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Back to school lunchtime nightmare

standard September 5, 2008 9 responses

There are a million posts flying around the blogosphere about precious bundles going off to school for the first day. Beautiful odes to first borns striking out with their cute little backpacks on their backs. Sob inducing stories about last borns leaving the nest. Horror tales about buses going to the wrong school.

You might think that with C starting her second year of preschool bright and early tomorrow that I would also be waxing poetic. My first baby. My sweet girl. Going to school. Three days a week. Sob.

Eih. Not so much.

I’ve been dropping her off at daycare every weekday since she was 12 weeks old. She went to preschool last year. She knows the teachers, the kids, the place. I’m fine with her going off to preschool.

But there is something bothering me.

This year they threw a little twist in the plan. A teeny one. Something you might not think is a big deal at all. But it’s something I just can’t wrap my brain around and it is making me G-rumpy. Forget grumpy, it’s making me irate.

Lunch. They added lunch to the schedule. And it’s driving me up the wall.

At daycare C gets a hot, homecooked lunch every day. It’s included in the price. It’s awesome. They get her to eat things she would never, in a million years, eat at home. Tuna macaroni casserole, PB&J, garlic bread. And now instead of getting that wholesome hot lunch she’s going to get the crappy cold lunch I have to pack three mornings a week.

I know! Three whole mornings a week!

Stop laughing, this is serious! I’m up a creek here!

The school has a no nut policy and the lunches have to be “kosher style,” which means we can’t mix meat and milk in the same meal. Nor can we pack any pork or shellfish, though it’s not as though I was going to send her to school with a lobster stuffed into her little Dora lunchbox, so I guess that’s OK.

So… I have to pack a lunches for a 3 year old girl who is a pickier eater than her father, and if you knew M you’d know that was quite a feat. She’s used to eating a hot lunch every day, she doesn’t eat sandwiches, and I have precious little time in the morning because it’s hard enough getting her, her sister, and myself out the door in time.

What am I going to do? It’s probably not cool to send her with Mac&Cheese every day, and Lunchables are out of the question because of the darn milk/meat deal. What’s left? Goldfish crackers and cheese? Edamame and Turkey slices? Danimals yogurts and and and… what do I send with that?


I know I’ll get into a groove. I know I’ll get used to this. I know she’ll be fine and she won’t starve. But GAH. And GRUMBLE. And BAH. And did I say GAH?

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9 responses

  • How about ravioli or soup in a thermos? Bagel with cream cheese?

    I agree packing lunch is a pain. I am packing 3 lunches this year. I try to go the “you will eat what I pack.” Each child is so picky. I try to give each child approx. the same lunch. Every day is a new challenge. The schools offer a hot lunch option, which I let them buy once a week.

  • OK, I laughed out loud at your lobster comment. What tough rules to live by! Do they provide a list of acceptable items, for giving parents ideas about what are healthy things they can pack? We had a preschool program that did that (heatlhy snack list). It was a big help as someone new to packing kid lunches. They also included a helpful handout on child sized portions for reference.

    Back to your picky eater now: one thing that worked with my picky eaters was to make it look like lunch was fun to eat. Cutting out sandwiches with cookie cutters, same with cheese or some fruits. Wrapping stuff in tortillas or around a breadstick/pretzel rod. Using food coloring pens to draw a smiley face or heart on the bread, stuff like that. And little containers, they think that is so cute. Those are things that we’ve tried. Hope that helps, good luck!

  • Sheesh! It’s bad enough that you have to pack the lunch (which I hate doing as well), but to put restrictions on what you can pack. Yeah, makes it harder for sure.

    I really have no ideas for you, cause everything I can think of has meat & cheese, lol. Goldfish crackers have cheese, can you use those? Pretzels, fruits, raw veggies if she’ll eat any of them. Good luck!

  • My daughter actually went to school (kind or 1st grade) with shrimp scampi so I don’t know, lobster rolls might not be out of the question 😛

    Wow, kosher, that’s tough! Could you do crackers and hummus? Cucumber and cream cheese on bread? Strawberry and fruit cream cheese sandwiches? Carrots, broccoli and cucumber slices with ranch dressing?

    Just find out what their policy is regarding “non-traditional” lunches. I sent one of my kids in with crackers, hummus and a host of fruits/veggies and a snack and they made her buy a sandwich/lunch as she didn’t have a “main item”. I was like – dude – this is a great lunch, just because there’s no sandwich. hell, lunch ables don’t have sandwiches!

  • How about buying thick sliced turkey or ham at the deli and then cutting it into “sticks”. Add some carrot sticks and dip, a piece of fruit she likes and a little treat. Another day do the same thing with cheese. My son isn’t a big fan of sandwiches either beyond pb&j so I will send a mini bagel in one container and then put some sliced turkey in another. The makings of a basic sandwich without anything actually touching. And don’t think you have to make a different, fantastic lunch every day. There is nothing wrong with sending the same thing regularly…

  • Your post made me laugh because if my son’s daycare at his school stopped serving lunch I’d be up a creek without a paddle. But the worst part is, now the lunch is OPTIONAL so CW actually says he WANTS ME to pack his lunch (which I refuse to do) not only because I’m lazy but because of what you mentioned – trying new foods etc. I feel your pain, and I wouldn’t want to do it even one morning a week.

  • Lisa M

    Seriously? I would be pissed off! That is just lousy. So sorry that happened

  • We would be in big trouble here – as I sent Bella to school today with a ham sandwich and a danimals yogurt. Talk about milk and meat!

    What about grilling (not microwaving…) chicken nuggets? They won’t be hot, but Bella says they’re good cold.

  • Yep, second year of a kosher preschool here too. With lunch. No meat at all.
    Mine rotates three lunches: bagel and cream cheese w/ fruit, mac n cheese with peas, hummus pita and various veggies. Sometimes a tantrum for a turkey sandwich thrown in.
    Good luck!

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