My kids’ school has a Facebook group and someone on it has started a weekly lunch feature where we are to take pictures of the lovely, carefully balanced lunches we are creating for our children and post them up there. To this I say: HA HA HA HA HA.
The people who are posting are the people with a) nice lunchboxes, in bright colours, divided into cute little sections, and b) children who actually EAT LUNCH.
I have neither of those things. For starters, all three children are on their third year with the same lunch bags, so you can imagine the staining and smell that is involved (if only the internet were scratch-and-sniff). I did try to replace them this year but they are still in one piece with (miraculously) an intact liner, and none of them actually wanted to part with their beloved bags, so they stayed.
Secondly, all three of my children are of the cookies-only-throw-the-rest-away school of lunch eating. They may drink the drink. And, I have to say, my “good eater” – that’s Gal Smiley – will probably eat her sandwich, unless she’s suddenly decided that the same sandwich she’s taken for the past six months is DEAD TO HER and she will never eat another, which happens about twice a year.
So we get a lot of boomerang fruit and vegetables coming back, as well as things like crackers and granola bars, and buns and sandwiches from the other two. I still, for the most part, diligently pack them with one fruit, one vegetable, and a sandwich/main course like item each day even though I know it’s basically going to just be for my post-school-pickup snack. Swistle posted a while ago about a time when one of her kids was becoming sandwich-resistant, so she sent him to school with a variety of snacks instead, with all the sandwich parts separated out, and then the teacher called home to say that he was missing a sandwich, and oh, the humiliation. I always picture the teacher at lunchtime seeing my kids open what passes for a lunch and sighing with sadness at the poor, poor life they lead.
That said, I have really been pushing the boundaries lately on what passes for a balanced lunch – like, Froot-by-the-Foot counts, right? And leftover tater tots make a vegetable, right? My worst offender – Little Miss Sunshine – is likely to get a lunch of a dried fruit bar, a few sad looking baby carrots (which I will eat later), a bun with butter on it (20% chance of her actually eating it), a bear paw, a juice box, and goldfish crackers – what my sister would call a “beige lunch.” All beige, all the time! That’s what we’re about here – but there’s little point in packing anything else, because unless I’m willing to eat it for dinner it’s going in the garbage.
Today in a wild fit of optimism I threw a mini yogurt in her lunch. It should make for a nice tidbit at teatime for me.
I’m tempted to upload my kids’ lunches to the Facebook page in a dare-to-judge-me kind of way, but I think in the end I just don’t have the stomach for it. I’m too busy filling up on leftovers.