As of yesterday, the pitter-patter of little feet has left the house, unless you count the sound of the 11-year old pug dragging his dysplastic paws across the tile floor.
Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. The time some refer to as back-to-school, but which I lovingly call the make-a-tasty-and-creative-lunch-everyday-for two-kids,
time of year.
We all need a little help in the creativity department, particularly those of us who eschew pre-packaged lunch conveniences. I won't moralize because it's unbecoming, but I don't buy snack-size packs of chips or lunchables or plastic water bottles. My boys get what I make at home, like it or not. Sorry, kids, you'll have to complain about your lack of access to Pop Tarts and Doritos and Famous Amos to your therapist 20 years hence.
Last week my kids (now in fourth and second grades) helped me make a list from which I could draw throughout the year. You'll notice that although they're not super-picky, their tastes tend to diverge. Here's what we came up with:
leftover whole wheat pasta with: pesto, marinara, parmesan and olive oil, peas (kid #2 only), meatballs, or bolognese
nut butter sandwiches: PB&J, PB & banana or PB & apple (kid #1 only), sun butter, or almond butter
meat-based sandwiches: "French" ham (actually it's a Canadian ham, but it's called French ham); roast beef or corned beef (kid #1 only); leftover chicken (kid #1 only)
Misc: hummus, chicken sausages (kid #1 only)
Bread options: whole wheat sandwich bread, ww tortillas, ww naan, crackers
Leftover soup (kid #2 only)
Hard-boiled eggs (kid #1 only)
Veggies: sliced carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers (kid #2 only)
Fruit: bananas, stone fruit, dried fruit, grapes (kid #2 only), berries, pears (kid #1 only), apples
Crunchy things: honey-wheat pretzels, granola bars (kid #2 only), breadsticks, nuts (kid #2 only)
dairy: cottage cheese (kid #1 only), yogurt, string cheese
baked goods: muffins, and occasionally, if I'm feeling especially mother-of-the-year, I'll throw in a homemade cookie (they get plenty after school)
I found this exercise really helpful and am BEGGING you to share your lunchbox secrets with the rest of us, especially me. I've written about this issue before and magazines make everything sound easy, but, man, if you're in charge of making lunches every day for 10 months, it can wear
Let us know what your kids take to school, what you took to school when you were younger, or what, in your ideal world, you would pack for your charges if only they'd actually eat it.
This was what I gave birth to today, and I'm a very, very proud mother. Isn't she cute?