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Recently I chatted with my son’s caregiver to get more information about how the lunches are going over. She told me that he eats well. However, sometimes his lunches are too big and that other times they are too small — then he complains of hunger. I think this is the struggle of many meal planners — how much, how little. Even during my year of school lunch last year, I remember that some meals felt more substantial than others.
Am I wrong to look at these lunch boxes and think they are overflowing with food for a three-year-old? I think some of this comes from that fact that at home, my son doesn’t eat a whole lot at lunch. Normally we might be lucky if he ate half of one of these lunches at home. However, he really will load up one meal per day (sometimes it’s breakfast or dinner and not lunch — it varies).
To think that some days at school he’s still hungry makes me sad, but part of me finds it hard to believe. He is running around and having fun so I can imagine that he is burning more calories at school than he does at home. Still, he spends almost every weekday night throwing footballs and hitting baseballs around the living room — he’s not a couch potato.
However, I get hungry a few hours after lunch. I think it’s very possible that my lunches are too small. I think I need to bulk up my own meals. Also sometimes I need to bulk up my breakfasts because many mornings I can barely find the time to feed everyone and I’m grabbing something on my way out the door.
Many of you asked about the fact that my lunches aren’t matching up to the school’s menu. I stopped doing it because I ran out of time. My son has not seemed to notice. I did mention this to his caregiver and she seemed pretty much indifferent, but hinted that I could check out the menu. I think I’ll try to do a little better matching up his lunches, but overall it seems like a non-issue.
(Also those of you who questioned my declaration that our lunches are “dairy free” — you are right. They are not dairy free because we use goat milk products, but they are cow dairy free.)
Turkey wrap; mandarin orange; pretzels; toasted squash; brussel sprouts
Charlie is nuts for the wraps and for brussel sprouts. The wraps are made from teff flour (sort-of hard to find). He told me he tried the squash. Child care menu: Baked lasagna, veggie blend, sliced pears, wheat bread
Pasta and sauce; crackers; carrot sticks; egg; sliced pears
This would probably be a lunch that wasn’t enough, but it would have been plenty for a regular home lunch on the weekends. Perplexing. Child care menu: Turkey taco, cheese, lettuce, tropical fruit, tortilla
Rice and pickles; mandarin oranges; brussel sprouts and BBQ chicken; applesauce
The last week of applesauce containers. I have phased them out. Child care menu: Chicken tenders, salad with ranch dressing, cinnamon apple slices
Turkey wrap; mandarin orange slices; chickpeas over “grass” (pea shoots); pepitas; applesauce; rice cakes
All I can say is YUM. Child care menu: Turkey hot dog, rice, veggie blend, banana, wheat bun
Turkey wrap; applesauce; brussel sprouts; chickpeas; pear slices
I asked my son what he wanted for lunch (keep in mind I STRUGGLE with keeping momentum up when packing lunches on Friday). He said turkey wrap. I said ok. Child care menu: Mashed potato bowl, green beans, applesauce, wheat bread.
Chicken sausage, squash, brussel sprouts, rice; mandarin oranges; pear sauce, KIND bar
My son didn’t like the pear sauce that I bought at Trader Joe’s so my husband and I are finishing it off.
Butternut squash soup (CSA); chips; BBQ chicken drumstick; sweet potato; carrot (far right)
I had never made butternut squash soup before because, well, I had never purchased a butternut squash before. So I had to do something with the squash I got in the CSA box and then my mom showed up with some more butternut squash that she bought at the farmer’s market. The soup was heavenly, but my son was not a fan.
Turkey wrap; mandarin orange; brussel sprouts
Delicious, but probably not enough food.
BBQ chicken wrap, raisins; chickpeas; pear sauce
Now that lunch was filling!
(And Friday 11/11 was Veteran’s Day so I didn’t pack. Instead I stayed home and did a bunch of interviews, like this one on dietsinreview.)