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Turkey burger with daiya cheese; bread and ketchup; brownie; pears; carrots and broccoli; fruit smoothie
When people oppose school lunch reform, one of the comments I hear is “Parents should just pack a lunch for their kids.” If I hear that in the next week, I will have to hold myself back from laughing maniacally in their face.
I started packing my son’s lunch for day care in September 2010 — it was after I watched Food, Inc. All my excuses for letting him eat regular food were kaput. I also took him off of all dairy products that month. And that October he went gluten free. So I’ve been packing his lunch for 18 months. I have come to loathe lunch packing.
I think about it the night before and I obsess about it every morning. One recent day I even thought, “Maybe he could eat lunch today at school. I just can’t do this.” I almost had to slap myself in the face. “Snap out of it, Sarah!”
Brown rice couscous with butternut squash and pine nuts; chopped up apple sausage; apple slices and avocado; pretzels; snack bar
Recently it dawned on me that conservatively I have many years of lunch packing ahead of me. I started when he was about two and, well, I have at least seven years until he can do some of this himself, right? He helps me now, but he’s so unreliable. Charlie will say he wants something in his lunch and then he won’t eat it (I know because it comes back untouched). Worse yet I’ll pack something he loves at home and he won’t eat the same food at school. I don’t get it and I can’t predict what he’s willing to eat at school. Thankfully, I still have a reliable dinner eater…for now.
Sometimes I think about keeping him home from school just so I don’t have to pack his lunch. Crazy, right? Lunch packing is making me nuts.
Egg salad sandwiches; apple slices; veggie booty; carrots; snack bar
Packing a kid a lunch is not the answer to school lunch reform. Although it can be cheaper and healthier depending on the foods parents choose, it’s not sustainable over time for many families. I might just run screaming from my home and throw our son’s adorable laptop lunch bag into the path of an oncoming car. I’m so over it.
*I’m still taking daily pictures of my son’s lunches, intending to put them on a new site for lunch photos. I’m still developing that concept. Thanks for your immense patience.