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Varied Lunches

September 22, 2008

On the first day of preschool, my daughter didn’t budget her time well at lunch.  I had packed the stainless steel container with foods that she likes, but she wasn’t able to eat quickly enough.  So when I picked her up she was crying and complaining of a headache.  We talked about how important it is to eat all of the food in the lunchbox and to drink water throughout the day.  On her second day, she drank so much water that when I went to pick her up I found she was wearing different underwear and pants.  LOL!  I reassured her that it was a good kind of mistake.  She eventually found the right balance.

To keep the food varied and separated I am using red and blue silicone muffin cups.  I can fit 4 or 5 into the stainless steel container.  That helps me think clearly when I pack her lunch, and it also makes it more interesting and appealing when she opens it at lunchtime.  I usually put two kinds of fruit and one vegetable.  Then I put some kind of cheese and some crackers or a small sandwich.  Some days she asks me for an egg, but she doesn’t want a hard boiled egg; she wants a fried egg (over medium)!  There aren’t any children who have food allergies in her class, so I can even pack peanuts.

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my daughter's preschool lunchbox

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The only problem with this way of packing her lunch is that I have to carry her lunchbox to her cubby and put it flat on the shelf.  If I let her carry it in by the handle, the food will get shaken around and mixed up.  The muffin cups aren’t quite tall enough to prevent spills from one cup to another.  I don’t know how she carries it from her cubby to her table, but I try to minimize the damage by carrying it in for her in the mornings.

Two small packs of Blue Ice keep it cool within the insulated lunch box.  I don’t have to pack her a drink, because they all drink water in cups that they wash and store at school.  So far, so good.

Earlier, I wrote about buying her lunchbox and about our picnic in the living room.

  1. September 22, 2008 12:05 pm

    That’s awesome! I want you to pack my lunches. Do you think if you cut out a piece of cardboard the same size as the lunch box, and placed that over the silicone cups, and then added the napkins on top to kind of keep it in place it would work for her to hold it by the handle? Maybe not. Plus, in your picture, it looks like it would squash the lovely avocado and orange. But now it’s bugging me that she can’t carry it with the handle. Clearly I need more to keep me occupied.

  2. September 22, 2008 12:17 pm

    Our lunches are not varied at all. ~sigh~ Usually a grape jelly sandwich, a fruit cup or grapes and baby carrots. Sometimes he doesn’t even eat all of that, but that’s because he’s distracted with his friends and is chatty. The plus, it’s in containers and not plastic bags. 🙂

  3. Organic Mama permalink
    September 22, 2008 3:15 pm

    What a great lunchbox setup! I use the smallest pyrex containers for my kids, but they’re older (old enough to make their OWN lunches) and tend to a variety of things inside that are spill-unfriendly. Is that avocado? THe green stuff was my eldest’s (she’s 13) first food and is still among her must-have foods.

    OOh, I can’t take the anticipation – am I released from spammer hell??

  4. September 22, 2008 4:44 pm

    Ann, I understand what you mean. It would be nice if she could carry it the way it was designed to be carried. We’re open to ideas for inserts that could serve as a top for the muffin cups. But sometimes the bulkier foods do stick out at odd angles.

    Randomability, that’s great that you’re not using plastic bags. 🙂 Distracted and chatty is a good description. As long as he’s not feeling bad at the end of the day, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Organic Mama, yes, you have been released! It is avocado. She normally eats it, but didn’t want it today so it came back home uneaten. I know of parents who recommend those glass pyrex containers. I’ll have to check them out.

  5. September 22, 2008 10:29 pm

    Oh FW – you have gotten me so addicted to j-list! I ordered a bunch of stuff this week thinking – everything is so inexpensive, how much damage can I possibly do? Well, the answer was $40 (but $10 of that was a cookbook!).

    My son just started preschool, and flat refused the school lunches, which I wanted him to try so that he would get some variety and be exposed to different foods. But I have found that I can still manage to provide him some variety, even if he does end up with a lunchable every so often. And I can’t wait to get my j-list shipment!

  6. September 22, 2008 10:56 pm

    Hey, my blog theme is all wonky. Looks like it’s been updated without my prior approval. Well, shopping at J-list is a lot of fun. I’ve only ordered from them once. I think it was like $13 for the items and $13 for the shipping. 😀 But the stuff is so darn cute and so Japanese. I want my daughter to appreciate the Japanese style of packed lunches and cuteness overload. I hope you and your son enjoy the things you’ve bought.

  7. Lofter permalink
    September 23, 2008 10:02 am

    Your children are so blessed to have you as a mother. You’re awesome!

  8. September 23, 2008 10:32 am

    Thanks, Lofter! It’s very sweet of you to say that.

  9. September 24, 2008 12:52 pm

    Um, so I gave you a blog award. It’s on my blog.

  10. September 24, 2008 2:04 pm

    Wow! You make eating a healthy lunch look not only yummy but fun! I bet all the other moms at your daughter’s school are jealous. I know I would be. What are the yellow round balls?

    Are you guys vegetarians? Or does your daughter not like meat? Unfortunately, my daughter LOVES meat and tries to just live off of that. We’ve managed to get her to eat broccoli now without complaining and spaghetti but it’s frustrating trying to vary her diet. And now that I have to pack snacks for her everyday, it gets even harder sending her with something that she’ll eat and is nutritious.

    On a side note, how is the sleeping schedule going?

  11. September 24, 2008 3:08 pm

    Thank you, Ann!

    Chris, no we aren’t vegetarians. Sometimes she takes beef or chicken or pork cut up into little pieces. The little yellow balls are a cereal, organic peanut panda puffs. The sleep schedule sucks!!!!!!! She takes a nap at preschool. They say she’s the first child that falls asleep when they all lie down and I’m thinking, “yes, that’s because she only gets 8 or 9 hours of sleep at night!”

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