Sometimes just being a mom is enough of a challenge. Once summer is over and school begins the horror looms before us of getting up on time in the morning and ensuring that we’ve got the dreaded lunchboxes made and filled with nutritious, tasty food that our kids will actually eat while they are busy socializing with dozens of kids at the lunch table. My lunchbox skills have improved dramatically since being a g-free mom. I spend more time thinking about what to pack each day than I used to. G-free sandwiches are still on the menu, but there are so many other things that are easy to make at the nth hour every day. Here are a few ideas:

Lunchbox tip no. 1

Chicken sausage, sliced (Trader Joes), rice crackers (Trader Joes), organic baby carrots, organic Fresh berries

An Envirokidz bar for mid-morning snack

lunchbox tip no 2

Ians g-free chicken nuggets, brown rice pasta (Trader Joes), organic persian cucumber, organic Fresh berries

An Envirokidz bar for mid-morning snack

lunchbox tip, no, 3

Homemade turkey meatballs, organic broccoli florets, fresh diced mango

Rice cakes for mid morning snack.

For the meatballs:

1. mix 1lb of free range turkey mince with 1 egg and some gluten free breadcrumbs (I made mine from Udi’s white sandwich bread)

2. add some seasoning

3. form into meatballs and fry in olive oil.

Lunchbox tip no 4

C has been asking for pizza bagels for weeks and it dawns on me that this would make a perfect lunchbox filler. I take Udis gluten free bagels, goats cheese cheddar and pepperoni, then grill (broil) them for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbling and this is the result:

I simply fold both halves together to fit into the lunchbox and add some fresh organic strawberries.

For mid morning snack, I pack a fresh organic fruit salad.

Lunchbox tip no. 5

While shopping at Trader Joes this week, I decide to give the brown rice tortillas another try. I really didn’t like them last time around, but C loves Quesadilla and now that we’ve discovered the fab goats cheese cheddar at Trader Joes it seems like a perfect combination. The result is great this time and the Quesadilla makes a perfect lunch box. I add sticks or organic celery, as I pack it up for lunch.

I grate the goats cheese cheddar, put it in between two of the brown rice tortillas, fry for a few minutes in olive oil and hey presto, lunch is done.

For mid morning snack, the favorite Envirokidz bar finds it’s way into the lunchbox again. As much as I love these bars, I am considering venturing into homemade granola bars next – a big baking step for me. ;-).

Lunchbox tip no.6

Ever get the feeling you’ve written something before? I’m adding this lunchbox and am 100% convinced I’ve already shared it with you on this page. Only in my head – obviously. ;-).

This lunch is the perfect follow up to a g-free chicken tenders dinner the evening before. The recipe for which you can find on my ‘recipes we love‘ page. I cook up some g-free pasta. I find the Andean Dream pasta tastes good cold – some of the others taste a bit mushy the next day. I then place the chicken tenders on top with some yummy organic cherry tomatoes and celery. Easy!

I pack fresh organic fruit for mid morning snack.

Lunchbox tip no.7

After cooking yummy lemon chicken from the fab Gordon Ramsay recipe on YouTube, I pack C’s lunchbox with a couple of the drumsticks the next day. The favorite organic cherry tomatoes and celery go in there too, with a special treat of potato chips.

For snack, I pack rice cakes with some goats milk cheese.

Lunchbox tip no. 8

I am the queen of ‘leftovers’ lunches. This lunch gets made the morning after we’ve eaten chicken sausages (hormone free) for dinner. I break a wooden skewer in two, thread on fresh veggies and sliced sausage and pop the kebabs in a lunchbox on a bed of gluten free pasta.

For snack, I pack organic vanilla yoghurt with fresh organic berries.

Lunchbox tip no.9

G-free mom thick vegetable soup

We’ve discovered using a thermos for school lunch. C has a cool new Harry Potter thermos – which helps. I pack hot veggie soup and a toasted Udi’s bagel to go with it. It’s a hit. There’s a vegetable soup recipe on my ‘recipes we love‘ page.

For mid-morning snack, I pack an Envirokidz bar.

Lunchbox tip no. 10

If your kids don’t mind cold ground beef (we all love it), then tacos is the perfect lunchbox filler. If you are one of those super duper moms who manages to have thermos containers and send stuff like this warm then even better. Not sure I’ll ever fall in to that category…

We have tacos for dinner – ground beef pan fried with some taco seasoning and chopped onions. I warm the tacos and serve with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and salsa. C actually prefers them with BBQ sauce. I put aside 3 of the tacos and pop them in a lunchbox with some chopped veg.

For morning snack, I pack a yogurt drink.

Lunchbox tip no.11

When I make g-free meatballs (as shown on my recipes we love page), I make enough for lunch the next day too. I pop them in the lunchbox with roasted potatoes (roasted in the oven for 20 mins at 425F with olive oil and fresh rosemary), some veg and fresh fruit. I pop in a tub of ketchup too.

For mid morning snack, I pack rice crackers.

Lunchbox tip no.12

When making seared tuna (recipes we love), I cook a small amount of the tuna more thoroughly. That then makes for the perfect lunchbox. I throw in some organic brocolli (cooked or raw), some fresh organic berries and some g-free pasta.

For mid morning snack, I pack some Glutino gluten free pretzels.

Lunchbox tip no. 13

I suddenly have an aha moment that large cookie cutters are the best way to make a lunchbox sandwich more interesting. This dinosaur cutter is meant for sandwiches and was a gift from my mum from England, but I’ve since stocked up on a whole selection from skull and crossbones through to a rino.

Make sure that luncheon meats are nitrate and hormone free. Buy organic whenever you can. I use Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread and add organic raw veg and fresh organic fruit.

For mid morning snack, I pack an organic banana.