Stumped on lunch.

Turns out this is a big deal. Full days of school start soon in this house which means I’ll be packing a lunch for my daughter almost exclusively because of allergies the hot lunch isn’t really an option.

Only, we have to worry about more than just her allergies and how to protect her from them, because we also have to protect the other children’s allergies from whatever might possibly end up in her sack-lunch.

Nothing of a peanut variety may be along with her for her bus ride. They did say we could pack them but that they could not open their lunches on the bus and thats like asking your three year old to help you wrap the presents blindfolded for Christmas.

It’s easier to just do it yourself, am I right?

So, no peanuts. Which is one of the food groups she can have plenty of and we can be pretty creative because of it … but not for school.

And because of the cost we don’t eat a ton of Gluten Free breads or crackers, which is half of what a sack-lunch used to be – your sandwich and those yummy-bad-for-you crackers and cheese. Oh yum!

I put it out there on my personal facebook page asking parents who make them WHAT THEY PUT IN THEM!! I just don’t know.

I’ve gotten some great tips, best one of all was to include the occasional note or sticker, I loved it when my mom did that and can’t believe I was totally forgetting that about lunches.

Here’s the other dilemma I run into … how much do I pack with her? She get’s a snack in the morning (crackers that all parents provide to the school, in her case, special crackers) and then lunch. Do I plan that she’ll stuff herself so she can make it through the ride home and then beg me for something to eat? Or do I pack something that along the way home, she might find and decide to snack on herself.

I have been the sole source of nutrition and food for my daughter since she was born. Unleashing this huge responsibility on her and strangers around her feels like I’m handing reigns over to someone I haven’t met, who doesn’t understand that her rosy cheeks mean more than she’s warm.

Or the tight red line she gets around her lips means her stomach hurts. That when she starts itching her legs and arms she’s having an allergic reaction and the only that makes her feel better is a cold drink and time on my lap, possibly some lotion.

They don’t know that the awful sound she makes when she’s frustrated is really where the word “HELP ME” is supposed to go but she can never find it in time to say that instead of burst out yearning.

And how in the world is the teacher going to see all of this when there are 20some other children, all with their own special quirks and stories, in her room expecting the same treatment that I expect for my baby girl? WHO IS NO LONGER A BABY AND … AND …. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

{long pause}

Well I just lost my marbles. So this week is going to be tough, the week I have to act all “This is so exciting!” and I’m feeling “Dear God please keep her safe, when did she start walking again? Will she come back to me?”, “She’s still so small!!”. She’s already announced to us that she realizes I am going to cry on her first day of school – it’s what I do! She declared.

She’s right.

But along with working through all of this, letting her go, giving her wings and watching her take off and be great, I have to pack a Lunch! With no peanuts.

Mom’s, how do you do it?

8 thoughts on “Stumped on lunch.

  1. Is it possible to get a good sealable tupperwear that you can put the peanut tainted food in so that, if she does open her lunch, the peanuts are isolated? Just trying to think of ideas for you! And so very thankful I’m not going through this all this year!!!!

  2. Yes, I think so. We did pick up few of them, but here’s the other side of that dilemma – so she waits to open it on the way there but forgets that she can’t have that stuff on the bus and on the way home she wants to finish her pb and j or the granola bar I sent with her. I’m pretty sure the bus will have Epi pens on them … but still.

    Maybe after a few weeks of riding the bus she’ll be able to understand/remember and I won’t be so nervous about it.

  3. SUCH a hard thing!!! I too would choose to stay away from the peanuts… concidering i totally understand the epi pen… BUT that would STILL mean a call to an ambulance for the poor peanut allergy kiddo as well as a day at the hospitol… UGGG now that would be a kid i would want to shelter and keep home!!! SCARRY!!!

    Are they allergic to Peanuts or all tree nuts??? and then with allergies herself makes it even worse…. SOOOO that means you could invent a sandwich out of glutin free pancakes šŸ™‚ My issue with Coll is how in the world to get some protine in him so he isn’t hungery later in the day!!! i OVER PACK like ummm A TON and then he picks and takes home the rest my rule is that he MUST eat the “main” thing what ever it is…. Do you have Klements sausage in MI??? that is Glutin free as well as MSG free the ONLY thing Coll can have… Meat wise anyways..:( BOOOO!!!! If it was his choise he would eat all fruit for lunch šŸ™‚ well that and a yogert!!! Just hard because they eat lunch at 11 ish and that means that he goes the rest of the day 4 hours with a recess or two with NOTHING till i get him from school… and when you are a growing boy that IS a big deal.. šŸ™‚ I want to try to make my own pizza crust and then have him make the rest at school… remembering they have to eat in 20 min as well… he LOVED his lunch on skewers.. i had to take off the shap end… BUT did some fruit and Veggie ones…. And Hummis would be a good dip…. BUT i just don’t know or understand how in the world to make it intresting for him!!! We too have to avoid hot lunch or well MOST of them!!! And he is going to a private school that has “home made lunch” BUT still….

  4. you might want to make sure it’s okay for her to eat on the bus – we have a no eating on the bus policy…which could be just for our agency…

  5. Roll ups! Gluten free flat breads? Roll the meat/cheese/cream cheese/thinly sliced (or julienned) veggies in a flat bread then cut in “bite size” rolls? Fun!
    Frozen grapes & tomatoes (yes, you CAN freeze grape and cherry tomatoes (who knew?)) make bite size snacks that can keep other things cool.
    I pack a lot of lunches for myself, & in the past for other adults & stocking up on a LOT of varieties & rotating options helps keep it interesting. That’s hard with produce, I know.
    Back when I was little some stuff would stay in the sack for days. Some stuff was must eat or toss that day (sandwiches), some had a 2 day life (whole fruit, carrots), other stuff like crackers could hang out for a week.
    Ask Jessica what she wants?

    And remember you prepared her for this! She’s ready! I’ve walked into classrooms with notes for subs that have the details you listed. An email to her teacher should not be considered unreasonable, especially if it’s cues regarding her health & her ability to perform in the classroom.

    You can do it! Go MOM(S)!

  6. My sister has a similar problem now that my allergic-to-everything nephew is starting kindergarten. Granted, this kid would eat everything he’s allergic to and suffer through the pain with a smile on his face. He’s allergic to dairy (not lactose intolerant – ALLERGIC). He can finally eat peanuts but they are not allowed at his school.

    My sister started just making snacks by hand that he’s not allergic to. I taught her how to make pita (OK, I just gave her my recipe) and how to make pita chips.

    My parents had the same problem with me as a kid (back when you could bring anything to school). Just as my nephew is allergic to all – he likely got it from me because I was the same. They sent me to school with a ton of fruit and fruit snacks (I still love fruit roll up), veggies, hummous (which was weird for an 8 year old), cheese sticks, and my grandmother’s cookies (that were fat free… so she says).

    Just remember, this day will be harder for you than it will be for her but your mood will set the standard for her. My first day of kindergarten involved my mom being oblivious and my dad walking me into class – telling me to be a big girl and to use my words… and also to share the paint.

    You’ll be OK. You’re a (super)MOM! You were born for this day and it’s the first of many firsts in her life.

  7. Katie, great ideas!! Frozen grapes, genius.

    HillyG – hi! Welcome!! And thank you for the tips as well. Great reminder that I set the tone with my attitude. I don’t want to freak her out or make it such a big deal that she just forgets it altogether. So far my worrying has only been in my head, not out loud. I’ll keep it that way šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *