Let me tell you what my kids eat for lunch at school every day: a ham and cheese sandwich, milk, and an apple or a banana. Maybe grapes or strawberries if we’re feeling frisky.
AAAAAAAAAND that’s all we got, folks. I know that there are parents who are able to provide a variety of options (completely nut-free, of course) for their child every day. Mike and I are not among them. This is not only because we are a) lazy and b) out of ideas, but also because our children are not culinary adventurers. These are children who throw a fit at the idea of going to a restaurant that doesn’t serve mac and cheese. They aren’t exactly craving options. There’s no “Not this tired old pasta dish again” going on at my house.
We figure that as long as we can get away with giving them the same thing day after day, we’ve struck gold and are going to go with it.
There’s a certain pressure you feel, however, with school lunches. Hearing about all of the wonderful food other parents provide for the kids each day makes me feel a little shitty for about a minute before I remember how much work that must be. And even if it isn’t a lot of work, it’s more than NO work at all, which is where are happily residing right now.
I do think, however, that some parents take it too far. For example, take this advice from gvparent.com:
Kids love to open their lunchbox to brightly-wrapped treats. Whether you turn to creative bag designs or colored plastic wrap, this fun packaging makes unwrapping lunch like unwrapping presents. Adding stickers and special notes can make eating even more fun.
Holy shitballs, people. Presentation? For school lunches? My only form of presentation is cutting the crusts off their sandwiches, and I only remember to do that half the time.
Want to know what my lunches looked like growing up?
Oh yeah. Drink it in, bitches. What we have here is your classic brown paper bag, usually damp for no apparent reason by the time you got it at lunch. Inside, you would find a sad little peanut butter and jelly sandwich, squashed flat so your sandwich was now about as thick and filling as your New Kids On The Block folder. Accompanying that would be a warm container of grape juice (apple if you were lucky) along with a brown banana.
And you know what? WE ATE IT. You know why? CUZ WE WERE HUNGRY.
So no, my children will not experience giraffes made of cheddar cheese or Eiffel Towers made from salsa…though if you can pull off that last one, my hat is off to you.
Here are some examples from Parenting.com. The article was titled, “20 Easy Bento Lunch Boxes.” Yeah…easy. I think Parenting.com needs to go make another robot out of driftwood collected from their local beach and stop judging me.
Sometimes, you guys, a child’s happiness is not worth the means to get there. Sometimes an extra half hour of sleep in the morning or an extra hour of The Voice at night trumps the laugh of a child at seeing a panda made of quinoa and tabbouleh or whatever the hell good moms feed their kids.
As for me, I’ll be eating baloney sandwiches in hell one day, where not a single strand of carrot confetti is to be found.