Day 154: sloppy joe and Eat Along Challenge (#2)

Today’s menu: sloppy joes, whole wheat buns, beans/rice, applesauce
Want brown with your brown? The sloppy joe mix actually tasted ok. I wish I knew what I was eating, but I can’t find the nutritional information anywhere at school or online.
I got through the sloppy joe meat just fine. But the beans and rice were a little on the dry side. The applesauce was frozen so I ate around the edges.
My hand being self-serving
What I left behind…
I’m getting nostalgic as I wrap up the project. I’ve been thinking about how it has changed me. I spent the first half of the project paranoid and worried about being found out, regretful about risking so much. Now I couldn’t be happier that I decided to do this, even though it has been completely out of my comfort zone. 
A few years ago I took one of those personality tests, which revealed that I am a INFJ. I love taking surveys, but I don’t always put that much stock in them. But that result is spot on. One of the many things it states is that I don’t like conflict, which is true. The project has felt subversive to me and that is not how I normally am. Here’s to taking risks! 
My son’s lunch from bottom left, counter-clockwise: quinoa pasta, sauce, and sliced peppers; silicon cupcake full of broccoli; chopped pinapple with sliced mini-tomatoes, far right snack bar, organic ham roll-ups with plastic picks, coconut milk yogurt, organic applesauce. 
The official daycare menu today was: fish nuggets, mac and cheese, baby peas, and applesauce with fruit and yogurt as snacks. I tried to mirror some parts of what the other kids were eating. I sent pasta since the other kids had mac and cheese and I also packed applesauce, fruit and yogurt. For meat I decided on deli ham roll-ups (organic, no gluten or casein) and I threw in broccoli instead of peas.
I said yesterday that I thought he ate everything because nothing came home, but today again the lunch box came home empty and I can’t believe that he ate everything two days in a row. I think one of my son’s regular caregivers was absent today and I don’t know what happened yesterday. When I first started packing, the lunch box came back empty and the daycare’s official summary sheet stated: My son “ate everything.” That made me very concerned that I hadn’t packed enough so I started sending what you see above and another extra container and an extra snack. Finally I asked and found out that he hadn’t eaten everything, but that’s what they circle on the sheet when the kid tries a food. I said that I wanted everything back so that I could figure out what he liked and what he didn’t like. I guess this week that system got screwed up.
When I saw the substitute caregiver this morning, I forgot to mention his dietary issues to her in person and later at work I worried that he’d somehow get cow’s milk by accident. Well, that didn’t happen. Thank god, because it does a number on him. However, I guess he did do a good job cleaning up and got animal crackers. That was his first gluten challenge in a few weeks. My husband and I shrugged about it at home, waiting to see. I’m not going to get graphic, but it did affect his digestion tonight.
You’ll notice I’m using some bento products. I bought the cupcake thingys and those picks online recently after much consideration. I was concerned that the daycare would ban the picks due to possible choking hazards. But they haven’t mentioned the picks. The daycare briefed me on acceptable foods and choking hazards awhile back when they realized that this was not a fad, but that I would be packing lunches for good. I have to make sure not to pack hot dogs, grapes, and raisins among other things…I can’t remember the full list. Bad mommy!
Once I sent raisins and they told me same day that it was not good. I have sent a chicken sausage chopped up very small and I think I’ve gotten away with that! Personally, if I pack my son’s lunch and he chokes on the food, I don’t think I really could sue the daycare nor would I want to. Theoretically he could choke on anything, right? Scary but true.
It’s tough because I’m not packing any gluten or dairy. Then no choking hazards. Then absolutely no nuts per daycare rules. Luckily there is still plenty left.
Lastly, the compartments can be microwaved and heated up. I leave it to the discretion of his caregivers. The other kids get hot food too. Thanks for all your supportive comments!
To link up your lunch for today, see below:
A copy of Lunch Lessons. Anyone who participates is eligible, even if you are only able to participate for one day this week. Winners to be announced next week.

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20 thoughts on “Day 154: sloppy joe and Eat Along Challenge (#2)

  1. Hot dogs I understand, they're tough for little kids sometimes if they're not cut properly. Even grapes. But raisins? How are raisins a particular choking hazard? They're…so tiny. No bigger than a pea, really, and the kids are getting those with lunch…

  2. When you're dealing with daycare, you have to remember there are lots of other infant/toddlers around – they can grab your son's food off the table or the floor and then they could choke on it. I've worked with infants in a 1:4 ratio, which is difficult enough. Sometimes you can't stop them in time or miss that one little thing on the floor, and no one wants to deal with choking!

