Now that the school year is in full swing I can reflect on how it’s gone so far. Lovey has transitioned beautifully into Kindergarten. Aside from crying on the first day of school because her teacher didn’t greet her bus, she has loved every minute of it. I too, have transitioned beautifully. I will admit that after the first day I looked at Honey and said “Do we really have to send her again tomorrow?”, but seeing how much she is thriving makes it hard not to send her off everyday. I was initially concerned about how our morning routine would go as well. Honey and I leave for work so early I was worried that the morning would be total chaos. With a little (OK, a lot) of preparation and a little (OK, a ton) of help from the nanny our mornings have been smooth and I haven’t been late to work (more than once). The biggest issue I’m having with sending Lovey off to school is one I didn’t see coming: LUNCH.
Confession: I hate “doing” lunch. I hate planning it, I hate making it, I hate packing it. The whole thing sucks. Thankfully I don’t have to do it every night as Honey and I alternate who has kitchen duty. Every night it’s my turn I dread it. At least I know I’m not alone.
Why is this so torturous for me you ask?
Lovey is a “selective” eater as we like to call her. For a long time she would only eat foods that were white or beige. I’m not kidding. I researched
picky finicky eaters to discover that most of the issue was mine and I needed to let it go. Since doing so she has widened her selection of acceptable entrees but it is still limited. Also, there’s that whole food allergy thing. As much as I’d love to leave the meal prep to the ladies in the cafeteria I can’t, because school lunch isn’t gluten free, or all that healthy quite frankly.
School lunches leave me devoid of creativity and I find myself falling into a pattern of sunbutter sandwich, fruit, yogurt, and water. Or I might mix it up and send a bagel and cream cheese, carrot sticks, fruit, and water. It all seems rather Groundhog Day to me.
Hunting for suggestions on Pinterest leaves me feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, especially when I see pictures like this:
Last night I came home to find the current October 2013 issue of Parents magazine had this article for inspiration:
What’s a mom to do? Well first, I think we all need to agree that measuring ourselves to the standard above isn’t going to make anyone feel good. BTW: Thanks for again perpetuating the overwhelming feelings of mommy inadequacy Parents. Don’t get me wrong, if wildly creative and original bento boxes for the kids are your thing, carry on. I know myself well enough to acknowledge that it’s just not my style. I still know I need to not get into a boring pattern. I’ve got 16 years of making school lunches ahead of me, I can’t give up now.
I’m hoping this is where you come in dear readers. Please share your school lunch tips and tricks with me. What does your child’s lunch look like? Do you have any non-sandwich, gluten free, picky-eater approved tools in your mommy toolbox? Let’s hear ’em! Show me your stuff. Please comment below with your lunch time winners; I need all the help I can get.