Lunch box ideas for kids who can't eat gluten

Getting your kids to eat a packed lunch can be a challenge for many parents, but throw in a gluten allergy and it’s even tougher. Here are some ideas to help make gluten-free lunches more appealing.

It can be really tough sending your child to school when they have allergies. They’re surrounded by the tempting foods in their friend’s lunch boxes and the reality is, they might be allergic to it.

So your best bet is to arm them with plenty of healthy snacks and a satisfying lunch they’ll look forward to.

Gluten-free burritos

This is a great alternative to sandwiches on gluten-free bread. Pick up some gluten-free tortillas or wraps and fill one with your child’s favourite Mexican inspired foods. Perhaps some cooked lean mince, salsa, corn and avocado. Or if you have some left over rice, throw in some black beans, salsa, grated cheese and salad for a delicious and satisfying lunch main.

Crustless mini quiches

The best thing about these is not only are they easy to make, but they freeze really well. Sauté onion and garlic along with some of your kids’ favourite veggies. Whip up six eggs, a cup of milk along with spices to taste and combine. Add in feta or cheddar cheese for a kick of extra flavour. Pour into a greased muffin tray and bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 minutes. Delish.

Rice paper rolls

Get the kids involved in making this colourful and different snack. Remember they don’t have to be authentic, they just have to be filled with ingredients your kids like. All you need is rice paper wrappers from the supermarket or Asian grocer and a little practice to get the technique right. Try leftover chicken, carrot, cucumber and avocado with some Asian sauce. Or some mums use ham, carrot, cucumber and lettuce with tomato or BBQ sauce for dipping. Play around with what your child likes and what you have in the fridge and hopefully you’ll nail some great combos.  
Woman rolling a rice paper roll

Fried rice

A great one to use up some leftover meat and veggies or, if the fridge is bare, frozen veggies can definitely do the trick. Boil a cup of white or brown rice (whatever your child will eat). Whisk an egg and cook until firm (like an omelette), take off the heat and slice into thin strips.  Sauté your veggies and meat separately (unless already cooked). Throw everything together and add some gluten-free soy sauce. Cook until golden brown.

Gluten-free mini pizzas

If you have time, make a bulk batch of pizza bases and freeze them. Otherwise many supermarkets sell these fresh or frozen, and gluten-free pita breads are also an option. Mini pizzas can be a sneaky way to add some extra veggies to your child’s diet if they’re refusing to eat them. Load up the pizzas with whatever they like; fresh tomato, mushroom, baby spinach, ham and cheese could be a winner. Pop them in the oven until golden brown and they’ll be tasty served hot or cold.

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