A la Carte

Suddenly my dear one with the T1d & the celiac disease is interested in buying school lunch. That sounds good to me. I’m sick to death of putting a smoothie, Kind bar, cheese stick, peanuts, and snap peas into an insulated bag, and feeling bad about not really washing the peanuts dish before I refill it with the next day’s ration. At this point in the school year, if it weren’t for the chronic illnesses and accompanying (imaginary) judgment of every teacher/nurse/opinionated aide who sees the contents of my son’s lunch bag, I’d let him put a box of cookies in his backpack and call it a meal.

The school’s food service has an informative web site. Readers can find each week’s lunch and breakfast menus online with carb counts and complete nutrition profiles. I see many menu items I think Bubs would happily eat. Users of the online menu tool can filter using a list of common allergens. Cool!

I filter out the peanuts: more than half of the things are crossed off. Those kids are screwed. I filter out for shellfish. No prohibitions there. I squint my eyes and choose wheat.

Practically everything is crossed off. Although, if Bubs could develop a liking for Grilled Chicken Caesar salad, we’d be in business! He might eat Beef Macho Nachos or Oven Baked Seasoned Wedges. Or a ramekin of Marinara Sauce.

Worse than peanuts.


Thank you for your interest in the X School lunch program.  We do have some options available for your 6th grade son. I spoke with Mrs. S, the Cook Manager at X School, and Bubs can start to order on Tuesday May 26th, 2015. 

The protocol for ordering lunch is that he would come into the cafeteria each morning that he chooses to participate and place his lunch order for that day with Mrs. S. This allows our staff to prepare the meal separately and before the other meals that will be prepared.  This process decreases the risk of cross contamination from other food items.  We have Gluten free pizza crust to make pizza daily, we also have hamburgers and a non breaded grilled chicken filet that can offered with Gluten free bread/rolls to make hot sandwich selections.  Every Wednesday we offer a Nacho bar that does not have gluten.  I spoke to Mrs. S. and she said that we had the GF bread items on hand so  Bubs can start to participate on Tuesday if he chooses to do so.

X school cafeteria has a few snack items that  can be purchased by students a la carte that do not have gluten as ingredients, they are:   Baked Crunchy Cheetos, Baked Lays potato chips, Kettle Corn, Switch, 100% fruit juice and a variety of fresh fruit.  



  1. Scott E · May 21, 2015

    A bowl of salsa sure sounds like a good lunch. And do tell…what’s an egg patty?

    With that said, all I can do is offer my sympathies. Although this school lunch system is a thousand times better than what my kid’s got, the available choices still stink. And I doubt the’ve deglutenized the cafeteria anyway.

    Maybe there’s a way to provide the school with a week/month worth of boxed GF meals that can be heated and served along with the regular hot lunch without making the kid carry a lunchbox/brown paper bag? After all, the real incentive to buying lunch is to avoid needing to carry it every day — that even applies to full-grown adults.


  2. Karen Joseph · May 21, 2015

    Now that is seriously limited! I’m sorry! Was he very disappointed? I wonder if that’s the case for most kids with celiac who try the school lunch. We have never even explored the possibility with peanut allergy added.

    My son eats almost the same lunch day after day, year after year (he has never complained!). 15g of chips/crackers, 15g of fresh fruit, a string cheese or slice of lunch meat and some raw veggies. Incidentally, his brothers have been given the same lunch. When he took over his lunch prep in 7th grade, peeling carrots got old — fast. Since his brothers get hot lunch once a week, my son picks a day for me to make his lunch as a treat. Which brings on some mom guilt… I should be making it more of a treat!


  3. Polina · May 22, 2015

    Ahh, yes… Please excuse me while I get into my soap box.

    We contacted food service and arranged for V to have lunch one day a week on Wednesdays. Her options, aside from fresh veggies, fruit and milk, were: chicken leg in a corn tortilla, turkey meat in a corn tortilla, or sunflower and butter sandwich in a corn tortilla. She went with a chicken drumstick – the lesser of three evils. Other choices on the menu are all full of gluten. Chicken teriyaki has regular soy sauce. Sandwiches and pastas are of course out of the questions. The hotdogs – which V would happily eat without a bun – come pre-packaged in a bun. SOL. Unless something changes next year, we may be throwing in a towel and having her bring lunch every single day. I’ve discovered the world of Udi’s frozen entrees, and thankfully to diabetes V has access to the microwave in the health office. Add a small carton of chocolate milk and we’ve got the cafeteria meal right in her lunch box.

    Food service held a contest recently looking for recipes for Taco Tuesdays for next year. We made a submission for a taco bar. That seems like an easy thing to make gluten free. If they pull it off I will be incredibly pleasantly surprised, but I am not holding my breath.

    /soap box


  4. skchrisman · May 22, 2015

    Smoothies every day? (Visions of sleepy Wonder Mom in cape and slippers making a smoothie.)
    This makes me sad because it’s yet another harsh reminder that you are different and the world is not set up for you. Imagine those kids who’s moms don’t don the cape, and maybe or maybe not slippers, to provide nourishment. I hope Bubs is okay, and that your cape will hold up for another few weeks.


    • Katy · May 22, 2015

      puleeze…Stonyfield Farm pre-made smoothie.


      • skchrisman · May 22, 2015

        Well, THANK GOODNESS. I was feeling inferior. 🙂


  5. Robin Jingjit · May 22, 2015

    Weird: nachos were called macho nachos at my school too, growing up.

    That website is impressive though. At least he has a few options he knows are 100% safe. My trick to avoiding gluten while out is to just never, ever eat something I didn’t make. And have a few safe restaurants that I always go to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Polina · May 23, 2015

    OMG the update is awesome. I am jealous. I wish our school could do that!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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