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The Celiac Mom’s Guide to Prepping for Back to School, Celiac Style Part II: Rockin’ the Gluten Free Lunchbox

Packing lunches. Two small words that fill parents everywhere with dread. It is not an easy job to fill a lunchbox with healthy food that is fun and appealing to little people. It’s an even tougher job when you can’t just make the obligatory pb&j sandwich, because a lot of the gluten free bread out there? No thanks.

I try to think outside the box, so to speak, when packing my daughter’s gluten free lunches. You have to get creative to keep it fun, fresh and healthy. My approach? Bento. Bento boxes originated in Japan, with lots of small choices in little compartments all packed in a cute little box. Bento boxes are sold everywhere from Target to Pottery Barn Kids. Some popular brands online are PlanetBox and Yumbox. The concept has taken the lunch crowd by storm.

Bento boxes make it easy to throw a little of this and a little of that in the lunchbox. This provides great variety in your gluten free child’s diet, but it also means needing to have a wide variety of choices on hand. There are so many delicious, gluten free products out there, however their steep price tags make it too expensive to experiment and buy out the gluten free aisle. So, I’ll do lots of “name dropping” here so you can buy with confidence that every last crumb will get eaten.

Every lunch box generally contains a main dish, a side item, a fruit/veggie, something crunchy, and a dessert. Pick one from each category and get packin’!





Everyone’s favorite lunchbox friend: the crunchy, salty goodness of crackers and chips. Here’s what makes the cut in our house:


There are so many possibilities for packing a gluten free lunch. Be creative. Tuck in little bits of your child’s favorites to make a fun yet well-rounded meal that keeps them full and energized throughout their school day.

Stay tuned for Part III of this Back-to-School series, “Snack Attack”. Look for it in my weekly post next Thursday!

The Celiac Mom is CEO of Diehl Enterprises. Her duties include executive chef, pastry chef, taxi driver, housekeeper, kisser of boo boos, popsicle distributor, counselor, and champion Uno player. She is also the Content Coordinator and writer for Allens Creek Living Magazine. She lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband and three children.

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