Friday, August 31, 2012

Allergy Lunch Box Round Up

I can't believe my boy is going to school!  This will be our first, my first, school experience.  It's bittersweet.  On the one hand I can't believe how grown up my boy is and then on the other hand, I just can't wait for him to go to school!  I know he will enjoy it so much.  I am nervous, though.  Sending my highly allergic boy to public school (and I won't be there to protect him! hover. hover. hover.)  I am a little worried about him.  I know that school districts are better and much more aware of food allergies and our school district seems on top of things.  Anyway, I'll dry my eyes now and get on to the real topic: lunch boxes!  (I get to start packing a lunch box!  Isn't that so exciting?)  I've been brainstorming ideas of nutritious, safe of course, things to pack for him:

Sandwiches:
  • Ham/or Turkey & Cheese
  • Plain Cheese (because I know he'll pick off the ham, but I'll keep trying)
  • Meat & Cheese Tortilla Wrap
  • Sunbutter & Honey
  • Sunbutter & Jam
  • Sunbutter & Banana (see how we are getting more creative here?  such variety!)
  • Sunbutter & Banana Tortilla Wrap

Variations on sandwiches: 
  • cut sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters (I don't know why but shapes are more fun to eat),
  • "lunchable" sandwich, with whole wheat crackers instead of bread (especially helpful for those days when I am out of bread)
  • sandwich skewers ( a clever idea I found here) in which you deconstruct your sandwich and thread it on a bamboo skewer : bread, meat, cheese-- wouldn't work so well with sunbutter and honey though, right? ;)
Side Dish:
I usually serve a fruit with our lunch.  Sometimes a veggie, but I'm not even going to attempt to send veggies in the lunch box.  I know it won't get eaten so I might as well send food that I know will get eaten so my boy's not hungry an hour after lunch.
  • banana
  • raisins
  • apple or pear slices (with a little lemon juice over them so they don't brown)
  • grapes
  • peaches, pears, mandarin oranges, pineapple-- all those good things from the can when I'm out of fresh.
  • applesauce 
  • fruit leather 
You could make little mini fruit bambook skewers too (if you want to get fancy) and send a yogurt fruit dip.
(UPDATE)-  So I figured I might as well add a list of school lunch veggie ideas for anyone interested:
  • carrot, celery sticks
  • broccoli, cauliflower
  • grape tomatoes, olives, cucumber slices
  • lettuce
You could send a little cups of your favorite veggie dip, make veggie bamboo skewers too.  Sometimes I'll put mashed up avocado on my kids' sandwiches and they sometimes eat it.

Other Side Dishes:
  • string cheese
  • yogurt (with or without granola) could even make a fruit parfait out of it too
  • whole wheat crackers 
  • homemade granola bar 
  • air popped popcorn
And Dessert: Of Course!  Because I'm not going to be the mom who forgets to pack dessert.  I was often the dessert-less child staring sadly at my bologna sandwich and carrots and silently hoping my friends would share their fruit snacks with me- love you mom ;)
That's all I've thought of so far.  This list of course is not only going off my son's food allergies, but also taking into account his food preferences.  He's a picky eater and like I mentioned before, I don't want to send stuff that I know won't get eaten.  Might as well send stuff that will. What do you send in your kids' lunch boxes?

Other sites to check out for lunch box ideas (allergy friendly and then some that aren't)
The Allergic Kid- she has all these cute cute themed lunchboxes.  So creative!

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