How do you pack an easy lunch sandwich for a kid who can’t do gluten, yeast, peanuts, high amounts of sugar and food dyes? Rice cakes, a different choice in nut butter, and homemade refrigerator jam with chia power.
Our son has been packing this alternative to the classic PB&J in his lunch box since his restrictive ADHD diet began. I thought he’d be forlorn in the absence of his regular bread sandwiches, but one bite into a rice cake and he was hooked. Obsessed, really. In fact I often remind him to leave some sandwich for his lunch box since he tries to sneak a bite here and there while he makes them.
Alternatives to peanut butter:
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter…
So far I find almond butter is the most accessible. Others can get pricey, but I’ve seen some inexpensive organics in unexpected places, like Aldi’s (their brands are shown in the photo above).
Alternative to store-bought jam:
Regular store-bought jam is often pumped up with high fructose corn syrup and food dyes. Organic varieties have better ingredients, but can be high in sugar and are a little more expensive. If you already have fruit on hand and chia seeds in your cupboard, this refrigerator jam recipe from Thankful Expressions works wonders:
A friend saw this recipe on Facebook and wondered if it would work with raspberries.
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RASPBERRY CHIA SEED REFRIGERATOR JAM RECIPE
- 12 oz fresh raspberries
- 1/2 tsp sucanat (or substitute with brown sugar)
- 4-1/2 tsps chia seeds
- Blend ingredients in a blender and refrigerate overnight
The same concept can be used for a variety of fruits. Just keep the ratios the same as the original recipe from Thankful Expressions – 2 cups of fruit/2 Tbsps chia and add sugar to taste.
I’m not going to say that it gelled up like the stuff at the store, but it has a nice, spreadable consistency (which works better on rice cakes anyway) and the fresh, non-cooked raspberry taste can’t be beat! Also, since the chia seeds are the same size as the raspberry seeds, its less likely that a kid would get weirded out by them. Chia seeds are a little bit weird. 🙂
HAPPY LUNCH PACKING!!
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