Ahh - I'm back on the blog! It's a cold, wet, lazy Sunday afternoon. The kids are napping. Miss M was, as usual, up with the sun. Add to that a late bedtime on Halloween, and the 'fall back' didn't really help her out. She fell asleep on the way home from lunch with friends this afternoon. Mister J is taking quiet time, too, so I'm spending some time going through photos and working on the blog - yay! I'm going to start with a big post about lunches, move on to some other noteworthy events, and wrap it up with Halloween photos - stick with me, ok?
So ... lunches! I've packed two lunches per day since school began - the only exceptions being one day that Mister J asked to eat "hot lunch" from school and the days the kids were home sick (Miss M - 6 days due to flu, Mister J - 3 days due to congestion/scratchy throat/cough). That's a LOT of lunches! I still enjoy packing them, though I don't always enjoy doing it at 9 or 10pm. While the lunch planning chart hasn't lasted like I'd hoped, we still take the time to talk about what will be in the lunch boxes.
Here are just a few of the lunches I've packed over the last two months.
Lunches the first two days - these first two are nearly identical. Miss M's has yogurt and strawberries, Mister J's has Craisins and cheese cubes.
These next two have spaces for cucumbers I added the next morning. The roll-ups in Miss M's lunch were not a hit, but they both liked the pears. The small lidded container typically holds Thousand Island for Miss M, Italian for Mister J (unless I have ranch dip or hummus).
As I mentioned above, just because it's in the lunchbox doesn't mean it's a hit (a change from the early days of the Laptop Lunch Boxes!). I almost always pack things they have eaten for me at home, because it's important to me that they have a filling lunch that they enjoy. However, that doesn't mean that they will eat it!
Miss M's lunch - Yogurt with fresh strawberries, grapes, grape tomatoes, green beans. While she will eat raw green beans at home, she didn't touch them in her lunch box.
Mister J's lunch - Corn and black bean salad/salsa, tortilla chips, cheese cubes, small container has sour cream inside, grapes, home-made fruit bar (I'll post the recipe sometime - these are yummy!) Mister J tasted the salad/salsa at home the day before, and said he'd like it in his lunch. He may have taken one bite of it at school :(
This must have been a Tuesday - sometimes I pack lunch for myself since we go to Miss M's dance class right after preschool. Mine had a small salad under the fruit bar - salad dressing in the small container instead of sour cream.
I made some 'fun' lunches the last two days before Fall Break - my only opportunity to send Halloween-themed goodies. On Tuesday, I packed cat-shaped sandwiches. Unfortunately, the kids didn't think bread looked like a Halloween-ish cat with arched back. Miss M told me she had a skunk-shaped sandwich, and Mister J thought his was a horse. (Why is it that the lunches I took photos of turned out to be the flops?)
This was lunch on Wednesday:
Pumpkin-shaped ham and cheese sandwich, Fritos, blood orange segments, pumpkin-shaped cucumber slices, orange bell pepper bits, ranch dip in the small container. This lunch went over pretty well, though Mister J asked me to not pack bell pepper in his lunch anymore. One of the few times I tried the magic of the lunchbox, hoping he'd try something new!
Overall, the kids enjoy their lunches. I'm getting better at packing the proper portion for the amount of time they have to eat lunch (30 minutes). Most mornings they ask to see what's in the boxes, even if they helped pick things out the night before. They don't know how good it makes me feel to see them excited about their lunches!
One day a week, I volunteer during the lunch period in one of the K-1 classes at school. At this age, the children eat lunch in their classrooms. I have discovered that most children (usually about 2/3 of the children in the class I work with) bring lunches from home. Initially, I was concerned that the kids' lunches from home would be 'different' - more so for Mister J, where kids are becoming more observant about what other kids are doing. My happy observation is that many of the lunches look similar to what my kids take - yogurt, cheese, fruits, veggies. Although having a lunch that 'looks' like everyone else is not the most important thing, it is a relief to me that, at this age where kids are beginning to compare themselves to others, this is a battle we won't have to have - at least until Mister J gets to to eat lunch in the cafeteria!