How To Make Healthy School Lunches Daily Without Losing Your Mind

How To Make Healthy School Lunches Daily Without Losing Your Mind

When my kid started school this fall, I came face to face with a challenge experienced by all parents of young, school-aged children: what the heck am I supposed to give him/her for lunch every day?

As with many first-world parenting issues, this one should really be no big deal. So why is it many of my parent acquaintances find themselves rummaging through their cupboards at 7 a.m. on a Monday morning, searching for snack crackers through clenched teeth while their offspring whine, “Are you giving me celery sticks AGAIN?”

I remember primary orientation day at school mostly for the terrifying directive given by our son’s friendly and well-organized young teacher: “Please send a healthy lunch and two healthy snacks to school every day in non-disposable containers. We want to reduce waste as much as possible, so no juice boxes or other packaging. And no sweets.”

I quickly realized how spoiled we had become during our kid’s preschool years, with its supplied lunches and snacks; back then, I barely registered what he ate between breakfast and supper since his food needs were being so seamlessly attended to.

It was the dawn of an uncomfortable new era.

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Feed Me!

Feed Me!

When my kid was six months old and still an exclusive breast-feeder, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and ordered just about everything on the menu; holy smokes, does a nursing baby ever make its mom ravenous!

When the dishes arrived, Will’s eyes lit up and his chubby hand shot out to scoop up a big handful of guacamole, licking it greedily off his fingers. The refried beans met the same fate; his mom barely got a look in. The look of profound satisfaction on his round and beaming face made me realize two things:   1. This kid was going to be a foodie and 2. I might as well give away the books on infant feeding that recommended starting out with the most bland and pre-digested of mashes, and get right to the point. Even in his food choices, Will wanted to be treated like an older person, not an invalid with no teeth and a delicate constitution....

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