We kicked off the new school year with a new lunch box, a positive attitude and a great teacher who knows what "gluten-free diet" means! Yeah!
Day 0--Meet the Teacher Night
Nathan's fifth grade teacher didn't flinch when I mentioned that he has dietary restrictions. Although she had a long line of parents waiting to meet her at open house, she took time to calm my fears by making the same suggestions to me that I had planned to present to her. She explained that she had a couple of gluten-free students in her class last year, so she is very familiar with what Nathan can/can't have and she recommended that we keep donuts or cupcakes in the school office freezer for days when an unexpected treat is needed. What a relief! She also informed me that a few of her lesson plans include food, but she would be happy to provide an alternative for Nathan. She gets an A+!!! I could've hugged her on the spot. Of course, I don't expect her to buy gluten-free treats for my child, but it is nice that she offered. I will happily send an equivalent treat that he can eat--or even supply enough for the whole class, but it was comforting to know that his teacher understands and is supportive. Now, if I can just get him excited about going back to school, my day would be perfect!
Day 1--First Day of School
Nathan's first lunch of the new school year included a pb&j on Schar Gluten Free Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread. I was shocked that he preferred the multigrain variety over the white bread. He also packed Skinny Pop popcorn, Glutino chocolate chip cookies and a juice box. I added grapes, Motts fruit snacks and a napkin. He tried hard, but I always check behind him to make sure he gets at least one healthy item during the school day.
None of his old "friends" are in his class this year, so he didn't hear the negative comments about his gluten-free lunch on the first day. His lunch was very similar to what his new classmates brought and nobody brought attention to it, so he didn't complain that he had to watch all of the other kids eat the yummy snacks he can't have. This is his new normal and he seems fine with it this year. He likes the snacks I buy and he knows he will feel bad if he eats the wrong foods. It isn't worth getting sick so he doesn't cheat! He gets an A+ in my gradebook!
Nathan did mention that he wants to take hot food like chili and soup in his lunch when the weather gets cooler. KeeleyMcGuireBlog, a gluten-free food blogger that I follow on social media, recommended the Foogo Food Jar made by Thermos to keep hot foods hot, so I will purchase one soon and let you know what I think.
Keeley's tip--fill the food jar with hot water to warm the core, then empty and replace water with hot food. Warming the container first keeps food warmer for a longer period of time. She has lots of great lunch box ideas, so check out her blog.
What do you pack in your child's gluten-free lunch box? Share your ideas with us!
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