Tapas for Tweens
October 29, 2011 10:58 AM Subscribe
What can I send for a kid's school lunch that doesn't need heating or refrigeration, has a super-fast prep time, and doesn't contain gluten, peanuts, or dairy?
posted by Andrhia to Food & Drink (48 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
My poor peanut-allergic fourth grader has been diagnosed with IBS, and we need to try her on a gluten-free diet for at least the next few weeks to see if that's the cause of her ongoing stomach aches. Help the two of us figure out what she can bring for lunches that meet her criteria:
* OK stored at room temperature for up to five hours
* Easily portable
* Does NOT contain peanuts, gluten, or dairy (other nuts are... iffy)
* Does not require reheating, as in a microwave
* Suits a fourth-grader's kind of picky palate
* And for me: Not a massive prep time. I'd really prefer things that don't need heating up and putting into a thermos. This is probably the one criteria most likely to go, sigh.
Before this, she's been eating the school lunches. She does not have access to a refrigerator or microwave at school.
Things we've tried:
* Sandwiches on gluten-free bread. She hates all of the gluten-free sandwich breads we've found (I can't blame her).
* Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables: berries, apples, raw bell pepper, baby carrots, even frozen mixed vegetables (they thaw by lunch, and she likes 'em cold). She likes these quite a bit, but it's not enough for a whole lunch.
* Roll-ups of sliced turkey or bologna. She likes this... kind of, but not a lot, and not for every day. We need other options.
* We've nervously let her eat almond crackers. She's fine with them and loves them. Might plan on sending almond thins and sliced turkey pepperoni as a lunch, with some red bell pepper.
Things we haven't tried, and the reasons why:
* Tuna, egg, chicken salads. She dislikes mayonnaise-based salads intensely.
* GF pasta or rice salads. She might or might not like them, and either way, they require a whole lot of advance preparation.
* Hard-boiled eggs. She dislikes eggs of all kinds.
* Hummus. She doesn't like this, either.
* Nuts. She's recently OK with foods containing almonds, but she has a strong aversion to most things that have a nut flavoring, much less any outright nuts. She also doesn't like sunbutter.
The child in question is very smart and responsible, and she will be reading this thread, so you're welcome to make a case directly to her for trying new things, or giving a fresh chance to something she has tried before but didn't like at the time.
Whew. Help, help! I don't want my poor kid to have to eat nothing but cold lunchmeat for the rest of her school career!