I don’t know about you, but I love sending my kids back to school. I love the freshness of backpacks and uniforms for one child, the arrival of the bus for the other, and for everyone, the hum of potential. I love the whole thing.
Except making lunches.
See, we’re cheap. (Might as well call a spade a spade.) While it would make life much easier to spend the $2.25 a day per child, the exponential nature of that number makes us cringe. So every night we make lunches to send to school. I’m sure you know how that goes. One child hates option A, and will go hungry rather than eat it; the other child hates option B, with dittos. They’ll both eat option C–peanut butter–but no child of mine is going to eat PBJ every single day. (#NotHappening.)
So, between that and the fickle nature of a child’s taste preferences (“no, I only like cheese when it’s cold, not after it gets warm!”), we end up going through quite a brain stretching exercise to put together healthy meals.
I’m sure none of you has that problem.
But just in case you, ahem, know someone who does, here is the list of lunchtime “main dishes” that is now tacked to our refrigerator:
- Apple “sandwich” (Two slices of apple, core removed so it’s doughnut shaped, filled with peanut butter and studded with raisins.)
- Pinwheels (filled tortillas rolled up, sliced and held with toothpicks). Options:
- Cream cheese, sour cream and a couple teaspoons of ranch dressing mix, with or without diced olives, peppers, etc.
- Lunch meat or pepperoni and cheese
- “Pizza”, with sauce, pepperoni and white cheese
- Yogurt cup
- Hard-boiled egg, sliced, seasoned with salt & pepper
- Zucchini bread muffins
- Meat rolls (deli meat sliced, rolled up and held with toothpicks in bite-sized pieces)
- Pepperoni or summer sausage sticks
- Soup (these last two require a thermos, of course; who wants cold oatmeal or soup?)
So, what do you send to school with your kids for lunch?
Kathleen Basi is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, flute and voice teacher, liturgical composer, choir director, natural family planning teacher, scrapbooker, sometime-chef and budding disability rights activist. She puts her juggling skills on display at www.kathleenbasi.com.