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Letter L for Lunch box

April 16, 2008

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April 2008 NaBloPoMo

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My daughter will start pre-school in August and I will be in charge of her lunch box! I am in the naive, excited and highly motivated stage of planning her lunches. I’m so eager to get recipe ideas that will appeal to her. I’ve been thinking wistfully about the Japanese tradition of bento. Looking on-line for photos of bento lunches is very entertaining!

I’m hoping to get her some stainless steel food containers and some ice packs for her insulated lunch box. I’ll also put in a spoon and fork set, a cloth napkin and an empty cup she can fill at the school’s water cooler. I jumped the gun, buying her lunch box in April when she doesn’t need it until August. We got it personalized with her name in capital letters.

a healthy lunchEven though I didn’t buy their product, I still find the Laptop Lunches website to be a great resource. The photos, recipes and nutrition charts make the packing-the-lunch-daily aspect of being a supermom attainable and fun. I won’t be sending her to school with string cheese and a pudding cup and a bag of Cheetos. Ideally, I’ll be sending her to school with something like this: watermelon, avocado stuffed with salmon, sugar snap peas, and zucchini bread. (This photo comes from the Laptop Lunches Photo Gallery.)

Check back with me after about 7 months of packing lunches and see if I’m still as excited about it.

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  1. April 17, 2008 8:39 am

    aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh yes, the pre-school lunches. I was just as excited as you are! It is great fun! Just remember while preparing her lunch box that they have limited time to eat and more important than food…new friends. Sometimes lunch takes a back seat to play and wonder. Because of the new world she will be in, always have a healthy after school snack ready for her when you pick her up or she gets home 🙂
    The USDA also has a website of the food pyramid and this helps.

  2. April 17, 2008 3:10 pm

    We’ll have Kindergarten lunches to contend with. Hopefully he’ll eat the school lunches, but if it’s something that he won’t eat/dpesn’t like. then we’ll pack him a jelly sandwich. Not PB&J, he’s allergic to Peanutbutter.

  3. April 17, 2008 4:35 pm

    That lunch sounds fabulous– I kinda want you to pack my lunch box. A memory from elementary school came flooding back to me as I read your post. My elementary school best friend always had a note from her mom in her lunch box every day. Sometimes they said ‘I love you’, sometimes they said ‘good luck on your test’ or ‘I know you did great’ but they always meant that her mom both loved her and missed her. I remember coveting those notes (my mom went to work at something like 4 am so she could be home close to when I got home from school so I packed my own lunches) so much as a girl and vowing to one day write them to my children. Maybe you can sneak some notes in that lunchbox, too since your daughter is already a word wizard!

    PS– I loved your kindness blog, too— especially the sweet things you do for your daughter. Warmed my heart.

  4. April 17, 2008 7:11 pm

    Sky, thanks for the great advice. Of course I hope she enjoys her environment and her friends, but I am concentrating on the part I can control. 😉

    Randomability, you should read this book to your son!! He would love it!

    Rosie, my mom packed notes in my lunch box in elementary school. We were just talking about that. It is such a great way to reconnect during the day. Thank you so much for sharing your memory and vow. You are going to have lots of yummy lunch-worthy foods from the CSA boxes, right?

  5. April 17, 2008 10:13 pm


    I’ll have to keep an eye out for it for the scholastic book orders from school! Or run over to the library for it.

  6. April 18, 2008 2:07 am

    We get the version in Spanish from our library every other time we go. (We have to turn it in and wait two weeks then check it out again and keep it for 2 weeks; repeat cycle.) It is so cute how Frances eats her lunch at school. It makes me want to pack a little tablecloth and vase of flowers for my daughter.

  7. April 18, 2008 9:42 am

    I have been too busy to comment lately, but I have really enjoyed this series of posts; the breastfeeding and childbirth ones took me back to my own breastfeeding and childbirth experiences…
    My husband reminisces wistfully about bento from his school days in Hawaii; I’ll have to show him the laptop lunches site…the stainless steel containers you linked reminded me of Eat Drink Man Woman,when the grandfather brings the little girl lunch at school…

  8. April 18, 2008 8:14 pm

    Rebecca, thanks for commenting even though you are busy. I appreciate it. I had no idea your husband went to school in Hawaii. I love the scene in My Neighbor Totoro when Satsuki makes bento for her sister and her father. They have rice, umeboshi, and grilled fish. It’s another movie that shows how much making bento is an expression of love.

  9. Susannah permalink
    April 21, 2008 10:03 am

    Check out the pearl river site for some neat stainless steel lunch boxes (for you too!).
    I bought a few there years ago and am still enjoying them. The round one with the internal dish is excellent for packing a large salad and keeping the lettuce separate from your toppings or protein(s).

  10. April 21, 2008 10:16 am

    Mercy, I thought that was a lunch you did at first (that looks like a photo you’d do). THAT is a SUPER MOM lunch! ha! If only they would eat a little of all of it. It looks like quite a bit of food for the younger crowd. It is VERY exciting when they first go to school. I still get excited to buy school supplies and clothes in August!

  11. April 22, 2008 11:25 am

    Thanks so much for the link, Susannah!

    CG, I think we are going to try for two bites each of four or five foods. I don’t want to overwhelm her with too much, but she is good about eating healthy foods like the ones in the photo. She likes all of those foods, but she would only eat a little of each one.

  12. April 28, 2008 8:19 am

    I love the bento lunches too. Yum. Nice post.

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