The Gluten-Free Lunch Box Blues

The Gluten-Free Lunch Box Blues

It can be a challenge living gluten-free (or with any other food sensitivity). When Samuel was younger it was much easier because he was not yet subjected to peers that ate differently than him. Once he was in school full time, I had to negotiate with him about the lunch foods that I packed for him. I wanted to send healthy foods such as “green soup” which is a family favorite at our house but the mixture of cruciferous vegetables made his lunch smell sulfurous which then resulted in his peers teasing him. He came home and animately announced that I should never send that green soup in his lunch again. I expressed the importance of eating healthy food and then negotiated with him that I would focus on more “peer friendly” lunches but once he got home he was mine and would have to eat whatever I made. He agreed.

One way that I have succeeded at Samuel’s receptivity of gluten- or dairy-free foods is to make his food extra special or fun. I’m teaching him to have fun with his food and perceive food as something positive rather than a negative experience. It can be simple things such as having fun with your mustard and ketchup like you see below. I used Foster Farms gluten-free hot dogs for his lunch in this case. It’s nice for kids to have a food that they perceive as more mainstream rather than different that their peers. Brands such as Foster Farms sold at mainstream grocers has made gluten-free foods more assessable for gluten-free consumers.

Corn Dogs 2

When I have the extra time, I like to make Samuel’s lunch fun and interesting but even the simplest things like serving a regular food differently such as below where I sliced the corn dog can add an interesting twist.

Corn Dog Sliced 2

Below are some fun ways to prepare food if you have the extra time. Getting the kids involved can also help them take ownership of the food which can help motivate them to eat it. Notice that I cut the strawberries into heart shapes.

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Below we had a little fun with breakfast…gluten-free pancakes, of course.

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Have a little fun with your food. Being gluten-free definitely has its advantages. Make the most of it.

Thanks to Foster Farms for providing the gluten-free corn dogs.Foster-Farms-logo

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