September 6, 2023
Hello, dedicated parents! Are you finding yourself in a rut when it comes to packing school lunches? It’s easy to fall into a routine of sending the same sandwiches and juice boxes day after day. But what our children consume plays a critical role in their energy levels, focus, and overall well-being.
If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies or sensitivities, you know that lunchtime can be a minefield. The importance of allergen-friendly school lunches can’t be overstated.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 lunch ideas that are not only free from common allergens like gluten and soy but are also made entirely from whole foods. We’re talking about meals that are as clean and natural as they come, but also delicious and kid-friendly.
Before we delve into these delicious lunch ideas, please note that this blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any products through these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy reading!
1. Chicken Veggie Wraps
When you hear “wrap,” you might think tortillas, but did you know that lettuce makes an excellent, gluten-free wrap?
For this lunch idea, you’ll need some grilled or baked chicken strips, a variety of colorful veggies (think bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers), and large lettuce leaves to serve as your wraps. You can even add some avocado slices for healthy fats.
Roll them up, and you have a fun, interactive lunch that kids will love. Don’t forget to pack a small container of a soy-free dressing or sauce for added flavor! It’s a convenient and mess-free way to include veggies and protein in one delicious package.
To make it a lunch, include some coconut water, sliced carrots, and apples cut into cute shapes.
2. Quinoa Salad Jar
If you haven’t hopped on the mason jar salad trend, now’s your chance!
Quinoa salad jars are easy to prep and oh-so-delicious. Layer cooked quinoa at the bottom, followed by a medley of veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Toss in some chickpeas or black beans for added protein. Then, top it off with a dairy-free, soy-free dressing—shake it up and pour it over the salad at lunchtime.
Make it a meal by including herbal tea, orange wedges, and a hardboiled egg. And, don’t forget that colorful mason jars are so much fun than the clear ones!
3. Sushi Rice Bowls
The idea of “sushi” might seem a bit gourmet for a school lunch, but hear us out. Sushi rice bowls are a simpler, kid-friendly version of the Japanese classic.
Start with a base of cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice for a grain-free option. Add some chopped vegetables like cucumber, avocado, and shredded carrots. If your child enjoys seafood, throw in some cooked shrimp or salmon.
Drizzle a bit of gluten-free, soy-free teriyaki sauce over the top, and you’ve got a bowl bursting with flavors. Your child can mix it up themselves, adding a sense of culinary adventure to lunchtime.
Don’t forget to make lunch more well-rounded by including lemon-infused water and pineapple chunks. Make it more fun by shaping the rice into little stars.
4. Sweet Potato & Chicken Skewers
Who says skewers are only for barbecues? These sweet potato and chicken skewers can make lunchtime a whole lot more fun.
Dice some chicken breast and sweet potatoes into cubes, season them with your favorite herbs and spices (keeping them soy and gluten-free, of course), and thread them onto wooden skewers (colorful ones are more fun!). Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are tender.
These skewers are not only visually appealing but also packed with nutrients like protein and vitamin A. You can even include a small container of soy-free dipping sauce to elevate the taste.
Make it a meal by adding in some sliced kiwi and almonds, and some infused water to drink.
5. Rice Paper Spring Rolls
If you’re looking for an interactive lunch that your child can even help prepare, rice paper spring rolls are a fabulous option.
These rolls are wrapped in rice paper and can be filled with a variety of fresh veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots. Add some shredded chicken for protein.
Rolling these up can be a fun activity to share with your kids during meal prep, and they’ll be excited to eat their creations at lunchtime. Don’t forget to pack a small container (make it a cute one!) of gluten-free, soy-free dipping sauce!
Round this out as a full lunch by tossing in som mango cubes, snap peas, and coconut milk.
6. Turkey Meatballs with Veggie “Pasta”
Here’s a twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs: turkey meatballs with vegetable “pasta.”
Simply make the meatballs using ground turkey. Bake or sauté until they’re fully cooked.
For the pasta, spiralize zucchini or carrots to create veggie noodles (you can find a spiralizer tool on Amazon). Toss these “noodles” in a bit of olive oil and sauté briefly to soften them. Combine with the meatballs and top with a soy-free, gluten-free marinara sauce.
This dish gives your child a protein-packed, veggie-filled main course that is both fun and nutritious. You can make it a full meal by including mixed nuts, blueberries, and homemade lemonade.
7. Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
You can have all the fun of a stir fry without the soy and grains! Cauliflower rice serves as an excellent base for this colorful, nutrient-packed lunch.
To make the cauliflower rice, simply pulse raw cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble grains of rice. Then, sauté your “rice” with a mix of vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and peas.
Use coconut aminos (this is my favorite brand) as a soy-free alternative to soy sauce. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein. Don’t forget to include a fruit like dried apricots and some fresh orange juice to drink.
Your child will be captivated by the mix of colors, textures, and flavors, not even realizing they’re eating a vegetable-based dish.
There you have it!
Seven gluten-free, soy-free, whole-foods-based lunch ideas that are perfect for busy parents and growing kids. These lunches are not just allergen-friendly, but also fun, colorful, and filled with nutrients your kids need. Who says healthy eating has to be boring or difficult? With a little planning and creativity, you can turn lunchtime into an adventure that both you and your kids will look forward to.
Interested in more tips on easy and nutritious meals for your kids? Don’t miss out on all the useful info and inspiration! Follow me on Instagram to stay in the loop and learn how you can make nutrition an easy part of your child’s day.
Amazon Disclosure: This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Lunch should never be overlooked; it’s a golden opportunity to pack in a variety of nutrients that can fuel your child’s body and mind for the rest of the day.
If you’re truly committed to elevating your family’s nutrition, let’s take this conversation to the next level. I’m offering a 30-minute, low-pressure text chat where we can dive into your specific needs and challenges.
Think of it as a personalized roadmap to a healthier family. I’ll provide you with unique and tailored recommendations that can make a real difference in your family’s well-being. No one-size-fits-all advice here; just real, actionable tips you can start using right away. So why wait? This could be the first step to a healthier, happier family. Reach out to me to schedule your chat today!
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