This week was pretty pathetic in the bento department. Wyatt had school lunch, not once, but twice! Considering I spent the weekend plotting to overthrow the school lunch system at BlogHer Food, I’m a little sheepish about that, but circumstances conspired against my best intentions. Here’s what went down:
On Monday, we woke up a half hour before Wyatt was supposed to be at school and I hadn’t packed his lunch the night before so I had no prayer of getting something together for him before we had to leave. As it was, I barely got him dressed and fed before we sprinted out the door. School lunch was our only option. This is what he ate for lunch:
- French bread pepperoni pizza
- Cherry yogurt
- Chocolate grahams
- Chilled peaches
- Chocolate milk
Augie’s lunch was thrown together from the freezer and the pathetic remnants of my last trip to the store: the last of the frozen peas, the last of a bag of frozen mixed veggies (all mixed together), frozen chicken shu mai that I reheated and then cooled down to put in the lunch, leftover rice, and a flavorless chopped plum. The kids begged me to get these plums and despite sitting in the fruit bowl for two weeks, they never ripened or even softened up a bit. That’ll teach me to buy stone fruit in September!
My 1st grader’s lunch was just as pathetic: carrots, snap peas, shu mai, a flavorless plum and a blueberry bagel I pulled from the freezer. This lunch was packed in an Easy Lunchbox.
On Wednesday, my two-year-old’s lunch had diced, baked tofu, grape tomatoes, pumpkin mini muffins, part of a granola bar and some strawberries.
Wyatt’s lunch was Scrabble Cheez-its, carrots and ranch, pumpkin mini muffins, strawberries and turkey Star Wars sandwiches.
Thursday was the other school lunch day. Zach and I both were out of commission with the stomach flu, so getting Wyatt to school was a task of epic proportions. Definitely no lunch packing happening that day. Here’s what he ate:
- Chicken patty on a bun with Tater Tots
- Chocolate chip granola bar
- 100% apple juice
- Chocolate milk
So a couple of things about this lunch are worth commenting on. First off, Wyatt told me that he had 2 hamburgers for lunch — no mention of chicken or tater tots. It’s possible he just couldn’t tell he was eating chicken though. Also, he got two drinks! I think it’s pretty pathetic that they’re giving the kids juice instead of whole fruit.
And finally, every school lunch Wyatt’s eaten so far has some kind of sugary snack — chocolate grahams, cookies, chocolate chip granola bar. I’m not anti-treat by any stretch of the imagination but I think there’s a bit of a disconnect here. When the teachers send home snack guidelines, they always specifically ask that parents send snacks that are not sweet or junky. No candy, cookies, soda, or potato chips! And then the kids go to the cafeteria and get sweet treats. Now, I’m not saying that a small packet of chocolate graham crackers is the same as a kid having a Coke and a Snickers bar for their snack, but the teachers obviously would prefer that the kids not have this stuff.
Today, my 1st grader’s lunch had pumpkin mini-muffins, strawberries, and deli ham roll-ups on pumpkin skewers.
His snack box had strawberries, pretzel thins and edamame hummus for dipping. After I packed his bentos this didn’t seem like enough food for a whole day (he’s at kid’s camp until 6 pm today because he has the day off school and I’m still feeling awful from my bout with the flu), so I also threw in a yogurt tube and an apple-carrot crusher.
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