When you see these beautiful trees flowering in Queensland, you know it’s almost the start of a new school year. When my children were still at school, at the end of a long summer holiday I looked forward to the sight, as I’m sure many young mothers still do today.
With the return to school, or for many littlies starting for the first time, this can bring up the subject of what to pack for lunch and morning break for your gluten intolerant child. I hope we can give you a few ideas.
Small children really don’t like large pieces of food, so a variety of small items packed securely in an insulated lunch box/bag are ideal. Carbs are an important part of a child’s diet; Gluten Free Bakehouse (formerly Zehnder’s) bread is just the right sized slice to make a child’s sandwich and comes in some delicious varieties. Children often prefer white bread varieties, so I would suggest their Potato loaf, but to provide some textural variety, maybe let them try the Soy and Linseed, or Red Quinoa and Chia breads. Alternatively, you could make a wrap out of Diegos gluten free wraps. These are more ‘pliable’ than many gluten free wraps on the market. Fillings should be something that your child feels familiar with; school lunches are not the time to introduce new flavours. Freedom Foods Vege Spread is gluten and yeast free, and a popular sandwich choice. My children used to like lettuce or something ‘crisp and green’ on their lunches, so on a wrap, good choices are cheese, carrot and lettuce. If your child doesn’t like sandwiches, how about carrot or celery sticks with some homemade hummus? My girls loved ‘finger salads’ as children, so maybe this could be a popular choice in a sealed container; bite sized pieces of carrot, cheese, celery, apple, banana and anything else they choose. Older children may enjoy the St Dalfour range of meals in jars; these include chicken, salmon, tuna or quinoa with vegetables.
Every child loves a little ‘something sweet’ in their lunch boxes; we stock Freedom Foods gluten free Muesli Bars, Bellis School Bars and Leda fruit filled bars, all of which come under the ‘amber’ category in the healthy canteens guidelines. If you have time for cooking, you could make some ‘pikelet’ sized pancakes from any of the pancake mixes available from Sue’s Gluten Free. Don’t forget, schools are ‘nut free’ places, so no matter how much your child might like their peanut or other nut butter, please don’t pack them in the lunchbox; for someone else’s child it could be life threatening.
After School gluten free treats could include any of the above, as well as Springhill Farms and Byron Bay cookies, Gingerbread folk Gingerbread Men , Mamee Rice Chips, Orgran Super Snacks, Eskal rice or corn cakes or Vege Chips.
Whatever your child’s school lunch preferences; if Sue’s Gluten Free doesn’t currently stock what you’re looking for, just contact either Sue or Bill by email and we will do our best to source your requirements.
If you’re seeking more in depth information regarding healthy eating for your child, most state Education Departments have a range of resources you can access. If you live in Queensland head to www.education.qld.gov.au, where I found great information about the canteen ‘traffic light’ food categories.