A letter to you

Dear Readers,

Hello again! I just wanted to check in and say thanks for reading my blog. I have enjoyed your comments a lot. You know, I’ve realized that posting pictures of my lunches and my son’s lunches makes me feel vulnerable. I’m exposing a different part of my life by posting them. I’ve discovered over the past year that food is personal. Since my son is my world, it’s like showing part of him to you. I express my love for him through the food I feed him.

It’s not easy to pack lunches. In fact, I think that feeding kids from birth forward is a tremendous undertaking. From breastfeeding/formula to starting solids to real food for life, every transition is tough as a parent. Sometimes they won’t eat, other times you don’t have enough food ready to go and then other times you don’t have time to cook. I post pics of the lunches I pack for my son so that you can see 1) I am 100% committed to good food for him 2) It takes tons of time and planning 3) Sometimes the food ain’t pretty. I love the bento mama blogs that I read, but I know that I will never make anything that cute!

I’m reading over your survey responses. Really terrific feedback. I think I’ll chart it and share it!! I love charts…(the dork in me). The survey is still open – please take it! 🙂

Are you reading our book club book Free For All? I hope so! I’ll post the first discussion question on February 7th.

Today I’m at Blissdom in Nashville (a blogging conference). When Karen from Notes from the Cookie Jar went to Blissdom Canada in October and talked about how great it was, I was interested. But I looked up the dates of the American Blissdom and had to dismiss it because I didn’t want to miss instructional time with my students and the job I adore. But I ended up deciding to make the trip when I realized that Friday (today) is a non-attendance day the kids (it’s an institute day for teachers).

I talked it over with my husband and we thought about it the advantages/disadvantages and how he would manage our son on his own (just fine, but still a consideration of ours). Ultimately, we decided I should go because I wanted to connect with more people in real life to discuss the issues that are so important to me: the food we are eating and feeding our children. It’s been incredibly valuable to chat with folks here and the presentations have rocked my world. I’m thinking about things in a new way. The conference will be inspiring new blog posts!

That’s about it, guys.
Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Q

PS. In real life, I love writing letters.

PSS My sister wants me to buy school lunch again! I told her that I can’t just buy it to take a picture and toss it?! It seems wasteful and odd to do that. And I couldn’t eat it again. My body is feeling too good right now.

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11 Responses to A letter to you

  1. Jessica January 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    If you don't want to order the lunches yourself, you could always sneak down to the cafeteria and take a picture of someone else's lunch.

    I really like seeing what you make for your son and for yourself. I pack lunch for myself and my husband everyday and it doesn't have to be perfect or pretty to be a good lunch.

    Jessica

  2. FranksGreenGirl January 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I too make my sons lunch every day due to his having allergies to synthetic food dyes and chemicals, and artificial sweeteners. It is a major task as you noted above to do this every day, and it is a very personal undertaking that a lot of parents today don't understand. My friends think it's insanity getting up before the birds to make fresh lunch daily when the school serves lunch. However they don't understand the complexity of food allergies themselves, nor do they take time to consider the impact excess sugar – salt -and artificial additives have on their and their children's health. I used to be a 9 to 5'er with my eldest child and she ate school lunch and begged for something homemade. Not until I saw what she was eating did I fully understand that children have and idea of what is good and what is not. Sure they will all want to go for the brightest sweetest fare, but if you give them a little knowledge and get them involved they too can make healthier decisions. That's why I follow your blog and am excited about Jamie Oliver's Food revolution. You all are getting good info out to the those who care and give others a starting place when it comes to being aware of how we are growing our future. Have fun at the blogger convention (that's a new one for me), take lots of notes I can't wait for you to share.

  3. Gina January 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    I love seeing your ideas for what you pack for your son's lunch. Seeing what other pack has given me lots of ideas for packing our lunches. Enjoy the convention and Nashville! The snow has melted here and it's a little warmer that it has been.

  4. Krisfromparis! January 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Looking forward to the new blog posts this conference is inspiring you to write!!

    Kinda random, but…I thought about you when I saw this today, Mrs. Q : http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgsa4j_bande-annonce-tout-petits-cinema_shortfilms

    In France, they've made this cute children's movie starring fruit and vegetables! Now isn't that a way of showing vegetables in a more positive light? 😉

  5. Penny January 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Don't worry about the aesthetics, Mrs Q! A lot of those cute bento sites are for and by stay-at-home mothers (or wives, and I shall admit I am guilty as charged to the latter when I do cutesy putesy stuff), but most packed lunchboxes in this world are still utilitarian, and intended to be practical, not pretty. Where you can "make a difference" is by alternating colours and textures, or adding one "cute" item in, if the child indeed needs such. Like the blue potatoes in the storebought soup was a cool idea that I will undoubtedly steal if I'm in a hurry in the kitchen. 😉

    One of the most popular bento cookbooks (on my birthday wish list, an the hubs knows it) is Makiko Itoh's "The Just Bento Cookbook", which is very much about practicality and healthy eating, without too much of the "cute" factor. Cute sauce and condiment cups and containers and little food picks are what makes a lot of "cute" food cute fast.

    http://justbento.com/handbook/just-bento-cookbook

    The only thing I miss seeing in your lunchboxes (because I like seeing the colour on my plate, probably more than criticism, since I know the ingredients do not always hold well until lunch) are greens. Some kids don't like broccoli or spinach, and it's harder to disguise if a child dislikes them (or their classmates tell them they should "hate" it).

    But I don't doubt for a second that you aren't feeding your son a full range of foods, on the contrary, I'm lauding you for setting a good example, and manically linking others to your blog, too. Let's face it, you made your son love sardines, despite their reputation being "icky" among even some adults. 😉

  6. o0amber0o January 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Conferences are so much fun! I'm a conference/training/convention junkie! I hope you share all of the great things you're taking away. Have fun! 🙂

  7. Penny January 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    This is an afterthought to my previous comment… Makiko Itoh's ten bento rules, and some tips for making "cute" elements without actually taking more than 5 minutes of time. (This might work for parents of picky eaters). The author states that she would like to see the time it took to pack a lunchbox stated with the photos of those cute elaborate bentos.

    http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-basics/makis-top-10-bento-rules

  8. Christine W. January 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    When you get back, I'd like to hear what you have to say about Breakfast in the Classroom.

  9. Belinda @zomppa January 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Jessica's got a great idea! How about sneaking up on one of your colleagues or student's meal to track? Have a wonderful at the conference!

  10. Krisfromparis! January 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Me again, Mrs.Q! Could you possibly write about water, one of these days? (= water fountains in school, tap water vs. bottled water, etc.) -here is a very interesting link on the subject : http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/

  11. Monica January 29, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    I agree it's silly to buy the lunches just for the photo shoot (wastes food and your time!), but how about posting the school's menu listings – kind of like you do for your son's daycare. You could post it in the lunch wrap up – here's my lunch, and here's what the students' menu listed. You could still keep stats that way, if you wanted, (just snagging one of the menu notices each month would be enough for that!) of how often different things are served, but it wouldn't mean having to buy or eat the lunches every day. I'm rather curious whether the trend in the fall of serving more fresh produce is being kept up in the winter.

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