Well this morning was probably more difficult for Eric and I then it was for Sebastian. He started Kindergarten. I started putting his snacks together 2 days ago. Eric complained that groceries this week seemed to be 80% Sebastian's school food and 20% the rest of the family. I remember the lunches my parents used to pack and how much I hated peanut butter. Peanut butter sandwiches 10 days in a row was just plain torture. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and went to a parochial school. Our hot lunches were pretty predictable. There was pizza, tuna (especially during Lent), hot dogs, chicken nuggets, cacoila (the only Portuguese hot lunch among a city that was 85% Portuguese at the time) and these just switched around every week. School lunch has come a LONG way!
I've worked in schools for the last 10 years or so and now you see salads, turkey sandwiches, soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, tacos, Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner, 100% fruit juice popsicles the options are endless. The best recipe I ever got for grilled cheese was from a lunch lady. I'm currently trying to find a healthier alternative for the spread which is 1/2 softened butter 1/2 mayo. Yes, I think I felt my arteries twitch too. The difference after that spread and inserting the cheese is you bake the sandwich in the oven at about 200 degrees. I did sub the spread with olive oil one day and it came out pretty good. But then again I love olive oil and use it all of the time!!
I know a chef who is the head of food service at my old high school. I'm envious of the students as they eat A LOT better there now then when I went there. His food has been described by the guidance counselors as gourmet.
I searched on the internet for Cool School Lunches, Creative School Lunches and came across tons of ideas. If Eric wants to sit their and sculpt some Asian noodles to look like a Wooki, be my guest. I would rather have somone make that for me than do it myself. For fun check out the Cool School Lunch Bento Boxes, they really are very artistic and appetizing! Then ofcourse I want him to have a healthy lunch full of choices. He also is a peanut butter hater and eats Nutella. So this resulted in a giant debate between Eric and I about the nutrional value of a Nutella sandwich and that it's not candy it's hazlenut spread yada yada.
So food shopping with Sebastian was interesting we got apples, bananas, carrots, watermelon, cheese sticks, goldfish crackers, juice pouches, a freezer pack for the lunchbox, a puzzle piece sandwich cutter, ham, Nutella and the list goes on. I expressed to my mom that I think I've packed too much food for him. My first clue was that I was having a hard time zipping up his lunchbox, I'm currently pricing out ones that expand. I'm sure that if there were an apocolyptic event at his school he could live on today's lunch alone for about 7 days. I know in the world of preventing obesity in children I can understand your concerns. However, Sebastian is a bean pole with a very large head perched on top. We love to tell him to turn to the side and act as if he's disappeared. He loves showing us that he can feel his ribs. He's a picky eater but what he loves, he eats by the truckload. I like to compare him to a hummingbird. He must burn the calories as fast as they come into his mouth.
So we delivered him to school and hung out on the edges of the playground with all of the other nervous parents. He handed off his 20lb lunchbox to Eric so he could swing on the monkey bars and when the bell rang he ran full stop to retrieve his lunchbox from his father and joined the rest of his class. Eric and I returned to the car misty eyed while his younger brother Gabriel (2 1/2) cried all of the way home because he missed his brother.