I’m no bento box lunch making, Pinterest goddess mother, but I do try to give my kids healthy lunches. My oldest started full day kindergarten this year, so I’ve had to venture into the world of sack lunches with him. Despite my planning and prepping, I’ve been far from a stellar lunch-making mama.
Ok, so the first week I was pretty good, with cutely cut sandwiches and a serving of at least one protein, two fruits, and one veggie, along with fun pictures draw on the baggies the snacks were stored in. I even had a bin of prepped snacks to pick from for him to make lunch making easier and quicker. By the end of the first week though, he’d grown tired of sandwiches every day, so I started to mix things up with things like “ham rolls,” but then I decided that he was eating too much ham and too much deli meat and needed some healthier variety. Of course, I also decided that I was tired of all the constant meal prep and that making three meals a day for everyone, often at five different times during the day, was becoming more than I could handle. I started to look for quick but still somewhat healthy fixes at about the third week. On really tiring days, I started just throwing some prepackage peanut butter crackers in as the protein and calling it a day. Then I felt guilt and figured I better up my game a little. That’s when my son mentioned hummus and I thought I found my new quick fix solution, but with more nutritional value; something I could feel good about. So last night, I packed my son some red pepper hummus with little baby carrots, crackers, and green olives in a Tupperware container. Then I threw in some apple sauce and of course a special treat. I felt pretty good about that lunch, despite not feeling great about the Tupperware that barely fit in his lunch box and was secured with a rubber band to ensure it stayed closed.
When this morning came, my son was having a rough morning and was cranky. I couldn’t wait to get him out the door, but I really hoped that his day would get better once he got to school. I even emailed his teacher to give her some warning about his mood. I tried not to worry about him during the day and figured all was going fine. Then he got of the bus, in the pouring rain, with no rain jacket. I gave him mine and dashed home. Once we got home, I did what I always do, I opened his backpack to check his folder for work and and lunch box to see how he ate. My heart sank as I opened the lunch box to find hummus everywhere and the food still in it. I asked him what happened. He said the hummus was all over everything when he opened the lunch box, so he couldn’t eat anything (except the Kit Kat of course). I felt so awful. Then I found a note in his folder that we owed 40 cents for “emergency lunch = milk.” So all the poor kid had all day was a milk and a Kit Kat bar (not even full size, just a snack size one). I felt like the world’s worst mom. My son’s day had started off rotten and instead of it turning around once he got to school, it only got worse thanks to my fail of a lunch! The only way I could’ve been a bigger failure was if I’d forgotten my kid’s lunch all together and never realized it until he got home.
So after I fed my son a sandwich, I went right to work on tomorrow’s lunch, to ensure I got this one right. As requested, I made just a regular sandwich, in a plain plastic bag, that seals. And of course, just to make up for today, I threw in an extra treat. At least if his lunch somehow explodes in his bag tomorrow, he’ll have a Kit Kat and some candy corn to eat.