Monday, January 25, 2010

What's for lunch?

I recently met my girlfriends for a Girl’s Night Out (Yes, I feel it should be capitalized). We had just ordered our dinner and were sipping a glass of wine when my friend threw a question out there.

“So, what do you pack in your kids’ lunches?”

Yes, our GNOs are a little like Girls Gone Wild.

Fortunately, I was among friends and could answer truthfully – not! My friends love me, but I know far too well that mothers are judged on the lunches they make, by teachers, kids, and, especially, other parents.

How could I say I haven’t made my daughter’s lunch since kindergarten (She’s very independent), and my son is convinced he’s going to get some kind of medal for buying his lunch every day?

I did pack my son’s lunches for a while, in my defense. Each day, I would pack his favorite meal in his lunch pail – Vienna sausages. I soon learned that, even though he liked them, his teachers did not.

“My teacher said these are gross, and she doesn’t want to open them anymore,” said my son after a few weeks.

Well, darn, there goes that food group, I thought.

At least the elementary school standards are lower than they were when my kids were in pre-school. Back then, even the parties had to be nutritious. I can recall being in charge of the Valentine’s Day party one year. My menu: cupcakes, Kool-aid, chips, dip and chicken nuggets; the other party mom’s menu? Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat sandwiches, carrots, and bottled water

We compromised, and she ended up taking 25 PB&J’s on whole wheat sandwiches back home.

“No, problem,” she said. “I’ll just freeze them and put them in the kids’ lunches.”

(By the way, shown in the photo is a rare Ed McCauley, Space Explorer lunch box. It can be found in the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, Ga. I smell a road trip coming on ... Wonder what we should pack for lunch? And will a paper bag be acceptable?)

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