Tackling the School Lunch for the First-Time Mom

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Packing a school lunch for the first time. Should be easy right? Thoughts rush into my head of other people actually seeing what I feed my child at home — some days are great, I am supermom — I actually made dinner that night (rare occasion). Most always are days of an agglomeration of what I know she likes and will eat and me attempting to sneak in some veggies (nearly impossible). We hit 1.5 of the 5 food groups tonight. Score, mom wins. I know I’m not alone and I try not to get too hung up on it, but yes, of course, I want my daughter to eat well and be healthy and strong!

So back to packing this school lunch— I had to grocery shop a little differently so she …
a) actually will eat it away from home
b) gets a well rounded meal or at least halfway there
c) doesn’t waste any food (i.e. smaller, on-the-go snacks and packaging)

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I’m new at this; I never have had to pack a lunch for her to eat when I’m not around. I don’t want her giving her teacher hell — I have to make this easy for all.

Step 1: Pinterest, duh. Ideas galore. And I get back to feeling like “I got this” easy, peasy.
Step 2: I asked her teacher what other parents pack and what does she see come out at lunch time — let’s not re-invent the wheel here.
Step 3: Stop caring what other people think — there is zero judgement here! She will never remember what she ate and if your masterpiece of a 5 food group meal turned into SpaghettiOs and string cheese — awesome! You fed your child today. We aren’t going to be perfect, stop comparing yourself to the organic, non GMO mom, four kids in, who has it all together. I will never be her, so stop dreaming and surely don’t envy her — rather, maybe learn from her?

Random thoughts in this process: Do you think the school will have a food group chart on the wall and grade what gets packed? Serious thoughts.  Also, I am a genius and thought of packaging yogurt into way smaller portions/containers, almost like a little shooter and scoffed at “why haven’t they thought of this yet?” Well after grocery shopping and opening my eyes, turns out they do have this, probably have for years. And they are perfect for my tiny eater. Into the shopping cart they go.

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What I learned from my quick Pinterest session — kids like things rolled up, and you can hide almost anything in there. They love it when you make food look like it has a face or an animal etc. — that’s hilarious and I am never going to have time for that, hopefully she can live vicariously though her lunch mate whose mom is AH-mazing and take notes. Next pin — tupperware is awesome. Known fact. Last pin — I didn’t need to go any further. It just seems to cover it all “27 Tips for Stress-Free School Lunches”  — my personal favorite — they have a list of ideas you can print and put on your fridge! I need this during the late night hours when I am tired, cranky and thinking she loves SpaghettiOs. I also loved the idea of meal planning and freezing items ahead of time. Now it’s just the process of actually doing it :-).

What I learned and encourage you to do:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Your kids are going to love you either way.
  • Try your best, that’s all you can do.
  • Don’t compare, it’s a road that leads nowhere.
  • Use your resources and try to plan ahead!

We’ve got this mommas!  Have a great week and know you are not the only one going through these simple, yet seem so big things.  We are in this together!