How easy is it to eat gluten free in school?
Our daughter is in Year 6 – that means she’s in her seventh year of school, and will be moving from primary to secondary school next year. She’s had a packed lunch every day of her school life so far – except one (she was able to eat some of the Christmas dinner one year).
We’ve just been to visit her prospective secondary school, and, of course, asked the question – what about dinner time?
The catering supervisor was very friendly, and clearly did a great job of feeding 1,100 pupils and however many staff each day – but hadn’t come across someone with coeliac disease before. This in itself is quite surprising – surely someone must have been gluten free before, with a ratio across the country of 1:300?
I expect that all the coeliacs in the school before took a packed lunch. The supervisor took me through the meals that she had on display for that day – none would have been suitable. They were all good quality and nicely presented, but every single meal contained wheat flour.
The school does have a jacket potato and salad bar, so my daughter would be able to have these occasionally – but it looks like another seven years of packed lunches before she finishes at that school.
Interestingly, the cookery teacher was very confident that they would be able to handle her requirements, and said that she even happened to have some gluten free flour in the cupboard. Perhaps this means that coeliac disease is on the food technology curriculum – given the number of requests we get on the gluten free message board for help with school projects, I think this must be the case. If it is, then life can only get easier for coeliacs in the future as more people will be aware of the issues involved.
So. Any bright ideas for interesting gluten free packed lunches, for an almost-vegetarian nearly-teenage girl?
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…