Easy Gluten Free Living: Kids Lunchbox Ideas

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The first thing that struck me when I was told that C should eat gluten-free was how complicated it all seemed. I’d never given gluten a single thought in my life and suddenly I was finding out that my kitchen cupboards were riddled with it and thinking about navigating life without the big ‘G’ seemed like a very arduous task.

A year has passed now, and I’m getting to the point where it all seems second nature and I don’t really give it that much thought anymore. I have my favorite recipes to make at home, I’ve worked out how to navigate eating out and even a Mothers Day breakfast last weekend in a gluten-filled breakfast place no longer seemed daunting. Of course they would be able to make scrambled eggs with a side of bacon…

Me being more relaxed about it all undoubtedly impacts C too. He used to stress about being different from the other kids. Now, being gluten-free is just a fact of life for him – no big deal. In fact, a lot of his friends prefer the gluten-free goodies that he takes to school on days such as bake sales and birthday parties.

I’m a big fan of trying to make complex things simple. That’s why I embraced Diane Eblin of the Whole Gang’s initiative this month to host an event called ‘30 Days to Gluten-Free Living‘. Diane features a different blogger every day in May, sharing tips and recipes on how to make gluten-free living easy – and inexpensive. If you haven’t checked out this event already, I highly recommend that you do so. It is a goldmine of information.

My contribution to the event is to share 5 easy gluten-free lunchbox ideas with you. This was one of my biggest stumbling blocks initially, having relied on gluten-filled lunches and snacks for several years. I do fall back on gluten-free sandwich bread and bagels on some days, but there are many other gluten-free options that make great, kid-friendly, nutritious meals that also taste good cold.

I tend to make family dinners during the week that allow me to pack left overs as lunch boxes the next day. This makes the morning rush to school an awful lot more stress free and helps ensure that I have considered a balanced meal in advance, rather than scrambling about to throw something together 10 minutes before the school run (not that that doesn’t happen on some days). I’ve also posted more gluten-free kid friendly lunchbox ideas on my lunchbox page on this blog.

Lunchbox idea #1

Chicken tender lunchbox

Gluten free chicken tenders and raw vegetables


Lunchbox idea #2

Chicken drumsticks and picnic coleslaw

Chicken drumsticks and picnic coleslaw


Lunchbox idea #3

Cheese quesadillas on corn tortillas and fruit

Cheese quesadillas on corn tortillas and fruit


Lunchbox idea #4

Gluten free chicken biryani lunchbox

Chicken biryani


Lunchbox idea #5

Risotto cakes lunchbox

Risotto or fish cakes, pasta, fresh strawberries and celery





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  1. First I love the containers. Those alone would have me eating whatever was in there. Great ideas here!

  2. Ricki says:

    All of your lunchboxes look so creative! How lucky C is to have you make lunches for him. :)

    • nstockmann says:

      Hi ladies,

      thanks for all of your lovely comments. ;-). The simple things in life are always the best…. xo

  3. Love your attitude and your lunch ideas. When we started the gf diet there weren’t good bread and bagel choices and we had to come up with lunches like you suggest. Funny thing is now that the breads are better, we still prefer the breadless lunches.

  4. I love your little lunch boxes with the separate compartments. Very cute. Is that a “dipping sauce” holder in the corner? Perfect for your chicken tenders, which by the way look very tasty. I’m also a “big fan of making complex things simple” and your post is a perfect addition to Easy Gluten Free Living!

  5. Alta says:

    I think these cute little lunchboxes definitely add to the visual appeal of these lunches! I’d love to be the gluten-free kid with the cool, appetizing lunches like these. And biryani? That would be the best day of the week. Great ideas!

  6. Megan says:

    I love how you keep it simple. Your son is very lucky!

