People usually think it must be really hard to go gluten free. Well try gluten free, casein (dairy) free and soy free. Actually, it sounds hard but it is really quite easy. I'll show you why. Here is a pretty typical packed lunch for A.J. (for summer camp). It looks simple...and it is. But it took a a few years to find foods that she could eat and that she loves. So I am happy to share our secrets in hopes that it will help other families.
This is A.J.'s lunch for tomorrow and yes, I pulled food out of the fridge and took pictures of it :)
BREAD - My Mom makes some really yummy bread for A.J. But between loafs, we get this GFCFSF white bread at our local grocery store, Publix. We found this yummy, soft sandwich bread fairly recently. We had tried millet and flax bread in the past which is technically gluten free and tastes just like regular bread. But she turned out to be allergic to millet and flax. I don't recommend millet and flax bread for spectrum kids.
Udi's white sandwich bread is made with brown rice flower. It is GFCFSF (gluten free, casein free and soy free). So it is perfect for A.J. It also tastes great and she loves it. A few years ago there was no bread option and so we rolled up pieces of lunch meat like how you see on a party platter. She would dip the lunch meat in different dressing and in pastes like hummus or guacamole.
CHIPS - The Publix blue corn chips are organic and she likes them.
CONDIMENT - We have not found any butter or margarine that has no soy in it, but Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening is butter flavor so it tastes just like margarine. A.J. does not like mayo, or I would use the canola-oil mayo on her sandwich. We buy this at our local health food store, Mother Earth.
APPLE SLICES - These apples we got at Publix. Usually we buy organic apples but when we are feeling lazy we get the ready sliced ones. This is quite rare though because I don't like that they are packaged in plastic with BPA's in it. How do I know this?...the recycle number 7 is printed on the plastic packaging.
LUNCH MEAT - We like the Applegate lunch meats (I included the coupon link btw). The meats are organic or natural. The organic kind is very expensive so sometimes we opt for the "natural" like in the picture below. I usually buy chicken though since turkey has an ingredient that makes one sleepy! So if A.J. is going through a lethargic phase we use the chicken lunch meat and not the turkey.
CARROTS - The carrots are a new discovery that came from using the Planet Box. Since it has that long container section at the top, I thought that I should get a long carrot and peel it and see if she eats it. She does!
I put a couple of Gummy Bear Rhino Vitamins in the little section in the middle. They are a delicious treat and a great source of calcium with vitamin D. She thinks they are candy, he he. My Mom makes amazing GFCFSF cupcakes for A.J. but more on that later!