It's back to school time once again! Being a mother of two, I'm quite familiar with this hectic time of year. Getting all the necessary school supplies, new school clothes, the organizing of schedules, and getting re-acquainted with the busy life during the school year can be quite the challenge. And add to all of that getting prepared for providing nutritious gluten-free lunches that your child will actually eat can be a little overwhelming, to say the least.
Gluten free sack lunches require a little creativity, but it's so much easier now than it used to be with the availability of new great products on the market. Udi's bread is a life-saver – if you haven't tried it, you should. This will make your life, and your child's, so much easier during the school year. This is the first gluten-free bread that actually behaves like bread and can be made into a sandwich (yes, no need to toast – really!). So break out the peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese!
Also there are a lot of frozen, convenience products on the market that can easily be sent to school with your child in one of those insulated lunch bags. Remind your child to adjust the microwave cook time down a bit since they most likely won't be frozen solid by the time lunch time comes around. Look for products like Glutenfreeda's Burritos, Glutino's meals, Amy's mac-n-cheese and the like.
Don't be afraid to send leftovers from the previous night's dinner (especially if your child really loved it!). Most schools have microwaves, but if they don't, purchase small hot/cold containers that will hold a single portion. These multi-purpose thermoses will hold soup, mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, chili, rice, leftover meat, pasta, etc.
Each year we provide a sample lunch calendar to give our readers some great ideas for sack lunches for kids. Of course, you don't have to follow this day to day, but it will certainly give you some ideas to get you off and running.
You will notice that I shamelessly promoted
our Glutenfreeda's Burritos and Pizza Wraps. The
burritos and pizza wraps are a great solution since they take about 2 minutes
or less in the microwave and the kids have a yummy healthy lunch right at their
fingertips. The only problem you will have is all the other kids at school will
want to trade...they really are that good.
Please also note
that this calendar is meant to give you ideas. Many of the items above
could actually be prepared the night before for dinner and the leftovers sent
along in your child's lunch – or you can prepare many of these dishes in
advance (perhaps on the weekend when you have some extra time) and freeze in
preparation for lunch later in the week.
We hope your kids
have a wonderful school year!
- Chef Jessica