Friday, August 29, 2008

Inside the Lunchbox

No part of the kindergarten experience has occupied my thoughts as much as what to put in Connor's lunchbox. I worry about balancing healthy with junky, about finding containers to hold the food so that it's not just a box full of disposable bags, and about just getting it made and out the door (along with an afternoon snack as well!) so that he doesn't starve. My boy is sensitive when his blood sugar is low.

You might recall that Connor has a somewhat limited list of protein sources that agree with his delicate palate. Of those protein sources, only one travels well in a lunchbox- the ubiquitous pb&j. Snowden does not appear to have a no-peanut policy (yet) so I have gleefully packed one of these every day since Connor started kindergarten.

I noticed as the days passed that more and more of his sandwich was remaining uneaten, and then Wednesday the whole thing came home with him. "What's with your lunch?" I wanted to know. He had to confess, "I don't really love that sandwich every day, Mom."

Now we have ourselves quite a dilemma. He won't eat anything else, yet he's tired of the only option he's given himself. You'd think that hunger would drive him to eat a turkey sandwich or something else "new," but considering he has brought a whole sandwich home before we know that's not the case. Yesterday I tried sending some of his hot-from-the-oven faves to school cold- I mean, cold pizza should be a viable option, right? Apparently not, as it was deemed "gross". But frighteningly, he likes cold bacon. I guess that's all bacon bits are, but it still grosses me out. Today I sent half a pb&j, thinking that maybe one lunch was enough of a break to make the meal attractive again. We'll find out soon enough!

In the back of my mind, I think that maybe this is a step forward. Maybe, if he gets tired of eating the same five things over and over, he'll find it in himself to try something new. But maybe I won't hold my breath.


Unknown said...

i ate a pb&j every school day of my life until i was 16 and finally got the guts to stand in the school lunch line. what's that, 11 years? gracious. good luck.

Stan said...

OMG, that is so funny b/c I was just completely stressed about this very topic this week, I signed Grace up for pre-school and have to pack her lunch. We pretty much never eat anything for lunch that I don't microwave or cook, and I am all stressed about things with mayo rotting in her lunch. I have spent WAY too much time this week thinking about it. Dang it, I wish there were a better solution, and lunchable are not it!

Stanfill said...

would he eat a cheese quesadilla or grilled cheese? i know it would get cold, so it might not work like the pizza didn't. you could try it out at home first. how about making cheese and fruit kabobs. the kabob makes it fun. of course, you'd have to find a non pointy skewer-and make short ones. could maybe use popsicle sticks? any food that he likes hot, maybe you could give it to him cold at home as practice here and there, so it's not so "gross" or "weird" at school. what did he eat at preschool?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I am quite familiar with your dilemma. Grayson ate peanut butter and honey sandwiches FOREVER. Then one day decided he doesnt like the honey. So, he eats a plain peanut butter sandwich at least three days a week. When it gets cooler, we send a thermos with soup but that might be tricky for Connor. I sometimes do a make it yourself version of lunchables. He loves those stinkin things and they are so unhealthy. So we will do a small pita, pizza sauce and cheese and he can build it himself or crackers with cubes of cheese and bits o' lunch meat.

Also wraps go over well. I do the little spiral pieces or a whole one cut in half. If you think of any other ingenius items, please pass along.