Students of all ages at Swiss public schools generally come home for about 2 hours to eat lunch. As a “mère au foyer” or stay-at-home mom, I prepare about 21 meals per week, not including snacks. As a working mom in the United States I numbered about 13 meals. While I sometimes complain about having to cook, I feel very lucky to be spending more time with my boys.
In many ways, this lunchtime routine will be ideal for my food-allergic son. When he starts school, his lunch will be safe because I’ll still prepare everything he eats. Of course, I’ll need to pack along an allergy-friendly cupcake when there’s a birthday party in his class. At the same time, I won’t have to pack an entire meal or worry about friends in the cafeteria offering him food he can’t have.
With all this meal preparation, I’m always looking for quick allergy-friendly meals I can serve at lunch. For example, bread and sausage is a typical street food in Switzerland, and a super fast meal I can make for hungry kids. Most recently, I saw street vendors selling bread and sausage with mustard at the finish lines of my recent running races, both in Basel and Lucerne.
At Coop, I can buy allergy-friendly baguettes and sausages without milk, eggs and nuts (Please note: the baguette contains gluten and traces of sesame). The “Saucisse à rôtir de campagne,” which I loosely translate as “country sausage for roasting,” reminds me of bratwurst from home in Minnesota.
After I walked the boys home from school yesterday, we celebrated the beginning of our weekend with a bread and sausage lunch. I always try to savor our lunchtime moments, especially on Fridays when we talk about the past school week and make plans for the weekend. When I’m feeling cranky and frustrated amidst all the chaos and cooking and cleaning, I have to remember that my little critters are growing so fast, and we won’t always have this special lunchtime together.
What do you serve your kids for lunch? If you have any quick and allergy-friendly ideas for us and others, please share them below. Bon week-end!