Monday, September 19, 2005
Delicious & Nutritious
Packing lunches for your kids is not a new idea. However, I feel I'm totally biting Jennifer Shmoo's style because packing lunches never seemed as awesome as this.
I think most parents are scared of what is served as "food" in the school cafeteria. After reading Fast Food Nation and watching Super Size Me, I fear many secrets are kept in some school-budgetary vault that would probably make us all shit our pants. ("You hauled that meat out of a dumpster? But it saves us $5? Serve it up to the kiddies then!") And I couldn't just let my girls roll the die with the processed, sugar-laden selection anymore especially when Maya reported how gross the spread was. Though my husband's Hey-We-Lived-Through-It-And-We-Came-Out-Fine argument is compelling, I couldn't, in clear conscious, continue to make a huge push for my own health and not for theirs. So, since the beginning of this school year, I've been packing their lunches daily. This was going over fairly well though Mina is not quite the sandwich-and-chips type. She'd get home and her sandwich would be whole. I'd say, "Baby, what did you eat today?" Only to learn from her spying sister that six year old Mina has learned to bum dollars off classmates at the Boys & Girls Club. After 15 minutes of coaxing the truth, she finally tells me what she bought out of the vending machines: "Funyons and a Honey Bun." I was minutes from making her take a piss test for weed when she then admits, "My stomach hurts." Ya think?
And then I discovered Jennifer's site. The little laptop lunchboxes make you want to pack the perfect lunch. It's all so adorable, and I pat myself on the back every morning. Every day, I make Husband check out their lunches and I say, "Look at that. Isn't that so cute?" He says dryly, "Delicious and nutritious." The response from the girls has been gangbusters. I pack spaghetti and rice & beans and vegetables and fruit and veggie corn dogs and chili and chips and dip . . . My girls are digging it, even Mina. I stole another idea from Jennifer. I told the girls to rate the lunches from 1 - 5 stars so I can best gage what they really like. I say, "Mina, out of 5 stars, 5 being best, how did you like your lunch today?" She says, "9 stars." She hasn't answered within the parameters of the 1-5 system yet. I'll say, "But you didn't eat all of the rice." She says, "Yeah, I didn't like the rice so well today." "So," I say, "maybe 3 stars?" She says, "7 stars." Meaning, stop trying to shove me in your conventional means of measure, woman. So, I make note: 7 stars, not so great.