The inspiration for this nifty little concoction came from the Taste of Home Magazine. I thought this would be a great introduction to the joys of sandwiches for my kiddos, who are meat-sandwich adverse. I really don’t get it, but they will only eat a nut butter & jelly sandwich. Deli meats must be cubed (lunchbox kabobs) or made into a roll-up, egg-salad is preferred as a dip for potato chips* (see below), and chicken or tuna salad is…well, those just come back home!
Like a lot of parents, I struggle with sending a nutritious meal (that my kids will actually eat) to school five days a week. I think the problem with my eldest, is that he’s a flapper jack (I know it can’t be the food, he’ll eat Brussels sprouts like popcorn for Pete’s sake)! Sam just socializes too much during lunch, so he inevitably runs out of time. By the time he gets home at 4:30/5pm though; he is STARVING and proceeds to drive me batty while I am trying to prepare dinner!
The Day After Update: So, Sam came home with half of his “inside out” sandwich and 3/4 of everything else…except the gummy bears, he did manage to eat those! Here is what I came up with: No sweets in his lunch box until he starts eating all of his lunch (for at least a week) AND (this was my brilliant bomb drop): the next time he comes home with a full lunch, I will be making a lunchtime visit to make sure he eats…and I will hug & kiss him IN FRONT OF HIS FRIENDS! Oh, you should have seen the look on his face, LOL!
My solution thus far has been to have a variety of healthy snacks sitting out that they can freely munch on while I prepare dinner, like raw veggies with hummus or dill dip and fresh cut fruit. While I love doing this because they will usually eat whatever vegetable I offer when they are really hungry, I do fret that they are pretty much going the entire school day on whatever it was they had for breakfast (which is why I have to make sure breakfast counts big time)! My hope is that by making their lunch look fun and interesting, they might be enticed to actually eat it!
The jury is still out on the overall success of the “inside out sandwich” (I just sent them in their lunch for the first time today), but the boys were definitely intrigued this morning (although, I think they were most interested in the “pirate sword” toothpicks I recently purchased at Party City…hey, whatever works)!
To build a gluten-free inside out sandwich for Sam (I made Luke’s casein-free by omitting the cheese), I used Applegate Farms Uncured Ham, Udi’s gluten-free bread trimmed of the crust (the bread wouldn’t “roll” with the crust attached), a thin schmear of low-fat olive oil mayo on each side of the bread, a Sargento Light String Cheese (see Sargento’s gluten-free product list), and a dye-free dill pickle spear. After I rolled up the sandwich, I pierced it with a fun toothpick and trimmed off each edge, easy peasy!
To finish off this lunch, I added a thermos of leftover homemade Panera Bread Creamy Tomato Soup (which I tweaked to be gluten-free and dairy-free), fresh cut apple slices, a few gluten-free tortilla chips by R.W. Garcia with a ChiChi’s Salsa Snacker for dipping (they are on Hormel Foods Gluten-Free product list), and some Yummy Earth Gummy Bears.
*A Few Gluten-Free Chips:
We also enjoy the New York Style Risotto Chips (these also remind me of Sun Chips), and I am on the hunt for the new EatSmart Naturals line by Snyder’s of Hanover. Check out the EatSmart Naturals gluten-free offerings (just be sure to click on the certified gluten-free link in the left sidebar, not all of the products in this line are gluten-free).
Another favorite of my kids are the Arico Foods Cassava Chips, a great alternative to the potato chip!
The Frito-Lay website has several links to product lists that are suitable* for special diets. For a shortcut, here are the direct links to the Frito-Lay gluten-free product list and the gluten-free/casein-free product list.
*Important note about Frito-Lay products: while they may not contain gluten and/or casein ingredients (per the above lists), they are not made in a dedicated facility or on dedicated lines (although the lines are cleaned between batches, some residue may get left behind).
Just in case this is helpful to anyone: my personal guideline is to limit how often we consume Frito-Lay chips due to the risk of cross-contamination (I apply this rule to ALL processed/packaged foods that are not certified gluten-free, regardless of the brand). I try to reserve products like these for when there isn’t a safer option available (as an “atypical” celiac, I am painfully aware that just because one might not experience any obvious symptoms when exposed to gluten, does not mean an immune response is not occurring anyway). The best any of us can do is try and reduce our risk whenever possible.
What is your favorite gluten-free chip?
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