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How to Pack a Gluten & Casein Free Lunch for Kids

by Jill Davis, studioD

No child wants to be an outcast at the lunch benches or infamous for her odd lunchbox choices. There are many more products available now that are safe for children that are gluten- and casein-sensitive; pack some of these choices and she can fit right in with her friends during lunchtime. Don't forget to check the label of everything you buy. Sometimes manufacturers change the ingredients.

Main Dish

Finding bread can be difficult for casein-free and gluten-free lunches. Many kids don't like the dense, thick breads that fit their diet. Instead, try using rice tortillas and fill them with hummus, cucumbers and olives. You can even spread them with mustard or mayonnaise and add your child's favorite lunch meat. Coconut yogurt is available if your child likes to have yogurt for lunch. You can also include a rice cake and containers of peanut butter and jelly to spread on it for an open-face sandwich.

Fruit and Vegetables

Frozen grapes are a fun-to-eat snack for kids.

Add healthy vegetables and fruit to your child's lunch in easy-to-eat bite-size pieces. Pack a dish of gluten- and casein-free salad dressing or hummus to dip the vegetables in for added flavor. For those busy days, get a stash of packaged fruit slices from the supermarket that are easy to toss into a lunch box. Fruit leather and dried fruit are healthy options that kids love, or freeze some grapes overnight for a treat that will still be chilly at lunchtime.


A bag of trail mix is a good snack.

Apple and banana chips are typically free of gluten and casein. Adding dried fruit chips to trail mix with your child's favorite ingredients is a healthy option for lunch. Put in a large enough bag so he has some leftover for an after-school snack for the bus ride home. You can pop some popcorn at home and add it to the lunchbox. Also, some granola and protein bars are gluten- and casein-free. Check the labels, though, to be certain you're getting one that's appropriate.


Offer your child one of the alternative milk products.

There are many types of dairy-free milk available. Soy, hemp, almond and even coconut milk can be found at grocery or specialty stores. They can be an acquired taste so buy a small quantity for your child to try. Many fruit and vegetable juices are available in lunch-size bottles. Stick with the choices that are 100 percent juice so there is no doubt of its suitability. Pack canned fruit nectar or homemade lemonade for a special treat.

About the Author

Jill Davis started writing professionally in 2006. She has had articles published in "Yogi Times" and "Orange Pealings" magazines. Davis received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University, Long Beach.

Photo Credits

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