  7. Lovely lunches, Nicola! I bet your kids feel very special when they open up their lunchboxes to these delicious meals each day. These lunches are so much more appealing with the real, fresh food than some of the typical lunchbox choices today. And they do look very easy to prepare, too! :-)


  8. Brilliant ideas! I love your lunch boxes, where did you find those?



    • nstockmann says:

      Hi Sunny, I bought these containers at the Container Store. I’ve also found other good metal containers online at Amazon.

  9. Maggie says:

    Thanks for sharing these ideas Nicola. My oldest is off to school in the Fall and I know it will mean a whole new way of making lunches. You make it look easy :) Phew!

  10. Wonderful lunchbox ideas Nicola! I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me to put a chicken drumstick in my boys’ lunchboxes, better believe that I will now!

    I also agree with you 100% about our children reflecting our emotions. I used to fret all the time last year when Sam was in kindergarten and he was definitely more sensitive as a result. I mellow yellow this year (which is funny, because we’ve lost so many more foods) and it shows in my kids…they could care less if they don’t have a “Lunchable” or whatever else it is that their classmates are eating, they love their food!

  11. Gigi says:

    Keeping it simple is my style! Love your lunch box ideas – those are not just for kids! ;)


  12. Those are some great ideas, Nicola! I am going to have to remember this when the Little Man gets to be lunch-carrying age. Still only half days right now. But they are also good ideas for on the road. Getting a bit sick of In-n-Out. I know. Blasphemy!

  13. Sheryl says:

    I look forward to reading your blog after the kids go to bed. I have a fella who is gluten-casin-egg-peanut free and also very picky on top of that. He NEVER complains about what I provide (75% fruit, 25% other) but I get need more of a variety when I pack his lunch! Thanks!!

  14. Alisa Cooks says:

    Wow, with lunchbox ideas like these, all the other kids must be jealous of gluten-free! These look great. I’m going to consider a couople of these for my own (“big kid”) lunch!

  15. Summer says:

    Thank you for these great lunch ideas! I will definitely be adding some of them to my repertoire. I’ve been using the Laptop Lunches bento sets for several years now and take them everywhere to avoid having to worry about what, when and where we’re going to eat. They also have a great online menu archive on their site which you should check out: http://www.laptoplunches.com/bento-menus/.

  16. [...] Nicola of G-Free Mom shared Kids’ Lunch Boxes [...]

  17. Nicola, I love all of your ideas here!! You spurred so many new thoughts for me of what to do here. Plus, I LOVE those cool containers you have. Where did you get them??

  18. [...] Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes [...]

  19. [...] Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes [...]

  20. [...] Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes [...]

  21. [...] Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes [...]

  22. jenna says:

    can you tell me where you got the bentos at and do they eat the things that are normally hot do they eat cold?

    • nstockmann says:

      Hi Jenna. I got all of the boxes from the container store and – yes – my boys are happy to eat everything cold.

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  24. margaret says:

    Since I went gluten free I feel so much better. Love finding new ideas.

  25. Kimberly says:

    ok so i don’t like these ideas i LOVE them but the only thing is where did you guys get these cool lunch bowls

  26. I love these lunch box ideas! Healthy and fresh :)

  27. [...] the following excerpt from G-FreeMom get some ideas and tips for  some healthy and easy gluten free [...]

  28. Angela says:

    I would LOVE to eat this! But I’m mainly GF for my kids and they have other restrictions. While I’ve figured out the Casseine free alternatives in cooking/baking and drinking (dairy free), my kids are also having adverse reactions to: soy, corn and eggs. (It’s like a solving a puzzle…) And the one with the worse reactions is becoming a picky eater. This year is full-day school and I need to send in lunches. – so I need to find starch alternatives to GF breads with corn products eggs. Any ideas? If only she loved vegetables, we’d be in business!

  29. Angela says:

    ….w/out corn products and eggs

  30. donna says:

    My daughter was just diagnosed with celiac. I am worried about lunch in school. Thanks for the ideas. My question is do they eat all the food cold or how do you heat it up?

  31. [...] Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes [...]

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