Monday, July 30, 2018

Gluten-Free School Lunch Tips and Menu Ideas

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I received a very small, small percentage, but it is very much appreciated.**

(republished post from 2016)

School will be back in session in just a few weeks. When it comes to packing lunches, I will be packing Jack's lunch every day, 5 days a week, 20 days a month, for 40 weeks out of the year. That's a lot of lunch packin'! But, I don't complain, as it keeps my boy healthy.

But, you gotta get creative, so it doesn't get boring and your child says, "Do I have to eat that again?"

Below I have some tips to offer you and some gluten-free menu ideas.

3 TIPS: 
  • Lunch doesn't mean having a "sandwich"- anything nutritious that fills your kiddo up until they get home from school will be just fine.
  • Packing a lunch full of iron and protein packed foods, will help provide energy for the afternoon math test.

  • Healthy Foods - Fruit, Cheese, Yogurt, Turkey, Veggies 
  • Milk or Water
  • Pack a little treat - other kids at school will bring all types of treats and even buy ice cream from the cafeteria. 
  • Sugar Drinks 
  • No items that are too hard to open - they need to focus on eating, not trying to open something for 10 minutes
  • Minimal plastic baggies - it really is a waste - find a great plastic container to reuse  


Lunch 1:

(Jack's Favorite lunch)

Hard Boiled egg
Spinach leaves (yes, he eats SPINACH!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lunch 2:

Turkey and Swiss Cheese Roll-ups
Carrot Sticks
String Cheese

Lunch 3: 

PB and Jelly sandwich on your favorite GF bread
Lay's Potato Chips
Pear Slices
Carrot Sticks/Spinach Leaves
Glutino's Chocolate Chip Cookie

Special treat in this one! And extra ketchup packets, save
them for lunch!
Lunch 4:
Perdue Breaded Chicken Tenders  
Carrot Sticks/Spinach Leaves
Cybele's Cookies

Lunch 5:

Pizza Squares - Udi's Pizza Crust or Kinnickinnick Pizza Crust - bake, cut in squares, put in thermos to keep warm.
Mandarin Oranges
Carrots/Spinach Leaves

Here are some products to get you prepared to pack lunches every day! From lunch containers to an individual cupcake holder for parties and more, I got you covered! 

Happy lunch packing! 
Best wishes for a great gluten-free school year!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

20 Ways To Raise Celiac Disease Awareness

Y'all, class is in session! I have come up with 20 ways to raise awareness for this May - which many of you know is (or may not know, which is totally ok) Celiac Awareness Month.

Raising awareness for celiac disease is MUST.  Not just during May, BUT any time an opportunity comes our way.

Since starting this journey almost 9 years ago, I can honestly say that more people know about celiac disease. BUT, then I'll turn around and mention "celiac disease" to someone and they will look at me confused, like, "What is that?"

So needless to say, we still have a ways to go. The more people that we can educate about celiac disease and gluten-free living, the better off the future will be for our children. We gotta think POSITIVE, right? RIGHT! (high five)

Until we find a CURE for CELIAC DISEASE, we got a job to do. So, LET'S GO!


1 - When ordering food at a restaurant, ask for the manager or tell the server that you have celiac disease. Don't just say, "without the bun" or "I have a wheat allergy"....educate these folks even if they just say, "uh-huh".
You also know enough about gluten-free living, that you could create a little note card with how to handle your gluten-free meal: WHAT TO AVOID (for example: DO NOT share same deep fryer as GLUTEN foods, wash kitchen utensils, check ingredients for "WHEAT", etc.

2 - To help better serve those with celiac disease while at school, college and/or camps, this website and material is AWESOME. Check out NFCA's GREAT Gluten-Free Kitchens training.

3 - Start or join a celiac walk in your area and raise funds for the Center for Celiac  
       Research -  MakingTracks for Celiacs

4 - Pass out green apples to teachers with a note about celiac disease. 

5  Make awareness bracelets and give them to your friends and family.

6 - Or RAP it, "Let's talk about celiac baby, let's talk about gluten and me, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be...let's talk about celiac, let's talk about celiac..." (Salt-n-Pepa)

 7 - Get a blood test, whether you've done it before or not - get another. Encourage family and friends to do so as well. If a family member tested NEGATIVE 5 years ago, I would encourage to test every 2-3 years whether there are visible symptoms are not. My husband tested negative when Jack was was diagnosed in 2009.  Then after moving to TN and taking on a very, very stressful job, his immunity changed. He tested positive for celiac disease. It's crazy how it all came about - I share my husband's story here.

8 - Car Ribbons/Magnets - these days you can have your own made! Just google "create your own car magnets" or "celiac ribbon car magnets".

9 -  Are you concerned about another child, but don't know how to tell his or her mother? Pass along this link - it warns of "Red Flags"- some pediatricians may overlook certain celiac symptoms. 

10 - Make up ANOTHER song, "I just called to say get tested...I just called, to say how much I carrreeeeeeee, I doooo." (Stevie Wonder)

11 - Visit University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center

12 Share celiac disease information with a stranger - "Hi, I don't know you, but here's some info. about Celiac Disease."

13 - REPEAT #1 

14 - Read/Share some of my Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease stories. You'll be surprised by some of the symptoms this children had or DIDN'T HAVE.

15 - Check out these AWESOME Celiac Bloggers.

16 - Share this celiac disease symptoms checklist with your friends and family.

17 - Get friends and family to attend a FREE celiac disease screening.

18 - Check out NFCA's site on "Talking to You  Friends" about celiac disease.

19 - Make a donation to the Celiac Disease Foundation - make sure to check out their website as it's full of all types of great information on celiac disease and gluten-free living.

20 - Get a TATTOO! Okay, don't. But this was something I REALLY wanted to do to show my passion for raising awareness and if someone asked me about my tattoo, it's an opportunity to educate them about celiac disease.

There you go friends. 20 Celiac Awareness ideas. 

For more information on Celiac Disease, check out these following links here on Raising Jack with Celiac: 

Celiac Testing
Genetic Testing
School Letter