Creating a healthy lunch for your gluten-free lunch can be intimidating. Since trading food is a common occurrence among school children, it may seem like a lost cause to provide a healthy meal they will actually eat. At a young age, it is important to explain to your child why they should eat their own lunch. For an individual with gluten sensitivity, meals are especially important as their safety and comfort is at stake.
With that said, the key to getting your child to eat the lunch you lovingly prepared is to make it enjoyable and fun. After all, you only trade for an upgrade, so ensuring your child has a top-notch meal, to begin with, is crucial to lunchtime success.
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At the core of many healthy meals is a hearty protein. This can come in many forms such as gluten-free lunch deli meats, cheeses, eggs, and nuts. For sandwiches, you can stock your freezer with gluten-free bread. When preparing your child’s lunch, there is no need to thaw the bread beforehand, it will be ready to eat by lunchtime! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a childhood favorite that can certainly be enjoyed by those with gluten sensitivity.
To avoid routine, mix it up with various nut kinds of butter and different flavored jams and jellies. For a younger child, you can use playful sandwich cutters to create a fun design. Surely, it would be harder to trade a mickey mouse sandwich for an ordinary one.
An additional aspect of a well-rounded meal is a selection of complex carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are perfect to add to your gluten-free child’s lunch because they are healthy and often very colorful, which helps avoid a boring lunch break. Delicious dips and spreads will help encourage your little one to eat their fruits and vegetables. Your dip choices are endless and can include hummus, pico de gallo, or cream cheese and cranberry spread. Generally, children love fun-sized packages fit for their little fingers. For this reason, fruit cups, applesauce, or sliced apples would be a good choice.
It can be hard work being on a strictly gluten-free lunch diet, so reward your child with some sort of sweet. You can make heaps of delicious baked goods by stocking up on yummy alternative flours such as bean flours, almond meal, or brown rice. Banana bread, blueberry muffins, and gluten-free oatmeal cookies are all excellent options for giving your child a special surprise in their lunch box. If you have a chocolate fanatic, a small number of dark chocolate chips will satisfy their sweet tooth while offering their little body some antioxidants.
Add Some Fun
As can be seen, just a few simple tricks can help you prepare a gluten-free lunch for your child that they are sure to enjoy. An appropriate lunch box with an ice pack and thermos will keep their food at safe temperatures and expand your options when preparing their meals. For added fun, let your child pick out their own lunch box. You could even let them have a say, somewhat, in their meal choices. Doing this will encourage them to make healthy choices, and they will probably be more excited about eating something they picked out themselves.
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