Lunchtime with my intolerant child 1

A while back I promised to work my way through recipes and ideas for feeding an intolerant child (or grown up). I promised to keep it simple – with minimal steps and ingredients. I worked through breakfasts, have a fair share of ‘dinners’ but still ‘owe you lunch’. So here goes. Time to look at ‘what’s for lunch’.

My two children have packed lunches at school and pre-school. Zac is due to start school in September and the option of school dinners will be there. He may decide he wants to try them, as Sophia did when she first started. The menu provided by school looks excellent and it is very highly rated by all parents, staff and the children, so I was more than happy to let Sophia switch – but I will need to have a chat to the caterers before I consider letting Zac give it a try.

Our school is a ‘healthy eating’ school and the menu certainly is nutritionally very balanced, with many naturally gluten free and dairy free foods – BUT – as many of you know and may have experienced, it is cross contamination that is the biggest issue for those with allergies, so I will need to get a better understanding of how this is managed.

So in reality I probably face many more years of trying to pull together interesting and varied lunchtime meals for him, whether they are to take to school or ‘enjoy’ at home. It is very easy to fall into a habit of giving the same thing every day and as all parents will know, any child can suddenly go off their favourite food after eating it every day for months and when you have so much less in your repertoire, it is even more important to try and prevent this.

So this is my new challenge, try and vary his packed lunches this week and then over the weekend try a few more interesting home cooked options, and then keep going over the coming weeks until I have achieved a bit of variation for him and got him out of his rut of marmite sandwiches or toast! Today he has Genius seeded bread, with a smear of Pure dairy free spread and marmite, delicately cut into triangles. As usual the crust is hanging off, because as know the bread is dreadfully ‘delicate’ but he doesn’t eat the crust anyway, as they are pretty grim in our opinion.

I know marmite is problematic for those with Coelicac disease, but Zac seems to be ok with it and until we get a definite diagnosis, I am leaving it in! Useful B vitamins. Along with his ‘sandwiches’, he had a dark (dairy free) chocolate covered rice cake, an apple and some gluten free bread sticks (Dietary Specials). He also has an Alpro soya yoghurt. It might sound a lot for four and year old, but he has a very active day at pre-school and also he is always so hungry. I guess it is because gluten free food is just not as ‘filling’ as normal food.

So that is a pretty boring start and I reckon I could do better, so this is what else I will try and look at. I reckon I can come up with a variety of naturally GF/DF soups. Since visiting the Allergy Show I have discovered some new ‘bread’, ‘crackers’ and pastas, so will have a go at incorporating some of those into the ‘menu’. I also have a few creations of my own and when those ideas run out I will refer to Pippa Kendrick, Grace Cheetham and a few other GF/DF food writers and try a few of their ideas on him. So watch this space.



One comment

  1. Hi Nicola I share your concerns over repetition with both my son’s diet and my own. There are certainly favourites that you fall back on most days. I’m concerned about the amount of fruit we eat for the natural sugar content and the effect on his nappies!
    I have to admit I am quite relieved to have found ready made ideas from ilumi as they appear to have a good ingredients list. I’m happy they are healthier than other “normal” ready meals and provide variety for us. We regularly have homemade pancakes with savoury or sweet fillings. These are easiest at the weekend as they are much better fresh. Fortunately we both love tuna, mayonnaise and sweetcorn or ham, cucumber and humus. I guess these are things that provide moisture to a sometimes dry diet.
    Any shared ideas would be a bonus and I look forward to reading more.

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