Due to multiple food allergies, Megan Lavin’s eldest son has never been able to eat a single lunch from his school’s cafeteria. “Every single day he’s ever been to school, I have had to pack him a lunch,” she says.
Her son is now a tween, so that adds up to a lot of lunch-packing! But regular followers of Allergic Living’s Megan’s Minute video series know – Megan is always quick to find inventive food allergy solutions.
In this video, our contributor shares her essential tips to keep a student with food allergies safe, nourished, and loving lunch (not bored by it).
As an excellent cook and recipe developer for her AllergyAwesomeness.com website, Megan knows how to create a meal plan. But she’s also got a lot on her own plate, with four kids and a busy blog. So, with school lunches, Megan finds keeping it simple is important.
Her main tips include creating a regular rotation of kid-friendly and allergy-friendly school lunches that appeal to her son’s tastes. The rotation makes planning and shopping so much easier.
Plus, as you’ll hear in her video, Megan is not shy about packing (and even planning) leftovers for lunch. She notes that her son often even says: “I call dibs on any leftovers for lunch!”
Her eldest loves a hot meal, so his insulated wide-mouthed Thermos has become one of his mom’s best school lunch tools. (She has others to recommend.)
School Lunches: Megan’s Rotation
For Megan’s 5-Day School Lunch Rotation, her basic list follows.
- Day 1 – Chili and Fritos.
- Day 2 – Tamales. Megan buys the frozen Top 8-free brand Del Real Foods (the Pork in Red Sauce flavor). She cooks and puts in her son’s Thermos.)
- Day 3 – Quinoa. “He loves a plain quinoa with olive oil and salt,” she says.
- Day 4 – Chicken and Rice canned soup. “Use whatever brand works for the allergens you’re avoiding.”
- Day 5 – Hamburger Friday. She cooks and halves the patty, keeping it warm in the Thermos. She packs ketchup and a Schar gluten-free bun.
In the video, she also offers substitutions, like other soups and allergy-friendly sandwiches. (Her older son is not a big sandwich eater.)
“I want my son to be excited and proud of his lunch, so he feels satisfied and not just merely eating to eat,” says Megan. She hopes her video inspires other parents to find a rotation that keeps their allergic kids loving school lunch, too.
Megan’s Minute Series
Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin, the creator of the Allergy Awesomeness blog, which features great Top-9 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Some previous Megan’s Minute videos:
How to Plan Meals with Food Allergies
Self-Carrying Epinephrine at School: Why It Matters
Creating a School 504 Plan
Dealing with Hurt Feelings over Allergies
How to Host/Attend Big Parties with Allergies
Going to Birthday Parties
Eating Out Safely with Allergies
See more of the series on Allergic Living’s Youtube channel or Instagram page.