It will just take your imagination!! Hope this helps! :)

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I have a few ideas:

plain rice cakes and peanut butter

gluten-free sandwich's with gluten free bread (Sterk's bread is my favorite)

- peanut butter

- tuna

- egg

- chicken/turkey

grapes and chedder cheese

salad with dressing (kraft will list gluten on their ingredient list)

gluten free boost (chocolate is my favorite)

baby carrotes and celery sticks

Old el peso corn chips and Old el peso salsa

Cold gluten-free pizza (Sterk's and Kinnikinick make gluten-free pizza crusts)

Hope this helps and good luck

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If you can use an insulated lunch box and put a small ice pack in it, there's all sorts of things he can take - and there were already a lot of good suggestions. A couple more I have:

shrimp/chicken/tuna salad

cold soups

nuts

fruit

raw veggies

avocado slices

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Thank you for the suggestions. I was going to send him with lunch meat and cheese and he told me he can't eat it without bread. The bread I bought, can't remember the name says best if toasted so we haven't tried it as a sandwich yet. Made an awesome stuffed french toast with it though. I think he will fight me on this for a few days in hopes of getting snack type food. Fortunatly he does like the rice cakes and ate them before. Never thought about putting peanute butter on them. The kid won't eat vegi's other than broccoli cheese soup. We tried a gluten-free broc soup from health food store and I have to say, not so good. On the plus side he does love fresh fruit. Does anybody know how gluten-free mac & cheese holds up in a thermose? Regarding the gluten-free pizza, does it come pre-made? I did buy some pizza crust and will be making that this weekend.

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I think that the best pizza crust is Chebe, but that needs to be made. Amy's makes a pizza that is prepared and frozen--and I've heard, pretty good.

Some lunch suggestions (may overlap with others already mentioned):

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Yogurt -- Dannon Plain or anything made by Yoplait that doesn't have granola or cookie crumbs or something in it. They will list gluten on the label.
  • FritoLays chips -- Lays Classic, Fritos, Cheetos, Ruffles, Lays Stax, Doritos in the blue bag (cool ranch--NOT the Nacho Cheesier--red bag)...a complete list of gluten-free products is at http://fritolay.com/fl/flstore/cgi-bin/Pro...odID_364066.htm If you're worried of contamination as some are, the Lays Classic, Lays Stax, Ruffles, and Fritos are made on dedicated gluten-free lines.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich -- made on gluten-free bread, such as Kinnickinick or Ener-G w/gluten-free pb (such as Jif or Skippy) and w/ gluten-free jelly
  • Canned fruit -- mandarin oranges, peaches, etc....now they have small cans that are suitable for bringing to school and they have some cans with tops that can be pulled up the way you open a can of soda. I've also found plastic cups of snack-sized peaches made by Dole in the grocery stores.
  • About not being able to heat things up, there are two cirumstances: if it is a private school, the school has the right to do whatever they want in terms of accomodation or letting you heat things up. In a public school, however, they have an obligation to accomodate to you. They should heat your child's food up or even make a gluten-free meal if you didn't want to/couldn't provide one. I'd pursue that or look into one of those 504 plans that everyone is talking about.
  • If you can heat things up, you could bring gluten-free pizza, Amy's frozen meals?, etc...
  • Even if you can't, I know that if you make Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft cheese packet and gluten-free noodles, such as Tinkyada and Deboles) in the morning and put it in an insulated container, it will stay very hot until about 11:00, and luke-warm until early afternoon (2:00?)...I've had spaghetti and mac and cheese in this manner before.
  • gluten-free bagel w/ some topping?
  • Crackers, with or without peanut butter
  • Pudding (Kozy Shack makes gluten-free chocolate and rice pudding)
  • Jello -- company makes both pudding and jello-- packaged, of course, in good-sized containers. And since Jello is part of Kraft, all gluten will be clearly listed, though I think most of their products are gluten-free, anyway
  • gluten-free cookies (Pamela's is good......you can also make PB cookies very easily...recipe on here somewhere...it's about four ingredients and all of them you already have at home......Arrowhead Mills makes a spectacular gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix)
  • Genisoy Bar (see the Genisoy list that Kaiti posted in another thread) or Envirokids Bars
  • Speaking of Envirokids, gluten-free cereal--Envirokids is a good brand for that and milk at school would be gluten-free
  • Candy? lol...as a treat...I could e-mail you a very large list I got from another support group...some basic ones: Snickers, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, Milky Way Midnight (not the regular kind), Tootsie Pops, Charm Blow Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey's will clearly list gluten, but their choc. bar is gluten-free, Butterfinger, 3 Musketeers.......
  • Oscar Mayer makes some gluten-free stuff, as well........meats....oh, while we're on that, if you go to Hormel's website, then go to the FAQs, they have a gluten-free list under that section

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celiac3270, thank you for all the suggestions. Here is treat that some may or may not want to try. My stepdaughter made it up and all the kids love it. She calls it peanut butter sugar. What she does is put peanut butter in a bowl and mixes it with a tablespoon of sugar. I made a rule that it was off limits due to the sugar put I may consider it for my son's lunch here and there. At least he would be getting some protein and also feel, well, a bit privaledged for being allowed to take it to school. Also, regarding school lunches; I spoke to the principal an hour ago about my son's new diet and low and behold, his daughter is celiac so he completly understands the difficult road ahead and how under-diagnosed it is. My son does attend a private school so it should be easier in that regaurd. And on another positive note, my son's best friend is the principals son and I know the family. I have been looking forward to attending a local support group meeting in a couple weeks and now I have someone locally to talk to as well. :P

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Oh, that's great! What does the principal's daughter do about lunch? If she heats things up at school, surely your son can, as well...besides which, it's nice to have someone who can provide you with face-to-face support.

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celiac3270, she transferred over to the high school this year. I am going to call her mom this weekend to talk. By the way, you mentioned Kraft cheese packets being gluten-free. Can you buy them seperate or do you just use the packet in the box and get rid of the gluten noodles? The conveniance of those cheese packets is great when my son wants to cook himself after a hard days work for me.

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You can take it out of the box and dump the noodles (or give them to a non-celiac member of your family :P ), but Kraft also had a shaker can thing--with blue labeling--it might be in your grocery store in the popcorn section since it's not only meant for the noodles, but for putting on top of popcorn or potatoes--haven't tried either of those suggestions. If it's not there, you CAN order directly from the company if you call them--or order a few cans, use them, show them to a manager at the food store, and ask him/her to order some for you.

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We do a lot of yoghurt, I buy an all natural type and put it in tupperware with a layer of frozen blueberries on the bottem. They also like plain chicken breast cubes with cheese cubes and a little packet of ketchup, or crab (has to be real crab) salad with rice crackers, or peanut butter with banana slices and honey on gluten-free bread, Kraft snack pack pudding, Jello, or applesauce packages...corn chip nachos with salsa and sour cream mixed together in a container (they don't care if it's heated or not). The little containers of "apple dip" from McDonnalds are gluten-free and are fun for treats. What else...oh yeah, peanut butter and jelly mixed with 1/2 a mashed banana (I know, sounds wierd) in a container with apple and pear slices to dip it in. Corn chips with tuna fish salad to dip is good, too. I will also throw in a gluten-free treat (chocolate chips, yoghurt covered raisins etc.) or some dried fruit for dessert. We end up putting a lot of different things in little sacks or containers and they eat a little of everything, which is probably better for them in the long run.

Hope this helps!

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My son's favorites: (he's also allergic to eggs)

Glutano pizza-flavored breadsticks dipped in Contadina pizza quick sauce

Lettuce leaves with Oscar Meyer bologna and america cheese rolled up and skewered together

Quesadillas (two corn tortillas with cheese, whatever, in the middle, heat it in a skillet, quarter and pack)

Gogurt

Miss Roben's pizza crust (it's a mix) with cheese melted on it, or made into calzones

Pasta, peas, parmesan cheese

Hot dogs cut up into bits (if you nuke them, then pop them into a thermos, they will stay hot!)

Amy's mac and cheese

Don Pancho's gluten-free wraps, with lettuce, shredded cheddar and ham

I highly recommend going to your cafeteria staff. My son's school cheerfully takes his lunch in the morning and warms it up when he arrives for lunch, and technically that isn't required of them -- but they did it anyway, because they could and wanted to and are basically good people. It's not like it's rocket science or you are asking for hours of work. If that doesn't work, go to a board meeting and ask there. Nobody's best interests are served by limiting him to 2 or 3 choices. If you can show you are willing to do the bulk of the work, I bet they meet you halfway.

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Thank you all for the suggestions. After only 4 days of being gluten-free my son is feeling better. I found the Kraft cheese in the can at Wal-Mart by the spegetti stuff and sent him to school with mac. and cheese. It tastes just like the regular stuff. We also made rice crispy treats with fruity pebbles, yum, yum. Tonight we are trying the gluten-free pizza crust. This site has been a live saver for me. Because of all the great suggestions my 12 year old has is not fighting me (yet) on this gluten free challenge. :D

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I have a good "pizza" that all my gals love. I use corn tortillas, put mozzarella between two, then top w/prego traditional, top w/more cheese, and add gluten-free pepperoni (hormel) and put it in the oven. They eat it up. :) Doing the 2 tortillas helps it to stiffen up for lifting.

Also they do have to heat his stuff up if it's medically necessary for him not to eat lunch there. Or they have to provide him gluten-free food. So most schools will gladly toss it in the microwave. ;)

And I have found that quino and corn noodles reheat the best. Hope that helps some! Nicole

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Nicole, we used to make quesadillas with the flour tortillas prior to going gluten-free. I use the corn one now. I will have to give your recipe a try to use them for pizza. The frozen crust I bought did were not terrible but we just could not get used to the texture after several bites. The toppings on the other were very good. My son was wondering if there is a gluten-free mix so that we can make the pizza crust thinner.

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