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Gluten-free Lunchbox Ideas

Although I don’t have celiac disease, I try to eat gluten-free as much as I can. For those not familiar, gluten refers to grains such as corn and wheat. Many children and adults are actually allergic to wheat and corn products and others may have slight allergies that go undetected for years. Being gluten-free just makes me feel better. My health was much better when living in Asia and adhering to a wheat-free diet. Landing stateside, my instinct was to run toward bagels and toast in my morning routine, but by mid-morning, I felt bloated and tired. Now I know better.

When I worked at an independent school in San Francisco, I noticed more and more children entering school with gluten-free diet restrictions. To make parents’ already busy lives more manageable, especially since we were a school without a cafeteria, I investigated school lunch programs. Through Kid Chow, I found brown bag lunches, many of which were gluten-free, that parents could order ahead of time online.

But many parents want to include gluten-free in their kitchens and streamline their cooking into leftovers that can magically fall into a brown bag by 7:00 a.m. Below is a collection of gluten-free lunchbox ideas that both you and your child will appreciate:

Say Hey! Ms. PB&J:

  • You can use plain rice cakes, gluten-free bread, or English muffins with peanut/almond/cashew butter with jelly, fruit spread, or honey for your kid’s favorite lunchbox staple. (That is, if your child’s school doesn’t have a no-nuts policy!)
  • Kettle Valley All Natural Real Fruit Snacks
  • Choose their favorite Nana’s cookies


Pasta Perfect:


Mexican Miracle:

  • Corn tortillas for roll-up sandwiches: ham and cheese, hummus and cheese, or pizza sauce and mozzarella
  • Lundberg rice chips with or without salsa
  • Hummus with fresh veggies
  • Cinnamon popcorn


Say Cheese! Mac ‘N Cheese:


Lettuce Have Lunch:

  • Roll deli meat, tomato, and avocado slices up in lettuce for the perfect kid lunch wrap
  • Apples with peanut/almond/cashew butter (use cheese or yogurt dip if child has nut allergies)
  • Crackers with cream cheese


Books:

Gluten-Free Lunch Book

Living Gluten Free for Dummies

Recipes:

Celiac Sprue Association

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Gluten Free Halloween Candy

For more ideas, see: Gluten Free Pantry

 

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