When you’re a parent to a gluten-free kid, it can be a challenge to think up easy lunches they’ll actually eat. That’s especially true when the go-to options you enjoyed as a kid, like PB&J, grilled cheese, and Lunchables are mostly off the table.
Mikey’s Pockets—in five flavors including cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, buffalo chicken, ham and cheese, and cauliflower and broccoli—are a super easy lunch treat designed with kids (and busy adults!) in mind. But sometimes growing kids need a little extra on their plates, so we cooked up these simple side pairings to tide them over to dinner.
1. Hummus and veggies
Hummus packs healthy plant protein and fiber from chickpeas and it’s a great vehicle for sneaking more veggies into your kid’s diet. You can always make it easy on yourself and pick up a tub of pre-made hummus, but if you have a little extra time to spare, we highly recommend this bright pink beet hummus recipe!
Suggested pocket pairing: Buffalo Chicken
2. Gluten-free pasta salad
Pasta salad is simple to make, and a batch will easily last you several days, or even a week for home or packed lunches. We like to sneak a bunch of veggies in with the gluten-free pasta for extra nutrition. Here’s how we make it!
Suggested pocket pairing: Pepperoni Pizza
1 pound gluten-free macaroni
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 cup baby spinach
1 (2.25-ounce) can small pitted olives
1 cup gluten-free Italian dressing
- Cook macaroni according to the package directions.
- Drain and allow to cool completely.
- While macaroni cooks and cools, wash vegetables. Slice tomatoes, and dice bell pepper and cucumber.
- Add cooled macaroni, all vegetables and Italian dressing to a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour before serving.
3. Apple and banana slices with peanut butterWe’ve yet to meet a kid who won’t happily munch on apple or banana slices with peanut butter. Sub almond or sun butter depending on your child’s dietary needs or preferences. And the best part? You can have the fruit sliced in the two minutes it takes to heat a Mikey’s Pocket in the microwave!
Suggested pocket pairing: Ham and Cheese
4. Tomato soupA can of tomato soup is a beautiful thing. Beware that many popular brands use wheat flour as a thickener, so be sure to buy one that is clearly labeled gluten-free—luckily there are plenty of options that are easy to find. Our cheesy (dairy-free) Cauliflower Broccoli pockets are perfect for dunking!
Suggested pocket pairing: Cauliflower Broccoli
5. Simple side salad
You can never go wrong with a simple side salad, no matter what’s on your lunch or dinner menu. To cut back on work, we like to chop peppers, broccoli and carrots (or whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge) on Sunday and store them in individual containers. It makes it easy to toss fresh salads together in minutes during the week.
Suggested pocket pairing: Cheese Pizza