This is a guest post from Rarnie at The Wholesome Nutritionist. Rarnie is finishing her Nutritional Medicine training at the moment alongside being a mum. I asked Rarnie to guest post after seeing so many judgemental comments about the lunches other people make in the lunchbox group I admin. You can read more about that here. If you’d like to contribute to Don’t Judge My Lunch Series designed to help dispel lunch judgement, get in touch!
Packing a lunch for a child with multiple food allergies was never going to be an easy feat. Packing a lunch box for a child with idiopathic allergies is a whole other world. When my daughter started pre school earlier this year it was not met with the normal anxiety of your beloved heading off in to the world to discover herself and immerse herself in the beginnings of early education, it was one that was swamped with anxiety and fear. Along with packing her favourite safe foods we are also packing epi pens, antihistamines and ventolin in case she has a reaction at preschool.
“Safe foods” is a term that gets used a lot in our house, we only use certain brands, products and foods that we know are safe, even then we are still checking the packaging EVERY time we offer it to her. Egg and dairy anaphylaxis is often not regarded to be as dangerous as peanut allergies, not everyone seems to take them seriously and the risk of cross contamination is very real every single day she attends school. Airborne reactions are also rare but prevalent in some children and adults who suffer from Egg and dairy anaphylaxis. Cross contamination however is more likely.
So….. down to the nutty gritty, what DO you pack in a lunchbox that needs to be Egg, Dairy & Nut free? Heaps!!! Let me show you some of our favourites (My 4 year old son who also attends the same pre school asks for a dairy & egg free lunch box so he can sit next to his sister to protect her)
Protein: Protein is essential for building strong little muscles and keeping them feel full we pack homemade roast chicken, ham, lamb cutlets, roast beef slices.
Fruit – blueberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, mandarin, watermelon, banana.
Vegetables – fermented cabbage (a great probiotic) carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes.
Dairy Substitutes – hummus, bean based dips, coconut yogurt, bio cheese.
Packages snacks – popcorn, rice crackers, rice wheels, potato sticks.
Treats – My little ones eat a healthy balanced diet at home so I have no issues sending them off with dairy free treats such as muffins, mini oreos, cakes baked with rice milk & aquafaba ( chick pea brine)
They also get a sandwich packed in addition to their bento boxes.
Rarnie is a Nutritional Medicine student, recipe developer and health food advocate with a passion for real food, no fad diets. She is a mother to two boys and a daughter who is anaphylactic to egg & Dairy and is passionate about raising awareness for food allergies and developing recipes that are gluten, egg, dairy and nut free.
You can find her here on Facebook and instagram.