Sandwiches are often a go-to lunch option – unless you are avoiding wheat or gluten. If your child has a wheat allergy, that does not mean they can’t have tasty lunches. It gives you the chance to be a little more creative. Try our wheat- and gluten-free twists on traditional lunches!
Is your child allergic to more than just wheat? We have additional resources if you’re managing multiple food allergies. Ask other parents for lunch ideas on our Food and Cooking Support forum. Search our Safe Eats® Allergy-Friendly Recipes collection of almost 1,500 member-submitted recipes. And check out our Allergy-Friendly Foods collection for products made without many of the most common allergens.
Hearty salad: Try naturally gluten-free salads like Rainbow Scoops or Chicken Sink Salad. Both are also free of milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, sesame, fish, and shellfish. These options are yummy alternatives to pasta salad.
Pack with celery and carrot sticks, fruit gummies, and milk or milk alternative.
Lunchables®-style stackables: Cut out pieces of deli meats or pepperoni and cheese with a cookie cutter to match the size of your child’s favorite gluten-free crackers. Place in a bento box or use small dishes or silicone baking cups to hold each item.
Pack with snow peas, gluten-free granola, and milk or milk alternative.
Sandwich on Wheat- and Gluten-Free Bread: Not all gluten-free breads will hold up in a lunch box, but you can still pack sandwiches with some planning:
- Toast the bread. Gluten-free bread does much better when it is toasted. Let it cool before filling and packing so it doesn't get soggy from condensation.
- Avoid “wet” fillings. Deli meats and cheese or milk-free “cheese” are better options than egg salad or hummus. You can pack wet fillings or things like tomatoes separately. You child can add them just before eating.
- Pack condiments separately. Send individual packs of mustard or mayo to add just before eating.
- Still can't find a bread that works? Try an un-sandwich by making a lettuce wrap.
Pack with a pickle spear, cinnamon and sugar apple slices, and milk or milk alternative.
Taco-dilla with salsa or guacamole: Spread refried beans on a soft corn tortilla. Top with taco meat and cheese or milk-free “cheese” alternative. Toast in a dry pan until the tortilla is crispy. Cool before cutting and packing.
Pack with celery sticks, fruit leather, and milk or milk alternative.
Pizza muffins with tomato dipping sauce: Add diced pepperoni and shredded mozzarella-style cheese to your favorite gluten-free biscuit recipe. Gently pat out dough, cut out, and bake. Cool completely before packing. Add a container of pizza sauce for dipping.
Pack with a green salad, mixed fruit salad, and milk or milk alternative.
Still Need More Allergy Friendly Lunch Ideas?
Check out our Allergy-Friendly Lunch Hacks to make packing lunches a little easier, as well as these recipes:
- A Week of Peanut Butter and Jelly Alternatives for Lunch
- A Week of Egg-Free Lunch Ideas
- A Week of Milk-Free Lunch Ideas