School lunches are a challenge for many parents. Especially those who find themselves attending a school that enforces mandatory exclusions to protect other children from allergens. If you are not used to avoiding certain foods, it’s even more difficult to pack a lunch without them.
One of the most common questions I get when I tell people what all Elena is allergic to is, “What do you feed her?” In fact, that’s the question I had in my own head when I first got her diagnosis. We started with the basics and had a lot of fun with it. We do a lot of “cutting board” dinners in the summer. I just go to the cutting board and prep all kinds of produce and sometimes bread. It’s simple, quick, healthy, and I don’t have to heat up the oven or stove at all. We do this a lot using muffin tins, ice cube trays, or other sectioned containers. The girls love it.
The lunches I pack for school are very similar to this. I love doing it this way because I can just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. She likes the variety and she rarely has the exact same lunch twice. I always give her a juice box and usually a fruit puree pouch, which we call “smoothies”, or “moosies” if you’re Olivia. Here are some of Elena’s actual lunches she has taken to school. You won’t believe how simple it really is to pack an allergy friendly meal.
I also always try to throw in a special napkin. I get character napkins from the party section at Target or use the extra party napkins from various celebrations. She really likes having a colorful napkin, since we don’t typically use those at home. Elena also has a very special way of reminding me to send a fork. I owe a big apology to her teachers for those days I forget. I know it doesn’t slow her down one bit…