Back to School Gluten Free Lunches at Marianos

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The back to school season arrived out of nowhere. Now that we’re back to the daily scramble, I am trying to fit allergy friendly, gluten free and peanut free lunches into our menu.

My first battle is finding a good selection of gluten free and peanut free products. The second challenge is getting a good deal on these sometimes pricey items.

Gluten-Free at Mariano’s

I have never been a huge fan of where we live. The Chicago area is fantastic for many reasons, but the winters really kick my butt. I have always dreamed of moving to a warmer climate.

However, I have learned to LOVE it here because we have Mariano’s. So many of you are jealous because this wonderful store isn’t in your area. Well, haha! Neener! Neener!

Honestly, if we ever move out of state, Mariano’s will be on top of my list of places to go when we come back to visit. Sounds silly because it’s just a grocery store… But it’s so much more than that.

Shopping carts at Mariano's.

You can see in my path to purchase just how incredible this place really is. I’m pretty new to the world of gluten free and peanut free diets.

I’m really experimenting with our diets to see what makes us feel better. (None of us have been formerly diagnosed with food allergies, we just suffer from feeling “blah” all the time.)  

In my search to find options for this kind of diet, I realized how difficult it is to find a good selection of these products all in one spot.

Mariano’s offers a great variety and doesn’t mark up the cost ridiculously either! I have found this true for many of their “convenience items.” I also got a great deal on shampoo–not typical of a grocery store.

Gluten free and peanut free products at Mariano's.

After selecting a bunch of gluten and peanut free products, I can now make some pretty awesome lunches for the kids. I’m also trying to keep their nutrition balanced, use eco-friendly containers and, of course, make it fun and yummy to eat.

So far, the award winner is the Greek Yogurt and Gluten Free Granola Parfait. Using Greek Yogurt, a little vanilla pudding mix and Apple Raisin Walnut Gluten Free Granola in a recycled cup, these little parfaits are a real treat.

Gluten Free Kids Lunch in Chesney's cute lunch tote.

To add some color, I give them a small Caprese salad and fruit sauce pouch. The kids love dipping strips of grilled chicken breast into ranch dressing and the gluten free pretzels satisfy the need for something crunchy.

These school lunches make me very happy from a nutritional standpoint and the kids actually like it!

Eco-friendly gluten free kids lunches.

Using #MyMarianos reward card always makes me want to grab a quick mini Vero Gelato before I go too. For only one dollar it just makes my day. Plus for every ten purchased, you get one free with your reward card!

Mariano’s Twitter Party

Don’t miss the next Mariano’s Twitter Party! It is Thursday, August 29th, 2013, from 12-1pm CT  RSVP Here

Also, stay up to date on all the fun happenings at Mariano’s through their Facebook page. Thanks to this I was able to shop during their Rose Extravaganza.

Rose Extravaganza at Mariano's.

The whole store smelled wonderful! And the roses were only $1 each! Mariano’s is always doing fun little things like this, so keep track of their community events too so you can make even more out of your shopping experience.

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  1. I wish we had a Marianos close by 🙁 Love the fact that they offer gluten free options that are otherwise so limited in most places!

  2. that little fruit pouch is the cutst thing ever!!

  3. What a delicious lunch you put together (And adorable lunch bag too)! I can see why this grocery store is a highlight of where you live.

  4. I wish we had one of these in our area. My daughter has celiac and she would love some of these choices!

  5. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says:

    You know….it’s not a bad idea to give it a try and see if it makes a difference. I really should do that too! SO jealous you have that store near you.

  6. What a great lunch!!! That looks so much better than my kiddo’s pb&j lunches! I’m totally going to try chicken one day with ranch. I think he’ll dig that!

  7. Dawn Lopez says:

    Shelley, do you think you can make me lunch? Totally yummy, your kiddos are so lucky! Marianos looks totally amazing, can’t wait to set foot in there! Awesome!

  8. Angela@AboutAMom says:

    It looks like they have a great selection of gluten free options for school lunchboxes.

  9. I wish we had a store like that around here. We don’t have many shopping options where I live.

  10. Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom says:

    I sooo wish we had a Marianos near us, I hear soooo many good things about that store. Amazing all the Gluten Free products you found and look at that gluten free lunch you packed..LOVE it… you made it look sooo simple… Thanks for sharing

  11. Danielle @ We Have It All says:

    It’s so great to hear Marianos carries Gluten Free products. The closes Marianos from me is about 45 min. away, I wish there was one closer!

  12. this sounds like an awesome store wish one was located near me to shop at!

  13. Looks like a neat store. I was just in Chicago last month and think its a great city, not sure I could live there though. I am from California and been here my whole life! I am going to put the Twitter party down on my calendar. Thanks!

  14. That gluten free lunch is darling! What a great healthy lunch for the kiddos!

  15. OK, now I’m very jealous (just as you were trying to do). Great lunches you put together.

  16. Have you considered a nonGMO diet? My daughter has been having stomache issue on and off for a while. Her dr tested her for different allergens and wanted to put her on prilosec. Going artificial dye free helped but going nonGMO (genetically modified organism) has eliminated her problems and the rest of us have lost that blah feeling.

    1. I’m actually researching that now! I was just pondering vlogging about it too! 🙂 Glad to hear it’s making a difference for you!

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