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No more sandwiches. A peek into a gluten-free lunch box.

October 19, 2011


The days of making a quick sandwich for the school lunch box are well and truly over.  You realise just how dependent you are on wheat and other grains the minute you have to  begin thinking about gluten-free alternatives for your children’s lunch boxes. Out with sandwiches, wraps, wheat muffins, bread rolls, mini hotdogs, pizza, left over pasta etc. The list is endless. Thankfully I have a child who is quite open to experimenting with new flavours so preparing the school lunch is not as daunting, however it does require quite a bit of planning and preparation.

When  cooking dinner, I now make more than I need so that there will be left overs for the next day. I also have to make sure I always have fresh fruit and vegetables like carrots,cucumbers and cherry tomatoes which make excellent finger food. Eggs and dairy are also no longer options for us, which means no cheese, yogurt or the odd boiled egg.  My staple grocery cupboard items have become rice cakes, sunflower seed butter ( which is a delicious alternative to peanut butter and hazelnut butter),  nuts (no almonds, peanuts or hazelnuts unfortunately), chickpeas (both tinned and dried) for salads and making hummous, tinned and dried beans, dried fruit, rice, buckwheat pasta, soba noodles, rice noodles and a selection of gluten free flours.

I really like lunch boxes with separate compartments. This enables you to pack a selection of foods without them all becoming mixed up. They have the added benefit of having fewer containers to wash up afterwards. On this particular morning, the said lunch box consisted of a salad made with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives and a drizzle of olive oil. Some carrots and thinly sliced grilled steak left over from the previous night. For dessert some fresh strawberries.

Ok so a bit of a fiddle from the usual sandwich. However, a much healthier option. It’s visually appealing and your child is getting complex carbohydrates, protein and a whole bunch of anti-oxidants.

This particular lunch box came home empty. That’s success in my book!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 3:13 PM

    I admire your dedication – and give that child a pat on the back.

    • October 19, 2011 7:48 PM

      Sally, he is doing so unbelievably well. He has not had a chest infection since mid August, a real record. His skin is clear and he is probably the healthiest he has ever been. Only thing is, he eats us out of house and home. This was only part of the lunch. There was snack too. He is already so naturally skinny, and with all the swimming training he does I have to ensure I keep his calories up. So lots of food, but only the good stuff!

  2. October 19, 2011 3:14 PM

    I also love lunch boxes with sections- in fact i m a secret hoarder of tiffin packs and boxes. How old is the child that polished off this healthy lunch? My oldest girl is 4.5 years and as usual, most veg are ‘yucky’!

    • October 19, 2011 7:50 PM

      11 years. This was only a part of his lunch, there was much more than this. Kids love sectioned boxes. I have tiffin tins too.

  3. October 19, 2011 3:59 PM

    Is that Biltong, Edwina?

  4. October 20, 2011 7:59 AM

    This lunchbox deserves an A+ 😉 More mommies should read this…for most, it’s so easy to throw in prepared junk-y foods…(I’m sure if I were a mommy, I’d fall prey to that too), but this is the way to go. This lunchbox rules.

    • October 20, 2011 10:27 AM

      Thanks! It’s amazing how creative you can be when you don’t have a choice. Although I must say I sometimes wish I could just make a sandwich.

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