|My First Lunch Box|
The dreaded "chore" before school each morning. When I really have my act together, which is pretty rare it seems, I make the lunches the night before. The morning routine goes so much smoother and I can focus on breakfast and getting the kids out the door. On those days I am making lunches in the morning I'm asking myself "why on earth did I not take the time to make these last night." Oh yeah, I remember.. I was blogging. I heard one mom say that after dinner is the best time because the kitchen is already a mess, just make them and then clean up everything once. That makes so much sense, and it's really true on paper, but sometimes that logic just doesn't hit me until 7:30 am the next morning when I'm slapping on the PB & J and trying to make breakfast in record time.
For me, the biggest challenges of lunch prep is not having what I want in the house at the time, having a picky eater, knowing which child doesn't like mayo, the other mustard and the other plain. One child hates peanut butter and jelly the other two like it but one doesn't like as much jelly or in today's case doesn't like the kind of jelly I bought. One child (the non jelly eater) also despises fruit, accept apples which I suspect she may throw away at school regardless. It sounds much nicer and easier to just have them buy lunch at school with the different options so they are all happy, but I quickly add that up in my head at $9 a day times about 20 days of school in a month WOW I can't imagine. Occasionally, I will let them buy, but it is very very rare. I remember my school lunches were around .75 cents (oh dear I'm sound like an old grown up) and milk was .10 cents! Now milk alone is .50 cents. Inevitably, I pick the one day for them to buy lunch at school when it is "breakfast for lunch day" where the kids get french toast sticks and syrup! Seriously there can not be a more silly, unplanned choice by the school district. You may ask "why don't you check the menu?" -reader you clearly have not grasped my personality yet.
My mom used to make the best lunches and had a variety of choices in her making, because I like several different kind of sandwiches. I loved egg salad, but that came with a cost of having the stinky lunch at around noon. She would also put cute little notes in their that said "love you, mom" "Have a good day!" and other things. I tried that with my first born in first grade, she came home and said "um mom, why did you put a note in my lunch? " as if it was the silliest thing I could've done. I guess I should try again, maybe the other two will be a little more receptive.
This year my daughter, the picky eater, and I hit the jack pot because her school has microwaves!! Yes!!! I think the WORST thing ever about making lunches is when I come back in the house after taking them all to school and I see a lunch sitting on the table. Are you kidding me? It used to be if a kid forgets their lunch, well too bad!! you go hungry or beg your friends and the pain of hunger will surly make it so you never forget again. Fast forward to 2010 the school will just add a lunch to your "account"! I few years ago I walked into the office and said "um excuse me, if one my children forget their lunch, they are not allowed to buy a lunch!" The secretary, looking at me cross eyed as if I was Cruella Deville, says "well they need to eat!" which I said "true, but they also need to learn to not forget their lunch, so if my kids forget their .50 cent homemade lunch, they are to call for permission to buy an expensive school lunch, unless you would like to pay for it!" Ok I didn't say the last part of that sentence, but felt like it!
I'm always looking for new ideas and found this article to be helpful. Feel free to share your ideas with me on the comment thread.