I’ve succumbed to the almighty Lunchables. I STRONGLY dislike those things, and not necessarily because they are one of the most unhealthy “foods” marketed to children, but because my son feels like an “oddball” because he cannot have one!
I love GoPicnic’s Gluten-Free Ready-Eat-Meals (and so does Sam), but he recently confided in me that “they don’t look the same” as Lunchables. I realize that I could stand my ground and stick to my principles, but then I will have finally crossed over into becoming “my parents.”
Which only makes me think of this:
I decided to compromise with Sam (all the while wondering how I was going to pull this off, being gluten-phobic and all), and let him have this occasional “special treat.” I was going to make him his very own “GF Lunchables,” label and all. This is not to replace the preferred GoPicnic “Lunchables-style” gluten-free kids meals, but it is a nice “pick-me-up” when Sam is feeling blue about not being “the same” as his peers. Sam’s end of the bargain though, is that he has to promise to always talk to me when things like this come up at school. I want Sam to know that he is not defined by the different foods he has to eat, but I also don’t want to make it a big deal. From my own experiences growing up, the harder my father fought me on things, the more I was determined to get what I wanted anyway, permission or not! My hope is that Sam will grow out of this “Lunchables” phase sooner, rather than later, if I just bend a little right now.
So… I “went in.” I hadn’t been to the grocery store in quite sometime (since Mike does the shopping to save me from myself. I CANNOT get out of the store in under 3 hours, all the different products are a trap for my ADD!), and I was dismayed to see how the yellow boxed Lunchables were sealed up. I knew there was no way I could unwrap the package, discard contents, “fumigate the gluten,” then refill and reassemble with the slightest hope that the end product would resemble the “real thing.”
Then my eyes landed on the new green boxed Lunchables, which are supposedly more “wholesome.” This only made me laugh as I read the nutrition label on the back of the Ham and American Cracker Combo. Check out this article from the Washington Post about the new Lunchables. Ya know, this is one benefit to being gluten-free. If celiac disease had not entered our lives, I would probably be like a lot of other parents out there who don’t think to read nutrition labels and get sucked up into the marketing as much as kids do!
Anyhoo, I swallowed my pride and bought a few, this was a self-esteem booster for my son after all.
A gluten-free mom’s transformation:
The first day Sam took the Jello in, he didn’t eat it (yea!) so I have been adding healthier alternatives without artificial colorings or artificial sweeteners, like the Mott’s No Sugar Added Natural Applesauce. Whole Foods sells natural flavored applesauce cups too (other stores do too).
The problem with the bottom container is the limited space. I tried putting other beverages in the container, but it can get crowded very fast! The Fruit Roll-Up is a version called “Simply Fruit,” all fruit, no artificial colorings and a familiar Fruit Roll-Up package. I found a big box of these at Costco.
Sam also likes the Stretch Island Fruit Co. Fruit Leathers.
The Peter Rabbit Organics “squeezable” Fruit Sauce has been a big hit with Luke. I found these at Starbucks a few weeks ago, when I bought one of each of their new gluten-free offerings! I also found them on Amazon, and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you get free shipping! The juice you see is Apple & Eve’s “Fruitables.” The squeezable fruit had to go in the GF “Lunchable” because the Fruitables juice box was a bit too big to also add an applesauce “cup.”
Sam and Luke both love the Fruitables Juice boxes, and quite frankly, so do Mike and I! Check this out:
Now for the top tray:
Apparently, I have taught him my perfectionist tendencies all too well. I think it is time for me to work on that!
LOVE these, they fit perfectly in the Lunchables tray compartment!! Thank you Glutino.
I used the plain GLAD Press and Seal to seal up the top tray, then slid the label wrap back on!
This picture just reduces me to hysterics. I think I even snorted, I laughed so hard! The look on Sam’s face pretty much mimics the look I had on my face as I reluctantly agreed to make the GF Lunchable!
This post is linked to the School Breakfasts and Lunches roundup for Friday Foodie Fix over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. Click the link for more great ideas!
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