Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Recent School Lunches and "Brain Food"

Now that I've got a month of Kindergarten-lunch-packing under my belt, I thought it'd be fun to show a little recap of some of the lunches Ryan has been taking to school. I think I've figured out how much food to send him, and I'm hopefully striking a good balance between sending foods I know he will eat, and including a few foods that are new for him.

So here is a look at what Ryan has been eating at school lately. Nothing is super original or creative, but I try not to pack the same things over and over. I want Ryan to get used to eating a variety of foods and not expect to just eat his same favorite foods every day.

Peanut butter waffle sandwich, homemade popcorn, and mandarin oranges. Snack was a banana applesauce pouch.
Leftover pan-fried chicken with ketchup for dipping, raspberries, and a homemade whole wheat banana chocolate muffin. Snack was a string cheese.
Homemade "lunchable" of triscuits, cheddar cheese, and Applegate organic ham. Also included raspberries and a fruit strip. Snack was a banana.
Two homemade mini pizzas, apple slices, and a homemade whole wheat chocolate chip cookie. Snack was two triscuit peanut butter "sandwiches".

So here is our new problem. Even though I'm packing foods that I know Ryan likes, he keeps coming home from school with a mostly full lunchbox. And every time I send him any sort of treat, it always came back home untouched. What?? When Ryan came home one day from school recently and I saw that the only thing he had eaten was his fruit, I knew something strange was going on. This was so unlike him! So I sat him down to get an explanation.

After much prodding, Ryan finally told me that he was too nervous to eat some of the foods in his lunch. He told me the teachers instruct them to eat their "brain foods" first. I am assuming these are foods like fruits and vegetables. Ryan has become nervous that if a teacher sees him eating something that is not a brain food, he will possibly get in trouble. While I love the effort the teachers are making to ensure the kids eat their healthy foods first, I need Ryan to understand that he can and should eat his full lunch. It's pretty laughable that a child of mine is worried about his lunch being unhealthy! If only he knew that his cookie is made with whole wheat flour and half the amount of sugar. Sweet boy.

So I keep reminding Ryan to eat his full lunch at school, but he continues to bring most of it back home. And he doesn't really eat breakfast, so that's a long time for someone his age to go without eating. I'm hoping he becomes more comfortable eating at school soon!

What do you pack in your kids' lunches? Do they eat some or most of their food?

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