I’ve had one full week of making school lunches, so far the chart I made last week has helped my son to keep his lunches varied. I think we’ll be adding a thermos so we can send soup or maybe even a smoothie along with him in the near future.
My daughter has remained firm in her love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Which makes putting together her lunch exceedingly simple but also exceedingly boring.
I’ve bought one Lunchable for my kids since becoming a mother and I like those numbers. I generally believe in moderation when it comes to less than healthy food for kids. I don’t have a problem with the kids eating the occasional fast food and I buy potato chips sometimes and I’m actually a little ashamed of the number of times I’ve bribed my kids with candy at the grocery store.
Still I have a problem with Lunchables because it seems to me the people at Oscar Meyer are actually trying to make it not healthy. I like to picture their board room discussions,
“You know we’ve got this product and it’s pretty simple. Crackers, cheese and turkey a kid can put together for lunch. But turkey is generally pretty lean and cheese has so much calcium. How can we make this meal less good for kids? Anyone?”
“I know! Let’s load it up with added sugar, sodium and fat! Oh and put a funny character on it! With the money we save on sugar loaded processed turkey meat, let’s up our profit margin and pass the mark up onto parents.”
“Let’s roll with that! I love it!”
It frustrates me because really Lunchables are very simplified bento lunches. For more information on bento, check out Lunch In A Box and this FAQ at My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch.
For the last few days I’ve tried making incredibly simplified home grown Lunchables using butter crackers, raisins, strawberries, 2% fat mozzerella, salami, turkey and for my adventurous daughter, peanut butter.
She has grapes, apples, raisins, peanut butter and crackers. I also put one small slice of mozzerella in, and shockingly it came back home untouched. She also came home with some leftover crackers, peanut butter and raisins and demonstrated how she made faces out of the raisins on her crackers and they were all sad because she hates school and hates me too. I’m sure that made all the new kids at lunch just frantic to play with my emo daughter.
Max’s version was a little more balanced offering some protein, fat and calcium along with his fruit. I spent a lot of stupid time trying to cut his salami and turkey into circles and in the future I will not be doing such a stupid waste of time thing.
This type of lunch works out well for my son because he likes lunch meat but doesn’t like bread, it doesn’t work as well for my daughter because she likes bread but doesn’t like lunch meat. She is also a slow eater and came home with almost all her crackers, peanut butter and raisins.
I’m once again looking at this bento box from Laptop Lunch, because this simplified version of the lovely more traditional bento is actually easy enough to plan and throw together each week and is also perfect for my kid’s simple taste buds.
But I won’t be putting together a masterpiece like this anytime soon and my bento will not be making an appearance on this flickr group where it would be shamed and laughed at.