This summer, I think I got a bit shafted when it comes to all this ‘feed the kids’ nonsense that apparently us parents are supposed to get all organized and prepped for.
As June wound down to a close, as the talk of final grades and report cards started to trickle in, I realized that I was going to get screwed. I watched my Facebook feed fill with mom’s celebrating NO MORE SCHOOL LUNCHES! And I realized I could not join in the celebration because thanks to the youngest being signed up for the entire month of July at a ‘rec n read’ day camp (woot to working parents) and my oldest requiring SUMMER School…my lunch planning time was not yet over.
As Messalla whispered with his dying breath in Ben-Hur (thanks to the remake, this movie is on my mind again) “The race is not yet won,” I too realized that this one chore was not yet over for me. I would have to keep planning and buying crap for lunch that I would carefully pack in the a.m. and then unpack, uneaten, when I got home from work.
And that is just my youngest. She is brutally frank and honest about her dislike for my lunches and shows it by just leaving it there. My son on the other hand… when he started 8th grade I fully expected to not have to ever make a lunch again. However, with his dislike for the school cafeteria (can’t say I blame him) and his love for Subway and sushi (all 5 minutes from his school) we were facing financial ruin just to support his lunch habits. So after seeing that any sort of money talk was pointless, it was back to bagged lunches. And bagged they were. Brown paper or old plastic grocery bags…THAT is the parent I am now reduced to.
I USED to be one of those moms with the cool reusable and recyclable bags. I used to own cool bento boxes. This is what is left.
I also used to try to PLAN a variety of lunchtime fare for them; a variety of sandwiches, homemade snacks, soup or pasta to mix things up. As more and more of that came home I gave up. My son’s room was like a crime scene in Seven. There were so many bits of old lunches stuffed in strange places. I now had to plan feeding him around what would rot less.
My saving grace with his summer school schedule was that he really only needed snacks to keep him going for his 4 hour day.
I realize that parents are not allowed to say or even think that they ‘can’t be bothered‘ anymore. But I truly feel this way. Those people who post those fancy art into food lunches or lunches with little love notes on them have done nothing to help or encourage me. I like to fantasize about just how miserable they really are behind their glossy Instagram photos. I like to picture those fancy little minion-shaped lunches found rotting in the bottom of a school locker.
It’s what keeps me going.
It is August now, which means summer is almost over and I will have to make all three of them lunches again.
I have NO clue what I am going to do.
I am however, more than happy to work with Mott’s and see if adding some ‘Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie fruit flavoured snacks packages into their lunches will help. Those will be guaranteed to be eaten at least by the girls comes September. And mom loves ‘em too. Caity and I were talking about them the other day and how their little 80 calorie packages – while perfect snack size – should also come in jumbo mom size.
I have always loved fruity, chewy treats and I love that Mott’s fruit flavoured snacks are made with no artificial flavours or colours. When you live in a family that is comprised of humans who would rather shop solely in the candy aisle, finding treats that I can feel good about makes me feel less like a total mom failure. The fact that they have vegetable juice from concentrate makes coming up with lunch ideas a LOT easier for me.
What about you? How do you manage your candy-craving kids when it comes to balancing their diets?
I would love to hear some good lunch tips for my picky junk food-loving kids.
This post was sponsored and inspired by Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggie snacks. However, the horror of knowing that the kids are back to school soon and that I have to make their lunches, is purely my own.