Friday, August 10, 2012

School lunches

School starts soon! In about three and a half weeks, to be exact.

Posts in various forums I am on have started giving me a bit of a panic attack about, of all things, lunch. Frank does not eat bread, or cheese, or cold cuts.  He does not even eat peanut butter or jelly. He doesn't eat wraps, or veggies, or cheese and crackers. He doesn't eat string cheese.

Keeping all this in mind...what, exactly, do I pack this kid for lunch???

In daycare/kindergaten, I packed him lunch for most of his time there.  When he was four, in pre-K, he wanted to start ordering the same lunches the other kids ate, so we did.  I started out cautiously, only ordering him chicken nuggets, which has always been the fallback food for him. I eventually got more daring, so, by the time he was finishing up there, his last month, he ate the school lunch every day.  It was great, because first and foremost, he was eating the same things as his peers! Number two, I didn't have to groggily remember on a weekday morning to pack his fish sticks or chicken nuggets. (The teachers would warm them up in the microwave for him.  I sent them in an insulated bag, with an ice pack.)

In first grade, in the local elementary school this fall, though, the cafeteria staff won't be warming up his food in a microwave for him.  Which brings me back to my question...what in the same of all that is good and holy do I pack this kid for lunch??

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.


  1. Ok, can you give us a list of exactly what foods he will eat (and any conditions, like 'only eats that hot', 'only eats this chopped up' etc)? Then I can get my thinking cap on. :-)

  2. Okay, here goes:

    Chicken nuggets, strips, fingers, patties
    Fish sticks, but not fried fish fillets
    Pasta with sauce, but the sauce can't be too chunky, no grated cheese, and not pasta just with butter
    No butter at all, except on popcorn
    Crackers, potato chips, Doritoes, pretzels...anything in this category, so long as it's not too spicy
    Milk, apple juice, water, as long as it's not too cold, because he doesn't do cold at all
    No sweets, except he will eat a yellow cupcake without icing at a birthday party, but he will not eat a slice of yellow cake
    Mac and cheese, but not homemade/baked with a "skin"
    Toast with nothing on it
    Bagel with nothing on it

    That's all I can think of right now.

  3. Here are a few suggestions given your list: popcorn with or w/o butter in a baggie, applesauce, bagel, w/ his snacks as a side, definitely make sure he gets milk in his lunch or through the cafeteria everyday (it's part of his protein intake). Cheerios and send a bowl for him to eat the cheerios w/ milk (if he does that). Here's what I told someone else. I'm not sure it will make you feel a whole lot better, but I've learned w/ my daughter to pick my food battles. Considering he's starting a new school year and there are a lot of changes being thrown his way, I'd send the things you know he will eat (even if they are all snack-type foods) and focus on the protein foods for breakfast/lunch when he's at home and on the weekends. Then, I'd also request that he brings his luchbox home w/ everything in it (don't let him throw the stuff he didn't eat away). That way you have an idea of exactly how much he ate and what it was that he ate. The other thing you might want to try once school has been underway for awhile...send one new item in his lunch box (maybe something dry/crunchy to start with) and see if he surprises you and tries it ;) I'm very interested to see how my daughter does with this whole eating process she starts all day kindergarten this year. Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone out there!