Friday, September 13, 2013

Allergy Free Preschool Lunches at Home

I have quite a few posts now showing what I feed my multiple-food-allergies four year old when we are on the go. But what do I feed him for lunch when we're at home?

Beaker can't eat regular bread due to his wheat allergy, and gluten-free breads tend to be pretty pricey. It would be cost-prohibitive for me to make him a sandwich every day, for sure. Sometimes I feed him leftovers from dinner, and sometimes I cook up some rice pasta with mixed vegetables, but other times I try to be a bit creative and make his lunches at home a little more fun.

The best part (well, for me!) is that all of the lunches in this post took less than ten minutes each to make. Fast, easy, tasty, and allergy-safe ~ sounds like a WIN to me!

This pretty lunch features bread-free butterfly mini sandwiches and some healthy sides, simply laid out on a $1 section plate from Target.

To make the mini sandwiches, I placed a slice of cheese between two different kinds of turkey lunchmeat and used a small butterfly cookie cutter to pop out the shapes. 

Included in this lunch are Van's Say Cheese crackers (gluten, soy, and nut free!), apple slices, and cucumber strips.

For this lunch, I heated some mini sausages and served them with ketchup for dipping. He also has carrot sticks, and strawberries with a little yogurt.

For a little sweet treat I also gave him an Udi's chocolate brownie bite - gluten, soy, and nut free, and delicious! Beaker loves them, and the small size are perfect for little tummies.

This super simple lunch took less than six minutes to put together, including the time to steam the hot dog and broccoli.To make the hot dog 'bow and arrow', I sliced the steamed hot dog into bite sized bits, threading half of them onto a food pick and arranging the rest in a quick half circle. Food picks are excellent for acting as mini skewers to make dipping super easy for small fingers.

 The little star cup holds a small amount of ketchup for the hot dog bites. This lunch also has a bit of lightly steamed broccoli, some small purple grapes, and chunks of pear.

This fun lunch was made almost the same way as the butterflies. The bread-free sandwiches are two different kinds of lunchmeat with cheese in between. The shapes are cut out using one of my favorite cutters, the CuteZCute sandwich cutter and pastry stamper. Super adorable, and so easy to use. The letters were cut out of cheese and meat scraps.

In this lunch, Beaker has two kitty grain-free sandwiches with EnerG allergen free pretzel rings, cantaloupe bites, baby carrots, and a delicious homemade Beaker-Safe lemon blueberry muffin. I make the muffins using a basic muffin recipe, but to make it safe for my son's allergies I have some simple substitutions. I use a gluten, soy, and nut free flour blend, with flax instead of eggs, coconut oil instead of butter, and vanilla rice milk instead of the milk. WAY easier than it sounds and they are actually very tasty. The Dude, who generally turns his nose up at any of Beaker's allergen free foods, can't even tell the difference between the safe muffins and the regular.

There is definitely a learning curve when you suddenly find yourself having to deal with food allergies, but with a little practice and a lot of patience it can become a whole lot easier. If anyone has questions about feeding a kid with multiple food allergies, or just needs a little commiseration, feel free to leave a comment here or drop me an email anytime!

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