Saturday, September 11, 2010


I find lunchtime aggravating. I'm not sure why; maybe because I feel like we just got the kitchen clean and now we're getting things out again. Maybe it's because of the short-order cook system we've set up, where different things can be requested. And maybe it's because it all feels like such a huge waste of time because we'll just be eating again in two hours.

Since Sam is now going to school for a full day, he eats lunch at school. This means either he takes lunch or buys lunch.

Packing a lunch raises my anxiety level just by being a phrase. If a friend says let's meet at the park and bring our lunches with us, I think great idea and start thinking if there's a restaurant nearby that I can convince her to go to. Or I hyperventilate because my children to do not eat sandwiches and what in the world else will I pack to take with us. I can't very well make a frozen waffle warm, buttery, and covered in syrup at the park now, can I?

Seriously, my heart is pounding just thinking about the mental stress of taking lunch somewhere.

The options of what to pack for Sam are limited. For awhile, PB&J was in, then peanut butter was out because it "stuck to his teeth." Fortuantely, he has agreed to eat it lately if I spread the peanut butter very thin. He also likes banana cut up in the sandwich - a nod to nutrition, I call it. And right before school started Craig made him an egg salad sanwich and he liked it, so that's an option.

Buying a lunch is $2.25. So really, which is cheaper, packing or buying? Am I really going to break it down to a loaf of bread is (this much), I use 2 slices a day; 1 tsp of peanut butter is $0.04, 2 oreos is what? who pays attention to this stuff? I'm already freaking out about packing the thing. Plus, Friday is pizza day. With fruit and vegetable (their own nod to nutrition?). And Wednesdays are breakfast-for-lunch days . . . so that looks like two days of not packing.


School's been in for 6 days and I've managed to keep a grip on my sanity for most of it. According to Sam he only has time to eat 4 things AND they aren't allowed to talk while eating, the second part sounds a little boot-campish. My first thought is, how dare they tell my child when he can talk or can't talk, it's lunch time; but my 10 months experience having a 6-year-old tells me he should be eating and not talking and of course a bunch of first graders would yap away as long as anyone let them and when told to go to the next thing would weep because they hadn't had time to eat. Because of the talking.

Sometimes we have "sampler plates" for lunch, which consist of some kind of protien (lunchmeat, chicken nuggets), dairy (typically cheese or yogurt), fruit or veggie, and a grain (say, crackers or a bagel). Then I was reading about bento boxes and it mentioned this website which I keep planning to check out because it seems to make this "sampler plate" idea packable and attractive, but everytime I get on the computer, I have to check facebook and then play alchemy.

Which leads to dinner not being prepped in time, which in turn leads to ordering pizza for dinner.

It's a two-fer: they eat what's for dinner and I have leftover pizza for lunch the next day.


  1. i am cracking up here. i am glad that you have to play alchemy now instead of doing important stuff.

  2. Made me laugh too! All I can say is that I can relate with the packing lunch thing. I was finding it hard to breathe, just reading about it! Throw type 1 diabetes in the mix and a menu that can change at a moment's notice, forget it! We unfortunately brown bag it more often than not over here and let me tell ya, it aint always pretty. Especially when the bus is coming and I'm still counting out grapes!

  3. btw, here are some bento box style lunch containers that I've been looking at:

  4. 180 days x 3 kids x 13 years + 1 fussy husband x 39 YEARS = a lot of lunches...
    I hear you Sarah!!!

  5. I love bento box lunches. Jack doesn't like his food touching, so this doesn't work great for him, unless I have a yazillion little containers. But I do the same idea, just in lots of little baggies instead so he is happy with the non-touching.
    My favorite bento blog is:
    She has some super cute themed lunches - noah's ark, bears, etc. Her blog makes me want to run out and buy all these cute cookie cutters and picks. Good luck. Lunches are a bit easier for me to pack because when they go to Jen's she will cook or warm up what I pack (hot dog, etc.).

  6. I started making the lunches this year because with two in school I knew I could make lunches for cheaper AND Owen is a bit fussier so I didn't like the thought of him just throwing away what he didn't want to eat. Now I know because I make them bring home what they didn't eat. I do it the night before, before bed because I'm NOT a morning person. I guess I'm fortunate they eat sandwiches and that is not an issue. Sometimes it's just yogurt and fruit and pretzels or something along those lines to cover the all the food groups if they are getting tired of a sandwich. I bought containers (theromos') from Lands End and it keeps the food hot or cold for 5 hours so if I heat it up before they leave it's warm when they get there.