If I were a 10 year old girl, gone from home all day, what would I want in my lunch? Well, not the crap I put in my daughter’s bag today, that’s for sure!! Oh why, oh why does making school lunches have to be this hard??
I’ll tell you why~ kids are too picky these days. And yes, it’s our fault as parents. And yes, I blame the media(after all, we blame them for everything else!).
You wanna know what I had for lunch when I was a kid? Here’s the basic rotation:
Klik luncheon meat sandwiches(on fresh homemade buns or bread)
Peanut Butter and Jam(homemade) sandwiches(on homemade buns or bread AGAIN!)
A hard boiled egg(which I hated but I ate because I was hungry) with salt and pepper folded up into a piece of wax paper to dip the egg into~ my mom was so creative and frivolous.
Tomato soup in a thermos.
We carried these really swanky(Louise’s word) black metal lunch boxes. They were like industrial strength. Actually, before those I had a square metal one~ red plaid. It was suh-weet!
Anyhoo…..for “snacks” it would be a piece of cake or homemade cookies, Laura Secord pudding(can you buy that anymore?) or Magic Moments pudding…in a METAL tin….oh the environmentalists would have hated that!
Sometimes we were fortunate enough to have a small apple or tomato juice put in.(also in tin cans) This was pre-juice box era. Pre-granola bar era. There was very little pre-packaged anything.
I ate everything because I was hungry and my mom taught us to be thankful for what we had and eat it all. And so I did.
Nowadays, our lazy culture(my laziness) and the onslaught of packaged anything and everything has actually made us LESS creative with lunches. My kids often come home with almost the same stuff in their lunch bag as they left with. Because they’re picky, it’s not flavourful, they’re bored with it or it’s just plain terrible.
When I was in Grade 3 we moved to the city and bought a house 4 doors down from the school. For the first time in my life I got to go home for lunch! In fact, from that time until I graduated high school I never ate lunch at school again. The only times I would eat at school would be special SRC(Student Resource Council) lunches or field trips. My lunches weren’t big on the nutritional scale but they were WAY more relaxing and hot. Hot is good. KD Mac and Cheese(or the more inferior NO NAME version~ ick), Ichiban noodles(or its more inferior NO NAME counterparts), soups, eggs or salads. Life was good.
And then….I became a mother.
No peanuts or peanut butter~ allergies in the school.
No soups~ kids might get burned.
No chocolate covered granola bars~ they’re unhealthy.
No gummies, fruit roll-ups, chips, etc~ junk food.
Seriously people!!! Are these my kids or yours? I am so fed up with school boards and school administrations telling me what I can and cannot feed my own kids!!
My kids don’t eat peanut butter ….ever. Actually, I’ve managed to get my youngest to eat it occasionally but no one else even tries it. They’ve never been able to. Even when they were toddlers I couldn’t give it to them because someone at church, at a play group, at a friends’ house, or any other public place had an allergy and it was banned. So, my kids have grown up without the best source of protein for kids in the world! Sad.
I used to be good at cutting up veggies and adding dip. Assorted fruits and pieces of meats and cheese for snacks. But somewhere along the way I stopped, they weren’t eating~ food was being wasted. Now we have a school snack cupboard~ juice boxes, assorted granola bars, pre-packaged cookies, crackers, puddings, fruit cups..it’s all pretty lame. I fully admit that. But when you’re given such a short list for what is “allowed” and when you live in a climate where 1/2 the year your fruit and veggie choices are knocked down to 3 items all of which are at over $3 per pound, you sort of give up. I surrendered long ago to the bureaucratic nightmare. I’m a loser~ the school wins. **sigh**
Most recently the dilemma has come up where if I send food to heat(because of the prevalence of microwaves in the school) it has to be heated in less than 1 minute. Tell me what food can be heated in that amount of time? I send pizza pops or ravioli and they eat it cold. And then they tell me(my children) that they only have 15 minutes to eat and then they have to go outside for recess. Ya, so? Well, here’s the NEW rule~ no food on the playground. Seriously!! Are you trying to starve these children into submission?? So now I have to send a nutritional, fully labeled with ingredients, non-caloric, non-offensive, Kosher, peanut-free, politically correct lunch that can be heated and/or eaten in 10 minutes or less ANDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD there will be no eating of snacks during other recess or break times. Sorry kids…them’s the rules!!!!
Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not exaggerating(okay, well maybe about the Kosher part…but I’m not far off!).
This, my friends, is the hyper 0verly-intrusive, bureaucratic world of school lunches. And I hate it.