If your kiddo is anything like my own, then lunchbox goodies are a BIG deal. Do you remember the days of “I’ll trade my cookie for your pudding” or “are you going to eat that“? Well, it doesn’t quite work that way for some kids. Thanks to food allergies, many cafeteria lunches and tokens from friends’ lunchboxes just aren’t safe items to trade. What’s a parent to do? What can we pack that will be filling, nutritious, and fun? When many of Superkiddo’s friends began eating the popular pre-packaged boxes (you know the ones) of cheese, crackers, and meats, he began to feel left out. We took the time to make a safe version for him, and started looking for ways to make allergy safe lunches look as exciting as what other kids could eat. If you have a school cafeteria bound kiddo, and want to give them a fun, colorful lunch, you may enjoy a few of our favorite tricks.
Power Packed Lunches
Silly & Supercool Sandwiches: We use cookie cutters to shape our bread, and then add our favorite fillings. I am a huge fan of Applegate Farms nitrate-free choices of meats, and the Daiya dairy-free cheeses. Another fun trick for us is a “Captain Hook,” or a divided sandwich on a stick (try it!).
Crunchy Cuts of Veggies: Who says that vegetables have to be bland or boring? You can slice, spiralize, or chop your favorite colorful vegetables, and pair them with hummus, salsa, or homemade dressing. Every kid that I have ever met loves to dip their food. Even if a kid claims to not like vegetables, if you give him a dip, he will try it.
Fruit Pouches: These are a fabulous, and fun way to get a little more fruit into your kiddo’s lunchbox. My favorites are Go Go Squeez and Peter Rabbit Organics. The best part? You don’t have to remember to pack a spoon.
Fruit: Our favorite apples are sold in “lunchbox size,” so they are a fun wash and pack option. Grapes, bananas, melons, are also a delightful, sneaky way to get in healthy vitamins. You can cut them into shapes for a fun fruit salad, or make fruit kebabs.
Smoothies: A smoothie can be filled with a combination of your favorite fruits and vegetables (try kale, blueberries, bananas, & allergy-safe milk. DELICIOUS!). I prefer freezing them the night before, and allowing them to thaw in the lunchbox. Why? They will be perfectly frosty at lunchtime, and the container will help keep the rest of the lunch items cold.
Superkiddo can never eat from the menu of the school cafeteria, or trade lunches with a friend. There isn’t a dedicated, allergy-free kitchen, and there are no guarantees of the ingredients in his friends’ lunches. We therefore make sure that he has a lunchbox filled with fun containers and delicious, safe, fun foods. Whether your kids suffer from food allergies, or if you are on the hunt for better food choices, I would love to dig deeper, and share recipes and tips. I hope that you will join me on the journey to discover tasty, healthy options.
Until next time,