Feed the Kids

The list of things that freak me out about M starting kindergarten next fall is a very very long one.  Most of it revolves around the scheduling nightmare with our jobs we are about to undertake.  The whole, is it really worth it to work if this is what it means thing. However, the things that has given me the most reason to obsess has got to be food.  Packing lunches to be specific.  I am both terrified about what exactly to do and excited at the prospect of getting to have a little fun with it.  I owe this of course to Wendy.  She is inspiring.

I know, I know, I could go for the bag of carrots, the PB&J, the snack cake or some such, and call it good.  The thing is, I’m pretty passionate about kids and food.  I’m not the extremist no sugar crazy that my parents were, all things in moderation, but I believe in vegetables.  I think kids will eat vegetables if they are exposed to them, not always given a choice about them, and have good examples as parents.  Picky adults breed picky kids.  It isn’t that I want my kids to like every vegetable on the planet, not even I do that, but I want there to be a wide range of things that they eat.  Bento style lunches offer a great excuse/platform for getting kids to eat fresh fruits & veggies.

So, for years, long before we had only months to go, I started researching and dreaming about her lunches.    Now that it is a reality, we’ve got a plan.  They only get around 15 minutes for lunch, so that figuring in to the planning as well.  Fortunately daycare has been very accommodating of our idea to plan for it all.

We started by setting a timer for her at school so she knows how long 15 minutes is for lunch.  She still gets half an hour, but she knows how long she will have in school.  They’ve also been reporting on what she’s eating.  If she really likes it, she eats faster.

Second, daycare has agreed to do practice lunches with her.  I got a variety of boxes (this helps me see what works for that too), and today we packed her first lunch.

It was a hit.  She picked out the color, she picked out the ice pack, and we used the lunch bag that I got at the school choice fair.

It is a Sistema lunch cube.  (known as Klip-It on the Container Store site) I have some of their other items, and I like them a lot.  Then my SIL mentioned they have some for her daughter and she can open and close them, no problem.  That pretty much sealed it.  One of the concerns I have seen is some of the eco friendly lunch containers for kids are too hard for littles to deal with.  I know they sell them on Amazon, but Container Store is WAY cheaper.  They even have them on Zulily sometimes.

Anyways, enough about the container for now.  The good stuff is what I put inside.

  • Salami (apparently her favorite lunch meat, we’re trying to avoid PB if she can’t have it next year)
  • Baby Bell Light, quartered
  • Holy Land Lebanese bread, with butter (mmm… bread)
  • Baby carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Yellow peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes

She apparently didn’t eat the carrots at lunch, saved them for snack, and came home with TWO carrots, and that’s it.  She ate those while I was fixing dinner.  Half veggies and fruits, quarter protein, quarter carbs.  I think it may be the best lunch she’s ever eaten at daycare (their food sucks)  I consider that a winning first attempt.  It was easy to pack and fully eaten.  Score.

So next is more variety of containers, because.. because. If I do a bulk order from Daiso Japan, do you think it would make sense to give some of it away here? I mean, I don’t need 10 lunch containers…

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3 Comments

  1. yasmara
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If you need more containers, also check Marshalls at HarMar (or wherever is closest to you). I found several sizes for about half what the Container Store charges.

    We are switching to the Klip-It system this summer for camp & for the school year next year. We will use the double-chamber sandwich boxes (where you can put a sandwich on one level, there’s a little hinged shelf in the box and then you can put other stuff in the other half of the box) and various snack boxes plus an icepack.

    We have been using the Laptop Lunch systems, which we’ve loved, but for a while my younger son’s teacher had to open the containers for him, which is a problem for the littlest kids. Now, we’re running into the problem that there’s not enough room for enough food to fill up my older son – he comes home starving from school at 3:30 every day.

    With the Klip-It system we’ll have more flexibility & can put a whole sandwich in, plus veggies, fruit, etc. I am going to miss the more rigid “fill up each box and I’m done” memory-jog of the Laptop Lunch system (mornings are not my best time of day), but it will be worth it to get more food into my kids!

    As an aside, the super short lunch/recess is something I HATE about the Minneapolis school system. It’s been a struggle for my son for 2 years now (he’s in 1st grade). Also, NONE (absolutely NONE) of the new food initiatives the district is touting are making it to the elementary school level anytime soon. They are starting with the high schools. I have to wonder, wouldn’t it be better to start with the smaller kids where you could make a difference for more of their lives??? It’s so frustrating (hence the packed lunch 99.9% of the year for my kids).

  2. Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe they only get 15 minutes for lunch! Poor moppets!

    We do bento-y lunches too, and I hadn’t seen the Klip-it system. I will have to try them. (Oh, and I would TOTALLY go in on a Daiso order with you!)
    Alexa recently posted..Interior Views.

  3. Posted May 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Want to make my lunch? (I would also go in on a Diaso order if you wanted!)
    Liz recently posted..Why am I so happy?

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