Thursday, July 28, 2005

Just eat, already

I've been packing the kids lunches this week.  I don't know, it was one of those moments of weakness that made me do it.  The complaints of "Mo-oom, the lunchroom food stinks." finally got to me.

I always envision myself packing those lunches you see in the parenting magazines.  Fruit and veggies.  Hummus.  Little pita pieces.  All artfully arranged and cut into cute little pieces, of course.  A juice box or bottle of milk, with the perfect cookie alongside.  In a chic, adorable, lunchbox.  My children beside themselves with anticipation that their lunch is gonna rock.

My reality is:  Cut the crusts off the bread.  Peanut butter and jelly for Nolan, or tuna; peanut butter no jelly for Ben.  Chips.  Capri Sun.  A cookie, fruit snack, or apple for Ben (oooh, an apple!); cookies for Nolan (extra to share).   Sometimes, they get a carton of milk at the cafeteria, but more likely, if I don't pack one, they buy themselves a cookie, and I look the other way.  Packed in Star Wars lunchboxes they've had for like 3 years.  It doesn't always represent the food pyramid like it should, but to them, it rocks.

And then there's Ryan.  He is my picky eater.  He makes his Dad look like a picnic (we'll get to him in a minute).  On the first day he said he wanted string cheese, chips, a Capri Sun, and that would be that.  I am still in the process of trying to get him to eat breakfast, and now I have to try and talk him into something more substantial for lunch?  I'm stressing about it, but then have a moment of clarity....

Fine.  I'll stop reasoning with him, and give him what he wants.   Even if it means he'll be a bit hungry.  I'm hoping that that would make him realize he needs to eat something for lunch that packs more of a punch.  And that he realizes breakfast is a good thing.  Hey, it may make me a bad Mom, letting him go like that when I know in all likelihood, it's gonna suck.  But I know he's not gonna be starving all day, that he can eat when he gets home.  Hopefully, a temporary hungry situation will make him more open to what I can pack him. 

Afterschool, I'm going through their lunches so I can pull out the ice packs for re-freezing, and I open Ryan's lunchbox.  I'd managed to talk him into half a sandwich that morning, so I was hopeful.  Hopeful for nothing, he brought it all back!  "We can go out to play after we eat," he earnestly explained to me, "and I wanted to have a lot of time outside."  Oh, sure, fabulous, son.  Don't eat, and go outside and bake in the 110 degrees.  Be my guest.  Not even his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunchbox has excited him about eating at school. 

I can't even complain to his Dad about this, either.  He's picky too.  This is a man that will spit out a bite of a burger if he even detects a hint of onion, much less accidentally bites into one.  Who once said he didn't like a particular chain's pizza because it was "too cheesy," and the crust was "raw" (chewy).  Who told me this very evening that he didn't want me to make him a cheese crisp because I put too much cheese on it (I do not!).  Whatever.  I can think of more transgressions, but you get the picture.  For the love of God, he used to prefer slightly overcooked to al dente!  And because he himself is so picky, I've forbidden him from giving Ryan any lectures.  "He's just like you,"  I sigh, as I roll my eyes at Mr W.  

I'm going to continue to pack Ryan's lunch for him, to keep trying the first week of classes.  If he still is bringing me home a whole lunch's worth, then I'm gonna have to try something else, like the "yuck" cafeteria food.  I bet he'll eat it, too, knowing him, but......

The way I look at it, if he throws the "yuck" cafeteria food away, I don't have to see him do it, and at least drinks his milk, it'll be fine.

I can live with that. 



deniden said...

Man, Ryan has amazing willpower, lol. I can't go like 2 hours without eating.


jckfrstross said...

Have you talked to the lunch ladies? Being a lunch lady:) I always tried to help the picky eaters. just a thought


yaya1 said...


babygrl7745 said...

I was the same way as a little girl.  I only ate sliced hot dogs speckled with mustard, peanut butter & jelly on Ritz crackers, and Granny Smith apple slices.  Imagine the dilemma for my parents, lol.  Your son will probably break that habit as he gets older and sees his friends eating other things with more variety.  At least that's what made get over my picky eating.  Until then, enjoy his little phase.  Mom and dad never forget to remind me of my weird eating habits as a wee one.

perkysgrl said...

I guess I've got it simple for right now.

I've only got one lunch to pack, for pre-school snack time,
and all she can care about getting is a Princess fruit snack!!

Oh yes, and PB&J :)


ksquester said...

Oh how I remember those days. I once made a surprise visit to my kids lunch room and found out they had traded their wonderful lunches for hoho's and ding dongs. I decided that THEY could pack their own lunch then. My husband thought I was terrible and packed their lunches for a whole year, then he threw in the towel. The good news is, I think you had a few more good years before "that" happens.  Anne

mum24boyz said...

Wow, your kids went back to school already?? My kids love the cafeteria food...except for the oldest one, because the portions are such a joke for a big growing boy.
Robyn :)

suzypwr said...

Mine refused sandwiches. It made life difficult, but we worked around it. I was glad when she graduated so I didn't have to worry about her lunches any more!


pixiedustnme said...

I know I've mentioned this before, but Mr W is just a male version of ME - of course I look much cuter in a skirt than he does :-)

billandnae said... picky!

My son is picky and the things he likes I can't pack for lunch, Chef Boyardee, meatballs, ya know, hot stuff.  He doesn't eat bread, or cheese or anything white, come to think of it.  He usually ends up getting gummies, pretzels and a ham sandwich but on a roll, not bread, like I said the weirdo won't eat it.

Wait, your kids are in school already????  We don't start til the 30th of August.