The following post is shared by Lunchbox Love® Mom Panelist Keeley McGuire.
I’ve been packing my daughter a school lunch since she was two years old. Yes, two. At the time, she was attending school full-time already for an educational ASD diagnosis, as well as being in speech and occupational therapy. She had very little communication skills at the time, a very picky palette, and on top of that a food allergy.
I was struggling to find foods for her, so I stuck to my staple items that I knew were safe and that she didn’t have texture issues with. It was then I began my fixation of kyaraben bento making (thanks to my sister.)
By introducing new foods to her in a new fun way, I found she was more apt to try new things if it were in the shape of a flower, for instance, rather than a boring slice of carrot. All thanks to simple touches with cookie cutters and a little creativity.
Flash forward: My daughter is eight years-old and is also on a restricted diet from gluten, as well as being nut free. Over the past couple years, that’s forced me to be even more creative. I take the items that are safe (the ones she knows and loves) to come up with clever new ways to spice up her lunchbox so it’s something she can be proud of – rather than feeling left out because of her dietary restrictions.
One way I can always draw inspiration is from our Lunchbox Love® Notes. It can lead to the most creative lunches. For instance, taking a fun fact about an elephant and turning that into an elephant themed lunch thanks to a cookie cutter and food pick. It looks complicated, but I assure you it’s not! Cookie cutters are effortless. They take no more time than cutting a crust off with a knife.
Even the days when I’ve had a long day at work, I’m exhausted at night and I know I still need to pack lunches. My creative energy is drained so I can keep it simple. Sometimes just a yummy go-to sunflower seed spread sandwich on gluten free bread is good enough, but by tucking into her lunch container a Lunchbox Love® Note, she knows that her Mama is thinking of her and that brief smile during her school day is sometimes all she needs to lift her spirits.
Lunch doesn’t have to be complicated – even if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. It should be fun! Make the most of the foods you can have, instead of the foods you cannot have. Get creative and be inspired, thanks to Lunchbox Love Notes®.
Keeley McGuire is the founder of a personal blog where she writes about Allergy Friendly Fun Lunch Boxes. Her mission is to show families that food can be fun for kids with food allergies by sharing healthy school lunches, allergy friendly products, and recipes.
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