Lunch, and all the Angst it Entails

Lily slipped into the bathroom yesterday and very nicely asked “Have you packed my lunch yet?”

I’ve made your sandwich, but not the rest. Why?

Can I do it? Can I do it and have FOUR THINGS?

Wyatt and Sam were both down with a touch of flu, so the morning rush was both eased and compromised–so why not? One fruit, I told her, and a little of whatever else you want.

I gave her two containers and she put in popcorn, and three small belgian sugar cookies that I didn’t even know she liked. (They taste like burnt sugar and are a little addiction of my mom’s and mine, although I haven’t eaten them since she was last here–packaged cookies aren’t a particular vice of mine. I like chips.)

Rob drove to school, and when he got there, Lily’s teacher told him she’d cried at lunch every day last week because she didn’t like what she’d been given. So boy, did we sound like good parents when he assured her that today, things should be different!

And apparently they were. I told Lily, after school, that I liked how she’d solved her problem, although she could also have told me that she was unhappy. And this morning, we did it again–I’d already cut up carrots and added the special little mini plastic dressing containers that everyone loves to use, and Lily loves carrots, so I knew that would work. I let her choose cereal and sent in milk. I let her choose two more things, leading to cheese crackers and pudding (annoyingly, she wanted many, many healthy and fiber-filled granola bars, but they all had nuts in them. Must restock those.)

And she left happy. I wasn’t, necessarily, because there was cereal all over the floor, and because I had to let the other two littles choose too, leading to a much different and slower morning than we need, but it’s clearly time for a lunch routine change.  That said, we really can’t do it in the mornings–or if we do, it can’t be adding more than one thing. So here’s my plan. From now on, Lily and Sam make their lunches–and the littles lunches–at night. Littles get whatever sandwich or main Lily gets, unless they are present and choose differently. Lily makes it. Littles may fill their own small snack containers–we’ll see. But in essence, what I’m thinking is that Lily choosing lunch makes more work for me–because typically I make more than one night’s sandwiches at a time–so she’s going to need to make up for that by doing little’s lunches too. We shall see if it works, or how long it lasts. I also have an alternate plan in mind in which everyone gets to fill just the snack container in the am. But oh, so much ANGST as goes into lunch-making. My mom gave me a “lunch meat” sandwich, chips and a Twinkie or its ilk every single day. In baggies, which I then threw away without thinking twice. Ah, the bad old days…

JK gets the Tinkerbell DVD and my gratitude for a whole list of new lunch choices–esp. now that lunch is branching out! Her kids eat way less sugar than mine, clearly. There’s a new study suggesting that sugar (and fat) recolonize the bacteria in your gut…I’m not opposed to sugar or fat, but I’m beginning to think my definition of “moderation” needs adjustment. (This from a person sitting here with a frosted cruller and a mocha.) I’m also relieved that JK WANTS the Tinkerbell dvd (which turned out to be quite good, I’ll link to my review later)–because if she’d said oh, my kids don’t watch any tv, I would have had to find her and kill her.

2 Responses to “Lunch, and all the Angst it Entails”

  1. Cindy says:

    If you are not adverse to plastic baggies you can try pre-packaging your food for easier lunch making. For example, buy a bag of chips, baby carrots, etc and then pour it into little baggies. Leave some in bag for just regular consumption at home. It takes preparation but should make for a faster and more satisfying lunch. I am pretty strict about giving my kids real foods. We are organic as much as possible and avoid artificial everything and really try to avoid sugar. Agave and stevia are good subs.

    I juice veggies and it is a fantastic way to get raw veggies in kids! Lately I dump a yogurt, frozen berries and a big fist full of spinach in the blender and they eat it up! If you use blueberries they can’t even see the spinach let alone taste it. Its a delicious smoothie! I am big on getting kids to eat healthy foods!

    Its a lot of work and not inexpensive but you know what they say in Italy “Better to pay the grocer than the doctor”. And really its so true. PS We don’t have much in the way of girl stuff at our place so if I knew we were competing for a Tinkerbell DVD I would have thrown my hat into the ring earlier 😉 Good luck!

  2. KJ (aka Lola Granola) says:

    Hey, Cindy, want The Princess’ Blankets instead of Oscar and the Bird? Full disclosure: we didn’t like it much–but it IS girly!