Saturday, March 17, 2012

School Lunch Challenge

I can’t make up my mind if making school lunch is one of the most boring jobs a parent must do. It certainly is one of the most challenging. Don’t get me wrong I want my children to eat a nutritious and delicious lunch. It is the variety and the daily grind that I have a problem with.

If you are parents chances are you have a daily routine. (We certainly do.) The making school lunch is scheduled around 7:30/8pm which is (after our family athletes and musicians are back from activities) and after dinner has been served and cleared. Chances are my husband and I prior to dinner went through a “what in the heck should we make for dinner?” phase and thankfully one of us had some sort of brainstormed idea that resulted in dinner. Now an hour later I am back at square one to figure all over again what we have in the house, and what will be an acceptable lunch for my children. Sometimes I just don’t want to make lunch. Sometimes I just want to break the vicious cycle and be lazy. (To heck with this grind. Go buy lunch kiddos!) Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I plan and do execute lunch effortlessly, but it just gets challenging on a daily basis.

I should tell you that I have the added challenge of children that do not like sandwiches. (Yup. You read correctly. No sandwiches! Unheard of right? Or maybe my children were SO smart by telling me they did not like sandwiches I would then have to deliver something else, something more exciting?) This anti-sandwich situation was an enormous hurdle at first, until my husband and I started purchasing microwaves for their classrooms and school lunch rooms. Even so the variety and how you cycle your leftovers can be just as challenging.

To make matters worse the school year is winding down. This is a dangerous time for me. What was once an acceptable and enthusiastically welcomed lunch when the lunch box was opened, has now received comments like “not this again”. Naturally my children break the news to me gently..”Mom, if I have pasta salad to eat again I think I will be sick!” “Ok, thank you dear.” (Damn another lunch crossed off my list.)

I actually have figured out that during my children’s school years I have (so far) made a total of roughly 5,249 school lunches in my lifetime. By the time my youngest leaves for college I will have made over 6.000 school lunches. (No wonder I’m tired of the grind!)

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