There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good news: The Youngster is moving up from the Toddler Program to the Primary one. This means he’ll be with kids aged 3-6, and doing lessons and playing and learning and continuing his adventure into Big Boyland. His Toddler teacher said, “He’s ready.” And yesterday, watching him walk down the hallway to his class all by himself, his black backpack wheeling behind him, I saw that he really was.

The teacher chatted with me about QB’s new set-up, and let me know that he will now need to bring lunch to school. She looked at me with her warm, wide smile. “He’ll have his own little lunch box.”

I smiled back, thinking about his tiny hands toting a lunch pail (with a car-motif, naturally).

Then, driving home, my smile drooped as the details of this news came into finer focus. I’m going to have make lunch to put INTO that car-theme lunch box, aren’t I?

I’ve seen these sweet mom blogs featuring large and lovely photos of what that mother packed for her kids’ lunch for the day. Delightful; the layers of love spread to ever corner of the lunch box. And I was instantly impressed … in that way we can be when looking at a charming piece of art. Never once did it dawn on me, “Hmm, maybe I should take some notes here for later.”

Things like this, from the ever creative James Kicinski of the endearing blog bleubird:

Photo by: Bleubird Vintage

Or any of the cute pictures you’ll find on Goodbyn, like this one:


And I haven’t even started talking about trying respect the “peanut-free” rule at the school. So, all of this to say, friends … HELP A GIRL OUT!  Need some lunchtime suggestions for The Youngster. Oh, and I need those pretty pronto. This new way of operating kicks off Friday. Of course.

Seriously, any tips you can offer on: the best things to put in the lunch box, the best things to keep out of the lunch box, the best way to get these lunches done and ready for 8 a.m., the best lunch box to buy for the nearly-3-yr-old set, and the best way to stop me from saying lunch box right now.

Thanks in advance. :)

  • 1
    Lauren says:

    I had to start packing my daughter’s lunch in June and it is a little tricky!
    Some Tips:
    Load up on bite size fruit, berries of all kinds,grapes, apple pieces etc. every Sunday.
    Check out Land’s End for great lunch box gear. We bought our daughter the little pink thermos and sent her to school with it full of creamy tomato soup or homemade chicken noodle soup. We’d add some crackers, turkey meat cut up into little bite size pieces (for mini “turkey sandwiches”) and then add the fruit. For extra protein, I would also put a small container of yogurt in. Also, milk in a small container is always good because it packs some extra fat/protein!

    Pumpkin bread or oatmeal cookies are great desserts…

    I packed it all the night before and just heated the soup in the morning. At the beginning, I would also add a little mini note telling her we loved her (but that soon faded as we got busier!). Good Luck!

    P.S. It is nice to have more than one lunch box in case you forget to unload/clean it out one day. Then you are not scrambling…

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Oh, Lauren… this is excellent! Thank you for these perfect suggestions.

  • 2
    Kristin says:

    I tend to get repetitive: Leftover pastas, sunbutter and jelly or turkey and cheese, sometimes a mini-bagel with a cheese stick. Add in some fruit, cut up peppers or cukes, a treat…you get the idea.

    For ideas, check out Baristakids series about packing school lunches – these are REAL people’s lunches, not a magazine’s: and there’s the gallery of REAL people’s lunches on Facebook: