This is what I am faced with most mornings:
My kids would love it if these were included everyday:
I, however, would like it to maybe look like one of these:
(thank you www.yumkid.com because this photo certainly did not come from my kitchen like the two above)
So at this point in the school year, making lunches becomes the bane of my existence. I can’t stray too far from the peanut butter cracker because most of the time it ends up coming home and is completely wasted.
I go through phases when Michelle Obama and her School Lunch Initiatives are screaming in my head (and as a side note: I’d really like to know if Sasha and Malia really eat all of that healthy food from the White House garden. I’m (respectively) calling someone’s bluff.). I’ll send in raw veggies and dip, fruit skewers, and only baked snacks. I’ve even made smiley faces on peanut butter sandwiches with chocolate chips. I’ve “pinned” tons of great ideas in Pinterest for healthy, “fun” lunches (and isn’t pinning close enough to actually doing it?).
What comes home? Most things that don’t resemble a peanut butter cracker or a chip.
There’s always an excuse – “the strawberry juice got on my pretzels,” “I couldn’t get the Ranch dip open so I couldn’t eat those carrots,” “Mom, there just wasn’t time to eat ALL of my banana!” “My peanut butter sandwich had chocolate chips in it – eewwww!” (Really!?!)
When I have lunch with my kids at school, I stalk the other kids’ lunches – what are other parents sending? Is anyone else’s lunch as orange/tan/brown as my kid’s? Am I completely failing the lunch making test (and thanks to Pinterest, I think the answer to that is a resounding “Yep!”)?
I’m not asking for a lot. I just want a little variety (a little color!) but for some reason my kids are just fine eating peanut crackers every day. Every day. (Actually, that’s two of my kids – the other likes peanut butter sandwiches and the baby can’t talk yet but he’s making it clear to me that peanut butter crackers are his preferred lunch). I try to get them to eat other things but frankly I’m tired of wasted food. Plus, it’s a lot of work getting that fruit chopped up and on to toothpicks if it’s not eaten!
I haven’t completely given up. I do try to sneak in the occasional deli meat roll up and sometimes if I’m feeling fairly energetic I make them eat what’s leftover when they get home (although something about that screams E. Coli to me – I think it’d be quicker to just have them lick raw chicken).
I envy the moms who can send in hummus and pita, tossed salads, and edamame. Heck, I’d even be happy to send in last night’s spaghetti in a Thermos! But I guess right now I’m taking the easy road and going for pure caloric intake over nutritional value. I’ll just have to make up for it at dinner I guess and pray Michelle Obama doesn’t come to our school to check out the kids’ lunches (mental note: I should be on my best lunch-making behavior next September when the Democratic National Convention is here.).
So, we’d love to hear from you – have you found the secret to getting your kids to eat healthy lunches? Do share!