Back to School - Packed Lunch Ideas

There are lots of healthy, nutritious, affordable and tasty foods that are naturally gluten free. Plus lots of specially produced gluten free foods can be found in the free from aisles of most supermarkets. We’ve put together a few suggestions to keep gluten free tummies full and happy!

•Gluten free sandwiches: Whether you make your own gluten free bread, buy it from the free from aisle or obtain it on prescription, there are lots of sandwich fillings that are naturally gluten free including: ham, tuna, cheese, chicken and eggs that can all be used for your child’s sandwich fillings.
•Juvela gluten free fresh loaves and rolls are available on prescription* - don't forget to order from your pharmacy in time for sandwich making -  with the deliciously soft, melt in the mouth texture, they are a perfect part of any gluten-free packed lunch!
*Access and availability to gluten-free foods on prescription may vary depending on where you live.  Please ask your GP or Pharmacist what the arrangements are in your area.
•Dips: Cream cheese, houmous or peanut butter are perfect for dipping carrot sticks, apples slices, rice cakes and gluten-free breadsticks or crackers in. Most supermarkets have a selection of gluten free crackers, bread sticks and rice cakes in the Free-From aisle.
•Sweet treats: All fruits are naturally gluten free as are most dried fruits such as raisins and apricots. If you child is not a big fruit eater, many yogurt pots are naturally gluten free, as is Nutella as an occasional treat
•Savoury snacks: Many branded and supermarket own label crisps are gluten free. In the free from aisle you will also find flavoured savoury crackers and rice cakes.

And here's a few of our favourite lunchbox fillers to help keep those tummies full during the school day……

Sausage Rolls - As an alternative from sandwiches, make these simple sausage rolls – great for freezing so you can make a batch and keep some in reserve! And maybe add a little pot of ketchup in the lunchbox for dunking!

Scotch Eggs - A perfect portable snack - surprisingly simple to make and taste sooooo much better than the bought versions! And if you’re running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained before they start the new school year, they can help with making these tasty little snacks!

Mini Doughnut Bites - Add a little treat to their lunch box by popping in a couple of these amazing mini doughnut bites! Perfect little bitesize mouthfuls of yumminess to keep your little one happy!

Muffins - Whip up a quick batch of muffins so you can add a sweet treat to a lunchbox……and hope your little monkey eats the sandwiches and fruit first!!

Reading labels

The labelling of allergens in packaged foods has much improved and it is now much easier to see at a glance if a food product is suitable for your child’s dietary needs. When shopping for suitable foods for your child’s lunch box,  always check the ingredients list.

Pre-packed food must have an ingredients list. Allergens must be emphasised in some way every time they appear in the ingredients list. For example, they could be listed in bold, contrasting colours or underlined as shown on the example below.

Allergen advice statements can also be used on the product label to explain how allergen information is presented on a label, for example:

‘Allergen Advice: for allergens, see ingredients in bold’

‘Allergen Advice: for allergens including cereals that contain gluten see ingredients in red’

Coeliac UK also produce a Gluten Free Food Guide which lists branded and supermarket own brand foods which are suitable for a gluten free diet . 

Sometimes an ingredient list may not contain any allergens; however a ‘may contains’ statement might be present on the label which means the product may have been contaminated with gluten during production: