Lunch Time Dilemma

Samantha has been in kindergarten for 8 weeks now.  That means I’ve been packing a snack and lunch for 8 weeks now.  I pack either a PB  or turkey and cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, usually an apple or banana, water to drink, and one other thing, maybe a yogurt or applesauce or a fruit and veggie puree pouch.

I’ve been noticing a trend on what is coming home.  Bananas always come home.  She doesn’t like that the peel turns brown in the lunch box.  I’ve stopped sending the yogurt because she never ate it. Not once.  But I’ll still send a banana if I’m out of other fruit in the house.

Why? Do I think if she’s really hungry she’ll eat it.  No, I know she’ll skip a meal if there’s not something she likes, and really, she’s not going to starve.  She can always go get a hot lunch too, if she’s desperate.

I pack it so I won’t be judged.  There, I said it.  I volunteered the first week of school at lunch time.  Since Sammy’s mixed, no one really knows she’s my child unless she’s with me.  I was helping open juices and containers for the other kids and I saw one of the lunch ladies go over to Sam to give her a napkin and fork.  Sammy gave me this look that let me know I had screwed up.  Of course kindergartners needed  napkins and forks even though I only pack finger foods.

And I hoped the lunch lady didn’t know she was my child.  That she didn’t judge me as a negligent, napkin forgetting parent who was clearly depriving her child of basic necessities.  So, I send the bananas.  So if one of the other parents (who know she’s mine) is helping out at lunch will see I provide wholesome, well-balanced lunches, with fruit.  They will know, I care about my child’s nutrition, and that I can’t help if she doesn’t eat it.  In fact, they’ll make sure it comes home with her, so I’ll know she didn’t eat it, and I can appropriately admonish her for not eating well enough.

On banana days, when she gets picked up, the only admonishing is coming from her and directed at me.  She scolds me about the banana because I should remember she doesn’t like them.  Oh, I forgot, I say.  Because I don’t want her to judge me either.

Do your kids eat what you pack them?  Do you feel judged by the quality of your lunches?


P.S. Ella had a tantrum and pounded on my keyboard, breaking the “n” off.  It’s really annoying now and do you know how often the letter “n” is used?

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8 Responses to “Lunch Time Dilemma”

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  1. T
    Twitter: angelbird72

    I don’t have kids of my own, but my Mum works in a primary school canteen and while there are some super awesome down-to-earth parents, there are some super crazy totally judgmental ones too.

    I guess it’s kind of like school – one of the big things kids learn is how to be around people who are not super fun or friendly. Maybe parents get to relearn that lesson too? : P

  2. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    Some parents–and ‘lunch ladies’– are just like that. Some will find something to judge you for no matter what you do. If it’s not food, it’ll be something else. Forget them! But I have a small tip that might help with lunch and snack. Give your daughter a choice. While you make the lunch ask whether she wants this or that jelly with her peanut butter–her choice, Does she want turkey or ham? Yellow Cheese or white cheese? Apple slices or grapes? Carrots or Snap Peas? Hummus or Yogurt dip? Whatever. The point is that she gets exactly the kinds of foods you want her to have, but she has chosen them herself.
    Note: This is no guarantee that she will eat everything. Kids’ appetites can get flaky as they go in and out of growth spells.

  3. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    Twitter: kristinglas

    Yes and no. Some days the kids eat everything, some days nothing. There’s no rythme or reason.
    It’s my experience with fruit that it’s best provided sliced up. Or sauced. We have 2 nutrition breaks, it’s quicker (and neater) to have apple slices than a whole apple. Sometimes we have pears. They can eat half at first break and the other half later.
    Really I am providing a buffet. Geez.
    Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli´s last post ..Real Kitchen Real Mess.

  4. Ali says:

    i have no insights on packing lunches for kids, but i totally sympathize with the loss of your N key! first semester of my freshman year i dropped a book and lost my 3 key. luckily i was procrastinating, so it was a small paperback and not a hardcover textbook. :) i had been without it so long (~6 years!) that i had to relearn to use the 3 key instead of my other tricks once i got this new laptop.