    I've never heard of raisins as a choking hazard, but grapes, hot dogs, and popcorn are the big choking hazards that always come to my mind. Although I think if you dice hot dogs or sausages, it's okay.

  3. So, they're afraid of getting sued so they have a long list of prohibited choke-able foods, but they don't provide subs with a list of food allergies/sensitivities so the sub would know not to give your kid animal crackers? That's just absurd.

  4. Oddly, the thing that stuck out most to me about this post is the way in which you ordered your son's lunch food when you wrote it. "from bottom left, counter-clockwise" I just find it so interesting! At least in the USA, we read starting at the top left and moving clockwise (right) and you ordered your things the opposite way. Very interesting 🙂

  5. Wow – I have no children, so I didn't know preschool was so…challenging.

    I'm also an INFJ and ironically suggested to my manager just yesterday that his team take the personality test to get to know each other better. I'm surprised you are in INFJ considering this blog is pretty gutsy.

  6. I love that you are posting what you send to daycare!!! My daughter is one and I struggle to find things to send for her that are healthy, "safe" and fast enough for our busy schedule. She eats like a champ at home but at school not so much! Keep up the great blogging!!!

  7. I am surprised you let your son eat red meat due to the increased cancer risks… organic or not, it doesn't matter-the increased risk still exists.

  8. I'd bet that he's probably eating his lunch cold because no-one bothers to heat it up unless he asks. That sucks in the winter when everyone else gets hot food.

  9. While I think all of us as adults could see that the lunch you packed for you son is similar to the food the kids ate for snacks that day, I do wonder how many toddlers/preschoolers would figure out that quinoa pasta with sliced peppers is similar to macaroni and cheese.

    It would be interesting to ask kids whether the foods are similar and see how many of them make the pasta connection. On a similar note, I wonder how many kids would even connect chicken nuggets to chicken drumsticks… It seems like processed food compared to whole foods are so radically different from one another that for kids, they would seem completely unrelated

  10. I find it very ironic that so many foods that are truly healthy, grapes and nuts, are always on the list of foods. I have even read articles where folks tell you not to give your kid nuts until they are 5!!! 5?? What do people consider safe to give their kids? Pretzels and chicken nuggets? I would say, those things are probably less safe from the standpoint of exposure to chemical residues.
    Bottom line: You should supervise your kids when eating. Have them eat MEALS, at a TABLE with OTHER PEOPLE. They are more likely to choke on anything when they are rolling all around the house with a snack cup in their hand. And more likely to learn to eat properly if they have social interaction with you.

  11. This is one of the grosses looking lunch I think I've seen on here. Sorry but looks like poop. I feel bad for kids that have to eat that.
    I love the bento lunch systems!!
    Your doing a great job packing yummy, healthy lunches for your son!!

  12. I avoid raisins for my 2 year old on advice of her dentist. They are just as bad as fruit roll ups due to the sticky nature. Bits can lodge in the pits of their tiny molars and in between teeth. I would rather avoid them than try to floss my 2 year old!! Just my opinion- make them treats for home where you can brush.

  13. Ruth, if you're in the US, I live in the mid-Atlantic region, and I'm able to find So Delicious brand coconut yogurt at the local supermarket in what I affectionately call the "hippy section". 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing another appetizing bento lunch, Mrs. Q! Is the ban on nuts due to the size of them or because of food allergies?

  14. For everyone who's scuffing about certain food bans:

    I'm an ER doc. With a couple of young kids.

    Grapes are the number one food item I see kids choke on. That's right, the healthy, tasty grape. Luckily, most of them get popped out before the EMTs arrive…but sometimes that's not the case.

    Nuts are the number two item on the list. Popcorn is three.

    I've also seen Bugles, Hotdogs (corn dogs are even worse)…and others that I just can't think of at the moment.

    The kiddo can choke even while sitting right next to you. You do something silly, he takes a deep breath right before he starts laughing…and bam, that's it. His airway is blocked.

    Even the most well behaved calm kid can choke to death, right there in front of you. Do you want to live with that guilt?

  15. Oh! And the raisins…well, they can get sucked down into a lung lightning fast! Not really sure what it is about those little morsels, but I see AT LEAST two kids with pneumonia a year that is related to a raisin in the lung.

  16. As a vegetarian I know fake meat bits when I see them that sloppy joe looks chock full of seitan bits!!! I would bet $20 there was no real meat in that Joe… and that makes me happy.

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